The story of my life is untrue but not
Thanksgiving Day when the bee fell in the bottle.
All days take instruction from accident.
My wife opened the red wine in a good spot
We found as we were hiking along a dry
Creek bed. She filled our cups as I cut
Bread and apples. We saw the bee dive
Into the green bottleneck and start
To swim. Then we spoke about children and ways to move
An old piano north to where our nephews live.
We finished the wine, and the bee was still alive.
I tapped him onto the ground, and he walked off
Untangling antennae from wings and wine.
We hurried to reach the car while there was still daylight.
For the rest of March, we will post poems to sustain and uplift through trying times. Each poem is accompanied with an image by author-illustrator Juana Medina http://www.juanamedina.com. We thank you for reading and hope that you will share poems with your friends and neighbors. Please be well.
“Picnic,” (poem) from My Mojave by Donald Revell,
Alice James Books © 2003.
Donald Revell is the author of fifteen collections of poetry, most recently of The English Boat (2018) and Drought-Adapted Vine (2015), both from Alice James Books. Revell has also published six volumes of translations from the French, including Apollinaire’s Alcools, Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, Laforgue’s Last Verses, and Verlaine’s Songs without Words. His critical writings have been collected as: Essay: A Critical Memoir; The Art of Attention; and Invisible Green: Selected Prose. Winner of the PEN USA Translation Award and two-time winner of the PEN USA Award for Poetry, he has also won the Academy of American Poets’ Lenore Marshall Prize and is a former Fellow of the Ingram Merrill and Guggenheim Foundations. Additionally, he has twice been awarded Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. Having previously taught at the Universities of Alabama, Denver, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, and Utah, Donald Revell is currently a Professor of English at UNLV and faculty affiliate of the Black Mountain Institute.
“In lines that are spare and strange, elegant and sorrowing, witty and linguistically innovative, My Mojave combines an Emersonian sweetness with postmodern practice. As part of a lyric experimental tradition, My Mojave is also balkily anti-lyric, interrupting its most flowing effects on purpose. Drawing on the terms of late modernist enterprise to re-invent and re-use poetic form as an indicator of consciousness, Revell brings to us descriptions of the natural world, songlike fragments, declarations that resemble riddles, and musings on poetry and the soul.”
—Brenda Hillman, in her judges’ citation for the Lenore Marshall Prize