Friday, July 25, 2014

Waiting on My Bookshelf...

 Currently on my shelf (in a semi-dark living room--pardon the flash!):

Hope you have a lovely weekend of reading, or seeing friends and family, or taking it easy!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Did We Learn

What Did We Learn

The orange tree dropped all its oranges
around us as we spoke

bushel after bushel thudding onto the grass

Then the ground began to peel up

worms and beetles afloat
in air and drifting

And oh the lightning unfurling from the grass

But between us
we felt no terror

and didn’t startle

so the oranges rested
and the worms fell back down in sheets
and the grass shook off the lightning

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

If Someone Is Beautiful Surely This Is an Accident

If Someone Is Beautiful Surely This Is an Accident

Coincidence of bone and skin
parent and posture

and scooting-over cloud
letting light fall over a person

and traffic forcing them to wait
to go to the other side of the street

and year it is now and year
in which another child shoved

their young self onto the sidewalk
earning the little glistening

scar above the mouth
a seam’s stitch poking out

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kept Landscape

Kept Landscape

The woods were quiet at first
with snow and the trees were without

No one noticed the landscape within you
even as the seasons fluttered

and rattled
and reached tendrils up your throat

and maybe a bird came out
with some snow when you coughed

Now that the woods have found your voice
you keep exposing
us to all that has been at work on you

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Storialist Turns Six!

Today, The Storialist is a kindergartener!

Six years of posting every weekday on this site. Sometimes it feels easy, sometimes it feels like a chore, sometimes it feels rejuvenating, sometimes it feels frustrating, and sometimes it feels comforting.

I’m always wondering--what is it I’m doing here? It’s my practice, my way of not squirming out of doing what I value. It allows me to both make space for and more fully incorporate writing in my daily life (even when it feels impossible).

More and more, what I do in writing feels like this scene. (I know it might seem absurd; hear me out!).


Paul Rudd cracks me up in this scene (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall). He’s teaching Jason Segel’s character to surf (well, supposedly). His lesson is such a non-lesson: “Don’t do anything, don’t TRY to surf. Don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do.”

It’s ridiculous and horrible advice masquerading as a sort of faux mystical, Yoda-esque method (and it is hilarious). But it’s somehow also pretty accurate in terms of describing what I try to learn in writing.

It’s not that I want to “do less” or not put forth effort. For me, it's a real balance between doing too much (intervening too much in the poem)/not enough (not carrying the idea/words far enough). I’ve learned that I need to beware of overcooking a much of writing is learning how to let it go where it wants to go, not censoring it or holding it back prematurely. This is really difficult. It involves trust, and also a certain detachment from how I want the poem to turn out (this is the "doing less" part, maybe). I don’t think this is true for all writers or artists, but for me, it all starts with deciding: today I’m going to write, and maybe it will fail, or maybe part of it will be okay. But all of this is of value.

As Paul Rudd’s surfing lesson ends, he says, enthusiastically, “YEAH! That wasn’t quite it, but we’re going to figure it out out there--c’mon, let’s go surfing.” We’ll figure it out out there, maybe, and if we don’t, we’re still figuring it out.

Undoubtedly, this year will bring new things in terms of writing--hopefully, more reviews, interviews, essays, collaborations, and experiments!

Thank you so much for reading, sharing, inspiring. I so value and appreciate everyone I've connected with through writing and blogging.

Let’s go surfing!

Previous anniversaries:
July 2008
July 2009
July 2010
July 2011
July 2012
July 2013