Category: Poetry’s Possible Worlds

  • She carries me

    In the Belly As a woman carries an insect, unconscious of the sign it shapes with diplomatic footfalls across her skin, she carries me. As a lake lifts the sky’s image, all burnished admiration, or proffers a crushed cup, a leaf, a rainbow slick of grease. As your network of neurochemicals and electricity carries, through […]

  • Easy poetry

    Easy poetry

    “Excitement comes from being lazy and fun loving. O’Hara worked hard, but he also took it easy. His Collected Poems are a manifesto of the high aesthetic rewards that accrue from a life—albeit a tragically abbreviated life—of taking easiness as the gold standard. Like Warhol’s professed love of easy art (or art that was easy to make), O’Hara’s […]

  • New year, old places

    New year, old places

    I crossed the invisible border into 2023 while in India. The occasion: my son’s close college friend, Rish, is from Bengaluru and wanted to show us the country. The Christmas break worked well for this bunch of students and teachers; the only other break we have in common would be summer, when heat is extreme. […]

  • Haunted Matisse & packing light

    Haunted Matisse & packing light

    On the Friday after Thanksgiving, we visited the “Matisse in the 1930s” exhibit in the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts, and there was plenty NOT to like. So many odalisques! The images that stayed with me in a more positive way did so because the way they reflected process struck me as appealingly uncanny. The […]

  • Book birthday and other shenanigans

    Happy 6-month birthday, little book. Thanks to all the friends who sent and posted these baby and launch portraits, and to the reviewers, personal-note-writers, and quiet book-buyers. I feel guilty that chairing my department has slowed down my promotion efforts, so as always, if you have suggestions for events or other ways of getting the […]

  • Five year writing plan for the witches’ new year

    Five year writing plan for the witches’ new year

    As Department Head, I’ve been reading colleagues’ Five Year Plans, which oddly enough are due around Halloween or Samhain (or however you think about this spooky midpoint between the fall equinox and winter solstice). I have an official Five Year Plan myself–I’m halfway through that cycle–but maybe it’s time for a weirder one. I’m a […]

  • Book season (hours of ellipsis)

    Pumpkins are all right (in pies, not in lattes, thanks)–but what the suddenly cool, rainy weather makes me want to do is read. It’s also nourishing to be read. Hurrah for the thoughtful attention Sarah Stockton gives Poetry’s Possible Worlds in the Staff Favorites section of River Mouth Review. I love the Octoberish timing AND […]

  • The wheel(er) considers turning

    The wheel(er) considers turning

    “Yeah, I didn’t want to remind you about the equinox,” my spouse said. “Right? Another thing on the to-do list,” I agreed. We mimed leaning our shoulders into the wheel of the year. “But I got it done!” It’s autumn and my birthday and I’m struggling. Sleep has been especially hard. If I’m to have […]

  • Professor monster will see you now

    Professor monster will see you now

    First, Poetry’s Possible Worlds is back in print, with copies trickling into warehouses and order-able again! Phew. And I’m looking forward to my book-club-style discussion of Unbecoming in Radford VA next week, details in the flier above. What’s haunting a larger passage of my brain-cave, though: facing down the monstrous mixedness of my September life. […]

  • To do, poetically–or just some human sleep

    To do, poetically–or just some human sleep

    I know people love fall, a feeling I get a glimpse of during sabbaticals, but for me it’s the season of deadlines, flurry, trying to carry too many turning leaves at once then dropping them. For instance, today is the three-month anniversary of my new book, Poetry’s Possible Worlds, yay! I meant to get a […]