Poem By Kay Ryan

June 12, 2013 — 0


The Best Of It

  However carved up or pared down we get, we keep on making the best of it as though it doesn’t matter that our acre’s down to a square foot. As though our garden could be one bean and we’d rejoice if it flourishes, as though one bean could nourish us.                                - Kay Ryan  


Visiting Warby Parker

June 11, 2013 — 0

Ten things I loved about my morning with Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby Parker:

- Old school train schedule board showing the day's eye exam appointments, modeled on Philly's Penn Station - The sign on the front of Warby Parker's new Soho store: image - Copies of Paris Review on the store's waiting room coffee table, one of which was torn up by Neil's son - The story of Warby Parker presented as a narrative on the store's countertops - The kindness of everyone who works here - You get a bag of Neil's favorite pretzels on your first day at work - "Continually challenge ourselves to learn and do good."  (On the wall, next to the fridge.) - The fact that Tomaz Salamun's book of poems, Poker, is on the store shelf: image - When you buy a pair of glasses, Warby Parker gives a pair to someone who can't afford any - The photo both.  Here's Neil and me:    


“Two things of opposite natures seem to depend / On one another”

June 3, 2013 — 0

I've probably learned as much about creativity + business from Wallace Stevens as I have from anyone...

from Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction

IV Two things of opposite natures seem to depend On one another, as a man depends On a woman, day on night, the imagined On the real. This is the origin of change. Winter and spring, cold copulers, embrace And forth the particulars of rapture come. Music falls on the silence like a sense, A passion that we feel, not understand. Morning and afternoon are clasped together And North and South are an intrinsic couple And sun and rain a plural, like two lovers That walk away as one in the greenest body. In solitude the trumpets of solitude Are not of another solitude resounding; A little string speaks for a crowd of voices. The partaker partakes of that which changes him. The child that touches takes character from the thing, The body, it touches. The captain and his men Are one and the sailor and the sea are one. Follow after, O my companion, my fellow, my self, Sister and solace, brother and delight.                                                                         - Wallace Stevens


Poem By Charles Simic

March 17, 2013 — 0


The Cold

As if in a presence of an intelligence Concentrating. I thought myself Scrutinized and measured closely By the sky and the earth, And then algebraized and entered In a notebook page blank and white, Except for the faint blue lines Which might have been bars, For I kept walking and walking, And it got darker and then there was A flicker of a light or two Far above and beyond my big cage. - Charles Simic From Weather Forecast for Utopia and Vicinity: Poems, 1967-1982 (Station Hill Press, 1983)


Poem For The Hartford Public Library

February 28, 2013 — 0


The Hartford Public Library. Photo courtesy of WebJunction.


  There was a clearing, a readiness for first bells, an opening for the outpouring.  A hand was raised: How much of the past would have to be overlooked? He stings, he bites, he is absolutely convinced, and all the time he figures himself as the heedless butterfly that flutters over the margin of the pages.  Lizards bask in the walls, orange trees in flower and fruit together, the berries of grapes already flushed with color and growing tight. I repented of my resolve to leave here, in which everything is meant for you and nothing need be explained.  The poem is the cry of its occasion, I said, part of the reverberation. What is this house if not of the sun?  The shirt of fire was ready for the wearing.  In place of "I promise to" we may have "I shall," and yet to learn something new from this -- how inexact, fluid and submersible instead of a bed of flat ground. A million words a year into the one book I never thought I'd write. Every night they could read it, take a week to understand it, longer to ever believe it. Just one example, then: To the worm the corpse is a pleasant sight. He learns from it that greatness once existed. Never touching, we would never make a thing. I repented of my resolve to leave here.  I dressed, strolled slowly up the stony path between vineyards in the sunspeckled shade of the olives, once possible and thus possible again, never quite sure what I'm missing.    

  I had the honor of speaking at the Hartford Public Library in Hartford, Connecticut, earlier this week.  I arrived a few hours early and wandered the stacks of books.  This is a "found poem" -- a poem I "wrote" while there, using only words and phrases from ten books I chose randomly off the shelves.  (For a list of books sampled, see below.) I recited the poem as part of my talk on the future of the public library system.   SOURCES (All from the Hartford Public Library) Secret Gardens, by Alan Toogood As We Were, by E.F. Benson The Wallace Stevens Journal, Volume 36, #2 How To Do Things With Words, By J.L Austin Untimely Meditations, by Nietzsche Will The Circle Be Unbroken, By Studs Turkel Troy And Its Remains, by Dr. Henry Schliemann    


Motilium For Sale

August 6, 2012 — 0

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