For a poet, I think I’m late to the nesting and writing stages of coronavirus grief. But thanks to a cat, perimenopause and Natalie Goldberg, I’m here now.
MADWOMAN by SHARA MCCALLUM / I can’t stop thinking about this pair of lines: “Stories wake in us what is inconsolable, / begin in us again our animal mewling.” It’s one reason I turn to poetry: to validate my thirst/hunger, which feels — regardless of what I’m craving — absolutely primal. Anyone else?
Will things be normal after the pandemic? This poet hopes not and contemplates the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for change that’s before us for now.
LOVE, ROBOT by MARGARET RHEE / Should we lay bare the truth about that: isn’t what we teach others is designed to “improve” their code so they better meet our needs? How does it usually go when we try to change the other?
DIRTY BOMB by MARK NEELY / Our deep fried, Disney-fied, four-lane highwayed, strip-malled communities are ripe for poetry, and I love love love when that shit makes its way into the work.
OCULUS by SALLY WEN MAO / Sally Wen Mao skillfully teases out how technology infiltrates our world/physical beings and what it means to be alive in that confused (conflicted? commandeered?) space.
PARTIAL GENIUS by MARY BIDDINGER / Where prose may imply narrative, the content within each “stanzagraph” defies the narrative. By telling fragmented stories, these poems keep their distance somewhat. Like teenagers. The narrative kind of “ghosts” us in these poems; its delightful, intriguing and tantalizing.
Don’t call it a comeback, but here are my Poetry Goals for 2020, which include generative goals, grant applications, reading projects and visual art. The creative hunger has returned. Let’s eat all the sandwiches!