Poetry Month! Call for Submissions

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April is poetry month. Miriam’s Well will be posting a poem a day. Most of these will come from the archives–a time to appreciate some favorites.
The blog will also publish poems that you send. Please submit poems of average length (no more than 60 lines), haiku and other Japanese forms, concrete poems, and more. Work may be previously published–just include the credit.
To submit–use msagan1035@aol.com
Have fun!

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Mosaics from Patagonia, AZ

Bottle Trees

Seem to originate in west Africa, and blossom on the American south as part of African-American heritage. They mark location, capture ill-intentioned spirits, and deflect them from the house.

These were actually for sale at Brookgreen Gardens in SC. I’ve only seen homemade ones previously.

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What if you still had your diaries from the 1960’s and 70’s? Read Richard Grayson’s

What if you still had your diaries from the 1960’s and 70’s? And actually posted them on the internet? What would that look like, feel like?
I’ve loved Richard Grayson’s work from the time I first read his quirky and hilarious short stories when we were both starting out as writers. Grayson is also an incredible diarist. He has kept a diary without missing a day for 45 years.
Here are some samples:

Tuesday, August 12, 1969
Last night Mom & I had a long talk. She says she’ll be happy as long as I’m happy — whatever I’m doing. Even if I don’t go to college, get a job, or get married. She said, “Maybe you don’t like girls.” I said, “Maybe.” She said again, “As long as you’re happy.”

Tuesday, September 24, 1974
At dinner tonight, Dad asked me, “How are you doing?” He knew how depressed I’d been on Saturday about not seeing Mrs. Ehrlich anymore. My answer was “Fine,” and that’s pretty much the story at the end of the first therapy-less week of my life.

To read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/richard-grayson/

Kathleen Lee Reads from Her Novel: At Collected Works Book Store

This coming Tuesday, March 31
6 pm
With Rob Wilder, another writer well worth hearing

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Miriam’s Well: In the novel ALL THINGS TENDING TOWARDS THE ETERNAL, you talk about “traditionless Buddhism” or your character Bruno does. How do you see that? Can you talk a bit about Buddhism as an influence?
 
KL: I’m not sure there’s a clear answer or not one that’s clear to me so here are some partial answers:
1. When traveling in China, I always visited whatever Buddhist temple or monastery was in a town or village, in part to have something to do. So I spent a lot of time around Buddhism, in whatever condition it was in.
2. I found the various traditions of Buddhism a distraction and kept trying to view plain buddhism. Buddhism Buddhism, instead of Tibetan Buddhism or Theravadan Buddhism, or Zen, or Soto….
3. I must have made up the term ‘traditionless Buddhism.’
4. Your (Miriam Sagan’s) first husband, Robert Winson, who was a Zen Buddhist monk, died when he and I were 36 years old and it affected me on the one hand in a completely ordinary and comprehensible way, and on the other hand in a way that remained invisible and mysterious to me. That sense of not understanding what had happened was an irritatant, a seed for writing.
5. Extended, uncomfortable solo travel is its own kind of practice in concentration, not unlike a meditation or koan practice.
6. When my characters meet their own inner emptiness, they realize the wisdom of no-escape.

Miriam’s Well: I feel the novel takes an ethical approach, like the 19th century novel, only in a modern non-overt fashion. The two central Chinese characters exemplify some moral conflict–self vs. family, wealth vs. authenticity, etc. but they come from a rigid world (hard on individuals but good for fiction!). Can you address this–and maybe mention how the other characters fit in to a moral framework?

KL: One of the many things I miss about the 19th century is the loss of a sort of grand, cosmic ethical framework against which people, or characters, throw themselves. I’m interested in that kind of pressure or friction and how it affects a person and since this isn’t the 19th century, that pressure or friction takes place mostly, at least in my novel, within each character; each character has a conscience or not, crosses a line, and suffers, or not. The place that ethics seems to exist now is within the self, and within relationships, and so, in a sense, each person is left to police themselves.

Haibun by Angelee Deodhar

Haibun:Adularescence
 
Childhood memories : collecting beads baubles stones leaves to be pressed in books has lasted me into adulthood, rather dotage. Shopping for table linen I come upon bins of polished stones ,white, beige, brown, obsidian and blue. I ask if I might just hold the blue ones for a moment and the shopkeeper seeing the longing on my face tells me to take  some for free.I choose four which capture an ethereal light and hold them close all the way home.
 
Sea World
the dolphin’s smile wider
than the spectators’