From Writers Almanac


As neatly as peas
in their green canoe,
as discreetly as beads
strung in a row,
sit drops of dew
along a blade of grass.
But unattached and
subject to their weight,
they slip if they accumulate.
Down the green tongue
out of the morning sun
into the general damp,
they're gone.

It's the birthday of the poet Kay Ryan born in San Jose, California (1945). She grew up in a series of small towns along the desert. Her father was always trying to come up with get-rich-quick schemes, selling Christmas trees, and buying land mining operations. He died while reading a get-rich-quick book.

Kay Ryan went off to college. She just started writing poetry as a teenager. For ten years she only wrote when she had some spare time. And then a few months before her 30th birthday, she decided to take a cross country bicycle trip, 4,000 miles to give her time to think about what to do with her life. She was out in the middle of Colorado when the rhythmic movement of pedaling the bike got her thinking about poetry, and she realized she had to devote her life to being a poet.

She got a job teaching remedial English composition at a local college, and she made sure she'd only have to teach two days a week so she could spend all the rest of her time writing. She pared her life down to the basic essentials so she could afford to live on her meager salary.

She's published just four books of poetry over thirty years, including Dragon Acts to Dragon Ends and Flamingo Watching.

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jay said...

A longish haiku that rhymes. Very, very nice.

UnlurkedKathy said...

Thank you, Miss Snark, for the poem and for the site.

Elektra said...

Does this Bookner guy remind anyone else of one of those hippie gurus who just want love, peace, and your wallet?

Elektra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elektra said...

Goodness, this Bookner guy gets my goat (isn't that a fun expression?). He's trying to cut the legs out from under writers who take the time to do their homework and query, AND his site will just be a breeding ground for people like Publish America and New York Literary Agency. So pretty much, everyone's getting screwed...

jay said...

I knew there would be one more. There's always one more who jumps up behind a table or something, and gets clobbered with a frying pan for comic effect.

elektra - I am doing nothing of the sort. If literary agents and publishers decide that Bookner is a good system and start using it, writers can exercise their free will and start using Bookner (at zero charge). We are not cutting anyone's legs. You say that our site will be a breeding ground for disreputable agents. How exactly will Bookner be breeding these? They already exist, and I assure you we didn't help them come into existence.

Elektra said...

You would help them come into existence. The scum-of-the-earth 'agents' would
a) be the only ones who would find paying for your site profitable, because they'll get money from everybody
b)Show other con artists that 'hey, here's a site where we just scoop up the unsuspecting at our leisure'. If it works for on scammer, more are sure to come.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

Hey Miss Snark...is this still YOUR blog? I enjoyed the poetry and thanks for the site info. You other guys....chill out!

Elektra said...

I bow my head in apology for distracting from the snarkiness (if that's even possible)