The below pics are from yesterday's storms. These were taken in Muskegon however, in my sister's back yard.
I need roomy vehicles and/or trucks because I'm moving again, hopefully for the last time for a while. I'm moving from Longfellow Avenue in South Bend to a house on Baugo Bay (about nine miles away) and I have a somewhat flexible schedule. I don't have to take one huge trip, but can take several smaller ones leading up to August 1, which is the move-in date. The people living there now leave today though, so . . . This sounds like a weird Craigslist entry. The point is if you find you JUST HAVE to help out, email me or something. The other aspect to this is it's gorgeous enough to have to see. I'm kind of ADD what with all the crap going on. You may have seen that Carrie Oeding won the Wolfson Prize, and will be published by 42 Miles Press. It's an extraordinary book--full of TALK that's poetry. Full of pale greens and sunlight glistening off the barbecue grille. It's the first book for the press after a slow start getting things in place--there were some issues to get ironed out--and it will appear late next summer, or earlier. Christine Garren's cahpbook, which was promised long ago, will appear late summer/early fall. I'm reading, again, A. R. Ammons' Tape for the Turn of the Year because I hadn't read any Tony Hoagland for years. I thought maybe something magical might have taken place since Sweet Ruin, about the time when I was part of a group deciding if some of Hoagland's poems should go into an old issue of Passages North. They did, though not with my blessing. Then I quit reading him. Now he seems less precious than he did then, less melodramatic, but if ever there are poems that read as if they are clever, when, really, they aren't, it's the poems in his new "Late Honda Dynasty" book (just that title should tip you off). Just buy a Mark Halliday book for crying out loud. I'm being too harsh. It's not THAT bad (his poems about race and sex are especially insightful), but it's certainly not great. I do like some of Hoagland's essays. And the poems have moments--but they don't coalesce into anything really unique. I think the Oeding book takes risks, although in some ways it's about regular old life in the same way Hoagland's poems are. For one thing Oeding's book is constructed as if from multiple perspectives, although it all clearly emanates from a commanding central consciousness. There's no posturing. The poems never feel arch. The book isn't preachy, or superior-seeming--it just is. Sure, you want to say, I know this world. But you also want to say, I've never quite known anyone like this speaker (although in many ways it's all of us), and she frightens me (a little). Now I have no energy left to say something about Ammons' book, other than I am enjoying the hell out of it for some of the same reasons. The speaker doesn't always sound like the coolest (or smartest) guy in the room, but by page thirty it's clear he is.
I've got too many things happening at once. It's like Groundhog Day for me (the movie), over and over again with the Way-Too- Much thing.
I HAVE BEEN IN FAR MORE UNCOMFORTABLE SITUATIONS THAN THIS
To the next person who dislikes me, let me say it's true a person needs enemies, and I'm sure you could be a great one, one who thinks of insults while ironing silk, one who is never wrinkled. I'm sure I could stick it to you, since I'm funny and you're not, since I can scowl better than a barbecue grill. Listen, Katherine tells me about her enemies. She says they're like sweat in a Carolina summer, spilling down your skin when you pick up a Coke. She says sometimes they're more fun than eating chips. She grins and says, Soon one will come around for you, like my teeth rounding this apple. The best apple I ever had was like having perfect teeth, 00it was like comparing an apple to something instead of fucking eating it. I’m guilty—I compare things to you too. You could be a person or you could be an apple. You could scorn me quicker than cavities. I don't want to place insults next to you, I want to think of a celery stalk and say you are like it, but not in an insulting way, and just think about it for awhile— You are a sliver, you are a chessboard, you are a trampoline, you are— I don't know, but I say this all to stall awhile, I say this all with my barbecue scowl that's now a grin. You are outside my house about to ring. I am standing in my bathroom brushing my teeth. Before you touch my doorbell and before we meet, I should feel something for you because I still can, and I think I can't go anywhere and neither can you.
The heat wave everyone else is plunged into is raging here. Soon to end though. It's going to be a long summer. Blueberries are on the tables at the farmers' market and it makes some sense to eat them in the heat after an afternoon in strong air-conditioning.
I announce the winner of the Wolfson Award on the 42 Miles Poetry blog tomorrow. It's pretty damn exciting.
I'm moving into a small house on a lake, with a yard that was full of a family of wood ducks the other day. It has been a while. Brandywine Lake being the last time I sat on a porch and absorbed the dome of the blue world, or skated down into it, lighter than air, nice cold lake water, cattails blowing around in late summer gusts. I lived there for a while, on that lake, and then lived on the Paw Paw River, its surrounding woods full of morel mushrooms and owls. Then it was Hickory Corners--meadows, meadows, meadows, and birds and deer, a stone's throw from Gull Lake . . . Now it's Baugo Bay, with a spot for my kayak. About time.
Can't get enough of James Schuyler and Creeley right now. I haven't purchased the new Schuyler-- the old Collected is good to go through every other year, as is the Creeley Collected, 1945-1975. These are two of the best collections of poetry ever published. I'm teaching Creeley this fall.
Nice day in a nice stretch of weather. It turns tropical tomorrow.
Author of eight books of poems, most recently The Coldest Winter on Earth (Marick Press). Also author of The Nervous Filaments (Four Way Books, 2010) and Orphan, Indiana (Akron, 2010). 2010
also saw the release of Sky Booths in the Breath Somewhere, the Ashbery Erasure Poems (BlazeVox), as well as The Other Life: the Selected Poems of Herbert Scott,(Carnegie Mellon)which I edited. My new book, Animalities, will be published in 2014 by Four Way Books.