Will Nixon

Hudson Valley Poetry Blog

Will Nixon

Our very good friend from downstate, Will Nixon, sent us the following announcement regarding some updates to the Hudson Valley Poetry Blog that he runs.

Hello Everyone,

Two major poets will appear this Saturday at 5 pm at Woodstock’s Colony Cafe. Here’s my piece about Tim Seibles, who’s among my favorite discovery of this year http://willnixon.com/scratch  And here’s Celia Bland’s appreciation of Jean Valentine which first ran in American Poetry Review http://willnixon.com/valentinebland For more info, visit the Golden Notebook’s website http://www.goldennotebook.com/event/woodstock-poetry-society-festival-presents-jean-valentine-tim-seibles

Last week marked the second anniversary of the death of my dear friend and former wife, Emma Segal. Several poems brought back memories http://willnixon.com/windfucker   http://willnixon.com/weddingtrees As did a hike in the Hudson Highlands http://willnixon.com/mount-taurus-emma-segal

Meet two friends: Bruce Weber, a downtown poet who now writes upstate http://willnixon.com/bruce-weber   Georganna Millman still recovering from the Catskill floods http://willnixon.com/georganna-millman

And a lot more from poets near and far. Judy Lechner checks one off her bucket list http://willnixon.com/lechner Leslie Gerber occupies my blog http://willnixon.com/leslie-gerber  Phillip Levine offers his “Complete Chronogram Quips” http://willnixon.com/chronogramquips  Chris Kluge tells us why she reads poetry http://willnixon.com/tenderness-by-christine-boyka-kluge Alan Casline finds his life mapped out in the Normanskill Watershed http://willnixon.com/alan-casline-watershed-poet Jo Pitkin praises Nancy Willard, one of our finest Hudson Valley poets http://willnixon.com/bread-loaf-to-sugarloaf Gray Jacobik writes a remarkable memoir in verse about her troubled son http://willnixon.com/grayjacobik

I also survive Sparrow’s translation of my poem into plain English. He’s made mincemeat out of New Yorker poems. He makes mincemeat out of mine. But, hey, he’s a genius. http://willnixon.com/sparrow

What’s the nuttiest thing you’ve done to procrastinate? http://willnixon.com/procrastinate

Next week the zombies are coming. http://willnixon.com/why-i-love-zombies

Tomorrow I blog about Philip Schultz’s new book, My Dyslexia. Here’s why this short memoir meant so much to me, a poem from my own collection, My Late Mother as a Ruffed Grouse:


The year I learned the hangman’s noose,
I tied it everywhere: tire swings, clothes lines,
the drawstrings on the rec room curtains
that hung my pinkie purple during commercials.
“The doctor says you only want attention
because of your little brother,” Mom said,
cupping her dishpan hands like horse blinders,
so she wouldn’t see my purple finger, my eyelids folded
inside out like plum skins. My doctor didn’t wear
a white coat, didn’t depress my tongue
with an extra-wide popsicle stick. In a bow tie
always tilted to the side like a stopped propeller,
he played checkers and asked me easy questions,
like why I felt it necessary to pour dirt
down my brother’s underwear. “Because I like to,”
I said, “besides he doesn’t care.” My doctor never
smiled or frowned when I jumped his pieces,
sometimes three in a row. “Do you enjoy pulling
his pants down in public?” he asked.
“He doesn’t care. He’s dyslexic. Ask my mom.”
“And what does dyslexic mean?”
“It means,” I said, “he throws a baseball like a girl.
He gets to stay home from school in his bathrobe
because he didn’t do his homework. He’s fat,
and he’ll eat ants if I tell him to.”
My doctor suddenly jumped four pieces and chose red
for the next game. “I think it means you should be nice
to him,” my doctor said. “Yeah,” I said,
“but you’re not his brother.”