1. I’m reading Gail Mazur‘s new book of poems, Figures in a Landscape. The final two couplets of the title poem, an ekphrasis of the imagination:
If no one looks at us, do we or don’t we disappear?
The landscape would survive without us.
When you’re in it, it’s not landscape
any more than the horizon’s a line you can stand on.
In this book I’m encountering the melancholy of a beach in winter, a poet microscoping her life and then telescoping her life, a poet who’s so careful with every word that sometimes I’m afraid I will break them just by thinking too hard.
2. The Summer 2011 issue of Sixth Finch is up and running. I just enjoyed Leora Fridman’s “Pistons,” which begins, “I tap out my knowledge of neatness on an old machine for / sending pigeons,” and flaps out into laser beam lunacy. The issue, wholly, invokes small town, prairie view summers. Potted plants of madness and bleeding cow heads abound.
3. When you wake up in the morning, do you have a song in your head? Mine is “Today” by the Smashing Pumpkins most days. This morning, though, it was “Proud to Be an American.” This is the morning after reading about TBHQ in our chicken McNuggets and how, according to the St. Pete times today, Tea Party members in Florida are tackling a new issue: manatees. ”We cannot elevate nature above people,” explained Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. “That’s against the Bible and the Bill of Rights.” God forbid we limit our drunken boating excursions.