Poetry 2020 Edition 7

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection # 13 Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals by Patricia Lockwood, Penguin Books 2014, 66 pages

List of Cross-Dressing Soldiers

. . .

Someone thought long and hard how to best

make my brother blend into the sand. He came

back and he was heaped up himself like a dune,

he was twice the size of me, his sight glittered

deeper in the family head he hid among himself,

and slid, and stormed, and looked the same

as the next one, and was hot and gold and some-

where else.

+ .  .  .

Five slices of pie

Collection # 14 The Trouble with Poetry  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperback Edition 2007 (orig 2005), 91 pages

The Trouble with Poetry
.
.
.

Poetry fills me with joy
and I rise lide a feather in the wind.

Poetry fills me with sorrow
and I sink like a chain flung from a bridge.

But mostly poetry fills me
with the urge to write poetry.

I wasn’t as fond of this collection like the first one I experienced but that’s OK.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

PI MENTIONED!  “Later, genius became someone who could take a sliver of chalk and square pi a hundred places out beyond the decimal point.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 6

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection # 11 by Mary Oliver,Penguin Books 2012, 82 pages

The Man Who Has Many Answers

The man who has many answers

is often found in the theaters of information

where he offers, graciously,

his deep findings.

While the man who has only questions,

to comfort himself, makes music

 

Collection # 12 by Ross Gay, the University of Pittsburgh Press 2015, 102 pages

To the Mistake

. . . drive to check

their beckoning phones

which mostly

bless them they

don’t the mistake

I say is a gift

don’t be afraid

see what it teaches you

about what the poem

can be I know

+ .  .  .

Lively and life affirming. One of the book blurbs says it is a “bright book of life”. You can’t help imagine that Gay  is always smiling and living life big and bright. So much movement and joy in these poems.

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 5

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

Collection #9 break your glass slippers by Amanda Lovelace, Andrews McMeel 2020, 136 pages

sometimes the only difference between not
being meant for something & being meant for
something is the necessary journey it takes for
you to get there.

—replace your self-doubt with patience.

Rating: 3 slices of pie. No pie mentioned. (I am not the ideal audience, methinks)


Collection #10 by Kieran Furey, Longtooth Books 2011, 120 pages

An Old Routine

Trying not to think
what it might mean,
he goes once a week
unbelievingly to Mass,
and once a week too
disbelievingly to another funeral.

At his age, these things are routine.
With one good ear he’s always listening
For the bells to toll for him.

I found this book in the apartment complex shelves. YAY! and they’re good. Lots of poems about family, ancestry, memories, place. I will have to assume it was the right poetry book for the right time in my 2020 poetry adventure.

I’m finding that I really enjoy poems about words and poems and about writing of poems.

Rating: Four slices of pie. No pie mentioned.

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 4

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #7  by Billy Collins, Random House Trade Paperbacks 2002, 173 pages

Budapest

My pen moves along the page
like a snout of a strange animal
shaped like a human arm
and dressed in the sleeve of a loose green sweater.

I watch it sniffing the paper ceaselessly,
intent as any forager that has nothing
on its mind but the grubs and insects
that will allow it to live another day.

It wants only to be here tomorrow,
dressed perhaps in the sleeve of a plaid shirt,
nose pressed against the page,
writing a few more dutiful lines

while I gaze out the window and image Budapest
or some other city where I have never been.

 

SO GOOD. I had misgivings and incorrect assumptions about Billy Collins “the famous poet”; he is too famous. But I had not experienced his work, his poems, with just me sitting with each one. I love his stuff! Mostly, I love the devotion he shows to the time it takes, allows. The time a poem bakes, crafts, comes into being, as if he and he alone, is the messenger, or person only to deliver the package. He sits and waits and plays and writes and then a poem emerges. He makes it seem effortless and yet like he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. I am grateful that he allows the poems to come to him and then shares them. I very much love his poems about poems.

(Believe it or not, there is a 1-star review on goodreads; very entertaining.)

Rating: FIVE SLICES


Collection #8 by Lisa J. Starr, Beautifully Produced by the Poet 2008, 116 pages

Other People’s Poems

Perhaps I should leave other people’s poems to other people,
but I am afraid that left unsaid, they grow, they thicken,’
never mind how they accumulate.
The poems of others—this one’s my brother’s.

.
.
.

Your poem, then, my brother—the weariness of knowing
that what’s done is done, except that then it’s yours forever.
It takes twenty years sometimes to discover it’s not that your secret
is so dark; it’s that it’s always with you.

 

I am contacting the poet to see what is the best way to purchase a copy of this. (I don’t want to use the big A place… I suppose I should check if the indie bookstore on Block Island has a copy.) I thought this poems impactful, poignant, and relatable to the point that I want to have them to share. Poems about the joys of childhood, and how childhood pain is long-lasting; poems about taking care of parents and old dogs, poems of recognition.

Rating:  Five Slices of Pie. Quiche Lorraine and Pumpkin Pie

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 3

Poetry Goal 2020:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #5 by Ted Kooser, Copper Canyon Press 2004, 87 pages

SATISFIES the Ampersand Category of What’s in a Name Challenge.

Mother

. . .

You asked me if I would be sad when it happened

and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house
now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots
green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner,
as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that.

+ .  .  .

Memory is another poem that I wanted to share but it is longer than appropriate for a post, and yes! it features pie but I couldn’t get that portion to be meaningful without also sharing every stanza.

Basic and powerful, simple images yet evocative of place and time. With “three kinds of pie”!

I hinted for this to be a lovely gift to me to those who might be so inclined to need a suggestion.

Rating: FIVE SLICER


Collection #6 by Susana Gardner, Black Radish Books 2011, 115 pages

untitled?

perhaps there is only gray  in what we

must name experience — in what we

site as meaning or wayward curiology —

yet before this time I only saw  black

as black or   white   as white   though

gray might certainly and often overtake

me — much more often was caught on

the edge of what is so easily nicked —

.  .  .

mere lapsed

feathery happenstance

 

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 2

Edition 1 was only a few days ago. When I said the next collections were slim, I didn’t lie.

Poetry Goal 202o:  to read a poem* every day.

 

Collection #3 by Tracy K. Smith, Graywolf Press 2007, 89 pages

Smith was 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States.

Very impressive poems and quite varied. Between referencing an old John Ford movie (The Searchers) to an imagined party crashing by Frank Zappa, Smith takes us on a stimulating journey. Across politics and myths, kidnapping and murder, love and desire.

This is a poem about the itch
That stirs a nation at night

This is a poem about all we’ll do
Not to scratch —

+ .  .  .

I was impressed but I didn’t quite feel it in my heart. All very heady.

 

Collection #4 by David O’Connell, The Providence Athenaeum 2013

Now this was really good! I connected, this had life and grit. This also had mythology  selections (history) plus the terrors of now; some with a touch of wry humor.

Etymology

The bomb will wait forever for its purpose.
Outside my room, she screeches, It’s the bomb!

which means, it’s cool
that men urge calm while earning ribbons
riding bronco bomb.

+ .  .  .

 

 

*Or more. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is only the minimum.

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poetry 2020 Edition 1

Hello my dear friends of books and pies, I am here to talk about poetry.

My goal for 202o is to read a poem every day. I’m not tracking, I’m just reading. I’m not limiting this experience to one poem a day – that is the minimum.

And I’m loving it!

I started the year with Joel Coen’s The Day the World End: Poems.

I liked a few of these but overall, not so much.

Next up was this lovely collection:

THIS!  was wonderful and fabulous and very very enjoyable!!!!

Ok. So, I’m thinking this post is boring and I’m not wrong. But I don’t know how to talk about poetry. (Not that I really know how to discuss fiction, either). But this collection is fun and smart.

and referenced pie, so of course I would love it. No, even without pie, very good.

NOW is my story of how I came to find the 3rd and 4th poetry collections I will feature in Edition 2 of Poetry 2020.

I went to the library now that I have figured out that slim — I mean, THIN and very slim, as in low page counts — are the way to go to get me to read poetry.

I went to the library and went right up to the first non-busy librarian I could find. (by “not busy”, I meant “not talking to another human”) and asked for directions to where I could find shelves with poetry. I was directed to go to the Reference Desk and ask for D_.   Which I immediately did.

Or, rather, I went to the Reference Desk. No one was there. I wandered until I found other suspiciously-librarian-looking humans and asked if I could find D_. One of these luminary beings was D_!

I followed her to a section where another human was already pulling Mary Oliver books off the shelf. This person was asking about poetry and blah blah blah; we chatted, we laughed, we shared, all good… I grabbed the thinnest fewest-page collections I could find and ran.

(Not really.) I went to check out with my TOB holds and am delighted to share that when I got home and looked up the poets I brought home with me, one had been a Poet Laureate!

I will accept help on how to post about poetry…

<– pie for Super Bowl LIV

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2020. Care’s Books and Pie aka Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Paper Wasp

Thoughts  by Lauren Acampora, Grove Press 2019, 289 pages

Genre: Contemporary Lit
Type/Source: Gift from a Friend, to be repaid in kind
 Why I read this now:  Coincide with Author Event

MOTIVATION for READING: Blurb sounded good!

Page 283: “What a sweetie pie”, the woman would say, and Shelby would say thanks as if the sweetness were her doing.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Two friends since grade school reconnect at a high school reunion. One is an actress, a rising star. The other is unhinged.

What goodreads says: “In small-town Michigan, Abby Graven leads a solitary life. Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, she now languishes in her childhood home, trudging to and from her job as a supermarket cashier. Each day she is taunted from the magazine racks by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet whose life in pictures Abby obsessively scrapbooks. At night Abby escapes through the films of her favorite director, Auguste Perren, a cult figure known for his creative institute, the Rhizome. Inspired by Perren, Abby draws fantastical storyboards based on her often premonitory dreams, a visionary gift she keeps hidden.”

The story has a low-level hum of dread, a creepiness that is expressed well in the narrative with Abby telling Elise what is happening – a present tense feel yet immediate past. We can only sense, “this ain’t gonna end well.”

page 198:  I understood that you were gone. I saw that you’d never return to me fully, that we’d forever remain on parallel tracks, never to mesh again, no matter how I twisted and swerved.

   October 2019 Author Event at Brown University, along with poet Jennifer Franklin. I didn’t have a chance to purchase works prior to the event but have both author’s books on order now…

THOUGHTS:  Oh the ending! NOT what I expected but I am impressed. The clues are all there, no lost threads but an exclaimed “OMG! WOW.” from me, thinking in my head that the author was quite clever; fabulously pulled together.

Very smart, imaginative writing.

Four slices of pie.

Page 145: As you spoke, I felt a spiking sensation under my skin. I didn’t want to hear any of it. I tried to tune out your words while I studied the black stone in my hand. I marveled at its weight and warmth. It was solid and eternal, not of this world burning with the patience of the ages. It would outlast your folly and my pain. It would outlast everything.

So…, my friend who invited me to the event gave me her book and thensonow I’m ordering the book to give back a copy to her since she is friends with the author and now they have another good excuse to get together — so Lauren can sign HER book!  too funny. Things we do…  Thanks Kim for inviting me to this.

I can’t wait to read The Wonder Garden. I love linked story collections and the reviews are excellent. Lauren Acampora is an author to watch!

 

pierating

Copyright © 2007-2019. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Priestdaddy

Thoughts  by Patricia Lockwood, Audible Studios 2017, 10 hours 12 minutes

Narrated by the author.

Challenge: TOB Nonfiction May
Genre: Memoir
Type/Source: Audiobook / Audible

MOTIVATION for READING: I had heard this one was quite funny. I like funny.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Can I just say that this book is so much more than any synopsis can attempt to share? let’s see what the goodreads blurb has to say:

The childhood of Patricia Lockwood, the poet dubbed “The Smutty-Metaphor Queen of Lawrence, Kansas” by The New York Times, was unusual in many respects. There was the location: an impoverished, nuclear waste-riddled area of the American Midwest. There was her mother, a woman who speaks almost entirely in strange koans and warnings of impending danger. Above all, there was her gun-toting, guitar-riffing, frequently semi-naked father, who underwent a religious conversion on a submarine and discovered a loophole which saw him approved for the Catholic priesthood by the future Pope Benedict XVI – despite already having a wife and children.

When the expense of a medical procedure forces the 30-year-old Patricia to move back in with her parents, husband in tow, she must learn to live again with her family’s simmering madness, and to reckon with the dark side of a childhood spent in the bosom of the Catholic Church. Told with the comic sensibility of a brasher, bluer Waugh or Wodehouse, this is at the same time a lyrical and affecting story of how, having ventured into the underworld, we can emerge with our levity and our sense of justice intact.

Ok, maybe it does. Or maybe you have to READ THIS BOOK and then realize how much you really were forewarned but didn’t quite expect until after. Does that make any sense to anyone?

First, I admit that I was instantly struck with a “Yes-I-Want-To-Read-This-Please” thought when I saw she was from Kansas. I have a big soft spot in my heart for the state of Kansas.

Two, even though I’m not Catholic (I’m Lutheran by upbringing), most if not all of my friends growing up WERE Catholic. SO I *know* enough about that religion to have an understanding – especially in comparison to Lutheranism. Yea, whatever.

Third, I had to find out a few things that struck me odd about this blurb. Um, a priest who is ‘frequently semi-naked’? And… they let her (or disallowed – which could it be?) to put that in a book!? I’m still rather shocked. Did any of his parishioners READ this book!?  yikes.

WHAT’s GOOD: Remember when I said, “this book is so much more”? I fell into the author’s words like a feather into a down pillow. I agree very much with the bit in the blurb that describes this as “a lyrical and affecting story”.

This would be an interesting story to contrast with Educated, for father analysis.

What’s NOT so good:  My midwestern mild-mannered sensibilities were quite offended. No, not offended… What IS the word? I just can’t believe she put this stuff into words and published it! I am so much more private, I suppose. Yikes!!  It’s been enough time away that I can’t even remember the particulars but I remember the shock and awe.

Reminded me of the question in The Animators about using other people in our art.

And… I have to admit that I didn’t think this book was for me at the beginning. The author narrates and this can always be risky. It took me one or two hours to adjust to the tone and what I interpreted as snark in her voice.  But I’m glad I stuck with it.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I love that the LOVE in this family is evident. They may not get along but they love fiercely anyway. That is my impression. What a contrast to Idaho, hmmm?

My favorite story – laugh out loud funny – was the one about Patricia and her mother checking into a Hilton Hotel and there was cum on the sheets. I kid you not. OMG.

RATING: Five slices of pie.

It is always tough to catch pie references while listening to an audiobook but I do have these notes to share:

Lots of pie. In the Intro, even. In Ch 2, she mentions working in a diner and the owner looks like he wants to smash pies into faces. Also, a mention that Mrs. Ford got eye surgery and can now read her pie recipes.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Poem Share and Happy World Dictionary Day

Thoughts

Poem:

Teach Your Children

by Crosby, Stills & Nash
You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well,
Their children’s hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you’ll know by.
Don’t you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
Songwriters: Graham Nash

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2017. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.