They Do Go Away…

I, like so many others, knew Mark Strand in a small way. He was a visiting professor in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for one of the two years I was there. When I heard the news of his death earlier today, I did what poets do. I wrote. He probably wouldn’t remember me if he was still here, but I remember him. It’s raining outside my home in California as I write this. I wonder why. I wish him well in the other Paris.
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Seemingly Like Paris

for Mark Strand

They are slowly going away. The poets.
The truly genuine poets who sat
In coffee shops and conspired
To be ignored as long as they could
Manage it. Then others came
And looked at them with awe and
Asked nicely if they, too, could sit
At the table. Everything was gorgeous,
Even when the teaspoons clashed
Against the porcelain cups, and
Cigarettes were still in fashion,
And tips could be heard on counter tops.
So, it really isn’t surprising to hear
Nothing today but the wind,
Pushing bluebirds back just a bit.
They are slowly going away,
The bluebirds sing. It is
As revolutionary as old wars.

Copyright © 2014 by Sam Pereira

A Magnificent Party!

The last time I sang “Happy Birthday,” I was 7 years old and it meant nothing to me. This past weekend, I sang it–along with about 40 others–to a man who recently turned 85. We had meat and cake. We had the spirit of many years in the room with us. We had the best damn poet in the world making us all feel that the decisions we made to follow poetry all those decades ago were the correct ones. Thank you, Philip Levine, for all of it. Here’s looking forward to the 95th…the 105th…the….

Don’t believe the "Temporarily Out" stuff

It has come to Pereira’s attention that, even though amazon.com is showing this as “temporarily out of stock”, the order will be forwarded to the publisher. Or, you could simply order directly from http://www.tebotbach.org/

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Take a chance. I believe, sincerely, that this is a pretty f&*$@^g good book. (spoken in the cold December darkness of the day after the end of the world). 🙂