Commonplaces & Other Miracles

Periodically, I revise the direction of this blog.  Given my point of view about revision, and what its aims and objects are, this is a good thing.  And given the magnitude of the changes I’ve experienced in my life these last few years, it’d be impossible to return to a former iteration of this blog.  I couldn’t, for instance, imagine writing one more reflection about poetry’s aim.  At least, not in the way I use to.  Still, I hope the title of the site makes sense, and when people who read these pages return to read these newer posts, they’ll find similar, if not superior, satisfactions.

I can’t quite say what these new posts will look like.  The plan, as of last night, is to include a few lines of new poems-in-progress, a drawing or comic (more on this in a second), and reflections on whatever might be floating around in my heart, my soul, my body, my mind.  I suppose this will lead to a more fragmented reading experience, but that makes sense to me, since I’ve always been interested in the kinds of connections you can discover through fragmentation, but also because the other aspects of my life require so much concentration, attention, etc, that if I’m going to continue writing in any way on a daily basis, the product is going to have to resemble the process much more closely than it has ever before.

Bernadette, Resist

The poems, like I said, will be in-progress.  I’ve committed myself to writing at least three lines a day.  I won’t vouch for the quality of these lines, and I don’t mean to polish or publish them beyond what you’ll see here.  I think of these poems as a return to the beginning, to apprenticeship, or as Bly might say, to the kitchen.  Whatever readings and reflections that accompany these poems will, likewise, be an attempt to return to the beginning.  If you’re asking why, I don’t know what to say beyond a paraphrase of the opening lines of Dante’s Divine Comedy.  I’m not talking about a mid-life crisis here.  I’m talking about poetic origins.

The comics and drawings will come from the pen and the mind of my son, Max Stablein.  He is one of those big changes I mention above.  When I began this project, that is, this blog, I was childless.  Now I am the father of four children.  Two stepkids, and two infant twins.  Obviously, this fact changes everything.  Fatherhood is the kind of event which doesn’t only change your present and your future, but inevitably changes the past.

“Who can’t spare…”

Who can’t spare three lines,
4 or 5 mins, at most,
before the world consumes and fines?

That’s what poetry looks like
in Trump’s America:
it’s angry, bloated, forgotten about and white.

It loads (and reloads) an assault
rifle in the parking lot,
and dreams of fighting off

Democracy’s assailants, i.e.,
a free press, congressmen and congressional aids,
islamists, democrats, republicans, and their lobbyists.

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9 Responses to Commonplaces & Other Miracles

  1. dan says:

    Congrats on fatherhood, Adam. Happy Father’s Day.

  2. Congrats –Happy Father’s day weekend!

  3. eugene penna says:

    Your tone seems encouraging yet the lines seem confused about what our world should be. Keep writing my son. I love listening to the truth.

  4. eugene penna says:

    Maybe I’m confused on what the world should be. And I don’t know how we are going to get there in my lifetime.

    • Adam Penna says:

      Maybe that’s the trouble, Pop. Our expectations are all screwy. The answer to our problem has to be as complex as the question. Anyway. I’m not providing any answers. Not really. I prefer questions to answers.

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