How To Be a Poet

March 3, 2012

How To Be a Poet

By Wendell Berry

(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your poems,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Source: Poetry (January 2001).

I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home

February 25, 2012

I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home”


Mac Wiseman with the Osborne Brothers. Song always reminds me of the late Johnny Vandiver and his band the Ewing Street Times.

Thomas Cochran

February 25, 2012

Meeting Notes


It is an honor to address you.
We are pleased that these programs,
so richly deserved, have been funded
in a year of so much adjustment and change.
When you talk about your vision
and your commitment, you must remodel.
It’s like your home: you are the last
to know when the color needs attention.
Think about your area and ask yourself,
“Is it like a museum down there?”
We must move beyond being afraid,
for the future is not where we are going;
rather, it is a place we are creating.
Ladies and gentlemen, let us begin.
from Mudlark Flash 65 (2012)

Known primarily as a fiction writer, Thomas Cochran is also a fine poet
and a dear friend. He read last night for the launch of the second issue of Toad Suck Review, 
the young heir to Exquisite Corpse. 
Other new poems can be found here and here and here. Oh, and here.

A spring and all

February 22, 2012

Hart Spring, it flows from the rock just down the hill, good stuff gushing forth. That’s what I’ll shoot for here as well: news stories, poems, bits of music, whatever.