29 October 2009

Roy de Carava 1919-2009

“It doesn’t have to be pretty to be true. But if it’s true it’s beautiful. Truth is beautiful. And so my whole work is about what amounts to a reverence for life itself.”

Ketchup Bottles, Table and Coat
(After a photograph by Roy DeCarava)

Just a moment after: The darkness
has one story left to tell -- of what is left behind
the genesis of night and all its

grandeur: the action is
elsewhere, some other room, not this
inked way station of the heart

abandoned by its essence. Good-byes already
said, footfalls barely heard. And
what is waiting there.

Just seconds before: A universe expecting
to be born, open hand hovering beyond
the frame poised to sweep the plain plane

clean of things not spoken, heard within,
the spaces between sound, barely seen. The
slightest veil of presence

out the door. A story yet to tell. And what is
waiting there. What left behind: Spare scene.
Perfumed remnants of romance.

Obsidian III 4.2 (Fall-Winter 2002)

23 October 2009


In honor of Thomas Sayers Ellis and his reading and thrilling Q & A at the University of Baltimore as part of their MFA Reading Series, one of last night's poems (Hear him read it here, in imitation of the famous Caedmon Recordings)

All Their Stanzas Look Alike

by Thomas Sayers Ellis

All their fences
All their prisons
All their exercises
All their agendas
All their stanzas look alike
All their metaphors
All their bookstores
All their plantations
All their assassinations
All their stanzas look alike
All their rejection letters
All their letters to the editor
All their arts and letters
All their letters of recommendation
All their stanzas look alike
All their sexy coverage
All their literary journals
All their car commercials
All their bribe-spiked blurbs
All their stanzas look alike
All their favorite writers
All their writing programs
All their visiting writers
All their writers-in-residence
All their stanzas look alike
All their third worlds
All their world series
All their serial killers
All their killing fields
All their stanzas look alike
All their state grants
All their tenure tracks
All their artist colonies
All their core faculties
All their stanzas look alike
All their Selected Collecteds
All their Oxford Nortons
All their Academy Societies
All their Oprah Vendlers
All their stanzas look alike
All their haloed holocausts
All their coy hertero couplets
All their hollow haloed causes
All their tone-deaf tercets
All their stanzas look alike
All their table of contents
All their Poet Laureates
All their Ku Klux classics
All their Supreme Court justices
Except one, except one
Exceptional one. Exceptional or not,
One is not enough.
All their stanzas look alike,
Even this, after publication,
Might look alike. Disproves
My stereo types.

From The Maverick Room by Thomas Sayers Ellis (Graywolf Press)

15 October 2009

Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

I'm very happy to join bloggers around the world today to use this medium to talk about global warming and climate change

Rather than talking about Global Warming, perhaps we should call what's going on now "Crazy Weather". It may make more sense to the average person, for whom the notion that shorter seasons, increasingly worse storms, crazy-making heat in the Summer (and Spring, and Fall) cannot possibly be due to 'Global Warming.'

Global Warming Facts & Figures

The Top 100 Effects of Global Warming (no more French Fries or Wine but More Mosquitoes!)

The planet is changing around us, and because of us. One might almost think that it has had enough of this virus called 'human beings' and is trying to get rid of us.

My own personal facination (since I've actually been there, amazingly enough) changes in the ice sheet in Antartica

Fortunately, there are things we can do, both small and large, regardless of age, to pull us back from the brink. For example (and considering my energy bill), I've become a BIG fan of increased insulation!

10 Solutions for Climate Change

One thing I would suggest is to lobby your elected officials to do more to help your jurisdiction reduce its carbon footprint (various carbon footprint calculators can be found here). And vote out those pols, most in the pockets of energy companies, who continue to insist that there's no such thing as Global Warming. For example can our friends in Oklahoma start with Senator James Inhofe, who will be attending the upcoming Global Warming Summit in order to deny that there is such a thing as Global Warming ? I mean, really? Come on....Sometimes doing our part to solve the problem of climate change can be as simple as entering a polling booth.