My latest poem in the Journal of Radical Wonder is "The Girl Concentrates," a new piece from my manuscript in progress. Three other pieces from the manuscript -- "The Birdwoman Stirs by da Vinci's House," "Openings," and "The Pioneers" -- appeared recently on the site as well. Thanks, as always, to the editors for their support.
As I noted in a recent blog, I have less to say about new poems than I do about old ones; in the grand tradition of Andy Warhol, I prefer to keep quiet and let the art speak for itself. So I will use the rest of this entry to point out some other fine pieces that appeared in Radical Wonder this week:
1. Jane O'Shields' "The Obsidian Mare" is a rhyming poem that uses color strikingly -- the words "black" and "obsidian" feature prominently throughout, and the poet uses them to create an image not of darkness but actually of light. Obsidian black was the light she shone ... the bare-backed, shining, obsidian mare ... blackness creates its own glow, just as whiteness can create its own shadow, I suppose. At the end of the poem, we have a blackbird as well, "carrying twigs, with brittle tips flaming." There is definitely a yin and yang at work in this poem.
2. John Yamrus' essay "ten" is another spontaneous, insightful piece by a writer who often eschews capitals and composes in a style that hearkens back to the days when authors hammered their work on typewriters: rough, unpolished, but permanently etched on the page. Truman Capote famously sniped about John Kerouac's work, "This isn't writing, it's typing," but typing is merely its own form of writing. In "ten" (yes, the title is lowercase too), Yamrus muses about his "haphazard" approach to writing poetry and the difference between wanting to be a writer and doing the actual work of it. In Yamrus' bio at the bottom, he notes that a book of his selected poems was just released in Albania. That's some indication of having done the work.
3. Lastly, John Brantingham, the co-editor of the magazine, announced the other day that he'll begin posting a series of video prompts that encourage writers to rediscover a sense of joy and wonder. John wrote "The Green of Sunset," one of my favorite poems about joy and wonder, so I would imagine that he'll have some keen insights for us. You can see his introductory video here and the first prompt here.
This is the blog of Michael Miller, a longtime journalist, poet, publisher and teacher. Check here for musings, observations, commentary and assorted bits of gratitude.