Poets I Know and Love
Hanging over the sink in the little hidey-hole that serves as our bar are two framed poems – “what will I say to her at 90” and “60 turns nyel.” The first was written for my mother on the occasion of her 89th birthday and the second, many years later, for Nyel’s 60th. The poet was our friend Casey Killingsworth, Oysterville’s ‘Singing Postmaster.’
Casey and his wife, Cynthia, live up the Columbia Gorge now and we don’t see them very often, but yesterday I noticed those poems and wrote them a note, in part to twit Casey a bit that there wasn’t a poem for me. He wrote write back – not a poem, but with the news that he had applied for a Master’s Program at Oxford! Okay, you guessed it: I wasn’t selected. But I did make the final short list, so at least I feel ambiguous instead of dejected.
Oxford’s loss, I say. I dug out Casey’s slim volume of poetry, a handbook for water, published by Cranberry Press in 1996. I turned to “the end of april as we know it” and read the first few lines:
there was a time not too long ago,
maybe even last year
when i could go on a jog with bill and feel
like when i picked my left foot up and
when i brought it down
the world would be there to catch it
Yes. Oxford’s loss.
And yesterday I spent the lunch hour with Cate Gable who, last year completed her MFA in Poetry at Pacific Lutheran University. Later this week she goes to Olympia for the launch of an anthology, Washington 129, compiled by Tod Marshall, our state’s Poet Laureate. One of Cate’s poems is included!
We talked about her recent (as in last week!) trip to Berkeley where she delivered a paper on Alice B. Toklas based on a chapbook she did some years back after extensive research at the University of California’s Bancroft Library. While there she hobnobbed with the editor of “Poetry Flash,” (was asked to become its Northwest Correspondent) and other literary moguls. Did I say that she prepared a fabulous lunch for us? No Alice B. Toklas brownies, though…
And Bob Pyle does Bob Pyle have a new book of poetry out? How did I miss that? Why didn’t we have a book gathering à la our House Concerts for him like we did for his first book of poetry? I think I’m losing my grip. Or maybe it’s just one of those wishful thinking rumors. Nevertheless, I’m clapping and cheering for all of my poet friends’ milestones and accomplishments! I am in awe. And probably in love, as well! Such awesome people!