Posts made in July, 2012

Art as Intercourse

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Archive | 5 comments

Art as Intercourse

“People limp to the shrine of St. Georgia and then fly away on the wings of the libido.” This is from The New Yorker, a review of one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s early exhibitions. “Art is a means of intercourse. . . causing the receiver to enter into a certain kind of relationship with him who produced or is producing the art, and with all those who, simultaneously, previously, or subsequently, receive the same artistic impression.” –Tolstoy. My friend, the marvelous writer and actor Dinah Lenney, and I are giving a talk about writing and art at our MFA program (Rainier Writing...

Read More

Strong Brown River Gods

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in Archive | 2 comments

Strong Brown River Gods

 We’ve just returned from Missouri, visiting my father at his retirement cottage. I’m thinking I need to write another essay about him. I’d rather write a poem,  but what I have is all detail and musing. It occurs to me that when I start thinking about him, I can’t seem to get free enough in my mind to make leaps, to go under and over what’s blatantly there. It feels as if I’m holding tight to the earth to keep us all from being thrown off. Something like that. We could psychologize about that all day, but I’ve already done that and am bored with it. I feel sometimes...

Read More

The Last Swimmer

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Archive | 4 comments

The Last Swimmer

I walk down to the dock barefoot under the cedars and hemlocks, carrying my towel. It’s still so cool—65 degrees—that I dread the water, but this is part of it, the dread that holds within it the joy of shock, the anticipation. Mist is still rising from the gradually-more-visible lake, one of those perfect days when I’ll be the only disturbance on an otherwise still glimmer. I hang my towel on a tree branch, step off the dock into the water, and straight in. If I give myself time to think, I’m lost. Or at least I spend more time agonizing over it. This way, when I’m in, I’m...

Read More

What Do We Have Here?

Posted by on Jul 4, 2012 in Archive | 10 comments

What Do We Have Here?

Notes for an Unwritten Poem   The kinds of suffering are intricately dissimilar and require different visitations. * At the hospital, the few are coming in early, hopeful in this air, not yet hot. Nothing is looked at directly. Floor mopping and empty-wheelchair pushing are available to watch instead. * It is an Edward Hopper painting, all these doorways and rooms, no stories visible. I buy coffee as if I were on another continent. I nod at the man pushing an empty bed. Two days ago he had a ponytail but since for some reason has cut it off. * I was thinking about D—‘s death which...

Read More