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Friday, February 06, 2015

New poems published, new ideas cooking

I'm having a happy poet week! That's the one in which you have two poems floating around out there in front of reading eyes (presumably), and you feel the wind under your wings to carry you to some new ideas.

Autumn Sky Poetry Daily has today posted my poem, "Prayers for Everywhere." This is the last poem in my book Gods of Water and Air. I put it in that position because I feel a poetry book needs a conclusion that speaks to its unity, and for this collection of memoir poems and essays, a benediction of prayers of praising common things seemed just right. My working class port hometown of San Pedro figures prominently in the book, and I think it was there that I learned to pay close attention (which itself is a form of prayer, I think) to all sorts of lowly objects and beings. Snails crossing the lawn, worms washed out on the road, the little red pods the pepper trees dropped, the kelp whose pods you could pop and see a little gush of seawater. My childhood was full of these and many other textures, and nothing grand except the ocean. So prayers for all these small places and daily objects.

Tiferet Journal just published in their January digital edition my new poem, "The Map of Light." I've been associated with Tiferet for more than a year, through by publishing poetry and also helping to raise funds in support of this wonderful organization, which is dedicated to "heart, compassion, and the reconciliation of opposites." I think our world needs a little more compassion. Maybe a lot more. I hope my poem is a map that fits into that mission.

New publications always send me back to the drawing board. I've been pulling out poem drafts from 2014 and looking at them with an editorial eye. Right now, I'm working on a possible new collection, but sidling up to it, not rushing. I have dedicated 2015 to getting my new novel, The Renaissance Club, out into the world. And then of course once you launch the newest thing, you have to make sure it stays afloat. But poetry isn't an occupation for me, it's a necessity. So I will keep wading into the surf and see what waves I can catch hold of.

I do love a surfing metaphor.