Saturday, May 21, 2011


"To make one thing stand for another is the fundamental activity of consciousness."
         - Susan Griffin

My poet friends have been laughing at me lately because I've been saying I hate metaphor. How can you be a poet and hate metaphor?? You really can't, because metaphor is how we think, how we make consciousness. I've been tired of tired metaphors, though, my own and those of other poets. It's tricky to make new metaphors, because it requires new thought, new excursions into psyche. I find myself working over the old metaphors until they no longer have savor for me. So, somewhere along the line, new kinds of consciousness and new metaphors have to come into being. Partly writing, and partly waiting, is how this basic activity of consciousness arrives.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Some people like to escape January in Minnesota. I'll admit it sounds attractive, in the midst of the third-snowiest winter on record. But there is a quiet in January that draws me, even as I wait for the birds' pineal glands to tell them the sun is coming back. Something about a persistent light snowfall, carrying on from one day to the next, erasing what it can.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Book Coming in 2012

My manuscript "Meridian" won the 2010 Snowbound Poetry Chapbook Prize from Tupelo Press, judged by Patricia Fargnoli. The book will be published some time in 2012. I haven't heard a firm date, yet. (At the pace that poetry gets published, I often wonder if many poets can only hope to be published posthumously.)

It's wonderful to have a book coming. There is a sense of anticipation, as if the creative work is not quite completed, because the book design, the words on the cover, the image all need to be put in place for the finished product to become a book. The hard part--the writing--is done, though, and what comes next is just for pleasure. I used to think that publishing a book was going to change my life in some large way, but now I am happy with the quiet, subtle change that occurs when one's creative effort enters into the world. Someone will read it, and that is such a lovely thing.