In the arts, repetition put to smart use bears fruit almost instantly. Take a phrase of music or a line of poetry and read it, hum it, then repeat it. Again and again. Crack the circle open and you find a spiral, spinning, a single pattern among many.
There is a lot to talk about when I call my father in India from Cuba. The calls are expensive, but the connection is crystalline. Nonetheless, it is hard to stay focused when my consciousness ping-pongs between a Malayali courtyard and the passage way of a Havana apartment building.
It’s that difficult time of year when almost everyone in the Northern Hemisphere is celebrating the return of the sun and I’m longing for morning drizzles and cool, overcast afternoons.
I’ve been haunted for much of this month by a bird. Not a real bird, but an animal depicted in “The Documents of Spring,” a poem by Rick Barot that appears in the latest issue of The Asian American Literary Review, which is by far the fattest literary journal to have landed on my doorstep in the past year.
William Langland is old school. He’s Medieval. About seven years ago I read the 7500 line “B-Text” version of his masterpiece, Piers Plowman.