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An Occasional Word

Wonder and Association

In May, I went to visit my mother for Mothers’ Day. My mom is a pistol. Thank God. When I stumble downstairs in the morning, she’s sitting at the kitchen table, all coffee-ed up, hard at work on the crossword puzzle.

“She’s out in the garage,” she says.
“Who?”
“The cat. Sleep OK?” she asks.  Read More 
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Tension, Release. Ahhh. Good Poem

Tension has a bad rap. We have multiple strategies for dissipating tension in our lives. But in art—and maybe in everything else—tension makes things interesting. Who wants to watch a movie with a predictable ending? Tension keeps us awake, involved.  Read More 
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Let a Line Love You

I say if a line in a poem wants to love you, let it. Let it reach out and grab ya’, as Steve Miller might say. Let it soak in and let tears from nowhere seep out. It doesn’t matter if you don’t “get” the rest of the poem.

Maybe someday you will.  Read More 
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Introduction: Finding and Reading Contemporary Poetry

We need a blog, says my dear friend Martha, about how to find good contemporary poetry. If you like poetry, as she does, how do you find out about new poets? How do you find poetry you will enjoy? Read More 
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