Category: Uncategorized

  • 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 […]

  • 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. […]

  • Poetry in 2022 (work & joy & religion)

    Poetry in 2022 (work & joy & religion)

    It’s become a private tradition to read poetry in this wintry span of time between the end of one academic term and the beginning of the next. I think it’s because poetry helps me center myself, dial down stress, and look away from my inbox. I’m definitely hit at the end of the calendar year […]

  • 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 […]

  • Reading T. S. Eliot’s tarot cards

    I was talking to my British and Irish poetry class about the “wicked pack of cards” Madame Sosostris wields in “The Waste Land” when one person said, “There should be a Modernist Poets tarot deck.” My brain exploded: H. D. as The Star, Pound as The Emperor, Sassoon as the Nine of Wands, maybe Yeats […]

  • 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 […]

  • Splitting / creative scholarship

    Splitting / creative scholarship

    My son left this week for his senior year at college, which removed a handy barrier between me and working all the time. My writer self, my teaching self, and my role as Department Head are competing hardest for my hours. Teaching and chairing are more deadline-driven so my writer self is hanging on by […]

  • Not only close but intimate reading

    Not only close but intimate reading

    My spouse, Chris Gavaler, and I met while working on a Rutgers undergraduate literary magazine, The Anthologist. We were both chiefly poets then, shaping each other’s opinions in long Sunday night arguments over submissions (and sometimes over a twelve-pack). After graduation, we moved in together, after which followed many years of reading each other’s drafts; […]

  • Broadside giveaway, reviews, & long views

    Broadside giveaway, reviews, & long views

    If you’ve reviewed Poetry’s Possible Worlds in a magazine, or on Goodreads, Amazon, or your blog–or if you can post a review, even a brief one, in any of those venues in the next month or so–I’d be glad to send you one of the beautiful broadsides Ecotone commissioned after awarding my poem “Unsonnet” the […]

  • Mycelial poetry devouring the ruins

    Mycelial poetry devouring the ruins

    For the last couple of years, my muse has been mycelial. I mean both that fungus infests my current mss–I’m revising a poetry collection and a novel–and, in a related way, that a mycelial life seems like what I ought to be aiming for. Spreading tendrils underground, sprouting mushrooms after a storm, metabolizing trouble: these […]