30 Mar 2020
Nominated: Pushcart Prize
“I drove Pacific Northwest November numb / through trees like tall green drifts to the ocean / seething with chaos.”
Wanderlust in the Pacific Northwest.
My latest poem is available in Issue 7 of Impossible Archetype. “Passage” is the end result of many drafts and the merging of two separate poems into one. It’s amazing to go back to the earliest drafts of these poems to see what I retained and what I cut out or edited. It also went through several title changes (“The Wanderlust” became “Wanderlust” before merging with another poem that began as “Creative Blank” and then became “First and Until” and “First & Until” before I finally changed it to the published title.)
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now miss the ocean while living here in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The two poems shared in their first draft and first line these references: “You were on your way to the ocean” and “To the sea.” They merged together so easily in January 2019, and as a result, the sense of constant dissatisfaction and wanderlust I felt as a youth feels even more concentrated.
This issue of Impossible Archetype is particularly good, in my opinion. Several poems like “It Takes Him an Hour or So to Love Me” by Jake Weaver, “My Mother’s Hands” by Mei Mei Sun, “Pianissimo” by Cyril Wong, and “The Jellyfish Sting” by Órla Fay are insightful, touching, and full of complicated emotions. “Loneliest Place in America” by Scott Wiggerman is a beautifully crafted long poem. Its form and journey through Robert Frost’s poem “Desert Places” kept me attentive and engaged.