What is the via negativa?

Beth knows.


In other news, qarrtsiluni inaugurates a new theme, “Lies and Hiding,” with a poem about the vagaries of history by Maria Benet, which seems to reflect her own history as an Romanian immigrant. I guess it’s O.K. with poetry to give away the ending:

You are packed:
the clothes of your new life
folded and stashed in your mind–and again you rehearse:
the border, customs, forms
to fill. Again you write:
nothing to declare,
nothing worth currency.

Dick Jones shares two wonderful poems based on his travels in the Ural Mountains between 1989 and 2000. “BIRDS ON THE CHUSOVAYA RIVER” begins:

High flat sun, sour light
draining like whey
through muslin cloud.
This bird’s geometry — square-winged,
turning on the axis
of its hunger, reorders
the sky. The berkut, summer eagle,
sideslips into the treeline.

SB compiles some recent good news for internet addicts and writers of poetry. I particularly liked this quote (from the Independent): “Poetry, it seems, is not the new rock’n’roll, but the new Prozac.” (Fortunately, the author of the article is considerably wiser than this may suggest, and comes down rather hard on the notion that the best thing about poetry is that it might be good for you.)

Finally, Tom Montag‘s Morning Drive Journal feature helps remind me what a real winter might be like. This is how it was in Fairwater, Wisconsin on February 1, 2000:

It’s a lovely winter morning. A cold nip to the wind, partly cloudy, the sun hidden, a greyness. No frost on the windshield of the pick-up. I can see my breath in the air. A stillness, as if winter holds its breath, then the branch of a bush moves and the spell is broken. Clouds are smears to the north and east and west, haze above. If we could cup the day in our hand like water, what would it look like?

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