Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


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VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Maureen Alsop (A Poem for the Summer Solstice)



I met Maureen through coldfront.com, the online review that dissed my last book. She had seen my "award" for the best response to a review and contacted me. Her latest book had also been dissed--by the same reviewer. She emailed me for some advice on dealing with bad reviews, or in her case, one bad review that overshadowed all the other good ones she had received. Why is life like that? One bad notice gnaws at us, no matter the other terrific things people have said about our writing, our teaching, our this and our that. Maureen lives in California and is poetry editor for the online poetry magazine Poemeleon.

I asked Maureen to send me some poems from her most recent book, Apparition Wren, published by Main Street Rag in Charlotte. This one seems suited to the sensuousness of early summer, when the earth opens herself to our trowels and our dreams.


Ascension

The body is a house I lived in once; for a time
I spoke to the wind. Radiance and dust blew
through me. I wore my dead

husband’s bathrobe, but he was dead only
in dreams. We, the only lovers

born to the deep lanes of dark,
unmapped our palms. Our hands,
pressed together, led always
between my legs.

In my closed field,

if you come too far, if you come
too far, you’ll feel the earth swagger,
constellations disperse, my succulent
loam soften open.




Maureen is the author of two collections of poetry: The Diction of Moths, (forthcoming from Ghost Road Press) and Apparition Wren (Main Street Rag, 2007). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various journals, including Tampa Review, New Delta Review, and Typo.

8 comments:

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful poem.

Being dissed always hurts. Maybe that's why the Queen, as an example, doesn't read what the press says and is never told of it. Perhaps it's not a bad thing, but after all, she is the Queen. I say if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for us.
But it still hurts.
Sam

Vicki Lane said...

Lovely poem -- and why is it that the bad reviews seem to take on more importance than the good? Do we secretly fear that those are the right one and the others were just people being kind? Do most poets and writers harbor deep-seated feelings of inadequacy?

The trillium picture is wonderful!

(My word verification word is MISMS! I love it! Her head was full of outworn misms that she clung to in the face of reason.)

Pat Workman said...

If we don't get dissed once in a while, we are doing something wrong...or we are not being uniquely creative.

I can't imagine how daunting it must be to set one's self up as a critic. Perhaps it was a bit of rotten potato he had for dinner. Perhaps his stock market ventures tanked or his mate left him for a woman. Who really knows? I can only fantasize voodoo retribution for such critical pomposity.

Thanks for sharing Maureen's fine poem. A pleasure to read and savor. Meeting her was a serendipitous reward for you both after the searing. Burn some sage, chant & dance on.

Pat Workman said...

I just finished reading your and Maureen's reviews. I still stand by my last comment.

How about sharing your "award" for the best response to a review with us. That would be icing on the cake for me. I couldn't find it. I'm certain it was "award worthy".

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Hi Pat, Vicki, and Sam--just back from the vet's. Yet another round of shots due.
Thank you for your great responses to Maureen's poem. Pat, the award post and the original post that "won" should be in the archive. I'll place a link to them in this piece. K.

Kathryn Stripling Byer said...

Misms, now there's a word to cherish! To cling to!

Malaika said...

What a lovely poem. Thanks for sharing it, Kay.
Fondly,
Malaika

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

What a great poem. Thank you for sharing it with us, Kay. I enjoy your blog very much.