Sunday, September 18, 2011

*Poem: "Iowa"*


A kindly tourist explains the difference between
the heat in the Hudson Valley and Iowa, his home,
which can get this humid but, he said, it's hard to explain.
This New York valley holds the moisture in its bowl,
and that's what makes the trees so green,
then the autumn colors so vivid. He says the weather here
is comparable to southern Iowa or Missouri.
Twain spoke at commencement for the girls at Vassar
once upon a time, a century ago.
Was the weather like home then?
The tourist begins again on the shelves of books on autism,
says he's finished the top two, and has three more to go through.
He gets a hot coffee, despite the heat outside,
inadequate air cooling inside, dark, no milk,
lidded before he leaves the counter, so sugar is out, too.
Missouri, Iowa are faraway countries from upstate New York.
Nothing is far enough away from Long Island, and
inconsequential in any case. There are no beaches
on the shores of the Mississippi. There are no shells
in the mud of the Big Muddy. The sunlight, quickly returned
after a brief, hard shower, enters the shop with some
resistance from the awnings. The glare off cars across the street
is sharp and familiar, a part of summer sunshine in June,
when the light lasts longer and has more to say,
has a more definite impression to make.
Milt Jackson's metal bubbles pop on the CD,
barely audible in the background.
Ambience. It doesn't stop the kids in the afternoon
from playing with the puppets, using a flannel mouth
to say what they mean, assuming the dull roles of
physician, cheerleader, pirate, dragon.
Only Coltrane, narrating his own destruction,
Can chase the teens out into the heat,
down to the park, to smoke as teens always smoke
before their lungs fall out, beside the Esopus,
tribute to the Hudson, distant cousin of the
Mississippi, both being of water, both rolling
while we here stop and talk about the weather.

 CAR  6/1/11

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Just a quick note today, but after a few months of pretending to live like a non-poet, I have decided to embrace my fate and recommit to the Writing Life. I have several projects in the works, and a reading on Oct. 1 at the Beahive in uptown Kingston (part of Phillip's Levine's COW series), so I need to be back on the poetic ball. Bohemian Book Bin in November and Vooreheesville in December are a couple others readings I see on my dance card.

Wondering whether I should put another chapbook together on my own, or put some energy into shopping manuscripts around to some of the smaller presses. What's your opinion? I like the artistic control of doing it all myself, but of course being published by an outside entity is tremendously satisfying and validating. Perhaps I'll do both...

I think writing time will have to be carved out of the evenings. Mornings are a little rough lately, what with the back out and the allergies due to come back in full force any day now...  So, I'll be cutting way back on the Netflix dinners with my Beloved Roomie, TMM. Except for "Gomer Pyle, USMC"...