|Opening pages in story about Ben Myers|
I'd waited eagerly to see what the talented editors and staff of the magazine had done with my interviews earlier this year with Ben Myers, Oklahoma's poet laureate.
After all these years, ah, such a pleasure to open the pages, and still enjoy the rush that comes from seeing your name in print.
Of course the pleasure mainly includes making a new friend, and sharing his influence and art with others. Meeting and interviewing the good people of Oklahoma is constantly a discovery. Composing, writing, editing and rewriting is hard, sometimes agonizing, work. But the people and the publication are thus all the more rewarding.
I'd met Ben before, and reviewed his books, "Lapse Americana," and "Elegy for Trains," on this blog. Traveling to his historic home in Chandler was an additional treat. You can learn more about him from Oklahoma Baptist University where he is a professor at OBU.
The four-page story and photos includes a brief introduction, and is then in question and answer form. Go buy Oklahoma Today and enjoy it--along with lots of other great stories and photos.
Here's one of Ben's poems, that he says describes him well, and it's reprinted in the magazine:
After reading David Young's Du Fu
This flat river gives the red back
to the sky above it,
both carrying dust and flakes
of clipped grass.
I walk with a slight limp
into the middle of my life,
watch turtles raise
their heads in dead water,
in my pockets two crumpled rejection
notes from magazines on the coast.
A tree frog near my ear
begins its whine,
and I plan to cease my argument
with God about my little life.
I've been blessed with two
plots near the edge of town
and the opportunity to live
on the face of the southern plains.
I'm going to start wearing overalls
and riding an old tractor down Main.
I'll spend my days with these two
crows, see what it is they know.
--from Lapse Americana