like listening to a lesson

February 16, 2019

You know what? When I read a poem, I don’t expect to get it. I go through a process much like listening to a lesson on a foreign language. The first time through, I just listen, letting it wash through me, not trying to make sense of it, and it is, well, Greek to me. The second time, I begin to make connections between the unfamiliar Italian (it never really was Greek) and the English I already know—a word or phrase here, a context there. Next I might try pronouncing the sounds myself. Each time, usually, I feel more, know more. I may get a little excited thinking I’m onto something. Little by little, it enters me, until finally I realize I in turn have entered it. Meraviglioso! I’m speaking Italian!

Alice B Fogel
Strange Terrain

Isabelle Menin - Petites Natures

I think I write for the kind of truths that poems give voice to, the kind that startle me about myself when I’m connecting thoughts with sounds, and vice versa. The English language is (I hope a worthy metaphor) an untapped oil well of riches that, through a very careful and personal arrangement of words, must be worked for, even won. It might even be an extended creation of one’s own being out of the sense that sounds make. When I’m working on a poem, when I don’t know what day or time it is, when I forget to eat, is when I’m happiest. In fact, often, in combination with my weekly runners’ highs, I’ve nearly collapsed from joy. When I finish a poem, when the whole thing rolls musically and effortlessly off my tongue, I sit back like I’ve just tunnelled through the cells walls to another human oil well, and sometimes I cry.

Susan Doble Kaluza
Bio for Rattle 43, Spring 2014

a serenade…

January 14, 2018

My hands between her legs pulling a string of sounds from her lips like a serenade…

You want me to perform this?

September 30, 2017

listen to the wind…

October 30, 2016


It is believed that if you listen to the wind at a crossroads on Samhain just before midnight, you’ll hear all you need to know for the year ahead.

Spend time outdoors on Halloween Eve, listening to the wind in the trees, the sound of the sea, water running over stones or bird song. Heed the words you may hear in the leaves or wind or your mind.