(snowdrift)

Got a package in the mail the other day and when I saw it was from Red Moon Press I got very excited because I knew it was the new Red Moon Anthology that I sent in my box tops check for a couple weeks ago. Fear of Dancing, it’s called. There’s a Cezanne painting of a guy with a pipe on the cover.

[It’s fascinating to me–side excursion, sorry–how the distinct styles of great artists makes their work easily identifiable. I’d never seen this painting before but I looked at it and said, “Oh, interesting, they put a Cezanne on the cover,” and I’m not even any kind of artist or art historian or student of art or art connoisseur, I’ve just been alive in the world for a few decades and paid a little, a very little, attention. What is it, this “style” thing? You can do the same thing with really great writers, of course–before the New Yorker put writer’s names at the beginning instead of the end of stories, I used to open the magazine and start reading a story and half a sentence into it, literally ten words, I’d know it was by Alice Munro and so I was going to greatly enjoy myself. There’s a rhythm, there’s a tone, there’s a voice. Somebody more scholarly than I am has probably broken this whole thing down and figured out how our brains recognize distinctive styles. I should probably think about it a little and not just wax rhapsodic about it. Note to self: Is the difference between great art and mediocre art the presence of an immediately recognizable style? Discuss.]

Back to the anthology. So I’ve been so lame and haven’t published anything in so long that I now get unreasonably excited to see my name in print. And I have three poems in this anthology, so that’s pretty cool. They’ve all been on the blog before so I’m not going to bother to regurgitate them here. There’s a lot of other cool stuff in the anthology that I’d rather talk about, including what might be my favorite haiku that was published last year:

nagasaki…
in her belly, the sound
of unopened mail
— Don Baird

Which half the time makes me want to stop writing immediately, and the other half makes me want to keep writing until I come up with something that awesome.

Also:

November night
he names the ones
who held him down
— Glenn G. Coats

azalea as afterthought as afterword
— Cherie Hunter Day

spring dawn
I put on
my gender
–David G. Lanoue

the zipper also had an unsuccessful marriage
–Lee Gurga

throbbing stars
the tilt
of my pelvis
–Eve Luckring

funeral morning
I join my son inside
his time machine
–John McManus

autumn equinox
a pill to keep me
more in the middle
–Chad Lee Robinson

twilight
tinkering
with the hinges
–Sabine Miller

winter closing in…
I visit the simplest words
in the dictionary
–Philip Rowland

first day of spring
I teach my son
how a knight moves
–Michael Dylan Welch

shucking corn
the noise I make
when no one’s home
–Jennifer Met

.

Thank you to all these poets — I feel better now.
.
.

snowdrift a story I should probably read again

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4 thoughts on “(snowdrift)

  1. In terms of style, one can think of music, too–a composer’s style often discernible to even an untrained ear. Very unhelpfully, I tell my literature students that Robert Frost described style as “the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.”

    • Interesting…I can’t tell composers’ styles apart at all, though it makes sense that people with a better ear than I would be able to. I like music, but basically I’m a completely visual person.

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