On private grief and political imagination

My mom was dying of brain cancer during the War in Iraq. My private grief and catastrophic tenderness in those brutal months made my political imagination and compassion more acute than ever before. “There is only ever one death // So many names for the unnameable,” as I wrote at that time. Paris, Beirut, Iraq, […]

“Papa is gone, not Wolinski”

“After his death, his daughter said, ‘Papa is gone, not Wolinski’” (from “The Pen vs. The Gun,” by Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker, Jan 8). Gourevitch’s piece could do with less hagiography, and I don’t think he sat with the gun/pen question long enough to resolve it with true insight. But: this daughter’s voice. We […]

“The best review I know how to give”: Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry

I’ve just finished reading Lorri Neilsen Glenn‘s amazing book of essays, Threading Light: Explorations in Loss and Poetry. This is a book that blows my mind—that blows my mind and my heart wide open. It is a book of gifts, a work that gathers the diffuse gifts of a life and slowly, lyrically—with great attentiveness […]

Mother’s Day

 

#1–Mother’s Day brunch at my in-laws’ place, a trip to the playground, a drive-home double-nap, beer with my sweetheart on the front lawn, sun and a breeze–ah. I even managed to sit solo beneath the birch in the sun and read a bit of last year’s Griffin International Poetry Prize winner Gjertrud Schnackenberg’s Heavenly […]

What it says

March, march, march–how do you do it? Just as the daffodils poke their noses through the soil, a return to winter, heavy snow. Not that it isn’t beautiful–bright crystals shining on the roof, crystals on the back deck so intricately lit by morning sun I don’t want the dog to walk on them (but walk […]