Ignoring the news

I was wondering this morning whether if each insane massacre was basically ignored by the media, if it received the most minimal coverage possible on page 18 of the paper, would that remove a big incentive? Isn’t the publicity a huge part of it?

In any case, this poem has nothing to do with anything except those wonderful yellow primroses that bloom at dusk. Rita Dove, its author, was US Poet Laureate some years ago.

primrosesEvening Primrose

Neither rosy nor prim,
not cousin to the cowslip
nor the extravagant fuchsia—
I doubt anyone has ever
picked one for show,
though the woods must be fringed
with their lemony effusions. Continue reading “Ignoring the news”

Batter up

You may remember I mentioned the Poetry World Series, an annual event at the Mill Valley Library.  This event, organized by Becky Foust and Melissa Stein (below), combines poetry with the structure of a baseball game.

2016-05-06 21.10.36There are two teams of three poets each, an emcee, and judges. This is inning eight, the gracious and funny Matthew Siegel and I were pitched the phrase “zoo animals.” For each inning, the audience “pitches” topics, and one poet from each team “bats” their poem at the topic, no prep beforehand. We even each have walk up music.

Dean Rader was the charming emcee, and I was on the red team (note my borrowed red Diablo’s baseball shirt and cap), Continue reading “Batter up”

Innocents and Others

The other day at the library, the librarian came up to me and said, “I notice you’re a voracious reader, and I want to tell you about a new feature here at the library, called Your Lucky Day.” This is a  set of contemporary best sellers, set on a special shelf.  Each patron is allowed to take two books from this group out at a time.

innocents-and-others-9781501122729_hrIt was thoughtful of her, and I immediately checked out and devoured Michael Connelly’s latest thriller. I do read, or at least start, many books a week. But often it feels like a vast wasteland. Which is why it is such a delight to be thoroughly seduced by an unexpected gem of a novel. Innocents and Othersby Dana Spiotta at first seems like a book of disparate rather odd stories. But slowly the stories intermingle, build on each other and change their meaning. Together they weave a meditation on  how we communicate or fail to, how we experience visually, audibly. It’s a truly engaging, thoughtful, and intricate tapestry.   Continue reading “Innocents and Others”