Please allow me to nominate my son-in-law Steve Norman, Director
of the Belfast, Maine, public library, for Secretary of Commerce. Steve has
come up with an inspired idea for boosting the recessive economy of the United
States — it is a better idea than I have heard from anyone else.
will, I am sure, recall those checks we all received in the spring from the
Government that “hoped” we, the consumers, would spend on consumer goods. That
did not happen. Speaking for myself, most of that money resides in my bank
account to this day. If the money wasn’t saved, it was used to pay off debt
mostly, not to buy goods.
— and this is Steve’s wonderful idea — what would
have happened if the Government had provided us, not with checks, but with gift
certificates good at any mercantile establishment, but not good for depositing
or paying off debt?
That, Senator Obama, would have worked!
It is this kind of innovative thinking that I believe your
impending Administration is looking for. Steve doesn’t have an MBA from
anywhere, nor has he taken a single entrepreneurial course, but if he can come
up with, say, just one idea like this in each of the next four years, he will
be the greatest success any member of a cabinet has had in the last eight years
(which, I admit, isn’t saying much). I’m not sure how soon Steve will be
available to serve in your Cabinet because at the moment he is serving on jury
duty in Augusta, Maine. However, it shouldn’t be too long.
So, if you’re looking to stimulate the American economy any time
soon, I’ll be looking for my Universal Mercantile Gift Certificate within the
next year or so.
great idea to have given out gift certificates instead. I hope President-Elect
Obama will seriously consider Steve Norman as Secretary of Commerce.
-it's one of those "gee why
didn't I think of that" ideas. Congratulations, Steve, for thinking
outside the box.... Now, can you think of something to help the Big 3 in Detroit?
mail it? You want me to send you a stamp?
it is a great idea. Nice picture of Steve and Melora, too.
wonderful idea!That's one that
would work, and Government has been short of those for about eight
years--?Thanks for sharing the
photo, too -- Melora has often been in my thoughts, because of your poems, but
a photo is grounded in more reality than an imagined picture.
forward to my certificate!
may not be as smart as you think. Current industry stats show that some 30% of
gift certificates are either lost or never claimed. Thus, to whom would this
'windfall' be beneficial?
I like an
earlier idea, instead of giving $700 Billion to banks and insurance companies,
send that to the approx 128 Million taxpayers directly as a check. That will
pay off a lot of consumer debts and shore up mortgages from the bottom.
I am not
a fan of the 'trickle down' economics that Reagan pushed. Sure, shit flows
downhill, but money — not so much.
That's what they tried last spring, don't you remember? It didn't work. People just salted it away. That's what I said at the beginning of this post.
In today's poem in The Writer’s Almanac, "The League
of Minor Characters" by Kathleen Flenniken, in line six,
"When his doctor calls with test results, most of usv decide to
remain," what is "usv"? Don't you employ proof
readers? It's otherwise a good poem. Too bad you keep messing up the
P. S. Just keeping in touch, as you
requested again today.
Thank you for the proofreading. I will
have someone look into it. It's a great thing that a man as busy as
yourself has the time to attend to these details.
You're a writer, too. Don't you hate
proofing errors? I loathe them, and a writer should never be too busy to
shirk proofreading details, especially when those details have to do
with other people's work, such as poems that you have requested to
reprint. It's not only insulting to the person who is doing you a
favor, it is humiliating to him or her when friends see the way an editor
has abused the work in question.
You're absolutely right as always, is
all I can say, and we're thrilled to hear from you from time to time and get
the benefit of your thinking. We will fire our proofreader and find another. As
for the poems on the Almanac, we can never hope to reach your standard so
there's no point in discussing it. Some people have taste and others just plod
along as best they can.
Please don't fire your proofreader.
Times are hard. Perhaps just send him to camp at Guantanamo for a week or so.
That’s what I’d do if I were you.
P. S. Don't wait too long. President Obama is going to shut it down.
You are the soul of
kindness. I will tell Brett that his life has been spared. But I trust that
your vigilance to typos at poetry websites will not relax for one minute. We
are counting on you.
I read your page every
day, so it's not a problem to spot typos (if you really want me to keep calling
your attention to them). One of the reasons I do is because I am writing
Epitaphs for the Poets for a new on-line magazine, and I use your Almanac to
check for poets I may have missed. I've done several score by now. I'll attach
what I have so far, for you to glance at if you choose.
Mr. Turco ----- Of COURSE we want you to spot typos and point
out each and every one. It takes a keen eye to spot something like
"usv" instead of "us" and write to the website and chastise
them for ruining the poem, and though I'm astonished that you find the time to
do this, what with your own work and all, nonetheless we can only profit from
your attention. Keillor
August Kleinzahler says in his NYTBR review of James Merrill’s Selected Poems, edited by
J. D. McClatchy and Stephen Yenser for Alfred A. Knopf in 2008, “Merrill has
few peers, and none among contemporary poets working in meter and rhyme.”
Kleinzahler goes on to say, “Merrill’s poetry will not be to everyone’s taste.
He never intended it to be. He insists too often on being clever; he can go on
too long and wreck what begins and continues for quite a few stanzas as a
splendid poem written in ballad meter, ‘The Summer People,’ or he can choke a
poem with detail, as he does in ‘Yánnina.’ Many readers will find the poetry
mannered. It is, by design. The poet is an aesthete, a dandy in the
Baudelairean sense, unabashedly so. One critic has referred to Merrill’s style
as ‘New Critical Baroque.’ Rococo would probably be more apt. Where a straight
line would do, Merrill cannot resist using filigree.”
That’s what I like, consistency. Oxymorons. Paradoxes. Bullshit.
I am seventy-four years old, so I’ve been reading James Merrill’s work
for a long while; also the poetry of many another poet, and I can tell the
reader this: There is many another rhyming and metering poet who writes (or
wrote during Merrill’s time) poetry every bit as good as, or better than, his:
Richard Wilbur (still living, thank fate), Howard Nemerov, Donald Justice, the
Australian A. D. Hope who was twice or three times better — a great, if largely
unsung poet, in fact — and there are several younger poets among the New
Formalists who can write as well or better. I’m not going to name them as they
are not close to being finished writing, and they are friends.
How does one manage to have a book of poetry reviewed in The New York
Times Book Review? Well, let’s see,
perhaps we can glean a hint. Kleinzahler tells us, “James Merrill was raised in
Southampton, Long Island, and Manhattan amid extraordinary privilege and
wealth.” In another essay, this one a review of one of Donald Hall’s memoirs in
the same issue, Peter Stevenson writes, “Donald Hall was born into a New
England realm of darkness and privilege. The family business was the Brock-Hall
Dairy in Hamden, Conn. His father, Hall wrote in one poem, ‘hated his job at
the Dairy, working for his father, and came home weeping’; he would rush from
the room so his son would not see him cry.” Sad. But, of course, the sons and
daughters of privilege need to suffer some too, don’t they?
To Dee in New Jersey: Last spring, when we were bickering
over Hillary, do you remember that I said there would be a landslide for Barack
Obama in the fall?
To Ar in Ohio: Do you remember how, in all your
evangelical wisdom, you told me I was always voting on the losing side?
To Em and Ar in Pennsylvania and Oregon: Do you remember
how, when I asked you how many campaign signs you saw in the countryside you
replied that nearly all of them were for Obama-Biden? Congratulations on your
To Ar in Massachusetts: Do you remember that when McCain picked Sarah Palin as his veep running mate I said that he'd just given the election to Obama and you replied, "From your mouth to God's ear"?
To Ay in New Jersey: Do you remember when I said that I
had no idea how, remembering Mussolini in World War II, Italian-Americans could
vote for Republicans, you replied that Rudy cleaned up New York City just fine
and Benito did great things for Italy after World War I, and sometimes
dictators were necessary? Alas, what are we going to do now? Let’s both cross
our fingers and hope that Obama can do as well as Giuliani and Mussolini.
To Vee in Oklahoma: Do you remember when you told me that
you and your hubby weren’t going to vote for Obama because he is a “Socialist”? Wasn't that what I suspect it truly was: An excuse not to vote for a mulatto?
And thanks especially to my wife in Maine and New York for reminding me frequently over the decades how few of my political predictions have panned out. However, this is the one that counts, the one that irrefutably proves once again that the United States of America is truly a great nation.
I'm as elated as you. I feel
like I finally woke up in the America I was told about, that others were
promised, and the rest of the world aspires to.
Paul A. Austin
It's 7:14 p.m. on Thursday, November 6th, 2008. Jean and I got back to Dresden about an hour ago after a month in Oswego where we voted. I was so drained yesterday I could hardly move: what a let-down; no, I mean relief! Today I'm up and ready to live again even though the stock market plunged over another cliff today and next month we find out how our CREF retirement portfolio is doing. Right. It's lying at the bottom of that cliff, no doubt.
It's going to take a while for our new President Obama to begin to deal with the situation, but at least he doesn't have to wait until he is sworn in to begin doing things because the Democrats already control the Congress and he can start to work with them immediately.
I hope two things: That Ted Stevens is thrown out by the Republicans if he manages to be reelected somehow, and I hope Lieberman is ostracized completely. That process began today. I look forward to the day when the term "Joe the Traitor" is as widely used as "Joe the Plumber" is, or as "Joe Six-pack." Have you seen who voted for Obama? EVERYBODY! Including a whole pile of Joe Six-Packs and hockey moms. He did well across the spectrum, and he truly is everybody's President.
If Joe Lieberman had a whit of decency, he would resign.
Ted Stevens is already being shunned by his own.
Wednesday morning I recalled a pop song that came out when
the Berlin Wall fell and Eastern Europe broke away from the Soviet Union. The
song is called "Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones and the opening
A woman on the radio talks about revolution when it's
already passed her by.
Bob Dylan didn't have this to sing about, you know it
feels good to be alive.
It felt wonderful to be alive then, but even more so now.
When Dana Gioia,
the retiring (in 2009) Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, wrote a
critical essay on-line (at http://www.danagioia.net/essays/ekeillor.html) titled
“Good Poems: Title Tells All, A Review
of Good Poems by Garrison
Keillor,” he began by saying, “When I first saw Garrison Keillor’s anthology, Good
Poems, I was prepared to treat it with mild
condescension. The title struck me as a little too coy, and my first glance
through its topically arranged pages noticed mostly the sundry quality of its
contents. ‘Title tells all,’ I thought, as the movie commentators in TV
Guide used to say, when forced to describe
films like Teen Cheerleader Murders
or Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.
Keillor is a deft and original entertainer with a genuine literary gift,
especially for a brand of satire so decorous and gentle that it blurs into
nostalgic romance, but he is not a writer given to the lyric extremes of
powerful emotion so often essential to poetry. I assumed that most of the poems
in Good Poems would, indeed, be
good poems, but probably not good enough to make the book a necessary addition
to the already overcrowded field of anthologies.” Gioia, too, had said it all
in his first paragraph, but he went on at great length to modify his opening
remark, and he ended by defending what I here call “Sarah Palin Poetry,” that
is, “poetry” that I think Sarah Palin might like and recommend — if she in fact
reads any literature at all — to hockey moms, who themselves probably never
read anything more than potboiler novels or the magazines that are sold at
supermarket checkouts, and to Joe Sixpacks who are unlikely to read anything
much at all unless it’s Playboy
or Sports Illustrated.
Almost everyone, I
suppose, has listened to National Public Radio’s Keillor show, The Prairie
Home Companion. I tend to agree with what
Gioia said about the type of satire Keillor is prone to — at least as far as
his skits are concerned, especially his “noir” detective stories that are
genuinely funny in the understated way that “Bob and Ray” used to be. But
Keillor’s choice of music, I have long believed, is not of that level; in fact,
it is several cuts below. Not to put too fine a point upon it, the music
Keillor plays on his show is simply execrable. I can think of no other
adjective to describe it. Some of it is “bluegrass” from Hell; some, really
terrible “jazz”; some is “gospel,” a genre I used to love to listen to, like
the “folk songs” and “country-western” music I enjoyed as a kid. Since my youth
such music has become, for the most part, simply dreadful, expressing
overstated emotions and limning situations that are at best embarrassing: You
hope nobody, anywhere, truly feels or thinks that way. Somehow, though, Keillor
has managed to discover contemporary musical groups that are a good deal worse
even than that.
One of my former
colleagues at SUNY Oswego, Donald Vanouse, was on sabbatical with his wife a
number of years ago. He writes, “In the winter of ' 79, Mary and I were staying
in Minneapolis. The broadcasts of The Prairie Home Companion occurred every morning, offering a cheerful
variation upon the rural entertainment of the market reports on steers and sow
bellies. We listened most mornings until there were broadcasts two mornings in
a row of a song entitled, ‘Jesus Put a Yodel in My Soul.’ That stopped us. It
was too hard to endure. And we were afraid of the possibility of hearing a
third broadcast. The unpredictable selection of songs can provide a singular
charm to the PHC, but it can
also cause a kind of nausea.” They stopped listening to the show forever.
Because Keillor does have, as Gioia said, a nuanced sense of satire, it is
difficult for me to believe that he can choose such music without having his
tongue stuck in his cheek and one brow lifted above a sardonic eyeball, but I
have heard the music he favors too often to believe he picks it in any but a
I don’t suppose
one need belabor the point that poetry and music are sister arts. In his essay
Gioia further quoted Keillor to this effect: “He goes on to specify his
editorial criterion: ‘stickiness, memorability, is one sign of a good poem.’
The goddess Mnemosyne” [Gioia says; Keillor would never use such a highbrow
citation] “was the mother of the Muses, and memorability [to coin a term] is a
governing aesthetic that Horace, Dante, and Milton would have understood,
though one does not hear it mentioned much today in graduate schools. Our age
has more sophisticated notions of poetic merit. Yet isn’t there something quite
primitive, indeed primal, about the poetic art that links it unbreakably to the
power of memorable language? If one compares Keillor’s allegedly modest volume
with some ambitious recent anthologies, ‘stickiness’ appears to be a more reliable
criterion than some alternatives.”
the poems that Keillor chooses for The Writer’s Almanac, and chose for his Good Poems anthology, sometimes are sticky, but that stickiness has nothing to do with
memorable language. Here is a poem chosen for the edition of Writer’s
Almanac for Monday, October 27th, “The Patience of
Ordinary Things,” by Pat Schneider, [from her book titled Another
River: New and Selected Poems, Amherst
Writers and Artists Press, 2005]. It is a perfect example of the “pathetic
It is a kind of love, is it not?
How the cup holds the tea,
How the chair stands sturdy and foursquare,
How the floor receives the bottoms of shoes
Or toes. How soles of feet know
Where they’re supposed to be.
I’ve been thinking about the patience
Of ordinary things, how clothes
Wait respectfully in closets
And soap dries quietly in the dish,
And towels drink the wet
From the skin of the back,
And the lovely repetition of stairs,
And what is more generous than a window?
The pathetic fallacy is absurd or overstated personification (prosopopœia); that is, the endowment of objects or animals with human qualities (anthropomorphism), often through cues ('motherhood,' 'Old Glory,' 'apple pie') — words
that are meant to induce automatic sentimental responses in the reader, like
“soul” in the song title mentioned by Vanouse, above, or as in “Trees” by Joyce
Kilmer (see the poem elsewhere on this blog) where there is a string of cues including the vague “lovely,” which
Schneider also used, “God,” “pray,” and images like “nest of robins,” “Earth’s
sweet-flowing breast.” Besides cues, Kilmer also used trite, or overused,
rhymes; about the only ones he missed were "love-above" and
"June-moon." Of course, Schneider didn’t use any sort of rhyme at
all, or language music of any kind; she merely took prose and “lineated” it —
she broke her prose lines (prose is unmetered language) at the ends of phrases or clauses to imitate the
look of verse, which is metered language (language that is counted, usually by syllables, accented or
unaccented). This practice of lineating, or line-phrasing, prose is erroneously called “free verse,” for how
verse can be both “verse” and “free” is beyond me.
return to Schneider’s images: Indeed, what is “more generous than a window?” It panes me to say, Gosh, lots of things — allowances, praise, forgiveness,
kindness, none of which are inanimate objects like stairs or soap. Of course,
clothing can be generous, too, but only in size, not in its feelings.
late George Abbe pronounced the word poem
as though it were spelled poyme,
which always makes me think of work that is over-written, often in a “lovely”
way.Unfortunately, not many
people can pull off just writing a poem, though that is the goal, and they wind up under-writing a pome.Rather
a large number of people can't even rise to that level, and they write a peom, a language wreck (poetry is the art of language). Still others have no conception of
what a poem actually is, and they
write somep'n else.Those are the categories of “Turco’s
Instant Critical System”:
Garrison Keillor certainly
does not favor over-written poymes —
give him credit for that; nor does he like peoms; that is, catechreticpieces—
really bad (like the music he favors). On occasion he does
publish a poem, but the
categories he particularly likes are things that are somep'n else, such as “The Patience of Ordinary Things,” above,
which is merely flat prose chopped up into arbitrary lines containing, in this
case, pathetic fallacies, or he likes pomes, what I am here calling “Sarah Palin poetry.”
Time to define
what I mean by that term. “Sarah Palin poetry” is verse or prose that extols and delineates “jest everyday folks” and their days and
ways. Here are some portions of “pomes” (I use the term advisedly) that Keillor
has published in his The Writer’s Almanac
in recent days:
World War II is slipping away, I
can feel it.
Its officers are gray.
Their wives who danced at the USO
are gray, too.
Veterans forget their stories. Some
lands they fought in
have new names, and Linda Venetti
who deserted the husband who raised
to run off with an officer
has come home to look after her
and work the McDonald's morning
[From "I'll Be Seeing You" by
Jo McDougall in Towns Facing Railroads,
University of Arkansas Press, 1991.]
Would anybody be
able to write a bad “country / western” song from this? Without a doubt, if it
were written in rhyming verse, but this is written in prose. Write it out as a
paragraph; why not? Is there any reason why these lines are broken as they are?
Why is there a break after “USO”? After “in” in line five? No reason at all.
Why is line four just three words long? Same answer. If somebody wants to try
writing the verse of the song, he or she can add it to this refrain:
World War II is slippin’ away,
Its leftover officers have all
The old vets down at the town VA
Are fogettin’ their stories every
Here is an image
from a Tony Hoagland opus that was posted on the Almanac on October 20th of 2008:
Crossing the porch in the hazy dusk
to worship the moon rising
like a yellow filling-station
on the black horizon,
you feel the faint grit
of ants beneath your shoes,…
This, too, is written in simple
prose, but what’s wrong with the image that I’ve italicized? What if it were
written this way? —
…to worship the filling-station
rising like a yellow moon
on the black horizon, …
If one were traveling east in a
car, the revised image would perhaps make sense, for why would anyone “worship”
a filling station sign unless one were running out of gasoline? As it stands,
the word picture created diminishes the moon to the status of something
insignificant, irrelevant, even ridiculous, for the poem abandons the image to
make the point that [you] “keep on walking / because in this world / you
have to decide what / you're willing to kill[,]” for instance, ants, as in
this case, or maybe your marriage, or an elephant to make piano keys — the
“poem” wanders off into the night getting farther and farther away from either
the moon or the yellow gas station sign, neither of which is threatened with
not saying that Garrison Keillor is incapable of recognizing and publishing a
decent poem. Here is one by David Shumate [from The Floating Bridge, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2008]:
In the early spring I get together with all the people
I've been in my past lives. We sit around the table at my grandfather's
farmhouse — mashed potatoes, creamed peas, cornbread. There's the Confederate
colonel with his mustache and battlefield odor. The medieval peasant from
Portugal with insects in her hair. The Irish boy who died from the fever at
nine. There's the patient wife of the fishmonger. The petty thief from Cathay
who's already stuffed his pockets with my grandmother's paperweights. My
favorite is the Hindu monk. His orange robes. The sacred paint across his
forehead. He's never reconciled his lust for women and steals glances at the
dancer from Babylon — my first life. Her long dark hair. The thin veils draped
over her shoulders. She loves to lean across the table for the marmalade,
exposing her breasts for him to see. After dinner she excuses herself and
walks into the garden. He follows. I'm not sure if it's just a natural kind of
thing…One incarnation of mine seducing another…Or an act so vile even
Narcissus would have gagged.
For one thing,
it’s an honest poem, written out in the prose that it truly is, not faked up
lines chopped out of a decent paragraph. Although the poem has no rhyme scheme
and is not metrical, because it repeats sentence patterns in grammatically parallel
structures, it does have a cadence; it is rhythmic — at this point lineation will serve a
purpose, to show the syntactic structures, not merely substitute for
There's / the Confederate colonel
with his mustache and battlefield odor.
/ The medieval peasant
from Portugal with insects in her hair.
/ The Irish boy who died
from the fever at nine.
There's / the patient wife
of the fishmonger.
/ The petty thief from Cathay who's
already stuffed his pockets
with my grandmother's paperweights.
My favorite is
/ the Hindu monk. His orange robes.
/ The sacred paint across his
The reader should be able to
recognize from this Walt Whitman’s prosody, the oldest system for writing
poetry that exists in the world.
For another thing,
the poem has a premise that is set forth in its first sentence and elaborated
upon as it travels along through the imagined past. The reader has no trouble
following the poet’s train of thought and enjoying it along the way.
The images are
clear and interesting, descriptions mostly, but the things described are
concrete; they don’t sit around having unlikely human feelings; that is, the
marmalade mentioned may be “sticky,” but not in any anthropomorphic way, yet
because Shumate set it up deliberately by choosing the perfect detail, we may
imagine that Hindu monk, an avatar of the speaker, imagining himself licking
The poem is
simultaneously serious and funny — it operates on two levels, so it is complex,
but not complicated, although it has in
it a classical reference to Narcissus like those Gioia used, but perhaps even
Joe the Plumber knows what a narcissist is. He should. And so should Sarah
One of the things a Narcissist is is someone who can't stop talking about him- or herself, which is the main feature of so-called "confessional poetry," a genre that has been around for centuries but that contemporary poets have forgotten, or never knew, how to write. "Lyric poetry" is basically confessional in nature, and it is one of the three major genres of poetry, the other two being narrative and dramatic poetry. But the word "lyric" means that it is musical; it is song. Take away the language music, and you get a poem like this, published on Keillor's Writer's Almanac on November 11th, 2008:
It wasn't, however, published as a prose paragraph;
my computer, when I copied and pasted it from Keillor's column, automatically
returned it to its natural form. It first appeared as lineated verse, but looking at
it, where would the reader wish to break it into lines? Why would it need to be
broken into lines? What, besides lineating it, would make it appear to be a
poem? It's a flat prose paragraph with nothing musical about it to recommend it
to the ear. And who is it that Erin Murphy is talking about, her daughter? Not
at all. Look at the last sentence. The poet is talking about herself, not her
child, and she is not singing her poem to make it interesting to a reader. What is she
saying? "Gee, my kid is awful cute, and I was just as cute when I was her
age." My final comment? Geck.
If that is Keillor as in
Garrison I will make like a rope and skip it. He recently did a fund raiser
here for the Lakewood Public Library. From reading letters to the editor of the
Lakewood community newspaper one would get the impression that a lot of the
audience members (mostly older "Prairie Home" fans) came away
wondering why GK felt it necessary to venture into the blue side. Instead of
"Lake Wobegon" they got "Like, Whoa! Where did that come from!”
William B. (Ohio)
When you say, "blue side," are you talking about
blue state / red state or language?
Unfortunately,language/topics. From reading about his
Lakewood performance and also from the fact that he refuses to do interviews* I
see just another performer whose public image is as much an illusion as his
(Full disclosure: my daughter was assigned by the editor
of the "Lakewood Observer", a community newspaper, to interview Mr.
Keillor the day of the show. It was after she had done her background
preparation that she was informed by Keillor's people that "Mr. Keillor
does not do interviews")
You have every right to be
I suggest a contest to write a new form: the Palindrone.
It is a poem that runs on and on with platitudes and cue words, appeals to the
ordinary, and amounts to the same, read backward or forward: garbage. Best read
from a TelePrompTer or memorized by rote before an interview.
I should be careful — my words may come back to haunt me
when, on January 21 Sarah Palin — acting as the controller of the Senate -
enacts laws that banish us elitists.
Paul A. Austin
Nice pun, Paul: "Palin-drone." I like it.
I like the insights and assessments on poetry. Palin is so mere a
flash in the pan that you may want a new label for that sort of
poetry, though-- I doubt she will raise a hair of memory in a very
few years down the road ... Thanks for the link. Sorry (as often)
to be slow ... medical appointments seem (like crabgrass) to be
spreading and taking hold just now. I plan to grow younger next
year, and not have so many.
The Virginia Quarterly Review "The Mutable Past," a memoir collected in FANTASEERS, A BOOK OF MEMORIES by Lewis Turco of growing up in the 1950s in Meriden, Connecticut, (Scotsdale AZ: Star Cloud Press, 2005).
The Tower Journal Two short stories, "The Demon in the Tree" and "The Substitute Wife," in the spring 2009 issue of Tower Journal.
The Tower Journal Memoir, “Pookah, The Greatest Cat in the History of the World,” Spring-Summer 2010.
The Michigan Quarterly Review This is the first terzanelle ever published, in "The Michigan Quarterly Review" in 1965. It has been gathered in THE COLLECTED LYRICS OF LEWIS TURCO/WESLI COURT, 1953-2004 (www.StarCloudPress.com).
The Gawain Poet An essay on the putative medieval author of "Gawain and the Green Knight" in the summer 2010 issue of Per Contra.