Name, Rank, Serial Number: Poet

Name, Rank, Serial Number: Poet

Casey worked as a journalist in the Marines until, in the late l970’s, she attended a writing conference in California where one of the faculty told her she should, be writing poetry instead.  Casey took this person and their work and when she returned to base, declared herself resident poet, meaning she would no longer report to duty.

I gave my name

rank an serial number,

said I was a poet.  Beyond

       that I refused to speak. 

Rather than send her to the brig for going AWOL, Casey’s superior officers sent her to the psych ward.  Part of her time in the psych ward is a subject of this book. 

The Word World

The Word World

I didn’t know how obsessed I was with the world – with the actual word “world” – until I went through my second book of poems and saw that I used the word at least 30 times. Actually, another poet told me I used it 30 times but of course I went back and counted the words myself (because they were my words) to see if this was true. I’d never done anything like that – count how many times a word got used. I wonder if other poets do this?

Writing the Other Side of the Story:  Researching the Pacific War in Japan

Writing the Other Side of the Story:  Researching the Pacific War in Japan

I have an irrational fear of falling into a Japanese toilet—not an everyday worry, but one that poses itself as I pack for a weeklong research trip to a small town in Japan. I had knee surgery a few years ago and my squat technique is not what it used to be. My friend Reiko tells me it’s highly unlikely. I don’t tell her that I am the Queen of Unlikely. I tell her she’s right, and prepare for the worst.

Tips for the Resistance Fatigued

Tips for the Resistance Fatigued

If you are like me, you’ve probably spent hours over the last few months writing letters and making phone calls to your Senators and Congressman to voice your opposition to the political firestorm taking place in Washington DC. If you are like me, you are also probably experiencing some Resistance Fatigue, and frustration, due to busy signals, message machines that are full, staffers who are tired of hearing your voice, or hand cramps from writing so many letters.

Writing and Running

Writing and Running

MFAW faculty Keenan Norris: …my father, was less a reader than a storage chest of historical anecdote and information, come upon by means academic and experiential. He was also a runner, my father, a collegiate national record holder for twenty four hours at one point in time, so while my writings are much less the result of natural talent than dedicated labor, the running is in my blood.

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