Most of life is more like poetry than the movies.

Poetry is tough.  You have to keep wrestling it to the ground. You have to keep wrestling in spite of the voices in your head that say what’s the point. Stop. Stop writing.  No one is going to read this anyway.  We sleep on airplanes.  We shouldn’t sleep too much in the rest of our lives or we’ll miss the moments that could be poetry.  Life is more like poetry than a movie.  In poetry, there are snippets of joy and a snippets of sadness and a lot of stuff you have no clue about but it gives you a feeling.

Movies are like eating popcorn and having fun.  Most of life is more poetry than movies.

Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 10:35 am  Leave a Comment  

We are all a red boat. Waiting.


Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  

Greece is full of light, blinding thick light which slants down into the waves.  I swim. At the bottom of the sea, I see plenty of fishes and once an octopus.


We eat Greek salads every day and we write. Seven days a week.


There’s an old red boat in one lonely valley which is becoming part of the earth.  It’s a large boat probably for fishing.

I swim around islands where goats climb rock walls. Patmos is full of cats. So many cats everywhere; so many kittens.  We are feeding three cats.  I make up names for them. Penelope is our main cat; she has one eye, but she’s a sweetheart so no Cyclops for her.  There’s Cheetah and Paws.

We miss Jasper, and we spend a fair bit of time on Red Hen stuff, but the machine of LA seems far away.

I wonder if I lived here or in Ireland if eventually I’d stop worrying about what everyone thinks.

We come to quiet and we write as lemons fall from trees.

Published in: on June 21, 2018 at 5:29 am  Leave a Comment  

The blue spaces

In America, we seem to be living an incredible nightmare, a president we should never have elected who treads on all that’s best about this country.  Yet in spite of America’s bleak outlook, our lives go on.  In the gleaming of words of ideas, in the ripe fissures of metaphor in dresses, of skirted valentines and corn tresses, of dark thick beauty among rocks and motorcycles, we stumble through the arc of language story.  Mica on the rocks, our faces in it.  Wake up America, before it’s too late.

Published in: on May 24, 2018 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

AWP Tampa was calm. 

Didn’t see the city much, just a smudge of Tampa, the boats lined up against the water; the restaurant last night had an odd menu—raw fish and hummus, macaroni and cheese, ribs and paella.  Tampa is like that.  It’s a city of brightness and lilt, a city of dancing.  Some cities feel tight or roaring, a fierceness; some cities feel cold and damp; some feel sleepy or angry or lost, Tampa felt like a miracle of water and light.


Some of us walk through the world with blinders on, only seeing what is right in front of us. I have been in a deep soul lesson for much time, and I am striving to learn the big lessons of life, which it seems I need to be quiet to learn.


We are going to the Bay this week, a fierce growing city, not a sleepy nook of it. We are going for Allison Joseph’s reading at the Marin poetry Center and her book launch party and some meetings.  The drive to northern California is oil wells and cows, almond groves and the thick middle of California baking in the sun, wishing for rain.


Stay with those who wish you well.

Your tribe are those who see you and hear you.

Published in: on March 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Travels on the East Coast

I like the students at Vermont Center of Fine Arts, such enthusiasm for writing and publishing. They asked the best questions I’ve gotten from a group of students in my travels.  I stayed in a small wooden room in a large wooden house with a chaos of wires in the basement; I was pleased that there was a basement.  I miss them in California, the outer areas of the house where things are hidden.  The luminal spaces of a life.  The house had a large unfinished basement with a washer and dryer and the secrets of electricity.  There were cupboards, window boxes and a fridge with a bottle of water.  The college had a cafeteria which I never visited preferring to trudge down to the grocery store in town and bring back a salad.  I’ve been searching this trip for one food item:  A gingerbread cookie.  No luck so far.  Perhaps Tampa has good bakeries with cookies? You never know.


In Boston, I stayed near the park, as I always do.  There was the book seller dinner at Four Spoons for Thai food and then last night, I went to a grocery store for a salad.  If left alone, you can count on me not to find out the best food a city has to offer.  I like to work and to walk.  The walking and working seem to take all my time and breath.  I also don’t like eating in restaurants alone.  I miss Jasper and I miss Mark.


Speaking about publishing reminded me of what a strange business it is.  Here on the Delta plane, the airline attendants treat the first class people like royalty and the rest of us like very special people. One of the problems with independent publishing is that everyone wants to be treated like royalty or at least with respect. It’s complicated, and we are still working at improving our game.


We are in Tampa for AWP, the Red Hen staff will have a good time.  They enjoy the conference.


Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 9:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bad Stories, an amazing interview

Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 7:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Vermont, Boston, Tampa

Vermont was icy; Boston is cold, Tampa will be warm when I get there tomorrow. I remember writing once that snow banks have thighs. What I meant is that they push back at you.  I guess I was used to cold thighs.  The arms of icicles hang from trees along the street; the waterfront is mostly the edge of a pond where branches thread into the ice.  I drove right through Vermont without finding any of my favorite food:  Maple sugar candy.  This Steve Almond  book is cooking along nicely, and we hope will become this year’s big hit.

Published in: on March 5, 2018 at 5:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Water and Music

A flit and rumble of happenings

The Importance of Being Earnest at the Globe with my friend Elise Capron. I could not stop thinking of “the love that dare not speak its name,” of Oscar Wilde and his trial, of Bosie who we only remember because of Wilde, but the play itself, with its manners and wit was well done, the staging a marvel.  And always it is great to see my friend Elise.


My friend Mark and I saw Hila sing at the Philharmonic Friday night in Salonen’s Wing on Wing and we saw Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major Opus 61 which I’m now buying so I can keep hearing the thrum of it.  It’s like a life awakening.

Water and Music on Saturday

Published in: on February 19, 2018 at 9:10 am  Leave a Comment  

the greatest of these is love

People who meditate know where there soul is, know its fuzzy edges and deep wetness. Some of the rest of us dismiss all that as woo woo. You can dismiss anything as woo woo. God. Exercise. Getting enough sleep. Acupuncture. Green drinks. Dreams. Tea leaves.  We know what we’ve experienced. We know what we have entered, we know what we have left. I’ve seen down a long dark tunnel, learned hard lessons, and I know that a soul must love to grow.

Published in: on February 4, 2018 at 7:42 am  Comments (1)