Happy Mother’s Day. This past week, the weather in Chicago has been extreme. Monday night we wore gloves. Thursday was in the 90s. The spring plants are late; some tulips just now blooming. The flowering trees are coming into their own.
So far today’s weather in Chicago is near perfect. I don’t know if it’s the barometric pressure or allergies but I’ve had a persistent dull headache; so there, that’s one reason I haven’t been keeping up with timely posts. But the main reason is my procrastination.
Speaking of headaches, have you seen the most recent Poetry? If you have, then you’ll probably guess I’m referring to Caroline Bergvall’s 11-page poem from “Drift.” I was first alerted to it by FB friend Daniel Cleary. When my copy of Poetry came in the mail, I sought out the poem. but I can’t tell you what it’s about because I didn’t read it.
I haven’t read the whole issue yet, but I did find much to admire in the poems (“For a Traveler” and “On the Bus Someday”) by Jessica Greenbaum. I wished I had written this description from “For a Traveler:” “and I remember the garlic, each clove from its airmail / envelope brought to the cutting board, . . . .” I was in the narrator’s head in “On the Bus Someday,” her poem on lost friends: “the ones who left / through the hole of an argument decades ago, . . .”
Also in this issue is a review of The Complete Poems of James Dickey (“Reputation is a Funny Thing”) by Michael Robbins, and I was struck by his phrase describing poetry: “All stark soul and overreach.”
While I’m talking about recent publications, please note that Patty Somlo has a story (“The Applicant”) in WORK Literary Magazine.
I have a poem (“Antic”) in Stymie.
Mother’s Day makes me think of my own mother and my mother-in-law and my sons. But I also think about Ann O’Fallon and Margaret Vaillancourt the editors behind Kiss Me Goodnight, the book of writing by women who were girls when their mothers died. This year Margaret is particularly on my mind as she passed away seven months ago. Though I’ve met her daughter Chelsea, I don’t know her that well, but I can tell from our contact on FB that she still feels the fresh ache of loss. My heart goes out to her.
HBO is airing a documentary The (Dead Mothers) Club, featuring celebrity women who grew up without a mother. Two of the celebrities are Jane Fonda and Rosie O’Donnell. Kiss Me Goodnight was published in 2005, the same year as Jane Fonda’s My Life So Far and she was on a book tour. Margaret was intent on getting a copy of Kiss Me Goodnight to her and succeeded, but nothing came of it. Similarly when I went to Minneapolis to participate in a reading Ann and Margaret had organized with Hope Edelman, I sat at Margaret’s basement computer and sent an email to Rosie O’Donnell who had a TV show then, but nothing came of it. BTW, Hope Edelman’s ground-breaking book Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss celebrates its 20th anniversary and is being updated and re-issued in a third edition.
Motherless daughters. I had not heard the term until Kiss Me Goodnight came out. Today I think of motherless daughters everywhere. I am so grateful that Ann and Margaret published my poem about my mother (“August 1999: Light is a measure of time”). The experience of being in their book was positive in so many ways. I hope that other people who have experienced the death of a loved one (motherless sons, fatherless children, and childless mothers) are able to find grief groups and outlets to express their feelings of loss.
Speaking of anniversaries, tomorrow is the third anniversary of Solace in So Many Words. At this point, the promotion budget is long spent and its Amazon ranking approaches the two million mark. It would be great to get a whole new wave of interest in the book. If you have read and enjoyed Solace in So Many Words, please consider posting a review on Goodreads or Amazon. No pressure, though.
Our contributor to Glimpse of Solace is Kevin Nance; his name may be familiar to you because he writes for many book-related publications. Now he is also becoming known for his photos.
Our Guest Post is a poem by Laura Thill Murray.
Do you have something you’d like to share? Send it to me at weighedwords at gmail.
Peace, love, and solace