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Some Poetry.
Sam and Dean
farawayeyes4


Hey,

I have begun to read more and more as I approach the end of my novel writing for my first novel. I have been putting together a list of all the books I have read this year. The more I read, I hope, the better I will write and redraft my own work.

I added some poetry today. A book tumbled out of my closet (the one I must clean someday) and it happened to be Bill Holm's book of poetry and brief essays entitled Playing the Black Piano. Bill Holm was a professor of mine for my undergrad. Sadly, we lost him a couple years ago far too soon. Bill Holm was larger than life. He was of Icelandic stock, raised in the same southwestern corner of Minnesota that I hail from, and in certain circles of the literary world became a rural writing legend. He was boisterous, as loud as he was large (he was 6'5"), and was warm and passionate. As a child, as my parents went to the same college and took some of his classes, I always thought of him as Santa Claus come to life. He originally had brilliant red hair to match his fiery personality, but both his beard and hair went snow white by the time I truly have early memories of him. He taught in China during the late 80s, introducing the wonders of Western literature to eager to read and please Chinese students. His book Coming Home Crazy: An Alphabet of China Essays covers this period with honesty, warmth, and passion. All of Bill Holm's works can be purchased at Milkweed Press, a Minnesotan press.

This is a poem from his Playing the Black Piano, and I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

"Bird Poetry On Skagafjord."

Seabirds arrange themselves into a sentence on the water.
A crooked line of gulls of ducks
bob into the slow tide for breakfast.
Enough for everybody under here!

They are spelling something---a message
in white and gray, printed
on blue textured paper.
Much as I squint and mumble
to myself, it still won't come clear.

Every now and then, a letter or a whole
syllable takes off into the air,
rearranges itself in the dative case,
or maybe a plural. It seems
too certain to be subjunctive. The raven
punctuates the sentence.

This bird letter arrives
for me to admire,
but never understand.


Far Away Eyes


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