Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Aurorean Chooses "Beach Glass" as Best Poem

The Aurorean chose my poem Beach Glass as "best poem" from its Spring/Summer 2009 edition.

An esteemed New England poetry journal published continuously since 1995, The Aurorean has been feature-profiled in Poet's Market, and three times named a "PIC" by the prestigious Small Press Review.

The award includes a generous check (for poetry journals), an announcement in The Aurorean's Fall/Winter issue, and publication on the journal's web site for the next year

The Aurorean's anonymous judge's comments about Beach Glass are these:

"Beach Glass" is a well-thought-out poem—imaginative in its turns of phrase ("as if we were something's great hobby") and in its imagery ("a bit of bobeche from a grand chandelier").

It moves, like the waves [it] speaks of; it narrates—brings the reader in immediately with "we"; and makes sweeping statements ("...the tumbling will give us a texture/that transcends the standards/by which we are judged..."), but carries it all off successfully because of its precision. I am inspired by this poem—I feel better for having read it—without feeling as if I have been preached to.

And a re-post of Beach Glass:

Beach Glass
(for Anne Cowles Pinkney)

We could be the neck of a milk bottle
or a bit of bobeche from a grand chandelier.

It doesn’t matter what we were a part of
before we were broken, only that we were

broken and a part of something
and that our young edges were sharply fragile
and our translucence too common.

We know of waves, and still, now and then
feel them vacuum the sand from beneath our feet
and pull us out and over and back, across the sand
as if we were something’s great hobby
tumbling in finer and finer and finer grit.

And it is the tumbling that matters
so much more than the approval
of combers or children, for if we have time
the tumbling will give us a texture
that transcends the standards
by which we are judged.

We remember so little
of how the tumbling smoothed us
only that, in the end, we are smooth.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetry Reading

I'll be reading in a group event on November 1, 2009 at the Fall Arts & Sounds Festival, Rolling Ridge Conference Center, 660 Great Pond Road, North Andover, Massachusetts 01845 at 11:00 AM.

Directions here:

I'll only have about 5 minutes, so if you're not local, don't feel obligated.



Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chatter in the Stacks Near the Lake

I'm happy to announce that Chatter in the Canopy is now available at the Inn on the Library Lawn Bookstore in Westport, NY. (

I'm happy to recommend the bookstore as well as Anthony and Alexandra Wheeler's lovely Inn to travelers to the Adirondacks and its environs. Barb and I have stayed here many times and enjoy the large, comfortable, exquisitely decorated guestrooms, the breakfasts, and the lively conversation with the hosts.

While in town, be sure to play a round at the Westport Country Club's 110-year-old mountain course ( Say, "Hi" to John and Lynn Hall, who rent the carts, cut the greens, give lessons, cook the burgers, pour the Tanqueray, take care of everyone anytime. Please let me know how you fared on the signature 12th hole. (

And don't miss at least one dinner on the deck on the lake at the Bistro - quite unexpected fine French cuisine with a gorgeous view. (

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In Here Says Bob

In here, says Bob, tapping his temple,
I play the clarinet — Peanuts Hucko style.

In there, between solos on Robbin’s Nest
With Hawk and Sir Charles and Tyree,
And Ruby and Fathead and Trummy, Bob rests
Tapping his right foot on the studio floor.

Out here, Bob grabs a smoke — leaning against
A bass drum road case stenciled Do Not Drop
In white spray paint with bleeding edges, holding
A pawnshop licorice stick with busted spoon keys.

Out there, Bob transcribes a Sun Ra riff
On a wet reed with mouthpiece and ligature.
No barrel, no bore, no bell. Squawk goes Saturn
In a Blue Universe. Squawk goes the Solar Myth.

In here, says Bob, tapping his temple,
I blow the Huckle-Buck to the Omniverse.