Andrea Cohen & Memorious

I’m now 4 poems behind — haven’t managed to write another poem since finishing the Pleiades poems — but I’m trying not to get too worked up about it. I’ve really enjoyed being so poetry-centric, and I’m happy with what I have written, but I have to say, between a full-time job, Vincent, poetry readings, & NaPoWriMo, my husband has been seriously neglected. So the next thing I need to accomplish this month is not only re-finding my writing practice, but also how to maintain it without exhausting myself and alienating Lance.

One of the aspects of NaPoWriMo that’s been really fun is reading all the drafts posted at various participating poets’ blogs, and reading about their various practices. Some poets, like Diane Lockward, seem to have a process like mine, long & tedious. Others, like Reb Livingston, just let it rip, which I find utterly terrifying. I’m not afraid of the Very Bad Draft, but I certainly don’t want to expose them for general reading. I posted my Pleiades, but they were very very far from first drafts — which is why I’m exhausted.

I’m going to try to keep it up, taking as my example all these amazing poets, who lead lives just as busy.


I’ve been reading Andrea Cohen’s The Cartographer’s Vacation (Owl Creek Press, 1999), and, liking it immensely, I of course Googled her, which then led me to the online journal Memorious, which published some of her poems in a couple issues. This is an unknown journal to me, and considering the caliber of the poetry they publish, I’m so surprised I’ve never heard of them — their newest issue includes Steven Cramer and Bob Hicok, for crying out loud! Check them out, you’ll be glad you did. At the very least, read Andrea Cohen’s poems.


For crying out loud.

One of Lance’s exclamations, the phrase that’s not full of curse words that he utters in moments of panic/anger/bewilderment, the phrase that amuses me to no end, is, “Oh my Jesus!”

It’s funny to me because we were both raised Catholic, and even though we no longer attend church or do anything related to religion, everyone knows being Catholic never really leaves you in many regards, including this one — it just seems so outrageous that he’d reference Jesus in tense situations.

And I keep picturing Vincent picking up on it. I don’t know what would be worse: being in the grocery store & Vincent suddenly crying, “For f***’s sake!” (mine) or “Oh my Jesus!”

2 responses to “Andrea Cohen & Memorious

  1. Have to comment on Jesus and cursing…

    A friend of mine just moved to a new city and described the residents: “The average person lived within a few mile radius their entire life, met their spouse in high school and would chose Jesus as the biggest influence in their lives.” Sounds a lot like where I grew up, except that Jesus part. When my younger sister was in high school, my mother was surveyed what would be the most influential aspect in your daughter’s life. She responded family, friends and the Catholic church (which conflicted with Lori’s response which included Love Boat reruns). I think that we don’t mention Jesus because we have more characters (the rest of the trinity, Mary, angels, saints, the pope). I asked another friend and she said it was an outsourced religion. We have a designated person to pray to if you lost your keys (for Saint Anthony, press 1). A very decentralized system.

    But I guess we do give Jesus stand alone billing when we curse, though my grandmother always did the list: Jesus, Mary and Joseph

  2. That’s brilliant.

    Lance says that in Germany, when you curse you say, “Sacriment Crucifix!” with a very strong accent (spelling may differ), and you never say it around women or children because it’s a very bad thing to say.

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