Saturday, August 13, 2005


Maybe it's because I've skipped lunch, or after reading a really trendy menu I picked up in the S.F. Ferry Building foor market, but:

Food Poetry

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Poet's Development

I just had a major brainstorm. I was reading American Primitive, Mary Oliver's early poetry book, and thinking about how these poems differed from her more recent work. I noticed that this book, which won the Pulitzer Prize, was different from her later collections. Apparently, you can reach the peak of success and still make radical redirections in your writing.

It occurred to me (duh! am I the last poet on the planet to get this?) that it would be instructive to study a poet's work chronologically, to follow her/his poetic development by noticing what elements they tossed out. In Oliver's case, it was social commentary. Increasingly, the social/political context disappears from her poetry, as do other people. But in American Primitive, these elements occurred often.

I'm going to try this with Marianne Moore, whose oeuvre is large and so, hopefully, will show even more rigorous exercise of choice.

In poetry, the most interesting thing is often what's left out.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shuttle's safe return

Maybe it's because I have a friend who is slipping away that life seems to tenuous.

Whatever the reason, I find myself preoccupied with the shuttle Discovery and getting it back to earth safely. I mean, all those bitty pieces of fabric they're obsessing over have me worried. The fact that they scrubbed the scheduled landing yesterday is unnerving. The people in charge seem unnerved, despite their jaunty Discovery page at NASA's web site. That's REALLY unnerving. The NY Times printed an article yesterday on why some parents, instead of preparing to watch the landing with their kids are shielding their kids from watching. As NYT said, "a generation of Americans that has lived through two shuttle disasters is growing edgy."

I titled this thread the way I did because I feel like keeping fingers crossed, tossing salt over my shoulder, whatever will help. Am I obsessing here, or displacing? Displacing, I think. It's hard to wake up every day and wonder if.

As a rocket kid, I can't help but think about my friend and those astronauts up there, until we know one way or the other. These are the moments when faith definitely helps. In anything.