The Poetry of Sunken Ships

Today’s poetry post begins with more good news on the publication front. My poem “Wake” will appear in the Fall 2013 issue of Scapegoat Review and my other poem, “Starling,” will appear in the Winter 2013 issue of The New Plains Review. I’m very pleased that these poems found homes in these fine publications.

I completed MFA at Murray State University in 2009 and this past week Murray made the news. Currently Murray’s low-residency program is ranked seventh in the nation by Poets & Writers Magazine. My time at Murray was an incredibly positive and valuable experience for me as a writer, a student and a professor. I meant talented, dedicated and hard working writers who I’ve had the pleasure of keeping in touch with long after I stopped making my twice annual treks to Kentucky.

Speaking of talented poets, my good friend Natalie Giarrantano recently released her debut collection of poetry, Leaving Clean. The poems in this book are haunting, unsettlingly memorable to the point where the lines linger in your heart long after the poem is finished and you’ve moved on out into the world. I plan to write more about this book in a later post, but you should buy it. It’s beautiful work.

In the past few weeks the Costa Concordia has been back in the news. When the cruise ship originally wrecked off the Italian coast in January, there was talk of blasting it apart with dynamite. However, instead the authorities elected to leave her on her side until recently when they righted her giant white body in a 19 hour process called parbuckling. I began writing a poem about the ship when the story originally broke last winter, but then the draft sat quiet for several months. This week I took it out again and started to revise. It’s basically turned into an elegy, which isn’t particularly surprising. Many of my poems are elegies of sorts. I seem to gravitate towards them. I don’t think I’ve quite figured the structure of the poem yet, but these are the opening lines I’m currently working with: “When she punctured her smooth, white belly on the sharp/reef, I was driving to the pool hearing that Concordialay trapped/in the Tyrrhenian, soon to be drained and blown to pieces.”

I’m going to keep working on it. We’ll see where it goes. 

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