Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Anapestic Ribaldry

I read at the University of Vermont a week or two ago, and Glen and I had the pleasure of meeting the very charming Irish-born poet Angela Patten.  Yesterday arrived in the mail a remarkable gift from Angela: a copy of Ciaran Carson's translation of the 1780 Irish comic narrative poem,  The Midnight Court (Wake Forest U Press, 2006).  Wow. Thanks Angela!  I plan to read it on the plane to LA today,  for the story—apparently it's about a Faerie court of women trying a man for his (non)use of his sexuality, rather a pagan theme—but meanwhile, what a treat to see a recently-written poem that uses meter--let alone a noniambic meter!— with such skill and wit!  It's a rare recent poem—or translation— that reminds you why poetry is considered an art for the ear.  I think this one is a must for Poetry in Rhythm, working title for an anthology of metrically diverse poems I am coediting with Canadian poet and Stonecoast MFA student Alexandra Oliver.  Check out this excerpt:

Not long was my slumber when nearby, thought I,
the land rocked and rolled and a turbulent sky
Brought a storm from the north, an incredible gale
That lit up the harbor as fire fell like hail.
In the blink of an eyelid--a thing I still see—
A female approached from the side of the quay,
Broad-arsed and big-bellied, built like a tank,
And angry as thunder from shoulder to shank.
Of her stature I made an intelligent guess
Of some twenty-one feet, while the hem of her dress
Trailed for five yards behind, through the mire and the muck,
And her mantle was slobbered with horrible guck. . .

I could imagine settling in to hear a full reading of this poem, just as I described doing at Michael Maglaras' reading of Hiawatha, which recently kept a sizable audience (and not an audience of poets, either!) happily listening for over five hours. . .

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cousin Chas on Graffiti

One of my favorite of Chas's art posts on the topic of a graffiti exhibit which i hope to see when I'm in LA next week to read from Among the Goddesses @ the LA Festival of Books.  Every time I see great graffiti, I feel like I'm in the presence of a powerful wild animal, one that looks me in the eyes and knows far more than i do--like Aldo Leopold's moment of encounter with the Wolf:  "We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."  Thank goodness, we have learned a bit from the mistakes of that generation and now we can look out the train window and appreciate the wolf's eyes, maybe even bring them into the museum, maybe even begin to build a true ecosystem, like this collaboration between Yo Yo Ma and Lil' Buck.  You  tell em, Chas!

Ostara Vibrations--


This is my favorite Ostara altar ever, thanks to daughter Althea.

love to all for spring!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Choice Among the Goddesses, or How I Finally Wrote About My Abortion

Here is a guest post I wrote for Ruth Ellen Kocher's very fine blog Aboutaword, which I wanted to share also with you, dear loyal readers of American Witch. . .
My book  Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams came out recently and now I am doing readings and a blog-tour about the book--(there's even a Facebook group started by the press where you can share experiences and get updates on readings and performances of ATG).  The book has a unique structure; it intertwines an epic poem and a poetic opera libretto that tell the same story in narrative and dramatic form, spiraling around each other if you read the book straight through.  You can also read one side of the page only as an epic poem, the other only as a poetic libretto.
I am having an unusual time publicizing this book for several reasons. I’m still figuring out how much to sing and how much to speak when I perform, with or without musicians.   Also, the tangled history of writing the book, described briefly below, sometimes makes it feel like I’m living in two or three decades at once.  The main reason, however, is the abortion.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recipes at Thea's Kitchen

Snow still on the ground here after a white April Fools Day surprise, but thank the goddess I just came across these heartening and very witchy early spring recipes at Thea's Kitchen.