Pages and pages

Apparently the requirement for good poetry nowadays is the same as the requirement for good contemporary art: that I can’t understand it.

(In fairness, that may say more about me than the poetry or the art…)

I recently read Issue 42 of the Potomac Review, and I managed to find one poem that I not only understood (I think) but also enjoyed, one poem that I definitely understood and enjoyed, and a couple that I enjoyed parts of but mostly didn’t understand. The rest… “Huh?”

I won’t tell you which category this came from, but here, enjoy the last stanza from “Signs” by Marjory Wentworth:

I have let the water pull me for miles,
for years. I’ve watched birds turn
their heads in my direction. I didn’t notice
all the signs surrounding me. But I have
felt the stars throbbing like hearts
in the darkness. It has something to do with love,
and the way it hides and waits
in places we never expect to find it.

Also in that issue was “Harvard Man” by Michelle Brafman, which was a FANTASTIC story, the kind I’d love to write myself — and think I maybe could, someday. I contacted her (via her husband’s email address, which was more or less the only thing that turned up on Google) to let her know how much I enjoyed it, and she very graciously replied with thanks and encouragement on my own writing. Another point for Nice Writers!

“Alice Dale” by Laura Albritton was the other story I quite liked.

Immediately after finishing the Potomac, I gobbled up THE KITE RUNNER (my thoughts on its AMAZING-NESS here) and now I’m onto The Cincinnati Review 4.1. It feels good to be reading this much, so hopefully I keep it up. Though writing more might not be so bad either…

8 responses to “Pages and pages”

  1. diane Avatar

    how many hours a day do you spend reading?

  2. Kristan Avatar

    Anywhere from 0 min to 5 hours (yesterday, but that’s not normal!). I’d say an average of 30-60 min, depending on my schedule, but even then that’s only because I consider reading (a fun) part of my “job” as a writer, so I make sure to devote more time to it now that I’m a writer more than anything else.

  3. Alex Avatar

    I like that stanza. A lot.

  4. Kristan Avatar

    When I read it, I thought you might. :)

  5. angie Avatar

    I finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time (quick read pretty good) and now I’m reading Unaccustomed Earth (short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri. Actually that story I read by her in one of your New Yorkers that I loved is in this book! Trying to crack my McSweeney’s because I’ve only read one.

  6. Kristan Avatar

    OMG I SO want to read Unaccustomed Earth!!

  7. Laura Albritton Avatar

    Hi, Kristan. I was Googling my own name (sad, but true) and came across this mention on your blog. I’m so glad you liked “Alice Dale.” What a nice thing to stumble across in my internet queries!

    Best of luck with your own work!

    — Laura

  8. Kristan Avatar

    Laura, thank you for dropping a note! And no worries: everyone Googles their own name. ;D