Monday, January 02, 2017

Best Poems of 2016

Aaron Anstett ….. Man Saves Own Life
Aaron Anstett ….. Open Beer Stores, Running Buses …
Aaron Anstett ….. Travel
Rick Bursky ….. Cloud Theory
A. V. Christie ….. In My Dream
Elizabeth Crocket ….. haiku: “thinking”
Louis Cuneo ….. haiku: “on door knob”
Aron Feingold ….. haiku: “yoga by the bay”
Gloria Fuentes ….. Love Turns You Into a Rosebush
Adam Hammer ….. Guide to Marine Mammals and Sentence Structure
Hsieh Ling-yun ….. #26 from Dwelling in the Mountains
Rick Hurst ….. haiku: “ashes to ashes”
Bill Kenney ….. haiku: “trick or treat”
Loretta Collins Klobah ….. El Dia de los Muertos
Myron Lysenko ….. haiku: “cemetery at midnight”
Clive Matson ….. Thank You
Robert Mezey ….. Night on Clinton
Ron Padgett ….. Lucky Strikes
E. Martin Pedersen ….. haiku: “I was so happy”
Rebecca Reynolds ….. Surplus
Luis Rosales ….. Locked with a Tear
Pedro Salinas ….. Deaths
Pedro Salinas ….. So Transparent Your Soul
Brenda Shaughnessy ….. Rise
Bianca Stone ….. Letter
Bianca Stone ….. Outpost
Bianca Stone ….. You Were Lost in the Delta Quadrant
Jose Angel Valente ….. An Empty Place at the Celebration
Robert Witmer ….. two haiku: “back home” & “fishmonger’s slab”
Yang Wan-li ….. Night Rain at Luster Gap

While I’m reading a book of poems I keep handy a stack of placemarks. If a poem so strikes me that I want to read it again I slide a placemark in next to that poem. When I go back and read the poem again I may decide that a mere second or third visit is not enough, I have to read it again. Then again. Should I decide I can’t leave it behind, I copy the poem out by hand onto loose leaf binder paper and add it to the latest fattening notebook. The above are the poems I decided over the course of the last year that I had to keep with me.

In the last days of the year I ran out of 8 1/2 by 11 binder paper, and there were still poems my hand would work over. I don’t know how it worked out that I committed to so few poems in the first eleven months of the year, but I copied out about 2/3 of the besties in December. For paper resupply I walked over to the nearby CVS. They had binder paper but the binder paper they had was 10 1/2 by 8. That size seems to go on sale a lot, especially in August, back to school time. I’ve been seduced by price into buying 10 1/2 by 8 in the past. But not for many years. It’s not that I purchase binder paper frequently. I stock up at a sale price and it takes me a few years to go through it. 

I tried Walgreens. Same story. I tried Office Depot on the other side of town. No 8 1/2 by 11 binder paper. Really! I didn’t want to order anything online because it seems a waste of resources unless you get a pallet. I did review the Staples website and it looked like they would have the right size and there is a Staples in Berkeley. 

On the way home from work last week I stopped by the big Staples store. They had 8 1/2 by 11 binder paper! 400 sheets in a package. Then to my delight my eye caught the sale sign. 120 sheets for a dollar! I took five packages, proud of myself for getting a bargain. 

When I stepped in the door at home Kent called out, “I got you binder paper!” That was sweet. During the day Kent also had walked down town and he knew what I needed and there it was. The 400 sheet package sat on the couch. 400, huh? I thought. Nice of him but why didn’t he notice the sale? When I stacked all the packages together the reality bonked me on the noggin. After all that trouble I had bought 10 1/2 by 8 paper. Nice price. But here I had held out! I had held out — and gotten a good deal! I was so proud of myself!

What to say. 

“I’m your hero, right?” Kent said. 

It’s not like 10 1/2 by 8 paper is unusable. You kinda don’t want to mix the two sizes because of wear and stacking issues, which makes 10 1/2 by 8 less useful. But if it’s basically going to be the only size available, without extra trouble, I guess I should adapt. I have 3 1/2 floppy disks that have been superceded. A zip drive. VHS tapes. I can handle this. 

Still, I don’t have to deal with 10 1/2 by 8 for a while. 400 sheets worth of while!


Elizabeth said...

What an honour for me to come across one of my haiku, "thinking", on your list of best poems of 2016. Thank you!
Elizabeth Crocket

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I loved that one! So simple and so singable. So nothing and so something.

Check out Elizabeth Crocket's blog: Writing wth heart

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the shout out, but more importantly, thanks for the kind words.
All the best,

Bill said...

Just found your site and discovered a poem by me among your "best of 2016." I am honored. Thank you. Bill Kenney

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I'm adding your blog to my reading list, Bill.