The tropical stays with you, long after you’ve left the tropics
This book, How Heavy the Breath of God, is one I return to again and again for its sense of being simultaneously away while also coming home to oneself. The poems are arranged in a travel sequence, starting in tropical locations such as Ecuador and Guatemala and ending up back in the southern U.S., in Texas. While not necessarily literal, the arrangement does feel logical. There’s an outward to inward arc to the work as a whole. Continue reading “A Poet Reads: How Heavy the Breath of God by Sheryl St. Germain”
Sometimes what a poem does is remind us of a mood or moment. It conjures up our own memories even if we do not have enough information to understand the poet’s specific memory. The Ou-Yang Hsiu poem, “Far Off Mountains” from Love & Time, translated by J. P. Seaton, works this way.
I have two poems in the current issue of Shot Glass Journal, January 2017, Issue #21. It published the beginning of February. I thought I’d posted this. . . but it turns out, you canhave too many drafts in your WordPress dashboard. Thank you Shot Glass Journal for taking a chance on my work! Especially on “If Anyone Can : Say Anything” which is in unconventional form. A little gloss on each poem is below.
For some time now, you’ve probably seen the “coming soon” notice for science fiction short stories on my publications page. The first, Plug & I, is now available in ebook on Amazon. It’s about 6500 words– a short read of 20-25 pages. Because it’s short, it’s available for $0.99. Or you can read it for free if you are part of Kindle Unlimited. It won’t be available in physical form until there are some stories to bundle with it. It is the first new science fiction Offworlders story available. Continue reading “Science Fiction Story “Plug & I” Now Available”
This post is part 1 of 2. Part 1 will cover form and background. Part 2 will cover content, and look closely at one translated poem.
Background: Ou-Yang Hsiu
Ou-Yang Hsiu lived from 1007-1072 in Sung Dynasty China. Raised in poverty and primarily self-educated, he became both a scholar and a government administrator. He was known for his strong code of ethics.
Ou-Yang Hsiu didn’t follow the approved pattern of highly formal poems on limited, conventional subject matter, full of obscure allusions.
Which sounds like about what the non-poetry reader thinks of poetry today. Hard to understand, needing someone to decode it for the reader. Something only for the in-crowd. You can’t really blame people. Schools tend to reinforce this approach. A student deciphers a poem to figure out ‘what it really means’ instead of understanding it, at least on one level, without overly-educated interpretation. Continue reading “Ou-Yang Hsiu’s poems, “Love & Time” translated by J. P. Seaton, Part 1 of 2″