Dog Poems by Cleopatra Mathis

Cleopatra Mathis’s marvelous Book of Dog (Sarabande Books, 2012) really is a book of dog poems. The book has three parts: “Canis” [wild dogs], concerns the painful end of a marriage; the second, most interesting title section, itself a series of numbered poems, explores animal and dog consciousness; and “Essential Tremor,” the third, refers to […]

Notes on a Week with the Frost Place

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Notes on My Week at the Frost Place, Franconia, New Hampshire, August through August 9, 2014. Here I am at the Frost Place near Franconia, New Hampshire deep into poetry with a few dozen other participants. A kind of low-key Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference with Patrick Donnelly as the organizer. Donnelly gave his talk last […]

Wordsworth’s Westminster Bridge ––Urban Beauty Then & Now

I recently reread Wordsworth’s “Lines Composed on Westminster Bridge,” written in 1802, and memorized the poem so I could share it with a friend on our walks along Pt. Isabel on the San Francisco Bay, with its clear view of other bridges–both the Gold Gate and the new, sparkling Bay Bridge across the water. Reciting […]

Two Poems from A.R.Ammons’ Brink Road

Two Poems from A.R. Ammons’ Brink Road “. . . as for writing, why, it’s like walking, you aren’t working but you aren’t doing nothing:” –A.R. Ammons (“Summer Place”) The poem “Play” is another of A.R. Ammons’ gems, this one from his book Brink Road (1996), which follows his more famous book Garbage, written in […]

Blog Tour

Thanks to Ann E. Michael for inviting me to go on the Blog Tour. I’ve enjoyed the poems in Ann’s book Water-Rites every since I picked up a copy at AWP in Boston in 2013. That’s also where Ann and I met and began our correspondence. So here is the magical mystery tour of my […]

Poetic Reveries on the Human Condition


My full review of Brock-Broido’s Stay, Illusion is now on Poetry Flash.  In her new book Stay, Illusion (Knopf, 2013), Brock-Broido’s gorgeous jottings, reveries on the human condition in the early 21st Century by a woman in mid-life––the poet seeks to find and offer to other solace in a heart-breaking world. Living as she does […]