Milkweed Editions, October 2010.

Milkweed Editions, October 2010.

For the most part, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. I don’t mean with poetry, or with prose, but with life. Most days, there’s a devilish beast at the bottom of my spine telling me I’ve got it all wrong. What have you done with your life? Little selfish word-eater, time-waster, navel gazing narcissist. Get a real job. Help someone. Do something. Solve problems. Grow up. But other days, especially when I’m on the road and sharing poems with strangers, I think it’s all going to work out, and that in some ways I am helping, even if just by pointing at the pain and the joy and saying “Yeah, me too. I see it, too.”

The most recent poetry tour was 1335 miles, 11 events in 8 days, and 9 total days of car travel. When traveling with 2 dear friends and poets, Adam Clay and Michael Robins, and writing a poem every day for National Poetry Month, and meeting up with other knee-deep poetry makers on the road, it does begin to feel like, well, like dropping acid. Everything feels a bit more psychedelic and nothing’s not moving or breathing or shoving itself into a poem. No abandoned cow, no unsung greasy grackle, no roadside attraction unworthy of more words. How good it is to leave your small safe room where the majority of the work gets done in quiet reflection, risk the unknown city’s welcome, risk the bloat and glutting of road-miles, and go Willy Loman some poems.

Packed and ready to go!

Suitcase packed with SHARKS IN THE RIVERS.

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