november, a strange light

the light is going, and it feels lousy. there’s also another quality to its departure: a strange frenzy. i don’t really know how else to describe it. it’s not the soggy leaves in quiet piles i’m talking about. november feels like the crisp ones that race the wind. they never seem to stop moving. they’ll never be caught. and i’ll never catch up.

a poem after re-reading the ABBA poems

a draft of something inspired the ABBA poems by denise duhamel & amy lemmon … in which i also joke (sort of) about online dating and follow the ABBA rhyme scheme. yes, a rhyme scheme from a poet who typically can’t manage rhyme without going all green eggs & ham. but this time, with the exception of “something” and “humping,” i think i avoided the dr. seuss effect. i’ve also managed to be light and a little bit funny — two other traits not ordinarily in my poetry wheelhouse.

the poetry MFA (or what can be ridiculous and still worthwhile)

at least half the nights now, the sun takes her heat with her when she goes, a sure sign that it is late august. we’re closing in on fall, and the most sensitive leaves are turning color already. with fall comes the beginning of school — the chaos of homework and sports schedules, the thick clumsiness of early morning, meals on the run. this fall, it’s not just the boys who are heading back to school. i’ve finally taken the plunge into an MFA program.

following natalie into the room

i don’t remember my own grief very well. i’m not sure i’ve done much of it at all. nothing that has a narrative, for sure, like these memoirs seem to. and i can’t really access it: what was i doing while she was sick? what was i thinking about? who was around me? how did i feel when … and yet cheryl and natalie nail it. it makes me think of how incredibly important it is to tell the stories we can tell.

we are poet women: hear us roar!

jill and i both refer to the place we grew up as “up north.” her “up north” is ticonderoga, new york; mine is lincoln, maine. the similarities are many: paper mills, mountains, lakes. i was teasing her that her “up north” wasn’t *really* “up north,” considering mine is up-norther-er than hers.

does love (poetry) survive loss?

i’m not the love poem girl. a man i dated recently, upon being introduced to my poems, asked, “do you have any where no one gets sawed in half?” in fact i do have one or two poems that qualify as affectionate and sweet, but my story is that they were moments of weakness, and i’m stickin’ to it.