Nouns XXVII

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I. Over at Tahoma Literary Review, Michael Schmeltzer looks at rejection and why we write through a beautiful kaleidoscope: “For a long time I was mistaken; I believed rejection was a passive experience, a sort of absence or negation. I thought it was silence, not sound, the footprint, not the foot, not the hard won hard step into soft ground.

But rejection isn’t passive. It’s reactive, spherical. We throw our voice into the world, and whether the world returns it doesn’t matter.”

II. “Well, I’ve always been searching to arrive at a certain voice that will probably elude me forever; in fact, it will. So it’s the search for that voice, that for me, drives the whole thing forward.” Jhumpa Lahiri talks about writing in a different language over at NPR.

III. “And I didn’t break
stride, not one bit. It’s how I’ve learned to save myself.”

John Murillo’s poem “Upon Reading That Eric Dolphy Transcribed Even the Calls of Certain Species of Birds,” contains one of the most heartbreaking surprise shifts I’ve ever read in a poem. The kind that makes you inhale and you don’t exhale until the end of the poem. Whew.

IV. At Brevity, Laurie Hertzel discusses the always present question of owning our stories and the stories of others.  A lot to wrestle with.  But, as she ends with, always with kindness.

V.”Say starling — starling
who listens, who lifts
shreds of us away,
who records and remembers
sounds we once made.”

Doireann Ní Ghríofa addresses what’s beneath, what’s inherited, what echoes in us in her poem “[chronosequence]” at New Dublin Press.

VI. “She knew she’d taken a wrong turn. The way she’d stand in the middle of the living room as if confused on the curb of some corner—her directions smeared by the rain. Street lights no more than gauze.”

Jill Talbot tenderly and vulnerably writes from her daughter’s perspective in a way that gave me chills over at High Desert Journal.  She always makes me want to be a better writer, a more tender human.

VII. Johann Hari’s TED talk has been on my mind lately.  A lot.  Supposing everything we know about addiction is wrong…

VIII. “Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.”
— Jhumpa Lahiri, “The Third and Final Continent” from the incredible Interpreter of Maladies (Found at the wonderful ‘A Love of Sentences.’)

IX. Misty Copeland in Degas paintings is brilliant and beautiful.  (Seen above.)

X. Let’s go on a walk.  To nowhere, or anywhere.

XI. Want to own a book held in a famous person’s hands while they read it?  Me either.  But they donate books to literacy focus non-profits.

XII. These pictures of grains of sand magnified are a breathtaking reminder that the world is so small and so, so big.

XIII. A good reminder, even for those who aren’t young poets, from Rainer Maria Rilke:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

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