Eyes

November 17, 2018

Eyes
deep like blackness
black like catastrophe
catastrophic like silence
silent like howling.

Faraj Bayraqdar
Mirrors of Absence

desired the sea

November 17, 2018

There were times when she desired the sea, like a child with all the innocence of first things, and then her body would be made of salt water and wishes and so many hopes that she would touch the sea and become one with it forever.

being dead

November 17, 2018

There is something female about being dead.

Joyce Carol Oates
Blonde

like tunnels

November 17, 2018

I wish that photographs were physical spaces, like tunnels; that you could crawl inside them and go back.

Lauren Oliver
Vanishing Girls

Say anything. Free-writing, free-associating, and keeping a journal are all ways to move from silence into words…(‘Say anything’ is another version of William Stafford’s famous advice: ‘There’s no such thing as writer’s block; you need only lower your standards.’)

Jane Hirshfield
Reconnecting After a Silence
Poets & Writers Magazine January/February 2018

No map

November 17, 2018

I am alone here in my own mind. There is no map and there is no road.

Anne Sexton
January 24th

need to rebuild

November 17, 2018

In general, I look for placeholder language when I revise. That is, moments in poems where the language seems to get habitual and is, let’s say, falling down the stairs in an uninteresting way. Those are the spots I need to tend to. Often, those spots are indicative of larger structural issues I need to address. Like, I need to rebuild the stairs so the falling down them gets more interesting. Or, I need to remove the railing so the falling can happen more quickly. Or, I need to install a new spiral-y railing so the falling knows where it’s going. I realize I’m extending this falling-down-the-stairs metaphor very, very far. But what this metaphor also demonstrates is that for real revision, I need to immerse completely in the world of the poem; I have to move through it intuitively and with everything I’ve got.

Chen Chen
Interview with Allison Peters for the Michigan Quarterly Review

winter and fall

November 17, 2018

I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.

Andrew Wyeth
Autobiography