Into Certain Sentences
that old unadulterated formula plus inserts
just checking on this year’s dates
remarking I hadn’t heard from you
was told you and Jack had just spoken that morning
and were off to Florida again
What are we going to do with that wayward brother?
a pithy note in the margin of the minutes
kick exactly where needed
down on those knees, back into Scripture
this matter of discipline rules the house
meaning they’ve disowned him, while Grant has surgery
in the afternoon though his wife’s pregnant
this time with complications
am I reading too much into certain sentences
or too little, such joys to embrace
pulleys in the wind
TSTmpj: Where are the best places to overhear snatches of conversation?
Jnana Hodson: Where not? Restaurants, before and after meeting for worship or a poetry reading, at contradances, in art galleries. I "overhear" a lot visually, too, at the corners of my eyes.
TSTmpj: Who are some of your favourite poets, and why?
Jnana Hodson: The touchstones I keep returning to over the decades are Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen, Roger Pfingston, Robert Bly, and Richard Brautigan.
They're all from my lifetime, for starters. Snyder's poetry is lean with an exceptionally sharp diction while his life experiences have also served as an elder for the pathways I've wound up following. Whalen's mind roams much as mine does. Pfingston's work is a model of bejeweled understatement that focuses on the most central experiences of humanity set in the Midwest we've shared. Bly, well, he always upsets my apple cart. And Brautigan's innocent surrealism is downright fun and energizing.
And then there are the hundreds of others I also cherish.
TSTmpj: Do you "find" poems often? Or are they diligent labours with much time and redrafting?
Jnana Hodson: Most of my work originates in bits that float up to my awareness during meditation, while walking or driving, or even while journaling or corresponding, as well as the snatches of conversation already noted. Even so, I distill and hone and revise extensively to discover where the work wants to go.
Jnana Hodson’s novel Hippie Drum (Smashwords) is just out. His micro-chapbook Waves Rolling Too appeared in April 2013.