New Year, a New Poem

I have a new poem up at The Fanzine! It’s called “The Thaw” and is dedicated to my explorations in the sub-arctic, and it ruminates over the essential “blue print” of life. When I was in that blue light, I couldn’t help but feel that I was connecting with something deeply ancestral–not just on a human scale, but ancestral to all of life’s basic energies. It was a beautiful, solitary, contemplative time up there.

Into Night

I just bought plane tickets into the arctic circle. I’ll be in Norway the last half of January, and in the far northern city of Tromsø the last weekend of the month, before flying out to Iceland for February.

And what do I expect to encounter in that darkness?

I have no idea. I am simply obeying this call which tells me to pursue the subtle light. I think I’ll probably have more intensive experiences of artificial light than anything else, frankly, but I do suspect I’ll find what I could not have imagined to discover. And that excites me intensely.

Light is a language. I want to open myself to it. To speak the far distant ray… its orphaned, jettisoned calling.

I think it will perhaps open what has been long orphaned in me.

Can lost light be a home?

Can the broken, displaced, and evacuated body become fertile ground in the dark subtle night?

I pray to be dreamless and afloat among stars. To have the deep blue sky infiltrate me and erase what was false inside. The sky is deepest blue in subtle light, not black. I want to steep myself in that immense hue. May there be no requirement.

I discovered immeasurable peace in the infinite day of the Norwegian summer solstice. I’m curious if I will accomplish a dark peace in its long night.

I win a Pew Fellowship and the sun will now speak my name with Futurepoem

Though the sun was relatively quiet this month, June began full of immense, storming, flood-of-light surprises for me. I was contacted by Jennifer Tamayo of Futurepoem and told that my manuscript, SOLAR MAXIMUM, was selected for publication! My book will be printed along with David Buuck’s new work, Site Cite City, as part of their next lineup in 2014. I cannot believe I get to join Rachel Levitsky, Marcella Durand, Shanxing Wang, Jill Magi, Camille Roy, Ronaldo Wilson, my former classmate Noah Eli Gordon, and SO MANY OTHER AMAZING AUTHORS, as part of the Futurepoem universe.

I’m especially thrilled that this manuscript, which tries to imagine the end of time, a speculative future, is with FUTUREpoem. It’s incredible.

A few days later, I also received the news that I had won a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Up to twelve artists are selected each year for this award, and I have the especial honor of winning along with three other amazing Philadelphia authors–Frank Sherlock, Jenn McCreary, and Emily Abendroth. HOLY COW. Previous winners include CA Conrad, Kevin Varrone, Pattie McCarthy, Linh Dinh, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jena Osman, Ron Silliman… The immense outpouring of cheers, friendship, and general Philadelphia poetry pride, has been amazing. I’d always felt that the poetry community was like a different type of family. I’m part of this huge tribe. I’m so happy to be a member.

I was thinking about dragons and snakes, dragons and snakes. I wrote about them a bit earlier. These things are coming true, I think.

This spring, I was mournful. Many things felt like they were closing inside of me. I was learning to give up on older dreams, feeling them dissipate into the air like a breath. I used to want to bear children and start a family. The reality is, I don’t think this will be the case. Certainly not as I had once envisioned it for myself. However, such desires and others still inhabit my body. I move to exorcise them. I want to be new.

I blew my life up a year ago. Everything went into the sky. I learned to inhabit its limit, without threat, by taking shelter inside my bones. I was small but not alone. Now I feel everything is plummeting into the ground, like meteoric projections. Where will these things land? How far will they take me? What is the magnitude by which I dare expand?

Debrah Morkun offered me my horoscope according to an alternative calendar. She told me I was a Blue Magnetic Storm.

This was the sun on my birthday.



oh to see, seethe or set aright —

(I had a name. It once blossomed on a pond

and the old darkness — what of it

does it know how I tilt inside

in that spawning quiet storm