Monday, March 26, 2007

comments on "snow on snow on snow"

I've made a minor resolution (meaning, I'm not going to beat myself up if I break it): I will send a batch of poems to each of the literary magazines I've bought recently once I've finished reading it. A couple slipped by before I made the resolution so I'll not worry about those. A little over a week ago I sent poems to 26 Magazine. 26 Magazine is nearby (St Mary's College in Oakland) and the work it publishes is like enough to what I write as a matter of course that I think my poems have a decent chance with them.

The resolution is being tested by my attempts now to put together a batch for Global City Review, a magazine that ... seems to like work I'm dubious of. Why would I want to have a poem in such company? Well, it's not like they're Fox News. Having a poem in Global City Review would not be joining up with the enemy. I do like things about the magazine, some of the work. Another thing that hangs me up: Global City Review does theme issues. Can I find pieces that match their announced themes? The one I'm trying for is "Knit Together", the deadline in May.

"Snow on snow on snow" is my entry in the "Knit Together" sweepstakes. So far it feels pretty fragmentary. I had the magazine open as I wrote, trying to find a style friendly to what's in it. The poem so far has got snow doing stuff -- healing wounds, melting in the exposed water as the ice breaks, humping along as glacier. But I don't live where there's snow. My direct experience with snow has been very occasional. Its coldness always surprises me. So I'm putting the beginnings of this one out there. I'll poke at it some more.

snow on snow on snow

snow on snow on snow
crystal to crystal, a wheel locks

when the ice breaks
you are standing on what
used to hold a camper van
door open to Cash and Carter
a barbecue on three legs

firm footing begins its wander
nudging under
a crumble at a corner
in between the black
color of hidden water

snow snuffing dazzle instead of building banks
having brought white from the sky
to give it up?
never gonna give the mountain up
crack and crinkle, though stone
healed – bandaged anyway – by this soft press
of white on white

such white as colors lose their way
can’t find a place all winter
to raise a flag

used to be new snow would sift down on old snow
this year’s tamping last year’s
until mounds rivaled mountains
without the same patience
and the big cold territories would slide
one slushy gravelly boot grinding away

Sunday, March 04, 2007

overheard on the bus

"A man drives a bus for 50 years and retires -- all he's going to dream about is buses."