"Inside The Splintered Wood is tender and deeply human. Myles Gordon is simply an outstanding poet." - Kathleen Spivack, author of With Robert Lowell And His Circle

"Inside The Splintered Wood is a very funny book. But don't take this poet lightly. He'll be the one telling the "joke of utter humanity" when the place blows up."
- Natasha Saje, author of Bend

"...The debut collection from Myles Gordon is at once brave and ravenous; an embodiment of love starved for itself."
- Brendan Constantine, author of Calamity Joe

"A remarkable sonnet sequence lies at the heart of Myles Gordon's brave collection about family and history and the resulting wounds and recovery. "
- Jennifer Barber, author of Given Away


Friday, December 6, 2013

If you want a great read, check out Sherman Alexie's What I've Stolen, What I've Earned

Monday, November 25, 2013

Another great reading at the Cambridge Library

Phenomenal poet Frank Bidart fills out the Louisa Solano Poetry Series at the Cambridge Public Library. Hope you can attend.

Louisa Solano reading series at the Cambridge Public Library  presents:


Frank Bidart 
Tuesday,  December 3, 2013
6:30 p.m.
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Lecture Hall
Cambridge
Free

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two New Poems

I'm glad two say I have two new poems out. One has an odd title: "Franz Wright Comes To Starbucks" and appears in the wonderful Muddy River Poetry Review - view the poem here

The other has an odder title, "Anne Frank In Space," and appears in Poetica Magazine, a journal of contemporary Jewish-themed poetry, available at this link

Please check them out!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Louisa Solano Poetry Series

Wonderful reading upcoming. David Ferry at the Cambridge Public Library


David Ferry Poetry Reading
Louisa Solano Poetry Series
Tuesday,  November 5, 2013
6:30 p.m.
Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway, Lecture Hall
Cambridge

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Boston Book Festival

Great event coming up this weekend. The Boston Book Festival. Many events throughout Greater Boston found here:


Please make sure you check out this event THIS SUNDAY: Zvi Sesling (“Fire Tongue”) and Paul Steven Stone (“How To Train a Rock”) read at 12 noon at Plymouth Center for the Arts, 11 North St., Plymouth

Zvi is a fabulous poet, and also runs the Muddy River Poetry Review, a wonderful online magazine.

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Blessing

Haven't written a post in a while. Was actually been in the hospital for five days with a weird condition called "orbital cellulitis," a sinus infection that spreads into the eye socket. It hit me the Friday night the Red Sox clinched the eastern division. Here is the narrative I emailed to someone while in the hospital:


"The night the Sox clinched first place in the division I was checking into the urgent care room for my HMO because one of my eyeballs was frozen in place, and my eyelid was blown up like a balloon. It was Friday, about 5:30, when I put the call into my plan. The usual office that sees me was full - no appointments left. The only center with an opening was located at 133 Boylston Street - as in directly across from Fenway Park. So there I was, in no way fit to drive, maneuvering past pre-game yahoos to get to the parking garage (I was unable to turn my head to the left at this point - not fun on a street full of revelers - most of whom I assume began drinking early). I made it to the appointment where after five minutes they determined I needed to hit the emergency room at Mass. Eye and Ear. They convinced me not to drive and called me a cab. After meeting the triage nurse, I sat moaning and groaning, a blanket around my shoulders and one on my head to shield me from the light (I was pretty sensitive to light). Finally inside, a few tests by the eye doctor revealed to him I needed a CT scan. By this time, my wife had secured someone to watch the kids and came and joined me. Finally, in the outer area, awaiting the CT technician, I caught glimpse of Channel 5, where sports anchor Mike Lynch was on field interviewing David Ortiz, who seemed mighty happy. Though really only adept with one eye, and not close enough to hear the TV, I surmised the Sox had clinched. Now here I am, in room 1129 of Mass Eye and Ear, two days later, on heavy doses of antibiotics. Apparently a severe sinus infection spread to the front and back of my eye. So I was indeed next to Fenway Park, if only briefly, for the clinching game, and my Honda Accord was parked across the street for the whole thing, and whatever post game celebration that followed. It is safe to say that I will always remember where I was for this momentous occasion."

Anyway - out of the hospital, and it's a blessing that all seems to be calming down physically, and that the Sox have come so far. So I close with a great poem, "A Blessing," by James Wright.


A Blessing – James Wright

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness   
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.   
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.   
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me   
And nuzzled my left hand.   
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl’s wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

If it weren't for Louisa Solano, there'd be a lot less poetry around here. The Grolier Book Shop in Harvard Square has been a haven for poetry lovers since 1927. Louisa owned the shop for decades before handing the shop over to owner Ifeanyi Menkiti in 2006. Now, the Cambridge Public Library honors Louisa with a new reading series. Please come, Tuesday, October 1, at 6:30 PM to hear Robert Pinsky and Gail Mazur read, in the series inaugural event. Click here for more details.

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Day Of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school for my own children. Last Monday was the first day of school for the children I teach. It's always a day full of nerves: children coming into the big building for the first time since June (or for the first time ever) full of anticipation, hesitation, and too often, trepidation. The more I teach, the more I realize teachers come into school the same way. I find as a parent I tend to forget that teachers have dozens of other students to attend to besides my own; and as a teacher, I forget that it's the parents who shoulder the brunt of responsibility for my students. It's the parents who must comfort the crying children waking from bad dreams, who must see their children through the growing pains, and be there for them - even though one is exhausted and stretched too thin. At best, parents and teachers are a mechanism working together for the good of each child, and it does take a lot of work. A wish for good first days of school, and a school year full of growth, accomplishment, and success.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day

Labor day became a national holiday in the 1880s partially as response to escalations in conflict between striking laborers and government agents (police, army) and sometimes private agents hired by the companies to quell (quite violently) worker unrest. A lot of blood was shed to create things like the five-day work week, to improve safety conditions for workers, to decrease child labor and create a modicum of a livable wage. Unions, and the political parties that fostered them (Communist, Socialist among them) were not the dirty words that are now -  in fact they were the cause for a lot of good, made up of people who risked their lives and their families' well-being - so, say, New York garment workers and Chicago meat packing plant laborers  didn't have to risk their lives when they did their grueling jobs. So here's to unions, to organized labor, and to the political and social organizations and individuals that support them and realize the good they do. No, organized labor and unions are not perfect - there have been misdeeds and corruption - but that is human and to be expected, and the good has far outweighed the bad. Between the barbecues, back to school sales, final jaunts to the Cape, and long weekend chilling out, please remember why Labor Day is Labor Day.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Heaney

When I was in my young thirties, I was browsing in the Grolier Book Shop, in Harvard Square, when Seamus Heaney walked in. The proprietor of the Grolier, Louisa, liked me, primarily, I think, because I always bought a book when I went to her shop. So she introduced me to Heaney, which prompted me to buy one of his books - Seeing Things. I was going through my shelf of poetry books at home yesterday and happened to pull that book out at random (it has a lovely photograph of a sculpted gold ship on the cover) to find that he had actually autographed the book. I remember him in that brief encounter as rumpled and polite - polite as any poet would be when supplied with cash money for a book - and probably more so than that. I also was lucky enough to catch him at the AWP conference this year in Boston, engaging in conversation with Derek Walcott, moderated by Rosanna Warren. At one point, Walcott praised Heaney effusively, to which a smiling Heaney replied, "I will pay back the compliment, but not right this moment. That wouldn't be decorous." I'm glad I had these brief, close encounters with the great poet. I have read again and again the section in "Station Island," where the gunned down protagonist eloquently speaks to the uselessness and horror of sectarian violence, and tried my best many times to approximate Heaney's smooth terza rima. In other words, his poetry had a big influence on me, and influences me still. To paraphrase Auden - "Earth receive and honored guest/ The poet Heaney is laid to rest."

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New School Year

School has started up again with a whole new flock of students. Either they're getting younger, or I'm getting older. One student asked me today how old I was. I told him to guess. He said "65". Yeesh. I guess I'm getting older.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

There's a terrific event happening next week. Please be advised, Gloria Mindock, who runs Cervena Barva Press, in Somerville, is having a book launch for her new chapbook, Pleasure Trout. There will be a book launch, reading and signing Wednesday, August 28, at the Center For The Arts At The Armony, Cervena Barva Press Studio, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville, at 7 PM

Saturday, August 17, 2013

TV News

Please tune in Thursday night, August 22 to Chronicle (Channel 5, WCVB TV - Boston) to see a short feature on my book, Inside The Splintered Wood. Thanks, Chronicle, for the mention.

Also, thank you, Boldfacers, for the flattering profile.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A really terrific reading last night with Kathleen Spivack and Marlaina Nugent, at Cervena Barva, at the Armory in Somerville. It's great to be part of the strong poetry community this area has to offer.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Poetry Reading Tuesday August 13, 7 PM, Center For The Arts At The Armory, 191 Highland Ave., Somerville with the wonderful Marlaina Nugent, the terrific Kathleen Spivack, and me.

Met with wonderful poet Catherine Sasanov this morning. if you don't know her work, check it out here.

So many wonderful writers in the Boston area...