All night the sound had
come back again,
and again falls
this quiet, persistent rain.
What am I to myself
that must be remembered,
so often? Is it
that never the ease,
even the hardness,
of rain falling
will have for me
something other than this,
something not so insistent—
am I to be locked in this
Love, if you love me,
lie next to me.
Be for me, like rain,
the getting out
of the tiredness, the fatuousness, the semi-
lust of intentional indifference.
with a decent happiness.
It’s been a minute since I’ve been in this space, hi.
Trying to reconnect, which must be something that I have tried to do before since I have a several year old playlist (meant to be listened to on shuffle) with the same name that I keep revisiting.
I forgot to mention that back in May Metatron Press published some of my poems in their MicroMeta series on Instagram. You can read them here.
Also, my partner and I appear on episode three of the Fence 36 podcast. Me reading the poem that Fence published and a song from my partner’s record Lookout Road. The little chat at the end was recorded during what we now know were the early, early days of the coronavirus (day 28?!). What a time to be alive.
And finally, this:
BY URSULA K. LE GUIN
Years do odd things to identity.
What does it mean to say
I am that child in the photograph
at Kishamish in 1935?
Might as well say I am the shadow
of a leaf of the acacia tree
felled seventy years ago
moving on the page the child reads.
Might as well say I am the words she read
or the words I wrote in other years,
flicker of shade and sunlight
as the wind moves through the leaves.
So, I’m doing a new thing.
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I also have a poem in the new issue of Fence. It feels nice to have something to feel excited about right now.
It’s a real weird time right now. Are you doing okay?
I’m reading War and Peace with a virtual book club via A Public Space to help give some structure to what is increasingly becoming formless time and read this tonight which feels resonant to me right now:
Book 2 Part XVI
One is afraid of the unknown, that’s what it is.
Whatever we may say about the soul going to the sky…
we know there is no sky but only an atmosphere.
Happy to have participated in this online exhibition of Briget Heidmous’s minimalist photographs for GEORGIA gallery in Denver, run by poet and friend Sommer Browning.
Participants were mailed a postcard of one of Heidmous’s photographs and asked to install it in an environment of their choosing. You can see all the installation photographs here.
Can you guess which one is mine? It’s one of the six pictured above.
To quote again from The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on despair, “the pusillanimous person has not so much relinquished trust in God, as he is unduly terrified at the spectacle of his own shortcomings or incapacity.”
I am sometimes unduly terrified by my shortcomings, and I do not trust God. But at my worst, for now, I remember that the one thing that I still control is whether or not I give in. And I go on.
From How to Write an Autobiographical Novel by Alexander Chee.
The workshop that I taught at Wendy’s in the fall will be doing a reading at Wendy’s Subway on Friday, January 18 at 7pm.
I really don’t know how to rely how great this workshop ended up being. It was just the right mix of participants, all of them thoughtful and generous in their work-shopping approach and all of them great writers working on interesting projects. If only I could teach a workshop like this all the time! Come hear what they’ve been working on!
Also, as a little bonus for me, I’m going to be reading some new work too. Would love to see you.
I have two poems in the newest issue of The Tiny. You can read them here.
Thanks to Gina Myers and Gabriella Torres for including them.
In November I will be teaching a four-week writing workshop at Wendy’s Subway. Full description of the workshop is below. I am really excited to teach this workshop. Maybe you want to sign up?
The Heart of the Matter: A Workshop for Writings in Progress
Led by Jackie Clark
Dates: Sundays November 4, 11, 18, and December 2
Capacity: 12 participants
Cost: $100-200 total (sliding scale, $25-50/session)
Part of the challenge that a poet faces is the need to distill their work down to the essence of whatever feeling or experience they are trying to capture/convey—what Graham Greene calls “the heart of the matter,”—while at the same time seeking to gain a fuller understanding of what is going on in their writing that they might not yet be fully aware of. Often, turning to reading that one feels a kinship to and discussing it with others can help generate new entries into one’s own work, bringing its gestures and objectives into clearer focus.
This four-week poetry workshop invites participants to share a specific work-in-progress of no more than 10 pages (chapbook excerpt, long poem, manuscript…), which could benefit from dialogue with others. We will think about how to construct this dialogue in studying writing we feel our own works have particularly affinity to, and developing vocabularies to discuss these kindred approaches and aesthetics together.
During our first meeting, participants will bring and share a piece of writing (of no more than 2 pages) by a writer other than themselves, whose work seems to exhibit the “heart” or aesthetics of what they are looking to achieve in their own writing. Together we will determine a vocabulary for what we value in that writing and discuss how we try to exhibit those values and make use of those strategies in our own work. We will then use this collaboratively generated vocabulary as a resource for understanding and talking about each other’s’ writing. The second and third sessions will be dedicated to workshopping each participants’ work, while the fourth will serve as a platform to share our newly edited drafts together during a group reading.
“If one knew, he wondered, the facts, would one have to feel pity even for the planets? If one reached what they called the heart of the matter?”
Jackie Clark is the author of Aphoria (Brooklyn Arts Press) and the chapbooks Office Work(Greying Ghost), I Live Here Now (Lame House Press), and Sympathetic Nervous System (Bloof Books). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Brooklyn Rail, The Tiny, and the anthology Ritual and Capital co-published by Wendy’s Subway and Bard Graduate Center. A new chapbook, Depression Parts, is forthcoming from dancing girl press. She works at Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts at The New School and teaches writing in New Jersey. She can be found online at nohelpforthat.com