Joe Weil

The Blessings of My Recent Insomnia

November 6, 2013
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To abide with this daughter is deeper than any understanding. Forget understanding. Forget mystery, too. This sort of love is the closest I will ever get to being the shadow of a great stone–something still, and stolid and beyond both understanding, and mystery–a presence, a weight that does not need to be lifted, and is no weight at all.

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Forgotten Poet of the day: Karl Shapiro

October 9, 2013
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There are many reasons why Karl Shapiro is no longer taught or on the lips of MFA students.

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The Ideal Reader as an Act of Faith

October 2, 2013
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The reader you wish to write for is an act of faith.

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Amid Alien Corn in the Communion of Hang

September 25, 2013
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Because I knew how Abraham had traveled under a night sky so vast, so glutted with stars and had heard God’s promise, I wept when I first read Mark Twain’s description of Huck and Jim looking up at the night sky and wondering about the origin of the stars, and I was awed by Cervantes when he had Quixote and Sancha under the same sky.

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The Spine of Longing

September 5, 2013
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Certain mechanisms exist in the human brain that when brushed by a combination of memory and bodily functions, demand interpretation.

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Thanks, Mr. Divine Comedy: Gregory Orr and John Smith dual review

July 11, 2013
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Both inhabit the same generational orbit: Nam, eastern spirituality mixed with a dose of overcoming the dark spots through mindfulness, meditation, a sometimes didactic sense of wisdom that would not be out of place at a weekend retreat on Rumi.

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Poetry Essay #3: Checking Out Old Loves

July 3, 2013
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Guns to the right of me! Jargon to the left of me! All volley and hold the thunder (after all, thunder may be perceived as a semiotic indicator of male patriarchy). I look at my daughter and say: “I’m so sorry, but I wanted you to exist.

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Poetry Essay #2: Careerism Versus the Work at Hand

June 26, 2013
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Other than that, remember you are going to die, no matter how many awards you win, and you will spend large parts of your life forgetting that. Careerism is only evil if it makes you forget first and last things, for art comes from the contemplation of first and last things–lasting art.

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Poetry Essay #1

June 19, 2013
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Does feeling write us? Does the landscape watch us vanish without trying to understand us?

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Meditations of an Oaf

June 12, 2013
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Error must find a way to charm bias.

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Preliminary notes to a course on The Death of Ivan Ilyich

June 5, 2013
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This “functionary class” is co-optive, incapable of originality, grafting onto its evil and mundane tree the native “shrewdness” and greed common to the worst peasants, and the pretentiousness and faux complexity/ haughtiness of the worst nobility.

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On Shema Mitzvah in my poetry

May 29, 2013
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I do not believe in the separation of faith and works, but, like James, believe faith without works is dead, and works without faith is merely materialism as a form of the dole.

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Georg Trakl in Plato’s Republic

May 15, 2013
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Poetry, like music, like dance, might be defined as the precision of ecstasy, and the ecstasy of precision, an ecstatic precision, and measured ecstasy.

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The Origins of My Reading Life

March 27, 2013
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I pass the cemetery in Elizabeth where all the revolutionary war heroes have a mixer with the homeless. I am vast. A book is under my coat. The stars are out.

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Lists and Parataxis: A primer for those who want it

March 20, 2013
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Whitman has more listings than an anal retentive suburbanite.

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TRICK VESSELS by Andre Bagoo

January 24, 2013
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The poems of Trick Vessels are not the imposed order and false certainties of neo-conservatism, but an embracing of the power and force of night through the spell casting power of language–the magic that does not destroy uncertainty but which gives it value, and purpose.

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