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Wow. I absolutely loved reading this. It's as if all the mixed up thoughts that I have permeate through my head concerning this topic were elegantly laid out and put in perfect order. Thank you for this great work - John Shaneyfelt on Technology, the Snake in My Garden on 6/19/17 @ 12:40



Thanks for the story, this is great! - Ella Ames on Editors Read Your Pitches—Really on 6/14/17 @ 11:20



I was so moved by this essay. I have long been a volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You are so right; nobody ever speaks of the real issue. You are not making the situation worse by bringing this out in the open. We have to talk about it. I am so sorry your family went through this terrible tragedy. Know that you are not alone. Thank you for your courage. - carol folsom on Camera Obscura on 6/6/17 @ 10:27



I like this poem a lot. I admire the deft touch in creating such a unique tension of layered voices, so lighthearted and deadly serious. But beyond that writerly appreciation and the harmonic convergence of reading the poem soon after the annual return of a pair of bluebirds to our yard, the poem also brings me to a question that has been nesting in my soul for decades: how accessible must a poem be to an audience of non-writers? I'm thinking of the late poet Steve Kowit's powerful interview in which he says, "... Ginsberg & Jeffers convinced me that I really wanted to write a thoroughly transparent poetry in which clarity was a decided virtue ... So I’m somewhat proud to be writing against the American grain, wanting ordinary literate people to love my work." Please know this is not a criticism of the poem, but more so an acknowledgment that I don't think it is transparent to "ordinary literate people"--and wondering if you and any other readers of this superb magazine believe that kind of transparency is important--or not. - Steve Lewis on A Thousand Bluebirds on 5/16/17 @ 3:04



Thanks for both of these responses. Very sincerely appreciated. M.Goldsmith - author - Marianne Goldsmith on Confined to Quarters on 5/11/17 @ 3:35



I liked the voice too. The story I'm all too familiar with made me incredibly sad. Then while being sad, caught up in old memories, it occurred to me that there is a lot of dignity that can be found in the human spirit regardless of how socially low that person has sunk (I apologize sincerely, I didn't know how else to make this point since it's a social measurement). There are so many in our society who struggle whether mentally or physically. Regardless of age. It's not a pleasant statistic so it's not one advertised by our government. But what's wonderful about the story is the dignity of each character under-scoring their surface behavior. That dignity transcends social convention. That dignity is what gives life to each of them regardless of their position and it makes their story worth telling. - Leigh Anne Dear on Confined to Quarters on 5/5/17 @ 7:15



I really liked the voice and structure of this essay. The ending, while abrupt, says it all. I hope things got better for Daniel. - Evelyn Krieger on Confined to Quarters on 5/2/17 @ 10:16



Rupert Murdoch, Fox News [with contributor Julian Assange], the evidence of fake archives of his newspapers published & the damage done Murdoch's news media has featured fake news from the very beginning. His first newspapers - Adelaide [city] South Australia [SA state a Murdoch newspaper publishing monopoly state for more than 50 years - caused great damage & have fake archives of newspapers published that conceal crimes & corruption some details of some of which can be viewed at that includes media releases of Australia's financial reporting law enforcement authority [ASC since renamed ASIC] the newspaper articles reporting of which have been erased from publicly accessible records sold as genuine archives by Australian public libraries & British Libraries UK London. Ask Rupert [what does he know?] about the fake archives of his newspapers & the crimes they conceal. Murdoch betrays the people who gave him the start of his media empire. The US FBI should investigate US citizen Murdoch's corruption of foreign governments & law enforcement, but would first need to get over their fear of being discredited by a Fox News smear campaign. "Newspapering is all about the past." -- “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” - Roger Bates on Dear Rupert Murdoch (and Mark Zuckerberg) on 4/24/17 @ 3:22



Kevin, this poem is the best thing I've read all month. When I was in eighth grade in 1964, before they discovered mercury was toxic and shouldn't be messed with, my science teacher allowed us students to spill drops of mercury out on a piece of paper and watch them roll around until they joined together into one blob. Liquid metal. Cohesive as all get-out. Fascinating stuff. We used to shine quarters with it, even. Your poem made me think of these things, and also about when my artsy friends and I would flee Daly City and ride the Muni into San Francisco to listen to hippie poets read their words on foggy street corners. Your poem is a keeper. I've printed it out so that I can be inspired by it over and over again. Thank you. - Paula L. Silici on Mercury on 4/10/17 @ 4:17



Thanks Ray, and I agree about The Road. Depressing, sure, but also among the most stunningly beautiful novels I've ever read. Happy reading! - Tim Weed on Eight Novels to Prepare You for the End of Civilization on 3/29/17 @ 2:30