Sunday Sentence #14

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imagesMy weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

I didn’t want to have such a totally conscious dialogue with whatever demon of storytelling was in me.

SOURCE:John Casey‘s essay collection Beyond the First Draft: The Art of Fiction

 

Ladies with Cats (2sday Poems)

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Paws with me a moment, friends, and enjoy these very different poems about ladies with cats:

THE CAT’S SONG

by Marge Piercy

Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
milk from his mother’s forgotten breasts.

Let us walk in the woods, says the cat.
I’ll teach you to read the tabloid of scents,images3
to fade into shadow, wait like a trap, to hunt.
Now I lay this plump warm mouse on your mat.

You feed me, I try to feed you, we are friends,
says the cat, although I am more equal than you.
Can you leap twenty times the height of your body?
Can you run up and down trees? Jump between roofs?

Let us rub our bodies together and talk of touch.
My emotions are pure as salt crystals and as hard.
My lusts glow like my eyes. I sing to you in the mornings
walking round and round your bed and into your face.

Come I will teach you to dance as naturally…

FULL TEXT HERE
from Mars and Her Children

 

CURSE OF THE CAT WOMAN

by Edward Field

It sometimes happens
that the woman you meet and fall in love with
is of that strange Transylvanian people
with an affinity for cats.

You take her to a restaurant, say, or a show,index
on an ordinary date, being attracted
by the glitter in her slitty eyes and her catlike walk,
and afterwards of course you take her in your arms
and she turns into a black panther
and bites you to death.

Or perhaps you are saved in the nick of time
and she is tormented by the knowledge of her tendency:
That she daren’t hug a man
unless she wants to risk clawing him up.

This puts you both in a difficult position,
panting lovers who are prevented from touching
not by bars but by circumstance:
You have terrible fights and say cruel things
for having the hots does not give you a sweet temper.

One night you are walking down a dark street…

FULL TEXT HERE
from After the Fall: Poems Old & New

Sunday Sentence #13

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imagesMy weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

Astronomers must also guard against selection effects, giving too much weight in their calculations to the stars, galaxies, and clusters that are easiest to see. 

SOURCE:George Johnson‘s Great Discoveries biography Miss Leavitt’s Stars: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe

 

2sDay Poems: Readings from Louisiana’s Current Poet Laureate

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Today’s poems come from Ava Leavell Haymon‘s award-winning, fairytale-inspired collection Why the House is Made of Gingerbread (LSU Press)

The Witch Has Told You a Story

You are food.
You are here for me
to eat. Fatten up,
and I will like you better.Your brother will be first,
you must wait your turn.
Feed him yourself, you willbk-jacket-Gingerbread-194x300
learn to do it. You will take him

eggs with yellow sauce, muffins
torn apart and leaking butter, fried meats
late in the morning, and always sweets
in a sticky parade from the kitchen.

His vigilance, an ice pick of hunger
pricking his insides, will melt
in the unctuous cream fillings.
He will forget. He will thank you

for it. His little finger stuck every day
through cracks in the bars
will grow sleek and round,
his hollow face swell…

Audio file of Haymon reading below (first link), followed by a discussion of the poem at NPR (second link)

 

Hear the full NPR interview below and a second podcast in which Haymon joins Julie Kane, the previous Louisiana Poet Laureate from 2011-2013, for The Poet and the Poem series* at the Library of Congress.

 

*Full catalog of available podcasts from the Library of Congress series here.

Sunday Sentence #12

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imagesMy weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

As a child in a small town on Cook Inlet in Alaska, she saw volcanoes erupting, whales migrating, and icebergs looming at sea before she ever saw a skyscraper or what could properly be called architecture.

SOURCE:Alexis M. Smith‘s debut novel Glaciers (Tin House)

 

Explorations in Magical Realism

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Magic-Realism-Tomek-Setowski-Poland-12

from Polish painter Tomek Setowski‘s “Magical Realism” series

I first came to magical realism through Isabel Allende‘s absorbing novel The House of the Spirits, which features a haunting cast of star-crossed misfits, including the green-haired, golden-eyed ‘Rosa the beautiful’ and her strange, also clairvoyant, younger sister Clara. My paperback has endured so many readings that it has developed its own, almost biblical sheen. It remains one of my all-time favorite books and is definitely on my desert island list.

Recentlywww.randomhouse.com, I’ve fallen in love with the work of Karen Russell, whose skill with a sentence is breath-taking, both as a short story writer and a novelist.  If you haven’t become acquainted with her work just yet, click on over to this Sunday Sentence post for a delicious short from her collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.

Then tune up your ears for her fab Writer’s Workshop podcast over at Tin House, where she shares tips on building up impossible worlds and makes it sound easy.

 

Aimee Bendimageser also has some helpful craft tips and thougindexhts on the genre in an interview at The Bat Segundo Show. Your next must-listen is then Hold That Thought’s “A Conversation with Kelly Link and William McKelvy” hosted by Washington Univ.

Next, you’ll want to block off some time to wade through all the goodies at Zoe Brooks‘ Magical Realism blog. Besides a massive reading list with some reviews, she has Facebook & Goodreads groups and a kicking bloghop/linkup just begging for your perusal.

 

You might also want to read up on:

painting by Kevin Sloan

painting by “Magical Realist” artist Kevin Sloan

Magical Realism in YA       and

Trends in Middle-grade Magical Realism.

Also interesting is a 2012 blog project called A Year of Magical Reading in which Ted Gioia explores “non-realism” in fiction.

 

And last but not least, visit the Women on Writing (WOW) blog for a handy shortlist of resources, including links to books on craft and scholarship for those who want to delve deeper.

 

**Tell me about your favorite Magical Realism reads or share your resources and finds in the comments section. Love hearing from you.  Happy reading!!!!!

 

 

 

2sDays Poems: Getting Goochie With the Wolfies Under the Supermoon

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The Tlingit word for ‘wolf’ is gooch, and with the recent supermoon plastering the weekend skies, I thought it would be fun to share two of my favorite wolf poems, both from kick-a$$ poets (like top of the top ten of the poetry gods, no lie).

The first is from fellow Alaskan Native Mary TallMountain.images.duckduckgo.com

THE LAST WOLF

The last wolf hurried toward me
through the ruined city
and I heard his baying echoesindex
down the steep smashed warrens
of Montgomery Street and past
the ruby-crowned highrises
left standing
their lighted elevators useless

Passing the flicking red and green
of traffic signals
baying his way eastward
in the mystery of his wild…

FULL TEXT HERE

from The Light on the Tent Wall

 

The second is from Latino poet Victor Hernández Cruz.

xvictor-hernandez-cruz.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VEloHkj5xk

LA LUPE

Her voice comes out of her knees,
her fingernails are full of sound,
Birds are in her lungs,
which gives her gargantuan flight,
A florescence through ether waves,
like ancestral Morse codes.
 index1
Oriente province de Cuba
her first steps.
At nineteen she dismantled retinas—
roosters blew themselves inside out,
When she swayed by cathedrals they folded,
guayacan trees fell to their knees,
Mountains bowed with the contents
for ajiaco.
She filled the horizon with kerchiefs,
gypsies danced behind her,
Her bracelets were snakes,
forces were captured in her…

from Maraca: New & Selected Poems

 

And for those Native American art lovers, enjoy oodles of Tlingit (and other tribal) art over at AlaskaNativeArtists.com, including this supercool carved gooch helmet:

helmet_joseph_wolf_13

Sunday Sentence #11

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imagesMy weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

Because life should be as simple as a bucket of fish caught a few miles offshore and a van full of produce bought at a roadside stand; It should be as sweet as a cube of melon the color of your heart.

SOURCE:Natalie Baszile‘s debut novel Queen Sugar 

 

2sDay Poems: The Delicate Brushstrokes of Poet-Artist Ruth Bavetta

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6938403Ruth Bavetta is a widely published poet and a talented artist whose work is infused with a powerful starlight. I first ran across her work through the Women’s Poetry List-Serv (WOM-PO) and fell hard for her visual poems. Our first selection, “The End and the Aim”, is one such example.

The end and aim

Find more lovely pieces in the visual poetry section of her website.

But beyond those eye-catching beauties is a whole body of work that is more traditional but as equally captivating. At least, in the fine way that the painter’s delicate brushstrokes are woven into its words.

Fugitive Pigments (from Future Cycle), a gorgeous collection of Ruth’s ekphrastic poems, is not surprisingly my favorite of her current publications. Our next selection is one of Ruth’s favorites from the book:

Memories Suspended by Filaments

                                              -in the voice of Joseph Cornell

The house is small, but it has room for dreams.

For birds, books, stamps, stars, marbles, butterflies,

balls, dolls, my brother Robert, maps, romance,index

playing cards, lace, lobsters, small sticky hope.

Eyes down, I walk the streets of Manhattan,

eat pastries, sweet, stale, talk to pigeons, find

orphaned desires in gutters, in dime stores,

in second-hand shops with dusty windows.

I discover, gather, magpie away.

My treasures hibernate waiting, sleeping

in basement shelf rows, labeled by heartbeats

slowed to a drip. When my dossiers have lived

together long enough, I take them out,

let them speak, cherish them in my boxes,

where parrots talk of sunsets, and clay pipes

float and fill with a summer of bubbles.

Behind glass, my birds and my women sing,

locked into universes I create,

where lovers are dancers, princesses, queens,

secrets detained in shining glass bottles.

I sing the juene fille Lauren Bacall,

slender Botticelli, silent in blue,

construct a pink palace with sapphire stars.

I mediate history for the Prince

of the Medici, give him a compass

so he finds and he follows true love. Oh,

Bebe Marie, you are so beautiful,

pale pink, hidden among silvery twigs.

Also available for your enjoyment is Embers on the Stairs (from MoonTide Press), her second collection. embers-on-the-stairsA third book, No Longer at This Address is on its way later this year.  Can’t wait to snatch that one up!

 

 

 

**Readers, have your own favorite poet-artists? Please share your recommendations.  One can never have too much poetry in this life, somebody once said. Picasso? Or maybe Naomi Shihab Nye.  Post your thoughts on that too.  Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Sunday Sentence #10

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imagesMy weekly contribution to David Abrams’ “Sunday Sentence” project in which participants share the best sentence read during the past week “out of context and without commentary.”

I was expecting some ineffable girl smell, dewy and secret, an eau.

SOURCE:Karen Russell‘s short story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves  (from “Z.Z.’s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers“)

 

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