The Purpose

The purpose of poetry is to remind us how difficult it is to remain just one person, for our house is open, there are no keys in the doors, and invisible guests come in and out at will. —Milosz, from “Ars Poetica”

Tornado in East Los Angeles (Black Roses)

I haven’t mentioned my job on this blog so I thought I’d do that today. I work for Writers in the Schools (WITS). We teach creative writing to children. Most of them are the so-called inner city kids. Many of these kids live in poverty, but they have a gift for telling their own stories.Continue reading “Tornado in East Los Angeles (Black Roses)”


Selah, a book of poems by Joshua Corey, reverberates in your ears like bellsong. The biblical title refers to Corey’s lyrical use of silence within these contemporary psalms. We hear the knell of these words and learn or are reminded about how the depths of loss can take us spiraling. The arc of the bookContinue reading “Selah”

Source Code 3

Okay, this is the easiest one so far. The eleven words in Open 3 come from the Emily Dickinson poem that begins, I started Early– Took my Dog– And visited the Sea– Several of you recognized the source. It’s the poem (Johnson edition #520) with the famous phrase, “The Mermaids in the Basement” in it.

Open 4

See if anything comes of these eleven words. And let us know. Here’s the list: pizza, side street, rain, eyeballs, Ezra Pound, crowded, killed, slightly, radio, tiny, and circus. That’s your mission, if you choose to accept it. And have a happy new year!