Awhile back my poem "Mid-Winter at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve" was accepted by the lit journal Enizagam (magazine spelled backwards). Enizagam is this rad journal published by the Oakland School for the Arts ... yes, a high school puts it out and the editors are all students. This week, I received the beautiful Issue 11 in the mail and was looking forward to digging into it. It fell open to my poem, because the staff had put in a bunch of sticky notes with handwritten comments on what they liked about the piece.
"Imagery was spot on! The language in this piece is beautiful."
"Your command of language is inspiring!"
"'Frozen in mid-crash' is such a nice line. Really strong piece."
"Such an original description of nature."
How's that for an ego boost? Thanks, Enizagam!
To find out more about the journal, check out their website here and find them on FB here. Purchase a copy of Issue 11 here.
On Sunday, after a really wonderful camping trip to Headwaters Park in Geauga County with the family, I started watching Manchester By the Sea, which is now free with Amazon Prime. I remember being warned by friends that this is a depressing movie, and thinking, "Oh, I should really go see that." While the movie is really dark and I found myself in tears several times, its spiritual uplift lies in the notion that human beings continue to live and love others even when they're completely broken by tragedy and can never be whole. It's also about adults doing childish things and later regretting them, and that really struck home with me, the late-bloomer who never got a real job until I was 25 (which is young for the millenials, who still live at home and are on their parents' health insurance until they're 26 -- thanks, Obama). From a narrative standpoint, the movie is full of tragic, mundane, and often grotesquely silly scenes in which nothing much happens. In fact, the narrative ends much like it begins, with Lee Chandler working as a handyman in a Boston apartment building. Except he's experienced a small kind of liberation from his grief by helping his nephew through his dad's death and getting him settled with a new family. I love this quote from A.O. Scott in the New York Times: "Mr. Lonergan isn’t trafficking in bittersweet sitcom beats. He’s after a kind of realism rarely found in recent American movies, which often seem to think that audiences will be confused or offended when the silly and the serious collide onscreen."