Gary’s New Book–Snake–will publish with Red Hen in the Fall of 2012–there’s a 6 city reading tour set up around it–all small cities in California–the book is in part supported by a grant and I’m in the process of setting up readings through the late Fall and Winter of 2012. I’ll also be signing books at AWP in Boston March of 2013 as well as part of a panel discussion tentatively about Poetry as a cultural subversion agent–what Art isn’t really. More to come–I’m just trying to remember how to get back into this website–my former webmaster bugged out for higher ground and i’m working with a poorly drawn blueprint in complete darkness–right brain–are you listening?
Huge gratitude to Red Hen Editor Mark Cull for his jaw dropping cover art on Snake–I had no idea what he’d come up with and to me it’s a big Wow! Thanks Mark.
Gary is reading as part of the Northwind Annual readers Party December 9th, 2010 at 7 pm. Poets who read at the Gallery during the year are anthologized by Minotaur Press and invited to read a selection of their work. It’s a great event and an opportunity for the Port Townsend Art community to come out in force–not just to support the poets but in particular to support Northwind.
You can find out more about our great local Art Gallery and Poets Corner at Northwind Annual Readers Party
A boy with a rifle, a girl with grenades,
Dressed in the white of baptism, the white
Of the shroud, outlined against
The blue sky above the unsuspecting
Village they’re assigned to destroy.
Around them murderous pieces of an
Exploded god burrow out of drifted
Snow to begin combing the remnants
Of broken dreams for fragments of innocence
To mix with cruelty to glue
Themselves into a god again.
Until that time the soldiers are free to
Explore the feel of the trigger without
The excited prodding in their head.
Possibly they may stop for water
Beside a frozen river, break the ice and drink
The expressions on the faces of the dead
Horses stray bullets killed last fall.
Stand over the ice, look into the eyes
Of the horses drifting just below, look
At the snow-bent trees tangled in sunlight,
At the smoke from the distant chimneys–
The ordinary is the sublime come close.
In white fields two soldiers throw down their
Weapons and turn into children again, slowly covered
By winter–in Spring wildflowers push
From the snow and fire bullets at the sun.
I had the privilege of reading at the Northwind Gallery last week with the poet, Paul Nelson. I just wanted to recommend his new book, A Time Before Slaughter, to readers of fine literature. Paul’s voice is unique and his vision essential to our understanding of how history absorbs all the edges and blades and blood of the moments as it rolls over them leaving in its wake a rather smooth and palatable terrain. Paul’s poems remind us that to get to here a lot of unspeakable as well as beautiful events occurred. And that collective memory just like individual memory is subject to the addling affects of aging. Slaughter is a terrific book.
I’m also inviting any poets reading this blog to submit poetry. Under the category poetry I currently have a couple of my new poems and I’ll use this spot to try out work prior to submitting it or manuscripting it. If anyone else would like to use it for the same purpose I’m very willing to consider any submissions and will move them from the blog into the static and archived Poetry category–if I like them of course.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, Sam Hamill, one of our national treasures, has a new blog site, kagean.blogspot.com–Monk’s Tale is important reading and Sam reminds us once again with this work that he is one of a handful of the very best essayists writing today.
Gary reading January 15th, 2011 at 2pm at Church in Ocean Park, in Santa Monica, CA (235 Hill Street) as part of Rattle’s Winter Issue Release Event.
In the mirror of our arms
Someone has died whom we believe
We loved enough to save.
One grain at a time, let the handful
Of sand return to the sea.
All day by the bed listening to her breathe,
Distant voices droning in corridors,
The thump of songbirds flying through
Spring light into transparent glass.
Why Innocence Must Hide
When it seems childhood
Is over–when leaves begin to fall
And ideas once hidden by dense foliage
Stand alone and naked
In the bare branches waving tiny hands
As the winter sings around them,
What remains of innocence hides in
The wood and makes it strong.
We know the birds will return.
Know the spare dark limbs will refresh
Themselves again and again–
Each year a new storefront with old signs, new
Revelations shrouded by flowers.
Until one day the tree remains
Bare all summer. The wind picks
At its bark. Branches snap like rifle
Fire inside a neighbor’s house on still mornings.
This is the time that comes
To everything—to planets, to insects,
To man and women.
To the dying gods trapped in these things.
February 25-27 Readings at Fisher Poets Gathering Astoria Oregon
Spring (exact date to follow) Red Hen Press Readings New York City
July 17th–24th Faculty Centrum Writers Conference Port Townsend, WA.