Today C/2020 F3 (a.k.a. NEOWISE) is a mere 64 million miles from Earth on its way through the solar system. It can be seen (weather and light conditions permitting) in the northern hemisphere, though I haven’t been so fortunate. Photo courtesy of Susanna Barricklow-Arvin. (Thanks, cuz!)
I found this poem in a post by Jason Thayer on Brevity’s non-fiction blog. I wasn’t looking for a poem; I read the post intent on trying out the single-sentence prose form it describes. But the poem wouldn’t let me write anything else until I found it, like a toddler determined to play hide-and-seek regardless of the circumstances.
(after Jason Thayer)
in the morning I see our neighbor
swim her sadness, isolation
knowing hers alone
with loss comes communication
I could not stop wondering
what, how long, whether
there were days she didn’t look
across ill-defined property
the big dark house
walk past my window
if I linger too long
my eyes well
I’m catching up on my inbox reading and found some poetry (with a little derangement and omission) in Colleen Chesebro’s commentary on her own poem “Stone Ghosts.”
(after Colleen Chesebro)
taste salt tears
feel the ripples
compelled to name
Italian sunflower with Echinaceas
Here’s another found poem, a poem of erasure I suppose, from Stephen Burt’s The Poem is You. The full text may be found in his commentary on p. 171.
I love creating found poetry from book titles — it’s my favorite thing about working in the library. But catalogs can also be a source of found poetry, so that’s where I turned for today’s poem.
I wrestled mightily with a poem yesterday and finally had to put it away; it clearly needs more time to compost. The struggle left me with insufficient time/energy/attention/desire to work on something else to post. C’est la vie.
Taking a more relaxed approach today, I followed a blog post title that caught my eye and ended up with a small bit of found poetry. Sometimes it’s best follow the path of least resistance.
I am a great fan and long-time reader of Smithsonian Magazine because it offers so much: beautiful writing, brilliant images, and fascinating stories about science, culture, and history from all over the world. I’ve found inspiration (and words) for many a poem in those shiny, colorful pages.
This is a found poem from Kelly Thompson’s post on Brevity: https://brevity.wordpress.com/2020/04/23/come-together/
Speaking from the sixties
“The world is acting like it’s going to lose us,” I said.
His smile was wry. As was mine.
“Well, they’re losing us anyway,” he said.
No, I won’t die for capitalism, for Trump, for Wall Street.
I would for my girls, for my grandbabies.
But for consumerism? For the lie that there is not enough?
Not a chance.
Like my husband said, “You will lose us anyway.”
We are in the third act.
Age is a construct and so is time.
But death is not.
Things have been their usual busy, though not in the usual ways. I’ve had to cut back on many activities and redirect time and energy to a complicated family matter in another state. (Is it just me, or do “complicated” and “family” seem redundant in that sentence?)
I’ve also had a steady stream of editing work, for which I am very grateful, but all this has left me little time to write. I am equally thankful for the many writers in my life, whose posts and e-mail keep me grounded in the creative world. One such recent e-mail so tickled me that I played around with until it formed a rough poem, which I share with you here.
Recently in the course of writing a poem
I thought of the word louche (disreputable).
I didn’t really remember its meaning but it felt
right. I looked the word up and it was exactly
the meaning I was looking for. This experience
is one of the most rewarding things about writing.
(found poem, e-mail from Alexander Metro, 13dec19)
frosted leaves, seen on morning walk
A minor family emergency (everyone is okay) and an impending college graduation have diverted my time and attention for more than a week, but today I was able to write. As the talented and wise Luanne Castle gently reminded me, my 30 days of poetry don’t necessarily have to be consecutive. (Thanks, Luanne!)
I will work with the remaining 30/30 Facebook Poetry prompts in coming days, but here is some found poetry from Jenessa Abrams’ review of Reema Zaman’s memoir I Am Yours for the Chicago Review of Books.
Site of Ruin
It’s difficult not to wonder
what seeing your arrival as a collapse
can do to the soul. Steadfast belief
in love pulses, bleeding
into every encounter,
every failure, that blurry line
between being bound to another
and being physically
restrained by them. Rape
is not a turning point, a plot device:
unsettlingly, life continues
unaltered. She is a woman,
a person of color, an immigrant.
There is no legal justice.
Finding her voice, discovering
the weapon that has always been
becomes a promise, a declaration
of inward affection and hard-fought
acceptance. Re-authoring her story
shatters her chains, frees her.
viridiflora tulip ‘Spring Green’