The Blue Pitcher

that which may be filled and emptied

Month: April, 2014


(here was a poem in which I again told the joke about the chicken. yes that one.)


and birds

The Poet in Spain


Le Poète, Céret

after Pablo Picasso


Before you left for Spain, she told me

she was taking you to brunch, that she

would sit you down and give you a good talking to,

that you can’t do an intervention, per se,

when someone’s leaving for Spain,

but you can try to do something and that something

that morning was going to involve eggs

and it was going to involve Bloody’s,

and if not Bloody’s then bourbon,

and definitely some sausage

and probably some bacon too,

and when I asked if it was the drinking she shrugged

and said she didn’t want you to kill yourself

which seems a perfectly fine thing for a wife to say,

which, especially on the last cold Sunday of winter,

seems a perfectly fine thing for a wife to say,

which, especially on the last cold Sunday of winter

while a daughter naps in her makeshift crib

and the sun does that slanty thing

that it can only really do on the last cold Sunday

in a month of cold Sundays, really cold Sundays,

and the slanty light falls on your wife’s face

seems a perfectly fine thing for a wife to say,

and I thought of you on the edge of the earth

which is where I often think of you,

and I thought of your spare Spanish

and your laugh and how you smoke like a boy,

and I thought that yes, one day you will be dead,

and thinking it hurt me, it cut me up in pieces,

but Spain won’t do it to you, I told myself,

and I’m still telling myself, as I imagine you

wandering through the warm night air: someone

has just played you a birthday song on the guitar,

and you are going to go back to your room,

call your wife, write a poem, crawl in bed,

but first—for now—on this little cobbled street,

you are dancing to the song that drifted

from the guitar, a song that will return to you,

over and over, persistently, magically,

unexpectedly, for the rest of your pretty, pretty days.

Stolen Things

Here was a One Act Play with a Lamp in Place of the Sun


Blog Tour

Welcome on board the Blog Tour. Thanks to Iris Jamahl Dunkle, my dear old friend from graduate school and a wonderful poet from Sepastopol, California, for inviting me to participate! Iris’s post is here. You can work your way from Iris’s blog backwards to the tour segments of other writers. Or hang on for where the tour goes next . . .

And that is to the blogs of Zoe White and Carley Moore. Zoe is from Brooklyn too, but Carley moved across the river to Manhattan (which I hear is also nice). You can read more about them below.

All writers on the Blog Tour answer four questions. Here’s my go at them:

What am I working on?

I’m in the midst of a series of prose poems with the poet Zoe White. I’m giving her “assignments,” and she’s writing “essays.” The back and forth is fascinating: it makes me more deeply aware of teacher/student power dynamics, and it’s just so dang fun. Really–it seems we’re trying to cover everything in the world, so we might just go on forever. I’m also working on a new book of poems which concerns itself with, among other things, the intersection between the real and virtual. Read more about that: here.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know. I guess just in that it comes from me, from the crazy, kind of funny, a little weird deepest part of my heart and brain.

Why do I write what I do?

Because I can. Because I must. Because no one else ever will. Because I’m scared of what will happen if I don’t. Because of my mother and my girls and my peculiar relationship with roads and the flowers that keep insisting on blooming and the soup and the windows and a message I got on Facebook and the rain and Wikipedia and the grammar-love my father instilled in me. Because he is probably disappointed that this is not a complete sentence. Because I am trying to be more complete.

How does your writing process work?

Lately, I’ve taken to speaking lines to Siri in my iPhone, but then they get all wonky, which is fun in itself. (i.e., she probably would have turned that last sentence into a donkey!) For deadlines, I have a group of poets I write with weekly; I love them. More often than not, I carry a few lines in my head (or in Siri’s head) for several days. I roll those lines around and around, and then when my youngest daughter naps, or I happen to wake up while the house is still quiet, or my students stand me up for a conference, I just explode on the page.

Next on the tour:

Zoë Ryder Whitephoto writes poems and edits books for educators about the craft of teaching. Her poems have appeared in Threepenny Review, Subtropics, Crab Creek Review and Painted Bride Quarterly. She is the author of a book for teachers about using poetry to teach reading, Playing with Poems: Word Study Lessons for Shared Reading, and she is a co-author of One to One: the Art of Conferring with Young Writers. You can find her at and on Twitter @ZoeRyderWhite.

Carley Moore Author Photo 2013 is a poet, novelist, and essayist.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The American Poetry Review, Brainchild, Brooklyn Rail, Fence, The Journal of Popular Culture, Linebreak, and Painted Bride Quarterly. Farrar, Straus, and Giroux published her debut young adult novel, The Stalker Chronicles in 2012. She’s a full-time faculty member in The Liberal Studies Program at New York University and an Associate for Bard College’s Institute for Writing and Thinking. She lives with her daughter in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: carleymoore2 and find her blogging at: