November departs under a few inches of wet snow and dwindling light. We know these are the gifts November leaves — it leaves them every year — but the nights still seem alarmingly long approaching the solstice. Well then, it says on the way out. I hope you like darkness.
I come to you this month with offerings a bit more rounded, though. I’ve just published two handmade booklets of poems engaged with much of the wheel of the year: there’s a poem to the June solstice, others to high summer, one to Samhain, and a fragment of an ancient hymn to sidereal time itself. I’m excited to share them with you.
First, the November issue of Drift Body zine (pictured above near the outlet of my watershed) is out today. This third issue picks up the threads begun in the first two — memory and forgetfulness, scattering and gathering, encounters with the numinous, etc — and carries them a bit further.
The zines are in the mail to subscribers now, and there are plenty of copies available for purchase in the bookshop. If you instead prefer to ply the digital path, here is a PDF to accompany your backlit wanderings.
Second, I’ve compiled the fifteen short poems from the Island Lines cycle into a small booklet. These poems, as you might remember, I composed out loud on the dunes during fieldwork last summer. They were spoken first and written down later — a perfect inversion of how I tend to make poems, and for me a fruitful experiment. I hope you’ll find some of summer’s illumination in them.
Subscribers to the zine will find a copy of the booklet tucked in, and there are more available in the bookshop.
That’s all for this month, dear readers. My evenings have been busy folding paper and stitching spines under the lamp, tapping along to quiet music with November’s snow alternately falling and melting outside the window. Such are the pleasures of these long nights. I will leave you with a passage from the Orphic hymn to the stars:
Heavenly stars, dear children of dark Night,
On circles you march and whirl about,
O brilliant and fiery begetters of all.
Until next month, may you find a cozy patch of lamplight.