Cascadia Poetics LAB


The 2022 Postcard season is drawing to an end and I am delighted we have 17 complete groups this year and a tie for our best participation ever, 544. I have completed writing and mailing my 31 cards and hope to get to 40 total as I send out a few bonus cards. The cards I have received are gorgeous and intelligent and I hope to write about them as well. For the first year in a long while, I am not writing an afterword for my fest participation, but am using September 1 to write a “Day Song.” See:

The exercise was written for workshop participants who have been taking my online course for 2 complete years and in October we start year three. We also have two Introduction to Spontaneous Poetry classes starting in the fall to give folks the basics in terms of theory and practice of this stance toward poem making which comes out of the work of Charles OIson, Denise Levertov, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, Diane di Prima, Joanne Kyger, Wanda Coleman, Nate Mackey and other poets. More information on those classes is here:

Each day in my journaling practice I read the previous year’s journal entry for that day. Sometimes things are so potent, I leave them in from year to year. Today I am finding some postcard poems which seem to be potent little bursts of Poetics as Cosmology, so I’m sharing them here:

849. Poetics- This Here Body for Lisa Martin, Tucson, AZ


850. ACD Days for Michael Whalen, Bellingham, WA

*ACD = Anthropogenic Climate Disorder

851. 2 Tropes for Seva Van Ausdall, Cheyenne, WY

Jared Leising said years ago that I create a poetry festival like a poem and I was honored by that. I have found that my workshops have that quality too. At least preparing for them feels a lot like creating a poem to me. This is the essence of Poetics as Cosmology. How to create a poem like you create a life or create a life as you would create a poem. No do-overs. No Mulligans. Take your best whack at it in the moment and learn to trust better your impulses. Learn to discern the real from the facile. Michael McClure wrote in the author’s preface to his book Three Poems that: “To write spontaneously does not mean to write carelessly or without thought and deep experience. In fact, there must be a vision and a poetics that are alive and conscious.” I believe that the Poetry Postcard Fest is the first huge step toward understanding and embodying that vision, conscious poetics and deep experience. Registration for the 2023 Poetry Postcard Fest also starts September 1. Enjoy the last bit of summer.