Saturday, February 18, 2012

The news of poetry--

I just sent off my response to Makoto Fujimura's request for a poem honoring the 100th anniversary of Japan's gift of cherry trees for the Tidal Basin in Washington, D. C.  Good commissions are inspiring, and so I wrote a poem in six parts, mingling modes and including dryad and kodama, grafting and planting, journeys and deep-growing, war and peaceful ease.

Thanks to Dale Favier for taking a look beforehand--very helpful to have a California Buddhist read one's cross-cultural poem! I am enjoying his poetry book, Opening the World, which you may inspect at the Pindrop Press site.
Dear Mole,
Mea culpa! 
Oregon! Oregon! Oregon! 

Fascinating or terribly depressing or both, sales for poetry books are so slim compared to fiction that one can figure out exactly what is happening a good deal of the time. For example, according to Bookscan (which counts a large number of reporting bookstores but not all), I have just sold seven copies of The Throne of Psyche in New York and in unnameable rural places--part of that's obvious, as The Anesthesia Book Club in Fly Creek has invited me to visit their group in March--and one in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If I knew somebody in Albuquerque, I might have a chance of guessing who had bought that copy! Lesson: be sure and buy yourself a copy and be counted? Get seven copies and be of staggering importance? Nab eight and rule the world? XD!

My friend Yolanda Sharpe and I put our heads together and submitted to the collaborative journal, Yew, and so now will have three poems entwined with three paintings there some time soon. Fun!


  1. Thanks for the plug, Marly! But oh dear, you must never describe an Oregonian as a Californian! That's like calling a Scot an Englishman :-)

  2. Dale, I could feel you bristling from here in CA!
    Marly, These sound like quite wonderful collaborations!

  3. Dale,

    Am I mad? Are you in Oregon now? Why have I been fabulating you as a Californian?

    Shall fix!


  4. Robbi,

    Yes, I know Yolanda quite well and so it was an easy thing to organize.

  5. Dale: And now it seems perfectly obvious that you are an Oregonian and belong in a state with Agate Beach, so I don't know what came over me. Must be Robbi's influence.

  6. p. s. to Robbi--

    It was probably enlightening to him. After all, this is not at all how we talk to our children!

    Just as I didn't give birth in increase my readership, he didn't arrive on the planet in order to enjoy my writing or my identity as a writer but my identity as his very own mother.

  7. Marly, native Oregonian and erstwhile member of the second incarnation of the James G. Blaine Society (motto: "Vague But Sinister") which supposedly strove to stem the inrush of Californians into Oregon. In practice, this usually amounted to saying something mildly disparaging about LA before enthusiastically taking your Californian friends up to see Multnomah Falls or Agate Beach.

  8. Most amusing.

    One of my facebook friends loves to get my goat by referring to my residence in the frozen North and how I must be a Yank by now...

  9. You're quite right. Jeremy does glance at my writing occasionally, but I'm not sure what he makes of it.

  10. And it does not matter, really, what he does or does not think of it. Children need a mother, not a writer!

  11. bbeiYes, you're right. I didn't show it to him until this past year, actually. He expressed an interest in knowing what I was doing, so I showed him.

  12. Ah, well, that is nice. An "extra," though not required.


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.