Saturday, June 6, 2009


Today was the day I was planning on getting married, not but 3 months ago. It's strange how quickly things can change. I went from being all set to head to Cleveland, start a househould, and adjunct at an area CC to spending the summer living in a tent in West Virginia, single, and getting ready to start a new job at a Boarding School in Southwest Virginia (yes, they offered me the job; yes, I'm 99% sure I'm going to accept it on Monday). Very exciting, very intimidating. It will definitely be a change for me, a challenge, but I think it will be good. Details to come. I'll get to teach CW, run the school literary mag, and perhaps coach XC.


No first line today, but as promised, a poem that feels very close right now, living in these mountains.

A Prayer for Slowness

Let the deep valley take me over
with its sundown shadow a little at a time,
by little and little, as if the hourglass
lay on its side and the grains leaked through
one by one into the cloud of infinite seperate
moments. I shall enter that cloud

when once I am become as slow as the brindle
cow who walks the molded path along the hill
to shadow of the barn darker than hill shadow,
not lifting her broad head to watch the climb of
spade-edge shadow on the other mountain, but
steadily imprinting the dust with her divided name,

going into the barn where her rich welcome
is taken from her, to lie down grateful and eased.

--Fred Chappell
from Southern Appalachian Poetry: An Anthology of Works by 37 Poets
(Edited by Marita Garin, McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008)--(a great anthology)


Wrote two new poems longhand in the tent last night. Maybe I'll post them up here in the next few days after some word processor line-tinkering. New things: writing by hand, not having a workshop in the immediate future to share with. I like writing by hand, the way it allows the line to move a bit more organically, how it slows me down and asks a bit more from each bit of language. I've decided I could benefit from moving a bit slower, maybe we all could.


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