POEM: the sound of Irish poet Paul Muldoon saying “now”

the sound of Irish poet Paul Muldoon saying “now”

It comes out with a vowel sound
unknown in American English;
close to “nye” (as in Bill)
but with a bit of the “w” left in at the end.

To Muldoon it’s just the way he says “now.”
Still I get the feeling he’s sparing with it,
throwing it in like the last spice in a soup:
not overmuch, but without it something’s missing.

So I listen, waiting for that syllable like it was
one of Coltrane’s high notes. Paul does not disappoint.
He sprinkles in a “now” here and there; bright
dandelions not yet gone to seed in an autumn field.

/ / /

Jason Crane
14 January 2015
Oak Street

POEM: knots


My skin smells of grapeseed oil.
My left arm, a hardened mass.
Her sure hands glide along it;
she breathes in sharpquiet; notes
the tension in my right leg as
my body tries to find balance.
My right foot is turning inward.
Soon, perhaps, I’ll be walking in
circles like Marvin in the swamp.
Twelve hundred hours on a cushion,
following my breath: I’m still in knots.
Slowly untying, relaxing, loosening,
falling back into this newly shaped life.

/ / /

Jason Crane
14 January 2015
State College PA

Book Review: Ted Kooser’s The Poetry Home Repair Manual

Kooser’s book is aimed at the beginning poet, but anyone could pick up useful ideas about revision, metaphor and simile, and imagining an audience. Kooser’s writing is warm and often funny, and his advice is realistic and practical. This is not a book to read if you’re looking for a quick way to become a famous poet. But if you’re interested in putting in the necessary hours (and hours and hours and hours) needed to turn out respectable writing, Kooser can help you use your time more productively and enjoyably.