Inland Poetry Prowl

It’s getting closer!

I am delighted to be sharing a reading venue with poets Meredith Clark and Lynne Ellis for this event. We will be reading on Saturday, April 6th from 5:00 – 5:45 PM, at Dick and Jane’s Spot in downtown Ellensburg, Washington.

If you are interested in hearing poems about the passage of time, impermanence and memory, come on down and say hi. I’d love to see you.

Yours in poetry,

Carey

Rupture, Light

After moving to Portland last summer, I was introduced to Portland poet Melissa Reeser Poulin through another fine Portland poet, Kristin Berger.  

We all read together in January at Mother Foucault’s Bookshop where I had the opportunity to hear Melissa read from her new chapbook-RUPTURE, LIGHT.  

RUPTURE, LIGHT is a book filled with poems that speak both to the personal and universal.  The poems in this collection take us on a journey through the worlds of pregnancy, children, and marriage, and with this poet’s keen eye, helps us see both the transitory nature of the domestic scenes and their continued ability for rebirth: It turns out life is a will/an overfed bulb/that can be forced to bloom again/and again. 

Hope is never forsaken in these poems, but as a keen observer the poet lets us know that all we love is leaving us: In the graveyard,/the snow softens the stones/while we walk, idle talk about how/we’ll be buried//You want to live forever/in the canyon we love,/your skin and bone/become sugar pine/and chaparral.  

Reeser is a poet who tells us head on: there is one grief/inside of everything.  And in the end, this ability to not shy away, is the very thing that allows the love of all she holds dear, to be gathered close with exquisite care, where there is nothing left to do but take it/tender in my hands,/try to soothe/its hunger.

I highly recommend you put RUPTURE, LIGHT on your poetry reading list and if you are in Portland catch Melissa reading at Cardinal Club on March 29th/5:30-6:30 PM.


Yours in poetry,

Carey

Jackhammer Days

The Soul Has Seasons
By Bethany Reid
Like blackberry brambles the soul has seasons
when its leaves grow scarce.
Even then, a smallish body will find shelter there,
deer mouse chittering, or the tiny wren, piping its song.
For what, if not that singing, does the soul dare
a new season’s greening?

 

Hello friends.  It has been awhile since I posted here and I’ve missed my days of scheduled writing and updates.  But truth be told, I have been taking care of myself in what has been a period of jackhammer days, both literally and figuratively.

As many of you know, I moved back to Portland last summer and in an either brilliant or insane move purchased a 1947 home which was in need of some major renovations.  Today this blog is being written from my new office.  Outside my office window my contractor is jackhammering away the basement foundation in order to install an egress window.  It is noisy.  It is dirty.  I am hoping the house does not collapse and the new earthquake retrofit holds.  In the meantime, I am visualizing a beautiful finished basement that is light-filled and has a second bathroom.

Also during this time, a family member died, another family member had colon-cancer surgery, and an adult child moved back home.   I had something die in the chimney and for a week flies flew out of the fireplace like bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

And while I haven’t been writing much, I did travel to Iceland and Ireland, have been invited to poetry readings to read from my new book, and I organized a poetry event in the small town where I graduated from high school and invited Finnish poet Gary Anderson to come read with me.

 

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Last week I hiked seven miles up the Salmon River trail on the southwestern flank of Mt. Hood with old friends, and I’ve been reading and cooking more than usual—all things that anchor me during this fallow writing port-of-call.

So while my world is being disassembled and reconstructed I have complete faith the one thing that will remain intact (even if it is silent for now) is my poetry, because I can feel the seeds beginning to germinate, and a gentle push of green carrying a word or a line up through the dark with a story to tell.

But for now I am reading the poetry of Bethany Reid, who is a poet friend from Edmonds, Washington.  Her new collection Body My House (Goldfish Press Seattle) is a collection that as author Priscilla Long so aptly conveys: are poems to read and reread, and to savor.  I recommend you check her out.

My next gig is in Portland at “Another Read Through” on November 29th— a lovely neighborhood book store in North Portland.  I will be reading with two of my favorite poets Christianne Balk and Kristin Berger, and we would love to have you come down and hear us read.

 

Yours in poetry,

Carey

9 to 5

As I have mentioned before, my new book of poetry The Lure of Impermanence came out in July.  I included in this collection a poem called 9 to 5.    I wrote this poem when the #MeToo movement had just begun its groundswell.

Today, Bill Cosby was sentenced to 3 to 10 years in jail for sexual assault and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is currently being scrutinized for a number of behaviors with women that are at best disturbing.  And these are just a few of so, so many more stories just like them.

I have lost confidence in the ability of the news to report in any unbiased manner and therefore I am more often than not left to my own judgment and experience by which to consider stories reported in the media.

And what my experience considers is that I personally know girls and women who have been abused by boyfriends, family members and spouses.

What I do know is that I was carried to a bedroom by a man who was much older than me when I was barely of legal age and stoned on marijuana.  A man who held a position of respect in the community.

What I do know is I am shaking as I write that last sentence because I recall that night as vividly as if it were today.  Only it wasn’t today.  It was 45 years ago.

What I do know is that I told no one.  What I do know is that I was ashamed.

What I do know is that I am someone’s mother, wife, daughter and friend and none of them knew.  What I do know is I am not sure I want them to know now.

What I do know is that all women deserve the simple right to be respected and have control of what happens to her body and if I could ask anything of you it would be to consider the women you love.  Consider their experience.  Because it is possible that the people who love her most, don’t know the dark places she has been afraid to shed the light on.  Because to do so is to expose herself to being rejected, silenced, not believed or worst yet blamed.

And until history proves it unnecessary, may we all slash, slash, slash, this roughshod blazing path.

 

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Yours in poetry,

Carey

 

Waiting…

Today I am sitting in my back yard at a picnic table writing this blog.  I am looking at the back of my new/old house that was built in 1947 and was advertised as a Cape Cod when we purchased it a month ago.   The clatter from the windows is grating as I watch a man push and pull a large industrial sander over the old oak floors in a desperate attempt to salvage them.  He has told me he can make them beautiful and for a small fortune, I have decided to believe him.

I have been counting down the days this project would begin because once it is finished, I can sleep in a real bed and unplug the blow up one I have been sleeping on for three months.  Once the floors are done, I can sit on a sofa and not a fold-up outdoor bistro chair.  Once the floors are done, I can set up a “real” office and get back to my writing schedule, submit poems, and pay bills, at my neatly organized desk and not at a picnic table with a tote bag for a file cabinet.  Once the floors are done, I can have people over for dinner inside the house and I can binge watch Netflix.

But in the meantime, I wait and look up at the large Italian Plum tree in front of me with its purple-blue-skinned fruit hanging thick on old branches.   I listen to the Scrub Jay in the spent lilac, the sound of a distant lawn mower, the words in Romanian I do not understand coming from the back bedroom, the whine of a small Fed-Ex plane overhead, the neighbor next door watering his potted plants.

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And I wait.  For the house to be a bit closer to finished, for my new book of poems, The Lure of Impermanence (Cirque Press) to have its final edit and to not forget a line from a poem in my new book—

Sometimes it’s important to stop—

to imagine a brush filled with Prussian blue
its earthy taste on your tongue
to see a night more richly colored than day

to find
like Vincent
a jewel in the darkness.

Or in my case, a jewel in the waiting.  

 

Yours in poetry,

Carey

Dodging The Rain

I was thrilled to be notified by email a week ago, that five of my poems were selected for publication in Galway, Ireland with a new Blogazine on WordPress called Dodging The Rain.  These poems will be appearing on October 1st, so I will post again once they are visible.

This creative blogazine was started by three graduates of the National University of Ireland-Galway’s Masters in Writing Programme, and one graduate of Uversity, the NUI recognized Creative Process Masters of the Arts.

It is a visually beautiful blogazine, that is welcoming to emerging writers and artists and I would highly recommend my poet and artist friends check it out.

I have never been to Galway, but I have looked across Galway Bay from the Flaggy Shore.   I miss you Ireland, and hope to return soon— in the meantime I am honored to be included in this wonderful new creative adventure.

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Carey Taylor Photography – West Ireland/County Clare

 

Yours in poetry,

Carey