Tweetspeak Poetry

Wide-Open Poetry

“I love your wide-open poetry” is what the great poet Pablo Neruda once told Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ferlinghetti, who believed Neruda to be speaking of a broader group of poets, those of the Beat Generation, responded with “You opened the door.”

How have the words of another opened the door for you?


WordCandy has a bit of a new look, and the peskiest little bugs worked out. Best place on the web for great quotes and stunning photos. Stop by and pick out something sweet to share with a friend–on Facebook, Twitter or by email.

Follow this link for sweet fun:

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Music History and an Angry Sonnet

My family moved out of state and I started eighth grade in a school without an orchestra. I joined the city’s adult symphony instead, sitting second of two chairs. I took private lessons from a man who looked to be a cross between Professor Snape and Harry Potter. None of the girls in my class wanted to take lessons from him. With his large round glasses and long, greasy black hair, the spindly music instructor frightened me only slightly less than his brutish, muscular wife who always answered the door red-faced and angry. “I am here to play viola,” I said.

I’m finishing up our book club discussion of Ordinary Genius over at Tweetspeak Poetry this week, telling my musical history and writing a sonnet. I’m told that my sonnets (I’ve two to my name) tend to sound a little angry. Maybe it had to do with my viola teacher’s angry wife, I don’t know. You could check it out if you’d like.

And while you’re there, I’ve got a brand new slate of our weekly Top Ten Poetic Picks–great finds in art, poetry, music and writing. My favorite this week? The Halloween costumes based on famous works of art. You’ll want to see them. Trust me on this.

Literary Tour: At The Mount with Edith Wharton

When I traveled last month, I attended a writer’s event at The Mount in Lenox, Mass., which is the beautiful, sprawling estate of 20th century author and poet Edith Wharton.

I have a photo essay up at Tweetspeak if you’d like to enjoy a glimpse into the spirit of Edith Wharton, which is evident throughout the “autobiographical house.”

Stop on over.

Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

By this time, I’m ready to ask the chicken question.

I’ve been scratching around for an angle, and even as I type this, I don’t have one. But Kim Addonizio tells me I don’t have to know where I’m going when I start writing, and even goes so far as to say it might be best not to. If that’s true, then I could walk her way and ask the age-old question to see if it gets me all the way across the boulevard.

(Addonizio got a poem out of it when she tried.)

So what do you think? Why did the chicken cross the road?


It’s Wednesday, and I’m at Tweetspeak where we’re reading Kim Addonizio’s  Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within together. Come on over to read the rest of the post — maybe you’ll find out why the chicken crossed. Or how it wound up in my dryer.

Ordinary Genius: Why the Chicken Crossed the Road

Photo by Toby M, Creative Commons license via Flickr.

Tweetspeak Week


It’s been a great week of fun over at Tweetspeak Poetry — here’s my quick digest, of great articles worth your time.


There is not a single more recognizable southern drink than sweet tea, except maybe Kentucky bourbon. And if one were to combine the former with the latter, one might find a sort of southern drink Nirvana.

— Seth Haines has a weekly community poetry prompt on Mondays, this month writing found poems together around the theme of tea.


I steady myself for the cardboard colors to come:
Dun, amber, sepia sweeping over ungrazed prairie.

— Glynn Young reviews Judith Valente’s Discovering Moons


The recent discovery of a third daguerreotype of Victorian-era poet Emily Dickinson has historians scratching their heads. Long believed to be reclusive and camera-shy, Dickinson seems to paint an entirely new picture of herself, positively mugging for the paparazzi.

— A Tweetspeak exclusive report on the possible discovery of a new Emily Dickinson portrait. (This might explain why I was unable to complete my journalism studies.)


L.L. tagged me on Facebook to come but I was busy that night. Lucky me. [smiley face] Poetry is nonsense. And cryptic.

— Hear me confess to making disparaging remarks about poetry…shortly before beginning to write poetry. Join me and the Tweetspeak gang for a new book club of Kim Addonizio’s Ordinary Genius.


Tweetspeak’s managing editor and I enjoyed poetry readings on the same terrace where Edith Wharton and Henry James sat “on summer nights, reading Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ aloud.” Not once did security try to escort us to the gate. 

— It’s my week to bring you the best poetic news you can use (or leave sitting on the table). This week, it’s engineered poetry, who to blame for overdue books, and how to talk about classics you’ve never read in our Top Ten Poetic Picks.


I thought of my own life and its lack of transition. My own spiritual tradition ritualizes very few rites of passage: birth, marriage, childbirth, and death. Our larger culture celebrates only a few other markers: driving at 16 and drinking at 21.

— Charity Singleton talks about life transition through the lens of the art museum.


Still here? It’s way more fun over at Tweetspeak

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And one last thing? My favorite WordCandy image of the week. Make your own? It’s simple, and beautiful.


Top photo: Dinner table at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s mansion in Lenox, Mass.