More Than Things

More Than Things

More Than Things

More Than Things

Excerpt

Just about anything gets me started: thinking back over a lifetime of politics, writing, or even sex; connection with a child or grandchild; my great good fortune in having found the perfect life companion; a conversation with a friend; a myth or fairy tale; a journey to some part of the world I had no idea exists in the particular sociocultural configuration I find when I get there; an ancient ruin; one of the many criminal acts—large and small—that our government and corporations try to pass off as necessary to our national security and the well-being of our communities; or the magical seam where water and rock come together on the Colorado River.

These pieces range from personal narratives to more traditional essays, passing through a few dreamlike prosodies. They move from mentors and a contemplation of the issue of suicide, through social mores and governmental criminality, to travel and my writing life. Meridel LeSueur’s last poem is like a gift from the beyond, and I riffed on it with immense gratitude. All these texts were written over a three-year period between 2009 and 2012. They are not presented in the order in which they were written but rather arranged so that a concern in one is sometimes continued in the next.

I think of these pieces as my end of an ongoing conversation. I hope they will spark response.

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