One of my first mentors was Mac McInerny, an old farmer who hired me when I was 16 to work in his greenhouse and to do handyman repairs for his friends. We drove around town in his beat-up pickup truck delivering gravel and lumber, fixing roofs and planting trees.
Virtual Book Launch! “Nightjar” by Michael Simms, w/ Gerry LaFemina, Gail Langstroth, and Sharon Fagan McDermott — Today!
Poet and classical scholar Rachel Hadas notes that the poems “recall the darkly vatic voice of Brecht’s late lyrics. Yet, Simms always sounds like himself: plainspoken, intimate, vulnerable, courageous.”
fine white strands
of mycelium reach
into the cells of the woody stalk
and hard husk of sunflower
it is sacred, the way
soil clinging to the seed
of a new shoot
pushing out of the earth
I can sing the song if you like,
Go on about the going, the work,
The desperate unendurable days….
Here’s an exercise which I call Jumping into the Mud although it’s sometimes called by the more prosaic name automatic writing. The exercise helps to loosen my imagination, and sometimes a decent poem results as well.
Imagine being so in love
The mistakes you make
Keep you on the ground
Imperfect and happy
‘Having started out as a painter I’ve never lost the sense that I’m working on something that has a tangible existence, separate from my own, and that what matters most isn’t content but the expression of it.’