Guest Book

full-fox-print-color-corrected-reducedWelcome!  Please read some of my poetry while you’re here. Even if a post is two years old, they’re being read every day. They’re all current. Feel free to join the conversation. Lastly, treat this post as a Guest Book. Offer suggestions, improvements, requests or just say Hello! If you have a question concerning poetry or a poem, click read more at the end of this sentence and fill out the form. Continue reading

August 23rd 2016

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Chickadees
····stealing sunflower seeds—each day a little
········shorter
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This is an older haiku that I’m adding into my year long mix just because I’ve always loved it; and because the time of the year begins to remind me of it. The evenings are cooling and the days are noticeably shorter, though nothing as short as they’ll become. As I haiku’d this past winter, there won’t be enough sun to broom on the kitchen floor.
·
But it’s still August. I get ahead of myself. The haiku of the last two nights were a struggle. I returned to both yesterday and today—both of them feeling flat. I’ve let myself get too tired and perhaps look forward to November. I’ll write my 366th haiku and the next night, when I’m tired, go to sleep. But it’s been a wonderful discipline and I have hunch I’ll write another year’s worth.
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her
····wet skirt—returning with the morning’s
········tomatoes
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The bowls are filling with cucumbers, peppers and zucchini and the earliest apples are weighing the trees.
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286 August 23rd 2016 | bottlecap
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August 21st 2016

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late
····August—rain darkening in the scorched
········fields
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I continue to read whatever haiku I can find, though Basho remains the most commonly translated and, in truth, the poet nearest my own conception of haiku. Whereas earlier in the year I looked for guidance, I  mostly read other poets for enjoyment now. After so many months, I feel as though I’ve internalized my own conception of haiku—August 19th being among my favorites. It’s the unexpected observation; the concrete image; the allusion that lends a beautiful surrealism to unanticipated association. Always, in the back of my mind, Basho’s haiku:
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winter garden
·····the moon thinned to a thread
··········insects singing
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What each image has to do with the next is uncertain, and yet Basho makes them seem inseparable and beautifully interdependent. I ask myself: How could it be any other way?
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284 August 21st 2016 | bottlecap
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My ongoing feud with Vermont’s Poet Laureate

Chard Deniord’s latest submission to the Valley News.

And my opinion as submitted to the Valley News:

After his last essay in which Chard Deniord blamed readers for poetry’s neglect, his most recent essay “Swimming in the drowned river” opts to specifically address the dazed and confused—whom he calls the “lost and intimidated” (because, you know, poetry’s 6.7% favorability rating says more about the reader.)

But okay.

He forthwith veers into a defense of academia. He tells us that “the so-called ‘professional poetry bubble’ resonates more as a ‘facile shibboleth” and then, without the faintest hint of irony, demolishes his own assertion with a list of largely academic publications (that have “cornered the market”) and a number of poets who, I suspect, made it on the list because Mr. Deniord networked with them in an academic setting—[cough] Dartmouth?

But not content to defend academia (which is all well and fine) he once more lays into that ugly little step-child: the self-published (and that wretched hive of scum and villainy—the Internet). He writes: “Desktop publishing and the Internet have now made it possible for anyone who wishes to publish their poems to do just that.” And in the very next sentence equates the whole unseemly business with weeds in a garden (presumably a superbly coiffed Harvard Yard).

Besides academia and those published by “professional” editors (as opposed to, his words, “amateur editors”) Deniord can’t think of a single Vermont poet. Nope. Not one. No, Sir. Not a single, solitary Vermont poet. All Mr. Deniord can do is to hope that the work of “those geniuses who are writing beautifully but secretly, like Emily Dickinson… comes to light in time” (presumably published by a “professional” editor in a glossy first edition). Then maybe Deniord will notice. (Never mind that it was a professional editor who was oblivious to Dickinson’s genius.)

But here’s a thought: My favorite discovery, when renovating a house, is an old newspaper. If I’m very, very lucky, I’ll find a poem. If our Vermont Poet Laureate really wants more readers, why not use his position to get poetry back in the Valley News? Why not? Don’t send readers off looking for semi-demi-annual poetry anthologies. Give them something with the news.

upinVermont | August 15 2016
Limited to 360 words by request of the Valley News.

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