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Rob Neufeld posted discussions
Sunday
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

73 classic works about Appalachia going online

Key Appalachian studies publications now going onlinefrom press release, Jan. 27. 2016 Appalachian studies scholars and those interested in regional history will have greater access to out-of-print works thanks to a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Open Book Program grant totaling $88,000 awarded to Belk Library and Information Commons at Appalachian State University.  Pamela Mitchem, the library’s coordinator of digital scholarship and…See More
Sunday
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

John Parris' home-grown prose

South of Sylva, back of yesterday: John Parris' inspiration             “For the life of me, I just can’t understand why folks stopped usin’ cradles,” John Parris’ 97-year-old maternal grandfather had told him 60 years ago.            The oil lamp, the buggy, and the spinning wheel—they all were replaced by things…See More
Jan 27
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

James Sturm expands scope of graphic novels

James Sturm blazes cartoon path to a new worldby Rob Neufeld             Why is it that when an author combines pictures with words, the medium is considered juvenile, like comics?  Words create literature; images, art.  Why, when you marry them, is it like pairing a milk cow with a mop?            Nothing against…See More
Jan 24
susannah eanes posted a blog post

The Writer as Pilgrim

Two articles leapt at my consciousness this week, both about writing. And suddenly, I know how to go forward from here. The first, The Price I Pay to Write, by Laura Bogart and published online in Dame Magazine, reflects on the difficulties of…See More
Jan 24
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Tired of thrillers with no soul?

Why read a 1940 man-on-the-run classicby Rob Neufeld             After reading a classic novel, you might think, “Oh, look at this superior ancestor of today’s fiction.”              For instance, “The Power and the Glory,” Graham Greene’s 1940 thriller about political oppression in Mexico, exemplifies the…See More
Jan 17
Susan True updated their profile
Jan 9
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Art of Grace by Sarah Kaufman

Dance critic applies grace to every moveby Rob Neufeld             It’s nice to find just the right word for something, especially when it sums up a main idea in your way of thinking.            That was the case with Sarah Kaufman when she’d first felt moved, nine years ago, to write her new book, “The Art of Grace” (W.W.…See More
Jan 9
City Lights Bookstore posted events
Jan 9
Rob Neufeld posted blog posts
Jan 8
Kathryn Hall posted a blog post

Fire and Ice Roses interview with author/gardening blogger Kathryn Hall

Fire and Ice Roses has been interviewing gardening bloggers and gardening experts and were kind enough to include this short interview recently which was quite fun and very much appreciated! http://fireandiceroses.com/ask-an-expert-kathryn-hall/See More
Jan 5
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

History in the making, January 2, 2016

History in the making: items of note, January 2, 2016It was reported in today’s print edition of the Asheville Citizen-Times that a new state law went into effect, requiring people who’ve filed for unemployment benefits to make at least 5 job contacts a week.  It had been 2.  How will that work?  Are there that many jobs for which a person is qualified?  Can you apply to the same job twice if it continues to be listed? Paul Bonesteel, noted Asheville filmmaker, revealed on Facebook that a…See More
Jan 2
Rob Neufeld posted a blog post

Local event of the day, Jan 1 2016

Tarantino, eminent domain, and emancipation Tarantino comes to townQuentin Tarantino’s New Year’s gore and gabfest, The Hateful Eight, is gutted by New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane, who says that Tarantino toys with rather than explores history, using it “for boyish fantasies of revenge, as if enormous crimes could be undone, after the event, by lone and wanton acts of humiliation.” …See More
Jan 1
Rob Neufeld's discussion was featured

Railroad history in Western North Carolina: a close-up and bottom-line look

Railroads in WNC: the perils, the people, and the profitby Rob NeufeldWritten in conjunction with exhibit, "How The West Was Won," in Rural Heritage Museum, Mars Hill University PHOTO CAPTION: The entrance to the railroad show at the Rural Heritage Museum is commanded by a mock-up of Climax engine…See More
Dec 24, 2015
Rob Neufeld posted a discussion

Hosts of Christmas Past

Traditions shall not expire say hosts of Christmas pastby Rob Neufeld PHOTO CAPTION: Maria Parker Taylor Beale, courtesy Chase Ambler.            On Christmas Eve in 1928, Maria Taylor Beale, mistress of Arden House, instructed her family to bring her downstairs in her bathrobe for she would not…See More
Dec 24, 2015
City Lights Bookstore posted an event
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Kakalak Journal Reading at City Lights Bookstore

January 23, 2016 from 3pm to 4:30pm
Contributors to the annual journal KAKALAK will visit City Lights Bookstore on Saturday, January 23rd at 3 p.m. to read and talk about their work. KAKALAK is an annual publication featuring North and South Carolina writers and artists.To reserve a copy of the journal, please call City Lights Bookstore at 828-586-9499. To view a list of contributing authors, please visit …See More
Dec 21, 2015
Catherine Carter, an assistant professor Western Carolina University, has won the 2009 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition with a dazzling poem, titled, “Toast,” about a tall tale attraction to an electric man. The contest was recently judged by the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

Carter states in her biography that she’d been “raised by wolves and vultures on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.” (Click attachment below to read bio.) Now, she coordinates the English education program at WCU and writes. Her work has appeared in major poetry journals, and has made it into “Best American Poetry 2009.” Her first book, The Memory of Gills (LSU Press, 2006), won the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award. Her chapbook, The Swamp Monster at Home, is currently circulating.

“Toast” begins, “Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line,” and remarks on him as he approaches. He’s so hot, “his tie-knot crisps with heat…rattlesnakes lair in his hair.” Read the full poem below, or click the attachement.

TOAST


Here’s to a man like the swoop and rise of an electric line.
At a distance he’s some anonymous steel tower
stalking across the hillside, but come nearer
and you can’t miss the power
vibrating through him. It could toast your skin
like bread. At ten feet he’s no great beauty,
but at six the room gets warmer.
At four feet the heat’s banked, a dormant ruby,
and you don’t get to three. Maybe you’re not the electrical kind;
maybe you like beeswax candles, the snap of woodfire,
maybe you’ve your own fire at home,
lively and hot. But there’s that wire,
thrumming with acquiescence and resistance,
singing with force, lighting up streets.
Stripped of whatever insulates him, he’d fry
mountainsides; his tie-knot crisps with heat;
in November, rattlesnakes lair in his desk.
One day a condor tangled in his wiry hair;
it didn’t end well. You wouldn’t survive being locked to that grid,
hooked in by manmade power. But the shimmering air
around him buzzes, fidgets, seethes, kinetic;
it takes some doing to resist the field
pulling your hand that way, while you wonder
if he’s noticed when you reel
or stammer. So it’s no good pretending
you never liked the shock-streak down your spine
grounding you to the dirt: no, here’s to him,
that man, humming like a power line.

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The piece ,itself, makes an interesting analogy between electrical power and
sexual attraction. I can see that. The structure is fluid and organic,
an interesting contrast to the 'hardwired' nature one associates with power grids.
The inherent rhyme works at times, but sentence length may enhance that aspect,
it it were, indeed, the intention of the author. Great metaphoric references, too:
(i.e., "rattlesnakes lair in his desk", and ""he'd fry mountainsides." Good writing.

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