Join us Saturday, July 22, at Tecolote Book Shop!

On Saturday afternoon, July 22, I will be at Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito, CA, to read from and sign copies of my newest collection of poetry and photographs, Ireland, Place Out of Time. Come join me from 3-5 p.m. for conversation, wine and appetizers

Tecolote is at 1470 East Valley Road, in Montecito, near Santa Barbara. If you can't make it, you can order my book here.

My latest book—Heart on a Fence

I'm delighted to announce my latest book of poetry and photography—Heart on a Fence! The book is named after an original painting by my daughter, Kendall, which graces the cover. I am thrilled to offer this new book to my friends and acquaintances. If you would like to order a copy, please email me. They are $20 a piece. Here are some of the images and poems from the book.

A Lovely Poetry Debut - Beth Marshall Jack

Reading Beth Marshall Jack’s lovely debut poetry collection, These Worlds Between Us, is like sitting down to a cup of tea with a wise and gentle friend. Her poems are intimate and lyrical, letting us into an interior landscape that mirrors our own fears, yearnings, joys, disappointments, and wonders.

Jack’s deep command of language and imagery allow us as readers to enter the poems easily and with confidence that what we encounter will enlighten and lift us to some greater understanding of a universal truth. In one of my favorite poems, “With a Click of My Heels,” Jack confronts loss and the helplessness one feels over the inability to make things different.

With a Click of My Heels

 

I hold your shoes and close my eyes,

the long pause of your absence

languished all afternoon.

Tissue paper stuffed in heels and purses

seemed unfamiliar.

Your seven metal hangers looked empty and sinister.

 

Somehow I must find a way back

from this empty closet and rows of elegant shoes.

I must summon the child who remembered to be brave,

like Cinderella,

or that girl from Kansas,

who recognized clues, knew slippers were the answers

to everything, a sure guarantee that one could escape

a fire, a witch, poisoned flowers,

even tragedy.

 

I stand alone, barefoot.

Jack’s imagistic language soars, sometimes eliciting an audible “oh!” as in these lines from “Compass”: “…every breath sags heavily, as I squeeze the sponge/tighter and tighter, as if stanzas were turned/inside out from me, how my body/half-turned, still expected him.” Or these lines from “Figurante”: “I am crumpled, worn out like an old ballet slipper/with ribbons bleached, once carnation pink/…Even the mirrors seem to leer/deliberate satyr teeth.

Many of her poems have mythic allusions, including the lovely “Circe,” which was awarded second prize in poetry from The Writer’s Journal.

Jack is an accomplished writer whose poetry has been honored many times over the years. This worthy collection reflects her careful attention to language, rhythm, imagery and story.

A little Lust for after Valentine's Day

Lust image.jpg

My friend Diana Raab’s latest poetry collection, Lust, is a veritable cornucopia of luscious, lusty, “whoa baby!” poems that give erotica a good name. Tantalizing and sexy, this collection oozes with sensuality, love, desire, fear and regret – all the emotions that come with loving someone, figuratively and literally.

Raab has never wavered from sharing herself in her poetry and her nonfiction, but this book goes deeper, expressing in words what many of us only feel physically.

Warning: Do not leave Lust around for the cleaning folks – or your children – to find. Keep it tucked in a sacred spot in the boudoir, where you can share it with an appreciative lover.

Here's one of my favorites from the collection:

The First Time

The moment after we met

and seconds after your smile,

beside me on the old cross-country jet,

I knew that inside a dream, our bodies

would one day twist around each other.

 

And I would lose track of where

yours began and mine ended

and so many other things in my life,

such as my beliefs

or even what happened between us.

 

I would not recount anything,

not a feeling, a touch or a visual

or the voice you used

to toss me on the bed

and remove my over-the-knee boots

worn during our loving act --

 

All I will remember is a deep sense

of euphoria transcending every part

of my essence, every hair follicle,

missing breast and scar which makes

me what I am and the idea

and how I will never

walk down the same path again.