NEW RELEASE: 18th Book, 2/23/15: Poetry: BOSTON SOLSTICE BLUES: birth of solstice blues

#Poetry BOSTON SOLSTICE BLUES: 51 poems centered on the solstice in Boston’s winter mindscapes. NEW RELEASE. This is my 18th book and is dedicated to all my Boston friends and enemies (hopefully few) who suffer through the grinding winters that start typically in December with the cold, sleet, rain, black ice and with various combos bang away at your sanity until May 15 when it’s safe to plant seeds for gardens with a fair chance your food will escape a killing frost. That’s a long winter and it’s often a mental health grind on many people…In short, depressing with the shortened days, the long nights and the cold that eats away at your hope warm summer days will ever return. These 51 poems were written some years ago in dairy fashion and were composed in daily entries spontaneously. This sequence could have gone onward into February but it runs from December 5 to January 24 and that seemed to make a good wrap up. The poems are unplanned until the morning of each day. It’s amazing how season and mood can change radically from one day to the next. I was for some reason really focused on the weather and the solstice as a center of meditative gravity. I think if memory serves that came from a single poem I wrote in the late 90s about a vacation visit to Monhegan Island in Maine with my wife and daughter and I was fascinated to learn the small island’s population fell from several thousand people to about 50 people who stuck it out through the severe winters. (that poem was published online by a the island’s editor who shared visitors “charmed” by the island’s magical beauty and it’s also somewhere buried in these blog posts but I am too inept and lazy to dig it out of the shadows) That isolation and hunkered down solitude deeply attracted me and a year or so later I wrote a poem about the solstice in December as a key celestial gear with the lengthening light and the welcome feeling of confidence that life was renewing and despite the crushing cold and darkness there was a religious instinct we humans had in our bones about the importance of that turning. Now I remember that my daughter gave me a strange notebook from Costa Rica she bought in her travels with her friends and the little notebook was handmade, even the paper, somewhat crude and tough but a beautiful aesthetic effort gave the thick paper and heavy covers and designs a sense of compactness and importance, as if I should save it for a special writing journey. So, in December of 2003 I believe it was I finished a regular diary type notebook with ruled paper and moved on into this artfully constructed diary of handmade brown paper, rather thick and tough…and I began writing left handed with the feeling that this was a special sequence of observations and discoveries buried in this strange little book. And indeed 51 one days later I left this book and moved on…and years later I saw the poems had a kind of family resemblance in their spirit of wintry themes and observations and feelings of my love for New England and my lucky life in my imaginary hometown of Marktree, MA, a place I walked year after year and absorbed the environs and learned to draw from the experiences as we stayed in one place to create for my daughter the gift of having a hometown which I had lost being a military kid and my wife much the same growing up with a wandering newspaper ad man out west and along the coast of California and the little desert towns in the long center of the state. So that’s some aspects of where this curious collection of wintry poems grew from these life experiences and reflections. I moved away for professional reasons after my only daughter finished college and began to drift away from our daily center in her working career and the search for a husband to make her own family. Publishing this collection has been a great relief because of my love for those vital years of middle age family building and beginning to write more regularly without any definite purpose except to treat each day as a precious gift of being and not so much a becoming, or perhaps both vectors at the same time. Sharing these 51 days (mornings really), scribbling left-handed to tap my right brain’s more holistic perceptions opened whole new paths to explore and to my surprise these daily meditations came together in a pleasing way within this gift notebook from my sweet daughter’s thoughtfulness. You never know where life will shower you with magical intuition just by the deep well of joy and darkness that seem like a prehistoric instinct bonded in a profound inspiration with the rebirth of light and the gift of a future that perhaps really has no dark end in meaninglessness. Here’s the link to this latest “old” recovery from the present tense immediacy of past time captured in daily sequence in the remarkable harsh beauty of a Boston and New England hamlet winter.

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