Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: All Good Things. . .

Our time together had come to a close and I was alone in the dorm where we stayed at Macalester College for the annual Warren Wilson MFA Alumni Conference. It was strange, that quiet, after all that activity, after all that brilliant conversation, after the nightly readings and daily classes, the meals together three timesContinue reading “Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: All Good Things. . .”

Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: Countdown T-Minus a Day and Some Change

I’ve got plane tickets, I’ve got plane snacks, I’ve got a new Moleskine notebook, I’ve got the new album by GLASYS, I’ve printed and practiced my reading, I’ve chosen some poems for morning meditation, I’ve packed my copies of Monster Talk, I got a tooth crowned, I got my hair cut, I got a copyContinue reading “Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: Countdown T-Minus a Day and Some Change”

#342: May 8, Soul Work

It’s May 8. I sleep in an extra hour. I make myself a kick-ass scrambler. I pick my brother up at 9 and we drive toward I-84. There’s a bunch of teachers on an overpass wearing red and hanging their banners and I honk at them. My brother and I make our way to theContinue reading “#342: May 8, Soul Work”

#344: I Drove Over the Mountain to Get Here

I drove over the mountain to get here. I drove over Mount Hood. I drove over the mountain into the desert. Eventually, I ended up close to three other mountains, the ones we call The Sisters. I drove over the mountain to get here. This is the place where I will try to help peopleContinue reading “#344: I Drove Over the Mountain to Get Here”

Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: A Few Goodbyes, Reading with a Friend, Writing Some More, Going Home

I’m sitting in the airport in a beat up arm chair looking out over the tarmac through these gigantic windows. I’ve got three hours to kill because the ride from Mt. Holyoke dropped me off early. It’s an ugly, long flight clear across the country, from Hartford, Connecticut to Chicago and then home to Portland.Continue reading “Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: A Few Goodbyes, Reading with a Friend, Writing Some More, Going Home”

Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: The Resurrection of the Contest in Order to Exacerbate Feelings of Rejection, a Dongle Dilemma, When a Poem is Not a Poem, One Bad Dream, and More Blessedness.

  Things started out kind of rowdy here at Mt. Holyoke. The microphone was wonky. There’s nothing worse than a wonky microphone. Better no microphone than a wonky one. One of our attendees was trapped in his room by tables of books. But he’s got the only refrigerator in the entire building in his roomContinue reading “Dispatches from Writer’s Camp: The Resurrection of the Contest in Order to Exacerbate Feelings of Rejection, a Dongle Dilemma, When a Poem is Not a Poem, One Bad Dream, and More Blessedness.”

#269: A Letter of Gratitude to My Wife and Son (another prose poem)

Dear family, I am about to begin my journey home. Almost everything is put away and the trailer is hitched up (I never did unhitch);¬†all I have to do now is climb in and start up the engine. It was a good trip. Even though I was with my brother and his friends, I spentContinue reading “#269: A Letter of Gratitude to My Wife and Son (another prose poem)”

The Post Writer’s Camp Blah Blah Blahs: How to Deal

  Of course I was happy to be home. Of course I missed my family and was immensely glad to see them. Of course I didn’t miss that ugly, tiny, springy, single dorm mattress and that sweltering dorm room. Of course it was good to sleep in my own bed on the second night home,Continue reading “The Post Writer’s Camp Blah Blah Blahs: How to Deal”

The Power of Retreat

The truth of the matter is I didn’t read a single word of Moby Dick. I remain today on the same page I was on a week ago. Thanks to the generosity and kindness of my wife and son, I have been on retreat for a week at St. Mary’s College in Moraga for theContinue reading “The Power of Retreat”