Well it’s Alright…

I’m feeling a bit like this tonight:

From the last year of this country, I need that refrain. “Well it’s alright…”

I don’t have a direction for this post tonight. I want to speak to the political situation in our country. I want to speak to the division between those who want to champion other’s rights to a voice and those who would take away those voices. Continue reading “Well it’s Alright…”

It’s a Night Off Writing, I’m doing Laundry and Work

So I think I will spend a bit of time catching up on some old Poetry issues. Never got to them because I got a job, bought a house, had a baby with my wife. Which is all boring life stuff.

I started this on Twitter a couple of months ago, and then life happened again, so I’ll continue now. Maybe I’ll post some thoughts after I read a bit and think on some of the poems.

Anyways, here’s to you and your life stuff.

Over at The Word Cage, Mary Biddinger Contemplates Going Back to Paper

http://wordcage.blogspot.com/2018/01/return-of-page.html

This is something I’ve always been interested in. How do poets choose to write their drafts, and how does it impact the poem?

Personally, I love paper. It slows me down, makes me consider the words and sounds more closely. But when it comes to form, that really takes place on the screen, where I can see the whole poem. With my handwriting, there isn’t a whole lot of room in the notebooks I use to worry too much about form.

Revisions, too, usually take place on paper. After typing up and printing out the draft. Often, that translation between paper and typed poem also results in on-the-fly revisions.

Anyways, I’ve long thought about this (at least back to 2011 or so).

What are your preferences, and how do they impact your writing?

Letter to Eric

Dear Eric,

Why not begin a new year’s writing practice strong? Get a calendar, mark it up, make promises.

Make commitments to people.

Granted, you don’t know these people. They seem nice enough on Twitter. Considerate, considered in thought, unwilling to put up with bullshit. But you’ll commit to them to write a blog post once a week for the whole year. Maybe some weeks you’ll write two, or even three. Hopefully many will be more thought-out than this one, but hey, it is a journal, not a Journal.

More important, make a commitment to write poetry. Once a week, for an hour. In the quiet right after everyone else is in bed. Make a commitment to revise for an hour a week. Make a commitment to send at least one submission per week. Make a commitment to work on that manuscript that keeps disappearing into obligations and home projects. Continue reading “Letter to Eric”

Welcome to YAWB

Maybe you came here from Twitter. Maybe from one of my defunct blogs (they’re still there though: Poetic Idealism and Poetry Thesis Musings) (I’m ignoring the tumblr thing).

I like the shape YAWB makes in the mouth, and the sound it makes in the ears:

Y

A

W

B

It’s wide open, like I hope this blog will be. I’ve imported the posts and pages from the blogs linked above, so all the history is there.

My first real blog post will be this Friday, and I’ll be sure to share it around Twitter at least.

*edited – corrected links to previous blog spaces.

Review: Let the Body Beg by Tara Shea Burke

Disclaimer: I know the poet.

On to the important bit:

I’m always hungry. My dreams show blood

– from “Imagined Farms”

These poems, as the title of the collection telegraphs, are about hunger. Real, raw, human hunger felt deep in the chest and body. This is not the hunger of “oh, I’m a little late for lunch,” or “where’s the waiter with that food.” This is the hunger of first heartbreak, of a fist nailing the solar plexus sweet like a perfect tennis swing. This is the hunger of loneliness and desire, hunger that is hard to hear and beautiful to hold.

In the same poem quoted above, Burke writes, “The dreams are open wounds, talking / heads.” This is a protest poem, and though it protests about the self, it protests against ourselves as a nation as well. The factory farms and the endless wars in counterpoint to each other: in profit through blood. And, still, the love and the hunger. This is also, at it’s heart, a love poem. It’s about a lover who is

…a cool

clean cucumber vine…

and I have let her wrap vines around my hungry

heart

and a yearning to both grow and keep safe the lover. You’ll have to read the poem to get more, though.

This is a short volume, 25 pages and 16 poems, but each and every entry pulls it’s weighty hunger into the forefront. It is difficult to select just a few examples.

“The Hungry Girls of America” is dense with metaphor and “starving, then eating, then starving, then eating,” and succeeds by being about more than an individual, more than complaint, by being plain-spoken and forceful and honest. This might be the anthem for every one of us who feels like they can’t get ahead.

“The Harness” has long been one of my favorite poems by Burke. It has evolved in my acquaintance, and here it presents a tenderness and wholeness in a relationship. That ever-present hunger is softened here, attenuated. 

I don’t want to give away too many of these poems. As a whole, you should know that this is a forceful collection that is very clearly feminist and queer in its sensibilities. It connects though. As a reader, you will be satisfied with this collection, but it will leave you feeling a hunger. For more of Burke’s poetry, for human connection, and for awareness to the world around you. Be open to that hunger.

You can get a copy at ELJ Publications: http://eljpublications.com/available-titles/let-the-body-beg/