Sunday, June 21, 2015

Innocent Poetry

There I was, one morning trying to find the perfect poem to get my students to understand what I meant when I said that their poems were innocent and that they didn't need to mash them into pulp with all of their learned judgments. And then I found this amazing piece by Linda Hogan:


There is nothing more innocent
than the still-unformed creature I find beneath soil,
neither of us knowing what it will become
in the abundance of the planet.
It makes a living only by remaining still
in its niche.
One day it may struggle out of its tender
pearl of blind skin
with a wing or with vision
leaving behind the transparent.

I cover it again, keep laboring,
hands in earth, myself a singular body.
Watching things grow,
wondering how
a cut blade of grass knows
how to turn sharp again at the end.

This same growing must be myself,
not aware yet of what I will become
in my own fullness
inside this simple flesh.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Innocence and Revision: The Life of Aaron Rushing

I've been thinking a lot lately about a student of mine, Aaron Rushing, who was a talented writer and guitarist killed in May of last year. The anniversary of his death passed just a bit ago and I wrote something for Gawker. You should check it out. The Chicago Tribune Jazz critic Howard Reich put together a really powerful piece about his life. Below is a video that accompanied the Tribune piece.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Open up the door

Give me schools
and give me better books, 
so I can read
about myself
and gain my true looks