I made it to Clatskanie, Oregon, birthplace of Raymond Carver, to have a writing retreat in a cabin on an organic farm. Of course there would be a snow storm and a 90 minute delay on Hwy 30 getting here, but here I am going over 2021 poems, which means a whole lot of American Sentences (at least 360 of them, some of them found poems) and a few FLEXIBLE MIND poems. Reading, writing, harvesting poems, following a schedule that’s based around one’s own literary needs is something we writers don’t do enough. We need it and it seems difficult for me to achieve given the needs of a nine-year old who’s in my care 1/2 the time and the needs of running a non-profit organization at the end of a huge year during which a re-branding occurred.
Harvesting American Sentences at year’s end, allows me to look back on the year in a way that seems to have much in common with the Uta Nikki (poetic diary) of ancient Japan. (Just saying that makes me want to open up one of three small bottle of Xmas saké. Thank you Buffy & Joe!) How in 2021 I survived attempted coups of my country, chronicled my dream life, had connections with friends (who became former friends) and noted other scenes from the simple life of a 60 year-old man, father, poet, interviewer seventeen syllables at a time. (Sometimes 16, sometimes 18. Sue me.)
1.1.2021 – 2020 was taken out to the alley & shot in the head.
1.2.2021 – I think the llama farm refrigerator breathes better than I do.
1.6.2021 – The sedition caucus hates Cubans ‘cause they know how to stage a coup.
1.10.2021 – Updating The Animals for middle age: “We gotta get out of this chair.”
1.17.2021 – Stone Buddha stunned by season’s first whiff of sarcacocca sits some more. (For Karma Tenzing Wangchuk)
1.23.2021 – Ian Boyden: Meager Hero, Delicate Flower, Heroic Mint.
1.24.2021 – In the dream we properly proportion the non-profit lasagna.
1.25.2021 – Adelia, the New Yorker is the skyscraper of shit poems.
Here is a modest 2 bedroom bungalow of a shit poem in the FLEXIBLE MIND series:
1.28.2021 – Something gross yet satisfying about the Palmolive fruit fly graveyard.
2.4.2021 – “Washington Ax-Throwing Venues Want to be Able to Serve Alcohol.” (Crosscut headline)
Speaking of snow: 2.14.2021 FLEXIBLE STEP
2.16.2021 – In the dream me and the mom of twins clean bricks for the boys to chew on.
2.24.2021 – The Last Beat has entered the Coney Island of the World Mind, Amen!
5.3.2021 – Can’t have herd immunity in this country ’cause people are animals.