#MatteredToMe - January 14, 2022

  1. The single exclamation point in Mary Oliver's poem "I Know Someone."
  2. There is this longing, I think, in Tami Haaland's poem "Not Scientifically Verifiable" about the separation between people. It's very sexy, too, I thought.
  3. The way that Lisa Rhoades's captures the ephemeral moment of childhood in her poem "The Long Grass."
  4. The last couplet, especially, of Rebecca Foust's poem "and for a time we lived."
  5. Finally, Lyz Lenz's recent newsletter "Taking a Vacation at the End of the World": "It’s all grief. It’s some joy. And baby, I only know one way into the abyss and that’s head first."

As always, this is just a portion of what has mattered to me recently. Things are difficult and scary right now, I know. I'm doing my best to hold onto the ones I love, and to let go of what I need to let go of, and what needs me to let go of it.

Thanks, and take care.

#MatteredToMe - February 4, 2022

  1. The shadows and the softness of light in Lisa Sorgini's "Behind Glass" portrait series, reminiscent of Caravaggio, drew me in first. The sense of both isolation and connection, and the way it highlights the primacy of motherhood in this moment of history made me stay and look longer.
  2. I lost my paternal grandmother last year, the matriarch of our family and the one from whom I learned about the Japanese American internment. So reading Maggie Tokuda-Hall's piece "Knowing Tama," seeing her grapple with what she can and can't know about her grandmother, was particularly poignant for me.
  3. I love how attentive to the world Ada Limón's poems are, how open they are to what the world shows us, and how that openness can shake us out of interiority and make us bigger. Her poem "It's the Season I Often Mistake" felt like that.
  4. I love how Gabrielle Bates' poem "Compassionate Withdrawal" seems to breathe, inhaling in preparation, hinging on a moment of blunt clarity, and then exhaling back into feeling.
  5. I was absolutely delighted to see Ross Sutherland's podcast Imaginary Advice come back this week, and the first new episode (part 1 of a short series) is a spot-on and hilarious take on a Guy-Ritchie-style heist movie.
  6. I loved how enthusiastic both Helena de Groot and Kaveh Akbar were in their recent conversation on Poetry Off the Shelf. And I loved the way Akbar talked about learning from his spouse how to look at the world as it is.
  7. Finally, my son and I finished watching the slice-of-life anime School Babysitters last night. It was exactly the combination of heartwarming, wholesome, and hilarious that I needed right now.

As always, this is just a portion of what has mattered to me recently. I've gotten to spend a lot of time with my kids lately, and I'm grateful for it. I hope you have people in your life, too, for whom you're grateful.

Thank you, and take care.