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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: 2018-02-24T00:32:04.775-05:00


Whelk by Elizabeth Adams. 12" x 10", $150 Elizabeth Adams has a newish art site with portfolio of drawings, watercolors, pastels, oils, acrylics, prints, and drawings. Still life, landscape (Iceland, Vermont, Quebec, New Zealand), and figurative work... Much of the work is for sale, and at reasonable prices. You can also check out her small, lovely publishing company, Phoenicia, and her

Proverbial snows


Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Village scene for Thaliad (Phoenicia Publishing) Everything feels  semi-proverbial this morning--the snow, the glass of water, the tea, the memories of the day before... The world went to all the trouble to summon up a warm wind for some hours yesterday and melt the snow heaps. Evidently that was in order to make a more lovely snowfall today.

Idle post, with squirrels


Photo by H. Dominque Abed, The Squirrels have won the Battle between the Squirrels and the Cardinals and their allies the Juncos. They have wrested the roof from the expensive, supposedly indestructible magic house, and have shaken all the seeds from the other feeder. The snow is black with seeds, and the roly-poly squirrels have dashed homeward. Their fur is shiny, their tails are lush

A. I. (After Internet)


     Out for dinner with another writer, I said, "I think I've forgotten how to read."      "Yes!" he replied, pointing his knife. "Everybody has."      "No, really," I said. "I mean I actually can't do it any more."       He nodded: "Nobody can read like they used to. But nobody wants to talk about it."           --Michael Harris, "I have forgotten how to read," Globe and Mail Going on a

Ash Valentine


Here's an ashy Valentine in honor of the conjunction of Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day... an unusual marriage. It's an illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins from Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia Press, 2012.)

A symbolic world and the children who played at slaughtering


Gold guilder of Mainz elector archbishop John II of Nassau (minted around 1400 in Höchst) Wikipedia A rather  peculiar post in honor of Shrove Tuesday For various reasons--most of them deadlines--I have not been reading as much as usual this year. One thing I have been slowly reading is the Jack Zipes translation of the original collection by the Brothers Grimm. Many of these stories would

Fairy stories


Adrienne Ségur illustration for "Prince Ivan, the InfantOgres, and the Little Sister of the Sun,"from The Snow Queen and Other Stories, an over-sized Golden Book I loved as a child.Still do! I've neglected the blog because I was busy polishing a novel--and still am neglecting it because I am cutting (ouch!) a certain long manuscript of poems for publication later this year. (It will be



Thalia, by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, from my post-apocalyptic adventure in blank verse, Thaliad (Montreal: Phoenicia Publishing, 2012) Clive is the answer to one of the questions below. I am busy scouring a novel and so offer a few Quora doodles in lieu of a proper post. These were written in little corners of time and often constitute a break from something larger--or you might say that they

A few more leafy heads--


I was under the impression that The Foliate Head (UK: Stanza Press) second printing was entirely cleaned out, but you can order a heavily discounted copy today: £2.00 instead of £15.00. Illuminations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins.

New poems at Mezzo Cammin


Three newish poems online at the polar bear issue! Bites from the openings: Melville at Mooring So frail and nearly mad, too old for seas, Recalling Greylock like a cresting wave, and Zodiac One of them is wandering with Bartram, Tasting breast-of-heron, vision shaken and Family Storybook: Peter Rabbit In the yard with the thrum of hummingbirds, With zinnias rioting from coffee cans, I

Books for young boys who read at a high level


Updated January 24 I made this list for the son of friends--he is 8 and already reading young adult books, long past Lewis's Narnia and Rowling's Potter. A request for titles included asking for some suggestions of books from earlier eras, so there are quite a few older books.  Please add your own thoughts about books you loved as a boy or girl in the comments. You might think also do



Brazilian photographer André Rainaud of Vitória, Espírito Santo For the curious who must know and for the curious who are merely idle, well, I am barely back from a nine-day trip to North Carolina--all five of us shut up in a Tundra truck for 1800 miles round trip! And we survived and had no fights and no burst pipes at home, so that is lovely. I have plunged back into frigid Cooperstown life



#EpiphanyChapel  #WinchesterCathedral  #PeterOrr

Twelfth Night, with poems online


"Murmurs of the Crones in Hackmatack" and "Cronesong" are up at The Orchards Poetry Journal. Catherine Chandler, Philip Quinlan, Corey Mesler, Kevin Durkin, Andrew Frisardi, and more are included.

Resolves and best-laid plans, 2018


Janusz Hylinski at Last year was a year of much travel for me--three trips from Cooperstown to western North Carolina, one long stay in Worcester, Massachusetts at the American Antiquarian Society, a trip to Paris, and a trip to Japan. This year will also have some travel, but I mean to make better use of time when I am at home. As I have a husband and three children plus lots of

Some books I read, 2017


Selected Reads and Rereads I'm not sure how much of a picture this gives of my reading, since a great deal of it is piecemeal (especially with poetry) and not shown here. But it is a part-picture of a ramble through the year. And you can probably puzzle out something or other about my current manuscript by a study of these books. Currently I'm reading some MacFarlane, some Denis Johnson, and

Bontasaurus poetry assemblage & more


Dave Bonta's second annual list of poetry books of the year is up, each chosen by a different writer: Just like last year, I thought I’d put out a call to poetry readers to contribute to a favorite poetry books list that doesn’t pay much heed to critical fashions or even date of publication. I asked people to try to select a single favorite book, which I realize is a tough assignment… and not

St. Stephen's Day, Wren Day, the 2nd Day of Christmas


Carlo Crivelli's St. Stephen, 1476The Demidoff AltarpieceNational Gallery, LondonRead about it here Jack Yeats, "Wren Boys"Source: @LissadellHouse, twitterRead about The Hunting of the Wren here

On the first day of Christmas


Clive Hicks-Jenkins, "The Armouring of Gawain," 2017 Silkscreen in collaboration with Daniel Bugg, Penfold Press Last year this print was a Christmas present (highly appropriate because "Gawain" is a winter's tale, a Christmas story), and this year my husband and I framed art from Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Beth Adams, Ruth Sanderson, and our Japan trip in time for Christmas. "The Armouring of

Christmas card


from "The Snow Queen" in The Snow Queenand Other stories--an oversize Golden Book with illustrations by Adrienne Segur I pored over my copy of The Snow Queen and Other Stories when I was a small child as blonde and blue-eyed as an Adrienne Segur character. Later little gold crowns ringed my pupils and my eyes turned green. My hair would darken. Back then I had a deep love for Segur's

Happy 25th, Bright Hill!


Saturday, December 16th will bring a celebration of Bright Hill Literary Center and Press in Treadwell, New York. Founded by writer Bertha Rogers in the upper Catskills, the center is now 25 years old and promises to be overrun with poets and story makers all afternoon! Please come if you're in the area. And there will be a reading to accompany a Bright Hill anthology launch. I'll be the

St. Lucy's Day lights--


Saint Lucy (Lucia) of Syracuse as portrayed by art student Mary MacArthur of the Catholic Illustrator's Guild--she did this piece in a figure drawing class (and made a few additions) back in 2010. I had never heard of the CIG before this, but as I love Fra Angelico, I like their motto: Fra Angelico ora pro nobis. Instead of presenting St. Lucy's eyes on a gold plate, Mary MacArthur gives us

The Seven Secrets Issue


The Rollipoke News, no. 5 is out today. And is jammed and crammed with secrets. I promised secrets to subscribers, and here they are. Enjoy, those of you who subscribe! (If you feel left out would like to subscribe, look at the right-hand column, near the top, for a Rollipoke sign-up.) Most of the art above is by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. The camellia photo was taken by Mary Beth Kosowski. Thanks

Phoenicia Publishing holiday newsletter and sale


Beautiful December newsletter--take a look and think about supporting a fine small press founded by Beth Adams. Small publishers need your love, your encouragement, and your financial support (that's a vote in favor of continued life for a small press) to do what they are doing. One-week holiday sale. I've pilfered a copy for anyone who might not be lucky enough to find one in their email or see

Manuscript critique


Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash Who will read my manuscript? This little gang of editors and writers was formed especially for the people who write and ask me to critique their manuscripts, and for those who ask for recommendations on how to find an editor. I have done some manuscript critiques for others (particularly friends-of-friends and locals) in the past but don't have time to do that