All posts by Lisa Ryan

Learning v. Education


 

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” -Einstein During the last few years I’ve debated going to graduate school for poetry. Do I need a formal degree to get where I want to be as a poet? A look at price tags helped me decide quickly, at least for the time being. But shortly after putting the issue aside, I was presented with two literary opportunities that felt like the perfect interim education: copy writing at my content marketing firm and co-editing poetry for Streetlight Magazine. Maybe grad school could wait … Continue reading Learning v. Education

Let Them Read Poetry!


 

    I once heard another poet say, “Only poets read poetry.” My reaction was half- pshah! that can’t be true! and half- ah, how true! Personally, my reading list is split pretty equally between poetry and fiction/memoirs- recently it’s Matthew Dickman’s All-American Poetry and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. One is on Oprah’s book club list and the other isn’t.   The above claim- only poets read poetry- ruffles my curiosity. I know many non-writers who read poetry, but usually, they have some other personal connection to the arts. What about the person who read … Continue reading Let Them Read Poetry!

Fence by Corey Mesler


 

Fence for Margie   She built that fence in the snow. All we saw of her was her red anorak and the upward flash of her tool, a hammer. Later, after her husband died and we tried to visit she wouldn’t come to the door. Now all that’s left is that fence, weathered, sturdy, still barring us, though she has moved away. She took her dog with her but she left the dish behind. Now, it sits there like a bright blue plug. We think if we remove it the whole yard may swirl inward, … Continue reading Fence by Corey Mesler

Lover’s Quarrel; At the Intersection by Stephen Hitchcock


 

Lover’s Quarrel   1 Because you cling like cigarette smoke, thin and acrid, in the brim of my hat, as if you know God lives on the addiction of our breath. 2 When the shadows finish wallpapering the bedroom, and the crows flock east with the traffic, is when. 3 How can I watch, in peace, the city bathe behind the sheer plastic shower curtain of the rain? My eyes towel off a nakedness not ours. 4 Because it’s late, and we know it will all expire, and I’ve programmed the wind, an oscillating fan, … Continue reading Lover’s Quarrel; At the Intersection by Stephen Hitchcock

Katie on Fire; Just a Drip by Dan Bieker


 

Katie on Fire   Sunset and silence, chocolate bars and coffee— Katie fingers rifle shells after dinner, stacked in rows and flicked the way a child does dominoes. These mountains have a way of messing with one’s marbles, loose, scattered…sometimes spilled. She had banked on babies, and her husband holding still; got busted fence instead, scattered cattle, a cold bed. Tomorrow— ten inches of new snow twenty degrees, and another dog to bury. Peach blossoms in April— she can only dream pounding the floorboards raw pacing off caffeine. Fresh butter beans, strawberries ripe and dirt … Continue reading Katie on Fire; Just a Drip by Dan Bieker

Optional Yoga at Sunrise by Daniel Becker


 

Optional Yoga at Sunrise   We’re told to drop into each breath then release the air like wind in the trees. Outside, a windmill slices light. The murmuring pines are all piñons. The desert flows into the mountains. The air is dry as sand. We’re told to look but not to focus, but I can close both eyes and follow a ripple of wind across a lagoon where it reaches a beach outlined by palms, barely ruffling their fronds. My yoga wants to be the balmy kind, the early morning dozing kind. With practice and … Continue reading Optional Yoga at Sunrise by Daniel Becker

The Poet’s Buzz


 

I recently took a short trip to the beach to escape “buzz.” Do you know that sensation I’m referring to? Not the hum of a summer fly trapped in your kitchen, more like a ubiquitous sensory and informational shower of input. There’s almost too much to process out there, and “out there” is bigger than ever before. We’re wired in and logged on; there’s a new image or report coming from every direction each minute. [frame align=”right”][/frame]Upon returning to the beach after 12 months away, my intense fascination with seashells swelled. I embraced my inner … Continue reading The Poet’s Buzz

Teresa Lewis; Choosing the Nude by Lisa Ryan


 

Teresa Lewis   They are raising amnesty signs along the courthouse road portraits with her missing lateral incisor filled in perhaps to make her look more like themselves perhaps taking back the tooth-for-a-tooth. In their silence I recall her singing “I need a miracle” and her voice is not empty more like a bowl with overflowing reminders of how long it’s been since I sang for anything. I will be eating artichokes when her veins drink that final cocktail devouring the heart while the maple leaves shout with their loudest colored voices, falling quietly on … Continue reading Teresa Lewis; Choosing the Nude by Lisa Ryan