By the Eternal Bonfire

Last night the world lost a poet who was much bigger than he ever acted.  Walter Butts taught me things about the nuts and bolts of poetry in the gentlest way possible, showing me how to use poetry in new ways to survive darkness.  At a time when all the grief in my world seemed…

Read More

Literary Star

I feel like my last post was so lame.  Like who gives a shit, right?  But when you’ve devoted a website to yourself, you have to put stuff about yourself on it, obviously.  But who am I expecting to read it?  No one I guess, especially when Jezebel, (that vortex of things I was sort…

Read More

When I say I am a mother

 I led several writing groups using Michael Anthony’s “American Soldier.”  The poem is among many brilliant pieces of writing in Warrior Writers’ most recent anthology, After Action Review (check Warrior Writers out here).  This prompt came from Lovella Calica of Warrior Writers and it really got people going–we were even able to put together a little…

Read More

Telling a Story

Last week I told a story in front of an audience in the Story League Competition Series at Busboys and Poets.  I’ve read in front of more people, I’ve definitely spoken in front of more people, but this was a level of anxiety unparalleled.  Maybe it was the absence of the security of a podium and…

Read More

Using my hands to organize my mind

I have all this stuff–tangible and intangible–from the past few days at AWP.  Big ideas from conversations and panels and little realizations from spending a good amount of time inside my own head.  And I’d like to chart it out and keep it in one place.  Because the process itself is part of what I’m…

Read More

On the Train next to the woman in orange.

Inspired by my friend Cerridwen, who has been bravely charting her search for rhythm in the world of writing, I am trying to post poems that I haven’t spent my time coddling.  This is terrifying, but liberating.  Let the poems go out into the world.  Check her out: http://cerridwenelektra.wordpress.com Some women are so put together that I…

Read More

The Glass Castle and Cream Sauce

Hurricane was stirring a pot last night, helping make basil cream sauce for his class holiday party (the kibosh was put on our pesto because of nut allergies in the classroom).  I was simultaneously helping Shark with his science homework—a project on the digestive system.  I looked over and saw him teetering on a stool, stirring…

Read More