Thank you Loch Raven Review for publishing “Beginner’s Tale” in your Spring 2021 issue. Sort of strange to write a poem now and then over, I think, two decades; and then see where it arrived – to a beginning of sorts. “Beginner’s Tale” (Linked here).
Thank you Voices de la Luna for publishing “The Search” in your February 2021 issue – a journal based in South Texas. Linked here.
In February and March, I am rereading Walt Whitman’s 1855 first version of his Leaves of Grass, and of course finding new delights. I still have the Penguin Classics paperback edition, from my college days. Editor Malcolm Cowley of this edition remains right: Whitman’s first versions of his poems are freshest, brightest, and most invigorating.
Whitman, famously of the capacious self, strikes me as even more capacious this time around: literally peopled, transparent, yet returning again and again to himself, until of course, he leaves in lazy jags at the end of one of his poems.
Yesterday, I was struck this time around by this line from the “I am a teacher of athletes” section (No. 47):
“I do not say these things for a dollar, or to fill up the time while I wait for a boat.”
I enjoy the humor of it, and also its plain-speaking seriousness.
This last time I dived into the complete 1855 “Song of Myself” was on July 4, 2019, with a cousin of a friend – we took turns and read it out loud – as part of our casual, impromptu, and sun-baked and lazy July 4th celebration day in Hazelton, PA.
I still have the sleepers and some other episodes to finish up, and this won’t be the last time I revisit this epic.
Thank you Visitant Lit (West Coast, USA) for publishing “Pandora’s Moon,” with such an illuminated, scenic presentation. I appreciate!
Thank you Visitant Lit (West Coast, USA) for publishing “Flight,” a poem that I worked on for about 15 years, and in such a stylish presentation too!
Thank you or publishing “Janet’s Fire Escape” and “Dad’s Harvest Song” in your 2021 journal, from Saginaw Valley State University.
Thank you so much to JMWW Journal (USA) for publishing this long incubated poem!
Thank you so much to Visitant Lit (West Coast, USA) for publishing “Impossible Sunrise.”
These stay-at-home days offer lagoons of time to hang out together and to reflect. Music has been a big part of many people’s home-based, pandemic days.
Grooves connect us. The classical radio station, for some, may soothe. Listening to the radio can enlarge. For me, many mornings begin again with jazz favorites, like Cookin’ by Miles Davis, Whisper Not by Keith Jarrett, and of course, Coltrane’s Love Supreme, which opens with a trumpet waking up.
What music means: Imagine a flower with a million petals. Each petal is someone’s taste, boogie-down, dreamy escape, vibe.
In 2018— was it really three years ago! — rock singer Dolores O’Riordan of The Cranberries died from unknown causes. She’d not been well, it appears. For me, she was an iconic and brave singer, fierce with honesty.
Simultaneous Revolutions is a forthcoming poetry pamphlet from PM Press, by myself and Marcus Colasurdo, set for 2021. This sequence dances with music as a recurrent subject and theme. It has a poem dedicated to Dolores O’Riordan, which celebrates her music and its power. I share:
ODE TO DOLORES
Can a woman loosen what’s hoped
so our hearts jam out in the open?
Can she sing past what’s spoken
in the humdrum until
so our best intent’s
again in motion
like Dolores O’Riordan
of The Cranberries,
and how she shared
her emotions, a pugnacious Aphrodite
from some island hamlet
onto the world stage
until fate reclaimed its minute.
Yes, an emerald dazzler
who strutted and solo’d
to where conscience dares
and took us with her
so our pulses merged
into mirrors and made
a second family.
G. H. Mosson and Marcus Colasurdo are the authors of Heart X-rays (PM Press 2018) and of several books in their individual names. Their next collaboration of lyric poems is forthcoming from PM Press in 2021, Simultaneous Revolutions. For more, click here.
We live in strange times, with much happening all at once, and also everything loud and quiet. One of those happenings has been an attack on the U.S. postal service, including by the U.S. President, by an attack of doubt, by recent bad policy, and lack of funding.
Of course, this occurs in the middle of an election. The Presidency, Congress, some U.S. Senate seats, many state and local offices, and ballot measures, all are scheduled for decision on Nov. 3, 2020. Of course, many will wish to vote by mail during this virus pandemic.
About the Post Office:
The U.S. Post Office dates back to the postal carriers, the pony express, founded by the famous Benjamin Franklin during the America revolution to ensure the sanctity of the mail against royal snooping.
Our Life and the Mail:
I am the author of Heart X-rays, with Marcus Colasurdo, published by PM Press as their 16th pamphlet in 2018. How long ago, it feels. Heart X-rays has an epic scope and tackles various issues in America, in technology, and in song. Some of this we wrote by mail, exchanging drafts and ideas and waiting for the juice that comes with waiting.
I hope we are not dating ourselves before cellphones and iPhones by stating that both of us just enjoy the mail, beyond its obvious usefulness. Or maybe, I hope we are dating ourselves! We should not forget the importance of a public postal service, for many reasons.
A Poem for the Post Office:
Marcus and I have written another book. Exchange by mail also helped. Our forthcoming poems, in Simultaneous Revolutions (PM Press 2021), has a poem celebrating the mail, and the living that happens around it.
In these pandemic times, and in support of our postal workers and public postal service, Enjoy.
ODE TO A MAILBOX
Mini-behemoth of promised motion,
short, squat, rounded at the top,
stationary caboose car
stamped onto the sidewalk
under a tall oak tree
of my neighborhood;
mute receiver of envelopes,
bills come due, womb
of congratulations, penciled
complaints, condolence cards,
halfway house for urgent epistles
on exodus from nearby addresses,
endangered species some would say,
or just a nostalgic warrior out-
numbered by the electronic horde.
Keeper of secrets, lips zipped tight,
painted blue and white, stumpy beacon
above the snowfall, perhaps
the futurists are right about you, yet
the mailbox still anchors
how I live, as much
as any azalea bush,
speed bump or stop sign,
or children’s hopscotch.
Ah mailbox, I will continue
to visit you regardless of the cynics
and their haste, and arrow
my evening stroll your way
for whatever else is said
in capitals of state
and salons of silver,
we’ve known each other
for these long seasons
and not once
have you betrayed me.
G. H. Mosson and Marcus Colasurdo are the authors of Heart X-rays (PM Press 2018) and of several books in their individual names. Their next collaboration of lyric poems is forthcoming from PM Press in 2021, Simultaneous Revolutions. Mr. Mosson’s Web site is at www.ghmosson.com.