Posts made in October, 2013

My Wobbly Bicycle, 47

Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Archive | 1 comment

My Wobbly Bicycle, 47

Some people have told me that the poems in my new book, No Need of Sympathy, feel like premonitions. Did something in me know, when  I wrote those poems, that I was in danger already? But consider how much poetry is about love and death. Okay, I’m not dead. But the very word cancer sounds the echo of mortality. All thoughts, all images, if you stay with them long enough, hit bedrock. Love and death. We’re drawn to bedrock. We almost can’t help ourselves from slowing down or stopping at a car crash, even when we can be of no use there. We’re looking for something we probably...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 46

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Archive | 11 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 46

I went to the dentist on Monday for a regular checkup. My teeth are always exemplary. I haven’t had a cavity in, what, maybe 15 or 20 years. It’s just a matter of cleaning and polishing. This time the hygienist’s pic caught in a soft spot. She had the dentist check it. Yeah, a small bit of decay starting under an old crown.  What was interesting was my reaction. I had a mini-version of the moment in the oncologist’s office when he told us my cancer was Stage III-C. A soft blankness, a backing off of the mind. A momentary floating sensation. Life is going on, people are talking,...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 45

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in Archive | 10 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 45

The hair thing.  I can pinch my “bangs” between thumb and forefinger. At the back, hair’s about twice as long. I try a hairbrush and see a slight difference. Not much, but it’s coming along. It feels like healing. That’s the wonderful thing about hair. The more of it, the better I am. From the front, it’s cute, but from the sides and back—of course I stand with a mirror and study it—it’s still plastered to my head in a way that isn’t flattering. [None of MY hair in these photos. They’re all from the book launch. I wanted you to see them.] Upside: my hair may grow...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 44

Posted by on Oct 9, 2013 in Archive | 10 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 44

I was talking earlier about my increasing sense of the sacred nature—I’ll call it that—of this work I’m part of,  the work of the imagination, fiction and poetry. My friend Ann Pancake has a splendid essay in the latest issue of The Georgia Review on this very subject. Ann is talking about her choice to fictionalize the awful destruction of land and culture caused by mountaintop mining in her home state of West Virginia (and elsewhere). Documentation would have been one response. But what if you get down inside, if you imagine what it’s like? Literature, she says, both the...

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My Wobbly Bicycle, 43

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Archive | 10 comments

My Wobbly Bicycle, 43

BOA Editions asked me to write a short interview with myself about No Need of Sympathy, to use as they considered book design and marketing. I invited myself to my study, where we talked over a cup of tea.  We both are drinking green tea these days, for the antidioxants. Fleda: Thank you so much for consenting to this interview. I’d like to begin with the title of your new book.  You took your title from a Robert Creeley quotation, “Poetry stands in no need of sympathy, or even goodwill. One acts from bottom, the root is the purpose quite beyond any kindness.” Besides the...

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