Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving and Poetry

It's Thanksgiving.

Which means I've been cooking for two days.

And when I make the stuffed mushrooms and stuffed artichokes I think of my grandmother. She would stand over the very same iron skillet I used just yesterday, browning the breadcrumbs  and cheese in the olive oil-- dragging the spatula through the mixture in slow deliberate movements like a peaceful mediation.  Somehow I am eight again, peering over the stove--hungry for dinner to begin--waiting for her to finish my favorite dish so I can eat whatever leftover crumbs may spill from her wood spoon onto a plate.  And today, when I chop the onions, celery and apples for the stuffing, I remember my Uncle Link and his magnificent recipe. With each swipe of the blade I think back to that Thanksgiving  in New York when he made the biggest turkey I had ever seen...bringing it to my mother's house, bacon strips dripping off the top of the bird while the winds of a very cold Thanksgiving rattled the checkered curtains of my mother's basement kitchen. He was careful negotiating the cement steps, carrying the large bird as if it were some kind prayer he would be offering up for all us. And today when I put out the good china and crystal, I can hear my mother's laughter as she set our family table--how many times?--enough so that all the memories of all those meals feels like just one shining moment in my young life. And this morning when I finished the turkey with butter, I think of my Aunt Faye--who at 92 is still very lovely--who taught me how to prepare a meal on that Thanksgiving, so long ago, when we didn't have much but that one bird  and some butter we managed to buy.  We did have each other in that hard time. And, I like to believe, we did have the knowledge that we all-- somehow --will find our way into this very future--the one in  which I write this small note and send it out into the world as a blessing. From all of us to all of you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"The Short List of Certainties"---Bellingham Review

I'm pleased to announce that my poem, "The Short List of Certainties," is published by the Bellingham Review on the journal's first online issue. Click on the link below to read the poem.
About the Bellingham Review:
From New

Publisher’s Description: At home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the Bellingham Review is published annually in affiliation with the English Department and the Creative Writing Program at Western Washington University. Established in 1977, the Bellingham Review has earned an excellent reputation in the literary world for publishing poems, stories, essays, and photographs which display both depth of content and nudge the limits of form or execute traditional forms exquisitely.

We receive submissions from all over the world and we print the previously unpublished works of established and emerging writers. Our contributors often go on to publish their own books and collections. Their work has recently appeared in Harper’s, Utne Reader, and Pushcart Prize Anthology.