Remembering Mary Oliver

North of Oxford

maryoliver

By Stephen Page

Oliver as Nature

            This afternoon, I am rereading Mary Oliver’s American Primitive for the sixth time.  I first opened the book yesterday, and every time I reopen it, the poems make me forget the reason I am reading the book.  I am supposed to be looking for an interesting topic to write an essay about.  Each time I get a thread of an idea on what to write, the poems carry me to the place the narrator is, climbing a tree, eating blackberries, standing by a pond, watching a bobcat walk by, feeling large snowflakes land on my upturned face and melt on my cheeks.  I am immersed in the poems.  Being of quick mind, it took me only six readings of the book to understand why.  This is Oliver’s intent.  She immerses the reader into the poems by immersing herself into the narrator who immerses…

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munching on “Short-Order Cook” by Jim Daniels

Jama's Alphabet Soup

“Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” ~ Matthew McConaughey

“Cheeseburger” by Tjalf Sparnaay (oil on linen, 2012)

SHORT-ORDER COOK
by Jim Daniels

An average joe comes in
and orders thirty cheeseburgers and thirty fries.

I wait for him to pay before I start cooking.
He pays.
He ain’t no average joe.

The grill is just big enough for ten rows of three.
I slap the burgers down
throw two buckets of fries in the deep frier
and they pop pop, spit spit  . . .
pssss . . .
The counter girls laugh.
I concentrate.
It is the crucial point —
they are ready for the cheese:
my fingers shake as I tear off slices
toss them on the burgers/fries done/dump/
refill buckets/burgers ready/flip into buns/
beat that melting cheese/wrap burgers in plastic/
into paper bags/fried done/dump/fill thirty bags/
bring them…

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Ally, aka Advisor, Resigns by Stephen Page

glass

Ally, aka Advisor, Resigns
by Stephen Page
.
You have exchanged the blue coat we gave you
For a red one; or is it just reversible?
.
Don’t snarl at me, you are not a lion,
You have the eyes of a glass serpent.
.
You taught me how to be a Godfather,
Not a father, or a leader.
.
You taught me how to destroy land,
Not build a ranch, or a reputation.
.
You think only in percentages,
Yours of course, not ours.
.
It’s no wonder you stink of cancer,
You are rotting from the inside out.
.
Don’t project yourself into me,
I am not your lost pocket mirror.
.
You shaped yourself through self-debasement,
But I will not lose my edification.
.
You will never spark cognitive dissonance,
For consensus on your chagrin.
.
You weighed the cows wrong, admit it,
Your florid three names will not save you now.
.
Trenchant are the ineligible, who wish
For nothing more than what they work for.
.
Your resignation was up for reprisal,
But only half-heartedly.
.
In the end you have saved me,
You have engendered my independence.
.
You are like a senator who asks a general
To win a war, then banishes him.
.
Empirically I have judged you
From the throne of my office.
.
Stop whispering in my ear,
I will not listen anymore.
.
I would like to name you Rasputin,
Except, you did not succeed.
.
Stephen Page phot with muse (1)
Stephen Page is the Author of The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, and A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. He holds two AA’s from Palomar College, a BA from Columbia University, and an MFA from Bennington College. He also attended Broward College. He is the recipient of The Jess Cloud Memorial Prize, a Writer-in-Residence from the Montana Artists Refuge, a Full Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center, an Imagination Grant from Cleveland State University, and an Arvon Foundation Ltd. Grant. He loves his wife, reading, travel, family, and friends.

https://smpages.wordpress.com

view original post on https://northofoxford.wordpress.com/2019/01/14/ally-aka-advisor-resigns-by-stephen-page/

North of Oxford

glass
.
Ally, aka Advisor Resigns
.
You have exchanged the blue coat we gave you
For a red one; or is it just reversible?
.
Don’t snarl at me, you are not a lion,
You have the eyes of a glass serpent.
.
You taught me how to be a Godfather,
Not to be a father, nor a leader.
.
You taught me how to destroy land,
Not build a ranch, or a reputation.
.
You think only in percentages,
Yours of course, not ours.
.
It’s no wonder you stink of cancer,
You are rotting from the inside out.
.
Don’t project yourself into me,
I am not your lost pocket mirror.
.
You shaped yourself through self-debasement,
But I will not lose my edification.
.
You will never spark cognitive dissonance,
For consensus on your chagrin.
.
You weighed the cows wrong, admit it,
Your florid three names…

View original post 187 more words

Diane Sahms-Guarnieri’s ‘Handheld Mirror’: Well-chosen words as emotional abstract art

This Philly-area poet uses words almost as abstract art, to tease out powerful emotions or make vivid very meaningful times and places. Someone should make a painting or a movie of some of her lines.
— Read on www.philly.com/arts/books/diane-sahms-guarnieri-handheld-mirror-mind-poetry-philadelphia-20190108.html

Read news of the author here:

Keep Walking | amyhenrybooks

The only journey is the one within.  (Rainer Maria Rilke) In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll state upfront that I have often—half jokingly, half seriously—referred to life as a minefield. Running, running down the days, the years, in pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness. All the while, one eye out for those pesky tripwires,…
— Read on amyhenrybooks.com/2017/11/08/keep-walking/

Publication!: “I’d Rather Lose My Head” appears in the first issue of the Magazine of History & Fiction

Kat Devitt

My last publication of 2018! “I’d Rather Lose My Head,” a story about Anne Boleyn at the start of King Henry VIII’s courtship, was published in the first issue of the Magazine of History & Fiction. 

The Magazine of History & Fiction is one of the few magazines dedicated to historical fiction. It describes itself as follows:  “The newest internet based magazine of both Historical  Fiction & Historical Nonfiction. H & F also publishes reviews of historical works.  H & F  was founded with the idea of publishing Historical Fiction & Historical Nonfiction in long-form.The maximum length of the pieces that we publish is 25,000 words.

Here’s the premise for “I’d Rather Lose My Head“:

In this historical reimagining, Anne Boleyn’s heart aches for what she’s destined to never possess–true love. Her fancy has been captured by the amorous attentions of a courtier named…

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