Feeling good?

No, of course you’re not–the world’s a mess, and by cruising social media right now, you’re basically meeting the sewage face-first. So read some poems. My “Feeling Good,” about dumb pleasures, is up at Sweet. Bonus: follow the link in my bio to the National Zoo’s Panda Cam. Furry naps, bamboo-munching, and art. If you’ve got those three things, and I hope you do, much is survivable.

I hope to write a post soon about poetry, criticism, and memoir, triggered by the controversies over Jill Bialosky’s new book. But for now I’m catching up on work after a lovely weekend visiting with my daughter in Boston (she goes to school near there and I’ll be at the AWP board meeting on Parents’ Weekend, so this was our brilliant substitute). It would have been wonderful just hanging out in coffee shops with my smart and funny daughter, but the city also offered treasures. I had never been to the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, both of which are astonishing. See below for a couple of old women I couldn’t stop staring at. I was really drawn, this time, to winter paintings and to goddesses from antiquity. That’s me lately: half-cracked and limping into the woods.

Upon return, I was able to check out some video from the Charlottesville version of the 100,000 Poets for Change Reading. It’s organized into clips featuring each poet so you can watch it in 5 minute segments. I read, and so did Fred Wilbur, whom I’d never met before but who, it turns out, is uncle to our new university president. Warmest thanks to Polly Lazaron for organizing the event and Tom Brown for videotaping us.

I also dreamed of one of the museum statues waking up and telling me that my next poetry book must concern dragons. This seems like a weird assignment, but I try to obey goddesses, so I’ll see what I can do. Dragonish reading suggestions would be welcome. Meanwhile, here’s wishing for Trump’s dethronement and the rapid spread of a virus whose only side effect is calm compassion. Or at least, in the meantime, art, naps, and bamboo for all.


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