After the Japanese 41-44

This series of poems, posted four at a time and archived here, continues with some written on a short retreat in Marblemount, WA, near North Cascades National Park. They are all written in response to the classic Japanese poetry anthology, and taking a page out of Robin Blaser’s book, I’ve used a quotation from him, did not attribute it, but did italicize it in the last of the poems presented here. (The transcription of the interview I did with Blaser, the last he ever did, is here.)

Looking back a year after these poems were written is quite an experience in memory, consciousness and self-awareness. The ground has shifted significantly in my life and, given the same prompts, I’d likely go somewhere quite different. The notion of what an ex-lover leaves with you is quite powerful and I will probably write blog posts about that when my life goes into memoir mode, but I’ll have to do something worthwhile to go into memoir mode.

And that I would have some premonition of my Father’s death two months before it happened is interesting to me. Sure, he was old, but as Eileen Myles said in an interview I did with her, sometimes the poem beats you down the street.

In the meantime, enjoy the latest in a series.

About Splabman

SPLAB and Cascadia Poetry Festival founder Paul E Nelson wrote American Sentences (Apprentice House, 2015), Organic Poetry (VDM Verlag, Germany, 2008), a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, Washington, A Time Before Slaughter (Apprentice House, 2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme, Brazil, 2013). Founder of the Cascadia Poetry Festival, in 26 years of radio he interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, Wanda Coleman, Brenda Hillman, George Bowering, Joanne Kyger, Jerome Rothenberg & others, including many Cascadia poets. He lives in Seattle and writes at least one American Sentence every day. Co-Editor of Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, he is in year five of a twenty year Cascadia Bioregional Cultural Investigation. (Oct 12-15, 2017, Tacoma, WA)
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