Discover more from John’s Substack
A new poem and other news
Sometimes I Still Pray available on June 12d
My new little book, Sometimes I Still Pray, will be published on June 12, a week before Father’s Day. While the subtitle is “A Family Album,” and while it is based on my own family history (five generations, as a matter of fact), and while it is in many ways the most personal book I’ve published so far (which is really saying something), I think it speaks to the grandchild, child, and parent in all of us. I’m very proud of it. More soon.
And yes, that’s baby John on the cover.
I finished this poem the other day. It’s written in the prophetic style that drives Parchment: A Prayer Quintet, and that reappears from time to time when I least expect it. It is one of a new batch I’ve been working on about the embattled sanctity of the individual in modern times…also known as “humanism.” I thought I’d share it now because that project is at least four back in the publication queue, and you wouldn’t see it otherwise. At least not for a long time.
Humanism Down to a darkness redefined as the grit at the root of the stem as the mouth wide open as the searching tongue dark as the mouth drinking straight from the stream lapping the earth dark as the throat making wild song dark as birth and death cycling through and pausing, here, just for us The paradox of time standing still but only for a moment as the muscle tightens to a fist as the grip of violence releases as our bodies float past their normal limits past this place as our bodies float past us and open to other lives and open to other memories and open to vistas vast and enormous The woman who waited, attended The man who waited, at rest Their love surpassing their limits Their love tested and eternal Our skin wet with rain again and raw like the soil like the clay before the kiln the holy imperfect, unfixed but unbroken, not yet cracked not yet spidered, not yet veined with our weakness Ourselves whole and smooth and unfinished Ourselves as ancient vessels of light and shade Ourselves down to a different darkness
Over at Wee Sparrow…
For our third anthology, The Wee Sparrow Poetry Press team has chosen the theme of WATER. I love the title: “Ourselves in Rivers and Oceans.”
Submissions are open until 30.
All royalties will be donated to a water charity.
In case you missed it…
A couple of weeks ago, I published a Goodreads blog post called My Chapbooks Are Not Albums But They Want To Be, about my little books and why they’re so strange. If you’ve been wondering, this may help explain.
If you know anyone else who might be interested in what I’m doing here, please forward this newsletter!!! And thanks as always for following.