Through it all, the spirit of language is an ever-present force shaping my life even as I'm shaping it. It's a reciprocal relationship. Or perhaps a symbiosis. I'm not sure which…
In any case, I have a new poem that just came out in Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
But maybe "new poem" should be here in quotation marks because, truth be told, the piece "Gegenschein" is a poem that took me six years to complete. I kept going back to one of the lines over and over and it just never felt accurate. Now I feel like it's "just right" and it ranks among one those poems I've written that actually feels like a solid contribution to the world. You know that feeling you get when you write something and you think to yourself Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Exactly.
It feels like coming home.
I'm especially grateful to Mark Burrows, poetry editor and kindred spirit at Spiritus who saw something in this poem of mine that was rejected over and over by countless other journals. He believed in my work, and now I hope other people will understand what I'm getting at in my poetics and find it useful in some way, some way.
In case you're curious about the poem's title, GEGENSCHEIN is an astronomical term for the opposition effect. The word comes from the German for "counterglow" or "countershine" and it is the name for the faint brightening of the night sky in the region of the anti solar point caused by interplanetary dust. It is difficult to detect unless one observes from a place devoid of light.
You can read the poem HERE.