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Preview: The Palace at 2:00 a.m.

Marly Youmans / The Palace at 2:00 a.m. / poems, stories, novels

Seek Giacometti’s “The Palace at 4 a.m.” Go back two hours. See towers and curtain walls of matchsticks, marble, marbles, light, cloud at stasis. Walk in. The beggar queen is dreaming on her throne of words…You have arrived at the web home of Mar

Updated: 2016-12-10T05:36:15.686-05:00


Emily Barton on Catherwood


Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996 When a wonderful writer writes a essay about a book of mine that is more than twenty years old, well, I am more touched and grateful that I can easily express. It could not have come at a better time--a time when I, like Catherwood, have been wandering in a wilderness, though mine is not the same as hers but more the sort of Hansel and Gretel forest that a writer

Another poem at Autumn Sky


I've been seldom-seen in these airy rooms--lots of celebrations and time-consuming activities and also deadlines. But here's a little nibble: Icarus, Icarus, Paratrooper Homage to Charles Causley Slung down from heaven, torn silks whipped By precipitous wind, he tripped From air and rammed the blasting sea Read the whole poem here. And yes, I love the poems of the Cornish

Tea and poem

2016-11-12T09:58:32.860-05:00 Quite a week. I'm glad it is over. The hysteria still rages on social media and elsewhere, but maybe it's already time for a cup of tea and a poem. Also in the week's worry, my family's ridge-top solar envelope home in Cullowhee was saved from the wildfires by bold and brave firefighters. I thank them for that and think of them every day as

Another Veterans Day


My father is at far right, standing.Blaine Corbin, the waist gunner, had just been killed by flak,so the crew of nine is now eight. A Veterans Day post in memory of a 17-year-old Georgia sharecropper's boy who joined up with the Army Air Corps 91st Bomb Group and fought as tail gunner on the Incendiary Blonde during World War II... Requiescat in pace, Hubert L. Youmans. You traveled a long

More on medieval prayer-nuts


Prayer Bead, 1500-1530, Mouth of Hell Mouth of Hell Photo, The Globe and Mail: Ian LeFebvre Not so long ago I wrote a group of poems for the Phoenicia Publishing anthology on the Annunciation, and then let publisher Elizabeth Adams pick what she liked best. One of the poems was about a medieval prayer-nut, and it appeared in John Wilson's Books and Culture. Now there is some new research

All Saints Day


"They have all gone into the world of light" --Vaughan Candles for the dead at York Minster. A dash of the long-dead Henry Vaughan in honor of the day-- They are all gone into the world of light!  And I alone sit ling’ring here;  Their very memory is fair and bright,  And my sad thoughts doth clear.  It glows and glitters in my cloudy breast,  Like stars upon some gloomy grove,  Or those

All Hallows Eve


My daughter's pumpkin... If you want to see the rest of the family pumpkins, you'll have to go here. There's the traditional and the poop-emoji pumpkin and one spewing seeds. Have a good All Hallows Eve and a wonderful All Saints Day.

Autumn skies


Phone snap taken during a ramble down from the Canadian border through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and the Cascades. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,     Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;  Conspiring with him how to load and bless     With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;  To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,     And fill all fruit with ripeness

Rerun: 4 Digby video poems from The Throne of Psyche


Mercer University Press, 2011, in hardcover or paperback Cover art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins Design by Mary-Frances Glover Burt Carving pumpkins, herding cats and progeny, writing some tight small poems in a pause mid-novel: I've been empty of blog posts somehow, so please take this little homage to and appreciation of Paul as an apology. More anon. Videos by UK-born Paul Digby, composer,

Touchstones and the Nobel kerfuffle


Muse reading a scroll by an open chest. Attic red-figure lekythos, ca. 435-425 BC. From Boeotia. Musée du Louvre. Public domain, Wikipedia. Bob Dylan . . . can be read and should be read [italics mine], and is a great poet in the grand English poetic tradition. --Sara Danius, Nobel Permanent Secretary  or  There’s little that’s inherently controversial about praising words originally meant

Inaugural, redux


Remembering the 2013 challenge to write an inaugural poem from poets Richard Krawiec and Kay Stripling Byer, I rooted around for this poem. I find it curious to contemplate those older thoughts during this campaign, the most--shall we politely say lively?--lively and divisive American election since the campaign of 1828. If you want to see the comments people made about the poem back in

Good things


Ashley Norwood Cooper, "The Virgin Mary Paints St. Luke on her iPad" is at left (look for Mary in a red gown.) no. 1 Hurrah for another Pushcart Prize poetry nomination! Thanks to Trinacria for nominating "Portrait of the Magi as Three Horses." no. 2 Franklin Einspruch says: "Perhaps for the first time in history, we are looking at the possibility of a conservative avant-garde." He was

A beginning, with green sheep...


*The Ferrol Sams Award.*Silver Award, Foreword Book of the Year Awards. * "Its themes and the power of its language, the forceful flow of its storyline and its characters have earned the right to a broad national audience." review I have been busy with children and deadlines and applying for a short fellowship, so here is a little snip from A Death at the White Camellia Orphanage

Golem and swan


Thanks to Prufrock News for once again featuring one of my poems, this time linking to "The Poet and the Golem" from Books and Culture. Artists of all sorts need chatty champions, people who are willing to get the word out and say in public what they admire and like. For every writer who is the lucky recipient of a black swan, there are many more who go swanless. After Typee and Omoo, Melville

Dear old Blogspot,


Have I mentioned that Facebook has a thing for me? Facebook is constantly asking me what's on my mind, though it (he?) never offers to give me a penny--not one red cent--for what's on my mind. What's on my mind, Facebook? Twitter. Where I just discovered the following important information: 1.) Definitely not keeping up. Entirely missed until now that WaPo declared Hillary Clinton to be "style

The nature of research


What am I doing? Among other things, reading about the types and sources of cloth and ribbon excavated from a seventeenth-century privy in Massachusetts. Fascinating.

Richness and beauty


Isak Dinesen aka Karen Blixen, especially for anyone crisping and broiling and smoking in oil over public (Trump, Clinton, etc.) and private issues: Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever. The wider one can manage to get one’s

More snails


Snail Jar. So I call it!Terracotta jar with three handles Late Minoan ca. 1600–1500 B.C.The Met. Schliemann collection. Dear diary: What madness it is to start a novel in the midst of upheaval--weekly Wednesday and often Sunday theater performances by my husband and eldest all summer, planning to move a child living at home to Atlanta, need to visit my mother far away, general mayhem of life

The admirable and most famous Snail Water.


Photo by Skippy3E of  I have been doing a bit of research and feel like sharing this delightful seventeenth-century recipe with you... The admirable and most famous Snail Water. Take a peck of garden shell snails, wash them well in small beer, and put them in a hot Oven till they have done making a noise, then take them out, and wipe them well from the green froth that is upon them,

Summer theatricals


For this family, it is the last of the summer theater season tomorrow. My husband and eldest son were in Arthur Miller's The Crucible--nine wonderful performances over the summer, set in the new amphitheater beside the lake, under the changing moon and the stars--GlimmerGlobe Theatre, sponsored by the Fenimore Museum. On the last night, my daughter's silkscreened t-shirts for cast members,



"Hell, Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant was the subject of this kind of [sf/f/h] community outrage last summer, but it’s the best Fantasy novel I’ve read in years. American poet Marly Youmans’ Thaliad might be the best post-apocalyptic book I’ve ever read. Neither of these writers come from traditional genre backgrounds, but they’ve shown up and produced dazzling works nonetheless." --Tom

How a table named a book--


Almost twenty years ago, I was living in a splendid but somewhat ramshackle Arts and Crafts / Tudor house on South Park Avenue in Greenville, South Carolina. A large house, it had a big, wonderful dining room with high fumed oak wainscoting. We had no table to fit such a large room, and no money with which to buy one worthy of the space. One day I found a table in the alley. Unable to find out

"The elation of colour"


I like this little article including new research into the making of medieval manuscripts. Here's a clip: The contents of a scriptorium’s cabinet have something of the ‘eye of bat, toe of frog’ about them. The parchment pages are goatskin, sheepskin, calfskin, split and pared down to tissue thinness, or they are ‘uterine vellum’ — the skin of aborted calves. Cuttlefish bones scraped the



to writer and anthologist Lynne Jamneck, who says, "Eight stories from Dreams From the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror received honorable mentions by Ellen Datlow for "The Best Horror of the Year 8."  Sonya Taaffe - “All Our Salt-Bottled Hearts”Molly Tanzer - “But Only Because I Love You”Marly Youmans - “The Child and the Night Gaunts”Karen Heuler - “All Gods Great and Small

Rabbit, rabbit--


August first so soon! It's time to begin a novel, time to read four books by writers I have not read before and get the reviews in by month's end, time to figure out what to do with some poetry manuscripts . . . time to hunker down and improve the time.