When does a poem become real? When does it cease to be a scribble, fragment, scheme, or intention, and assert its own particular vision of completeness? If it’s a poem when it’s printed in Ploughshares, it must have been a poem when it was still scrawled in a notebook.
Mood: a predominant emotion; disposition; a conscious state of mind. Etymologically, “mood” at its root is anger, anger and its sometime sidekick, courage, though, the book cautions us, mood’s ultimate origin is unknown. Because who can really say where a mood comes from? Construction on the freeway wastes an
What reaches for the sun. What turns green panes flat to the zenith. A green order in the bay window, quatrefoil. Egg-toothed cotyledon. ~ There’s something to know and it can’t be known and I have to know it. It wakes me up in the morning, shivers me through
What is sexism, exactly? What is sexist writing? Like Justice Potter Stewart, we are pretty sure we know it when we see it. And, indeed, some of it is easy to see. Women persistently denied interiority, animalized, simplified, fetishized, objectified. Women sadistically sexualized and demeaned. Women presented positively in
We’re in a crosswalk on the steep crest of Nob Hill, it’s late, and a woman passes by. This woman is or is not attractive. This woman is or is not an acquaintance. This woman is alone. In the crook of her arm she holds a gilled leather handbag
Old poems in U-Store-Its. Old poems in leather-tied journals, on loose-leaf foolscap ripply with weathermarks. Old poems on public websites. Old poems in stacks by the printer, in hidden folders on crashed hard drives. I go back to my old poems with a dry suspicion, a parental eye, poems
Peter Kline, our second guest blogger, will post on Wednesdays through August. Peter’s poems “Universal Movers” and “Revisionary” appear in our Spring 2011 issue edited by Colm Toibin. “For the rain it raineth every day.” -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Weeks of rain here in San Francisco. Pissing spritzes and forty-eight-hour