Category Archives: Anthology

My collected writings and those of family members.

What Makes a Poem ‘Hard’?

“Syntax” is the answer to the fudgy question. It’s hard to reach image and reference through muddy syntax. In narrative and exposition, context comes to the rescue; in poetry often not, because a poet revels in flare-gunning lap dance moon … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bayou Bull: Breaking Water News

Texas City. The American Hydrological Sodality’s southeast chapter is circulating a white paper, “Petulant Sociopathy Limitations for Drainage Management in Elevated Swamp-Tick Infestation Ecologies,” for peer review pending September publication in the journal Waterworks. The paper’s authors, Thom Smythe and … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Conservative with Elite Style

But there was one small difficulty: This hawk was no Truman or Reagan, but rather a reality-television mountebank whose real attitude toward China policy was, basically, whatever gets me re-elected works. Who has heard recently, or ever, the word “mountebank”? … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology, Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do Poets Ampersand?

The poem is “Sacrament I” by Robin Gow (Poetry, March 2020). Excerpt, first stanza: & all the faucets pour oil or milk.We fill father’s bottles, the brown and green;thick glass blood cells, a throat-slit pouring silk.When will the baptisms make … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navy Blue: A Nurse’s Medallion

(c) 2020 JMN

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does a Poem Teach? Fluidity

Excerpts are from the poem “A Future History” by Suzi L. Garcia (Poetry, March 2020). A muster of peacocks show off their tails, but instead of feathers, knives. This line introduces me to “muster,” a collective noun applied to peacocks. … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Translated Poem: ‘In the March’

In the MarchRené Char (1907 — 1988)(Translated from the French by JMN) These incessant and phosphorescent streaks of death upon self that we read in the eyes of those who love us, without wanting to conceal them from them. Must … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What Does a Poem “Say”?

The poem is “A Future History” by Suzi L. Garcia (Poetry, March 2020). It’s a short prose poem. For my own purposes I want to paraphrase it to suggest what I think it’s “about.” I’m not at all sure this … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Manifestoid 2 of 2

Black lives matter. I’m a lay reader of Poetry, the magazine founded in 1912 by Harriet Monroe. I’m reading backward through my current 102 issues. “I — the telltale animal — rest my throat / against the snare of you, … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology, Commentary, Quotations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

They Says It

the tru-est words they says is that there are no per se true words for it for ev-‘ry thing has a no-thing if a sin-gle per-son ut-ter it they is the ip-so fac-to ut-ter-er of it if a sin-gle per-son … Continue reading

Posted in Anthology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment