In Catwalk, Meryl Natchez casts the kind of spells that amount to a more precise definition for the “changing same” of what lyric poetry really is. Yes, these poems show a gift for formal dexterity with haibuns and cinquains and nonce verse, but what I love about them is how much of the world—how much of a life—Natchez conjures in the space of a few lines. From the biology of earthworms to the pitfalls of a forty-year love affair, there is no place this poetry won’t touch. Or in Natchez’s own words: “It wakes me with its/interrogating light.” This is a brilliant book. — Jericho Brown
The world of Meryl Natchez’s Catwalk reveals an elemental understanding of our place in the often conflicting dramas of the natural world and human impulses. There is an enviable muscle to these lyrical meditations on the ephemeral consolations of memory amid our ever-shifting, complex constellations of loss. — David St. John
Out of the ordinary, daily, material items of life, “newspaper or book or laptop, the ramekin of salt,” Meryl Natchez’s new book, Catwalk, forges a tapestry… As she writes, “now being a confused elixir/of sun and fog and email…/random moments that can converge/into a ravishing pattern…” It is that pattern that a reader finds in Catwalk. —Lynn Emanuel
Poems from the Stray Dog Café:
Akhmatova, Mandelstam and Gumilev
Translated by Meryl Natchez with Polina Barskova and Boris Wolfson
Includes an introduction describing the Acmeist poetic movement, a timeline, and an updated translation of “The Morning of Acmeism,” by Osip Mandelstam, as well as selected poems. Second printing. Purchase
Jade Suit, Poems
hit & run press, Berkeley, California. Purchase
Tadeusz Borowksi: Selected Poems
Translated by Tadeusz Pioro, Larry Rafferty and Meryl Natchez, introduction by Stanisław Barańczak
Most of these poems were written while Borowski was a prisoner in Dachau, Birkenau and Auschwitz, during World War II. Borowski and other inmates memorized them and he reassembled them after the war.
hit & run press, Berkeley, California. Purchase
Poetry Publications (online)
Art and Matvei Petrovich Bronstien
(Finalist, Joan Swift Memorial Prize)
Women’s Voices for Change
Thinking about Einstein while waiting for the Big Blue Bus
The American Journal of Poetry
Made of Molecules and More About the Oak
Dawn in Monterey
Canary Lit Mag
Marai Sandor in San Diego
Poem with a Line by Amy Clampitt
Prose Publications (online)
My Mother’s Exit (memoir)
Interview with Dorianne Laux, March 2019
Interview with Forrest Gander
Interview with William Brewer
Interview with Maurya Simon
Jericho Brown, The Tradition
Dorianne Laux, Only as the Day Is Long
Francesca Bell, Bright Stain
A. E. Stallings, LIKE
Forrest Gander, Be With
Tony Hoagland, Priest Turned Therapist Treats Fear of God
Tony Hoagland, Recent Changes in the Vernacular
In the Shape of a Human Body I Am Visiting the Earth: Poems from Far and Wide (Anthology from McSweeney’s)
Mary Ruefle, My Private Property
Troy Jollimore, Syllabus of Errors
Last Summer’s Project
Prose poems inspired by Carlo Rovelli’s Seven Brief Lessons on Physics
More about the oak
It dominates the view its branches so inviting that the first thing we did was make a treehouse inside them not worried about the oak not thinking about the way each leathery leaf turns air and sunlight and water into food and draws another nanometer of water up through the channel of xylem from roots so deep that the trunk becomes a great reservoir and during the eight dry months of a California spring and summer and fall lets gravity pull some of its aquifer back to nourish the shallow roots around it, not considering the network of rhizomes this small ecosystem of hillside where we’d plunked ourselves, not really seeing the oak at all except as ornament, as tool for our human pleasure and it tolerates us still as the treehouse falls into disuse and the squirrels and crows the sentinel hummingbirds survey their territory from its branches as the small humans who played there move on
Work in progress.
Cut up sonnets inspired by Jericho Brown’s essay on the Duplex.
Read all about it in this PDF.
Also watch Looseplex on the video page.
Looseplex 31-Losing Patience
How many years was my path obscured by junk
My ungovernable heart, pocked with grievance?
Starting from something simple, like milk
Push up bras, slim jims, and cheese doodles
Endlessly stitching snags in the sky.
Remember being crazed with desire?
Seeds release in heat, the ground charred clear for them.
We talk after dinner, wine glasses refilled.
The monks who touched the match to their own dowsed robes,
What I believed was the absolute truth, no
The fluorescent, merciless present.
The earth gearing up to shrug us off.
These are the stamps on the final envelope.