I’m thrilled to have a poem of mine, “Amanda Bubble Recalls a Beautiful River Flowing Through Her Past (after William Stafford),” published this week at Heron Tree, an online journal collected in annual print volumes. My thanks to editors Chris Campolo, Sandy Longhorn, and Rebecca Resinski for choosing my poem, and for their work curating Heron Tree, which I’ve been enjoying as a subscriber for over a year now. Please have a look around the archives here, here, and here!
Please join us for…
POETRY in EDMONDS
David D. Horowitz
Thurs., Apr. 16th, 6:30 p.m.
111 Fifth Ave. S., Edmonds, Washington
E-mail: David, email@example.com
Jennifer Bullis: Impossible Lessons (MoonPath, 2013)
Dennis Caswell: Phlogiston (Floating Bridge, 2012)
David D. Horowitz: Cathedral and Highrise (Rose Alley, 2015)
Erika Michael: art historian, poet, taught at OSU and UPS
Bethany Reid: Sparrow (Big Pencil, 2012)
This reading is free and open to the public.
Hello! I get to join two amazing lineups of poets for April readings in the Seattle area. I plan to read some bird and horse poems, some Amanda Bubble poems, some mythological persona poems, and possibly a new prose poem about a goat named Derrick. Please come if you can!
April 6, I’ll be part of a Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library featuring Dennis Caswell and Michael Schmeltzer. Their manuscripts were among the finalists for last year’s Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, and somehow my manuscript, Amanda Bubble Is Nearly on Fire, was also one of them. Dennis Caswell’s 2012 collection Phlogiston was published by Floating Bridge, and Michael Schmeltzer’s poetry manuscripts have had near brushes with winning a number of highly competitive awards. I’ve had the pleasure of reading with Michael twice this past year, and this month, I’ll get to read twice with Dennis!
…because on April 16, when I read at Edmonds Book Shop, the lineup again includes Dennis, along with Bethany Reid (one of my other favorite poets to read with and author of Sparrow, one of my favorite poetry books of 2012), Erika Michael, and David Horowitz, editor at Rose Alley Press and author of the brand-new collection Cathedral and Highrise. So much poetry to enjoy!
Here are the relevant particulars:
Monday, April 6: Floating Bridge Press reading at the Fremont Library, 731 N. 35th St., Seattle, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map)
Thursday, April 16: Poetry in Edmonds at Edmonds Book Shop, 111 5th Avenue South, Edmonds, WA, 6:30 p.m. (here are directions and map link)
Please help me to spread the word, and I hope to see you around during Poetry Month!
I get to do two readings in the next four days. With five other poets! Please join us for one or both of these events:
Saturday, April 5, 7:00 p.m. at Village Books, Bellingham. This will be the Bellingham launch of Anacortes poet Heather Curtis’s first collection of poems, Upon Waking. To join Heather in celebrating her book during National Poetry Month, Village Books has invited Shannon Laws, author of the poetry collection Madrona Grove, and me to read with her.
Monday, April 7, 6:45 p.m. at Seattle Public Library, Fremont Branch. Sylvia Byrne Pollack, Michael Schmeltzer, and I will participate in this reading organized by Floating Bridge Press.
Hope to see you there!
I’m thankful for an abundance of opportunities to share poetry in the New Year. Next week, I get to participate in the SoulFood Poetry Night at Soul Food Coffee House in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be reading with Bethany Reid, whom I also had the privilege of interviewing for the Blog Hop last February. She’s author of the poetry collection Sparrow, which won the Gell Prize in 2012.
The poems in Sparrow are gorgeous. Bethany writes about growing up on her family’s cattle farm, about her daughters and horses (I especially love her poems about horses)–and in language that’s precise, original, and felt by the body. I got to hear her read some of the poems in Bellingham last October, and her voice lends these poems an even-more pleasurable presence.
SoulFood Coffee House is located at 15748 Redmond Way; click here for map and directions. Our reading will start at 7:00, followed by an open mic at 8:00. Please join us if you can!
So instead of writing poems the last few days, I’ve been working on a lyric essay project. I started it back in January, with the goal of building up a book-length body of poemy prose on the topic of adoption. As part of that project, I wrote some material about horses. Now, I’m shaping and adding to that material in order to fulfill a related goal, of having an excerpt ready to send out to journals by May 1. Here’s a little excerpt of that excerpt:
The places Stormy and Poco carried me to—the places on the edge of Reno where a person could ride a horse—were mostly broken places. Broken trail, or trails leading to places broken from having trails leading to them. The trails were power line roads, maintenance roads along irrigation ditches, dirt access tracks leading to small reservoirs or cattle-trampled springs that fed the irrigation ditches. Burned-out rangeland and fire breaks. They were rutted and rocky off-road roads, roads leading to the shot-up shooting ranges out in the sage. Always lots of rocks, always shattered glass. Sometimes, snakes.
Today, the fourth of my poems is published in the online journal Cascadia Review. All four poems (titled “Went Hiking,” “Strange Bird,” “One Way,” and “Day After Thanksgiving”) are now presented on the home page, along with my “Statement of Place” in the Cascadia bioregion.
These four poems are also included in my chapbook, Impossible Lessons, which will be ready to meet the world in about four more weeks.
(Coming some time soon: NaPoWriMo, Day 8! I think!)
Moving right along.
Today’s poem is prompted by Danielle Mitchell at Litnivorous (motto: “You Are What You Read”). In addition to offering brief prompts this month, she also has a full menu of very detailed writing exercises (see the menu bar at the top of the Home page) that fascinate me. My poem below responds to Prompt #7, Exercise #1. Thank you, Danielle, for this enjoyable workout of my “brain’s weirdness muscles.” And also, for the word “vodka.”
TO ONE WHO ESCAPED
This was the last time you would tell them
the water of their core aquarium did not meet
your requirement for prismatic frequencies.
Though they wooed you in Catalán, in Cantonese,
and Klingon, you inflected them back to themselves
in images of fizz and fenestration.
For a while, you tried your weirdest
to parlay their assertions into factual acres.
Your curiosity percolated like verdure.
Fluffed, it met with temporary merit.
But—peekaboo!—you found it impossible
to combobulate the spacious into something capable.
They wanted you to believe belief was everything
(the u-turns in the hairpins, the whirl of repentance).
At length, tremblingly, they offered you
a majestic ceramic and its liquid aphrodisiac.
But they weren’t prepared for the convergence
of your fineries. Or for the way you shouldered
that stoneware—so demure, so periodic.
When their methods uncornered the dribble
of their trial, you triumphed by splintering
the vodka of their maroon. Shhh… They want
you to believe your professed beliefs
are really true. Just because you’re pronoid
doesn’t mean they’re not favoring you.
A week late, but still in the game.
STILL LIFE WITH KUMQUAT
The French call it
nature morte, tartly
not living. Sordid, maybe,
but worthy of the eye’s
marveling at the last
glimmer of loveliness,
captured. The ovoid
kumquat, a curve
of driftwood, fished
from the tide, a billow
of yellow dillweed flowers:
a flight stilled, still live
The next one waits, polishing its incisors.
What willing thing would venture near, barefoot?
Some days, it doesn’t know itself
whether it preys or punishes. Or both.
Meanwhile, another clips earrings to her lobes.
She uses the pain to remind herself
of her worthiness. Please watch,
her ministrations seem to say.
Lifted to the level of her smile, each pearl ignites.
She draws the fur onto her shoulders
and against her neck. Outside, the moon
shows paw prints circling in the snow.