I have plans for this journal. I'd love to do something like the pieces Verlyn Klinkenborg did for the New York Times Op Ed Page. I just loved those little pieces. But he was writing about the rural life and I'm smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Nashville, TN. But we have birds and squirrels. I have a big front porch which is being used by a second generation (this spring) of mourning doves for nesting. Wrens nest in my mailbox and hanging planters. So there is some semi-rural landscape here. This morning I dug three holes for planting lavender in the front yard. My wife does the planting. I'm the hole guy.
But I should say something about my new book of poetry, Goldberg-Variations. I guess I'm a little late in life for a first book, but I've always enjoyed writing poems - taking a break from the different kind of effort that fiction writing presents for me.
The book is composed of sequences. Lately I've been gardening my poems in clumps. I don't write one piece about anything. Bach's Goldberg Variations was first called Aria with 30 Variations. (I'll tell the Goldberg story another time.) I thought it would be interesting to write something in the form of a theme and variations. It started as prose. (That happens frequently for me.) Would it be about somebody listening to a piece of music? Nah. First I thought I would write it from the point of view of a harpsichord. Then I thought, why not the composition itself? It's not really notes on the page. But it's something. You have to hear it. But hearing it isn't the same each time. It's always different. That's where I started.