“Movements” in Ecotone

Cover of Ecotone "The Craft Issue"I am so honored to be in Ecotone‘s Craft Issue, hot off the letterpress. Please buy a copy, subscribe, or have your library subscribe because it’s wonderful. The issue features Martha Park’s illustrated “Portrait of a Vacant Lot,” Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s reflections on color with embroidery by Humayrah Poppins, and my humble lyric essay about cello lessons, among other wonders.

Not last spring, but the spring before last, I took up cello lessons. I promptly fell in love with my teacher and her way of teaching. She gave me charming metaphors to help me visualize myself moving in the right ways. They worked, magically.

I also fell in love with a recording of Jacqueline du Pre playing Elgar’s cello concerto. She moved me, the images my teacher gave me moved me, and I moved with my cello in hopes that we might play something beautiful eventually. But to be honest, I also fell in love with beginning: being an amateur discovering the simplest things, attempting and hoping and imagining myself into something new. Even playing one right note thrilled me.

My essay troubles the ease of the maxim to visualize success. The body and the mind do not always match. But how beautiful I find our legacies of trying. How inspiring we can be to each other even so.

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Cirque Calder poems at New Orleans Review

A mentor showed me this film last February, and I spent that spring falling in love with Alexander Calder. I read and watched and looked and wondered and then wrote too many poems about him, especially his circus. New Orleans Review features two: “Cirque Calder Encore, 1970” and “Curiosities of Cirque Calder, 1927 on.”

If you’d like to fall in love too (and haven’t already), I’d suggest visiting the Whitney Museum’s Calder page.

“Recovering” in The Hopper

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Once, I lived alone in a house by the sea for free. I thought the place was haunted in a good way. Deer in the meadow visited often. I couldn’t drink the water so I didn’t think much of the well, until I found out it was uncovered. I found out because a deer fell in.

“Recovering” dreams an ending for that doe.

I’m in love with The Hopper. A talented group publishes beautiful pieces, all with an ecological focus. I hope you get lost in their archives and check back often.

Image: Deer in the Forest I | Franz Marc | {PD-US}

“After Leaving, Before Arrival” in The Quieting

Friends, I’ve finally entered the letterpressed world. Platypus Press just finished pressing and sewing these beauuutiful books called The Quieting: an anthology of softness and light — ten poets, ten poems. I’m in love with the compression/lightness/texture of this project, and I’m beyond grateful to have been included, and to have received my copy in my mailbox today. My poem “After Leaving, Before Arrival” is about leaving home with my love to head east this summer, about decisions, precipice, and faith.

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If you love art, poems, and/or gorgeous objects, I recommend you buy one of these 50 books. They’re $5, and the book will cross an ocean to be yours.