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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: 2017-04-28T02:00:30.313-04:00


Curiouser and curiouser


The fabulous Miss Yo-Yo! I've written seven pieces so far for a collaborative project that will result in a solo show in September, one that mixes visual arts (pen and ink, with colored inks) with poems and stories. Though I can't say anything much about it in public now--because we all love good surprises, and I can't spoil this one--I will be writing about it more privately in The



Yellow-blue morning Four male and three female goldfinches perched on the feeder, backed by a lawn that is a low meadow in shades of blue scilla and a few yellow crocuses. Plus a persistent squirrel. I am recalling my father's electrifying squirrel-defenses.... More on my wanderings, for the curious or downright nosey-- Grovewood Gallery by Grove Park Inn After I returned from Paris, I

"Lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life"


Moreau's Jason and Medea, Musée d'Orsay, Wikipedia public domain It's a bit odd that I made it to Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu before I ever made it to Paris but so it is. Here are a few scattered thoughts about my just-finished trip, which was quite wonderful and not at all like Lent (aside from sore knees and seeing many skulls and bones and rambling in the chilly rain.) What is so alluring



Learning curve: just sent a Rollipoke News out today... And got a bunch of replies. And then replied to one to absolutely everybody enrolled. Sorry out there!



I'm fresh back from Paris and promise to post soon--hope you have done something wonderful in the past week!

Small hurrah on Shrove Tuesday


Yesterday I finished the draft of a novel. For me, it is quite long--358 pages of text, plus the usual front matter and divisions. And it has a glossary. I'm not sure whether I'll include the glossary. It glosses dialect words and clears up some common misconceptions. Maybe I'll just post it.... I'll take a break from the manuscript, and then start to revise it and also do some  persnickety

The Rollipoke News, no. 1


Courtesy of Jenny W. of Honolulu, For those of you who are waiting with the bated kind of breath: the first issue of The Rollipoke (a.k.a. The Rollipoke News, The Rollicking Rollipoke, etc.) will be launched into the interspace tomorrow. And I hope you enjoy the peculiar little newsletter that promises to give you the news about my books and doings before anybody else has it--news



Don't be a nozzle! Tiny Equus africanus asinus Creative Commons Wikipedia Note: It seems to me that Roderick Robinson's comments are more interesting than the post. So maybe you should read them! I've been researching such interesting topics as  total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace and so on, hanging with Calvin and the reformed tradition, hanging

Elecampane and pippin-pap


Public domain, Wikipedia. Doman Hering: Judgement of Paris, c. 1529, Solnhofen limestone, 22 x 19.7 cm; Paris (the knight) is a portrait of Otto Henry, Elector Palatine, Hera a portrait of his wife Susanna. Bode-Museum Berlin. Well, it's not the admirable and most famous Snail Water, but it might come in handy on these cold winter nights... An approved Conserve for a Cough or



Sign up for The Rollipoke News.  An occasional newsletter-- "news of upcoming books (fiction and poetry by Marly Youmans, both new and reprints),  public events, strange happenings, lost words, etc." And the occasional interesting freebie.  Rollipoke: a coarse hempen cloth once considered  "fit to be used as bags or wrappers for rolls or bales of finer goods" (Robert Forby, The

Stylish, heartfelt Stevenson


Stevenson's tomb on Mount Vaea, Western Samoa Clip from a gorgeous letter by Robert Louis Stevenson: Lastly we come to those vocations which are at once decisive and precise; to the men who are born with the love of pigments, the passion of drawing, the gift of music, or the impulse to create with words, just as other and perhaps the same men are born with the love of hunting, or the sea, or

Light and language


Candlemas Candlemas Eve: no doubt this year we are all looking for more candles in the dark. For me, more light goes with clearer language and less jargon and less political correctness (a kind of jargon of thinking  and language together that obscures sight.) I have been rereading colonial materials that I haven't read since graduate school, and marveling again how literate and bright the

Thorn from Thaliad


Book illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins for Thaliad Clive at the Artlog: When my friend, the writer Marly Youmans asked me how I’d define myself in relation to my collaborations with her, I unhesitatingly wrote back, partly in fun, ‘illuminator’.

Help Jordan Murray pick a cover


Want to help Jordan Murray with her very first book cover decision? Jordan is the daughter of a friend of mine, and we recently met to talk over first novel (a fantasy) and her decision about whether to submit to publishers or to strike out into the exciting wilderness of self-publishing. Now she has decided to self-publish and just asked me what I thought of her choices of cover. So now you can

Seeing silence


Andrew Garfield and Yôsuke Kubozuka Having seen Martin Scorcese's Silence (seeing silence--strange way of speaking) late Sunday night in Utica, I want to recommend it, and also this Alissa Wilkinson review, which I find more nuanced, attentive, and accurate than most of the reviews I have seen since. The genius of Endō’s story and Scorsese’s adaptation is that it won’t characterize anyone as

Cat exploded? Make good art.


Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins for Thaliad Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and eaten by a mutated boa constrictor? Make good art.

2 at Mezzo Cammin


Two newish poems are up at Mezzo Cammin: the tetrameter "The Soul Considered as a Boat" and "The Thursday of Mysteries," an ekphrastic pentameter poem (after "Christ Washing the Feet of the Apostles" by Meister des Hausbuches, 1475.)  Kim Bridgford, poet and editor and more, with a comment on Facebook: Delighted to share the new issue of Mezzo Cammin! Thrilled to feature so many wonderful

Postscript to "Precipitous slippage"


Illumination by Clive Hicks-Jenkins  for Thaliad I've really enjoyed the comments here and on Facebook about my "Precipitous slippage" post--the fun including meeting a poet I like and learning a lot more about other writer friends as well. And now look at this fine news about Thaliad, along with a wonderful, hopeful message about poetry from Phoenicia Publishing editor Beth Adams. Breaking

Precipitous slippage


Once upon a time I was a new-made Associate Professor with tenure; my answer to that lovely promotion was to quit academia entirely because I wanted to be a poet and novelist, not an academic poet and novelist. I felt that I would be a stronger, better writer outside the land of ivory towers. What I did not grasp at the time was how completely the academy would take over the world of writing,

Book notes, jig-by-jowl--


Alas for Aquila Rose Well, I do like this new find! Printed by Benjamin Franklin when he was seventeen... The NYT claims for him "burning ambition and something of a punk-rock visual sensibility," a thought which might or might not have amused him--he was an amusing fellow--but is a silly one. The broadside looks like nothing so much as the slim, arch-topped,

Reading Doña Quixote


Courtesy of Päivi Tiittanen, "Catacombs in Suomenlinna" Yesterday and this morning I read Leena Krohn's Doña Quixote and Other Citizens. Portrait: Tales of the citizens of an usual city, and this is what I have been for some hours: a room through which the narrator and Doña Quixote (the woman who is like a tree that murmurs and sometimes drops shriveled leaves proclaiming death, the

Re-reading The Whitsun Weddings


Creative Commons, Wikipedia. Chichester Cathedral. Monument to Richard Fitzalan III, 10th Earl of Arundel (c.1307-1376) and Eleanor of Lancaster (d. 1372.) Unusual for the linked hands and the wife's crossed legs and turn toward her husband. By Nabokov at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 I do not love Philip Larkin; instead, I am fond of Charles Causley, the Cornish poet Larkin admired (as did

Ditherings (in lieu of New Year's resolutions)


Detail from one of Kim Vanderheiden's pieces for a poem in The Book of the Red King. It's interesting to have an as-yet-unpublished book that already has art made for some of its contents by several artists. I don't think that has ever happened to me before. I seem to be full of ditherings rather than resolutions, so I thought that I would make a list of my dithers. Dither no. 1: I have

Selected Reading, 2016 Happy New Year


Selected 2016 Reading List, in ABC order by author Books by friends, books recommended by friends,  new reads, lots of rereads, books read to review or blurb.  Of course, I lost my list (so me!) partway through the year,  so here's what I remember right now in the way of books read in full. Aldhelm, Saint Aldhelm's Riddles, translated by A. M. Juster. Reviewed for First Things. (

The Witch and Clive on Christmas Eve


The most fun payment for a poem, ever! Art by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Printed by Daniel Bug at the Penfold Press. The Toy Town Theatre in Christmas lights. If you would like to see the poem I wrote for Clive Hicks-Jenkins while taking a break from adorning the Christmas tree, fly here to his Artlog. "The Witch of the Black Forest" appears in honor of his marvelous, just-out Hansel and Gretel (