So excited about a new publication!

You can find my most recent publication, the poem “No Pink Armadillo” at the just-published issue of Foundry. Thank you so much to the Foundry Journal for the publication. The June 2017 issue, issue four, is full of beautiful work, both written and visual.

Unlike some of the Sisyphus poems you’ve seen in my recent publications, the form of “No Pink Armadillo” is what I call a slant-sonnet.  It is not exactly a sonnet, does not exactly conform to sonnet-form. Yet there it is, almost but not quite a sonnet, and, simultaneously, a little something beyond being a sonnet.

Does it have a turn there around line eight? Or line twelve? I suppose it is a turn of sorts…

I was taught to think of the sonnet form as a series of rooms in a house, especially where the Shakespearean sonnet is concerned. Using that metaphor, you might diagram the Shakespearean sonnet as:

  • entry way and nearby rooms (4 lines, first stanza)
  • family room and private areas such as bedrooms (4 lines, second stanza)
  • exit from the house or remodeling of the house (4 lines, third stanza)
  • summary of what it turns out to mean, in an unexpected manner, either due to timing and/or general maturation of subject matter (2 lines, last stanza)

The Petrarchian sonnet is slightly less flexible. It usually has only two rooms in the sonnet’s Big House: a stanza of 8 lines (or, sometimes, two 4 line stanzas) and a stanza of 6 lines, with the turn coming just at the juncture of the octet and sestet.

As Foundry Journal says on their About page, they are interested in

the intangible cast into forms

which is pretty much the point of most poems: to make the intangible a tad more tangible. And I think of sonnets as the amphorae of the literary world, those tangibles meant to carry something otherwise shapeless, and left behind that others might find them.

So that’s probably a lot of inside baseball for those of you who are not poets. If you’re not into that level of poetry discourse / analysis, that’s ok. You can just trust me on this.

Elizabeth Bishop, one of my favorite poets

“No Pink Armadillo” is also a play against (obviously) Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Questions of Travel” and it’s pink armadillo, which I mentioned in an earlier blog post. For me, “No Pink Armadillo” has all the hallmarks of a world in which you must ask, as Bishop does in “Questions of Travel,”

Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?

And where is here, anyway? The here of Bishop’s poem and my poem, and any reader’s “here” is always more bizarre than we could have imagined ahead of time.

Of course, the same goes for home.

And links to other works to read

I thank Foundry, also, for linking to the works of writers they’ve published on their bookshelf, which you can find here. It is extremely generous of them to include links to publications by their writers.  Even if you are not interested in my poems, please take a look at the other writers represented here.

Thank for reading!  As always, comments are welcome 🙂