Two blessings and a curse–guess which one is the most fun to read aloud? My poxy poem, “All-purpose Spell for Banishment,” written last New Year’s Eve, just appeared in the new issue of Salamander. Maybe if we all chant it naked by moonlight on the solstice, inserting the name of our least favorite president, the new year will bring us more light. On the beneficent side, “Border Song,” from Ocean State Review, is the way I remember the especially moving 2016 wedding of my friends Jenna and Lucy, bless them both. And check out my poem in the new Blackbird, if you have time, in which I try, through a slightly banged-up pantoum’s repetition, to turn a bad year around.
Benedictions to the editors of all those journals, including interns who slipped issues into the mail during the last sliver of fall term. Blessed be, too, the good people at Modernism/ modernity, who posted my column on archival frustrations last week: “Seeking Anne Spencer.” Blessed be Anne Spencer. Salutations to the gods who permitted me to finish my full-length essay on her and submit it by today’s deadline, as well as to my spouse, who suggested some timely edits at a very busy moment of the term. All hail Janet McAdams, micro review editor at Kenyon Review Online, for assembling such a mighty roster of smallnesses every other month, including, this December, my praise of Nicole Cooley’s Girl after Girl after Girl.
I haven’t been writing poetry much, but I’m hoping to change energies now by reading voraciously and steaming a Christmas pudding. In the meantime, I hereby beam out good cheer to all my friends, and all poetry’s friends. It’s been a stupid, toxic, nasty year, but there are lots of good words left to utter, and sometimes they make a difference.
Failing that, please enjoy a gratuitous black cat, caught in the act of chewing my tree.