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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mendeleev's Mandala Available for Pre-Order

My new book, Mendeleev's Mandala, is available for a special pre-order price of  $13.95 + S&H from Mayapple Press. There's one button for orders from the US, and another button for orders from Japan.

Here are what some kinds poets have had to say about it:

This book is a library whittled down to a message in a bottle. Here is a poet who has boldly refused to abide to the expectations of genre—but instead, pushes language and form as a means of asking the most urgent questions. The result is a courageous and kaleidoscopic, at times tender and vulnerable, exploration of motherhood and family—set against the backdrops of science, history, religion, myths, and mathematics. When a poet embarks on a book as myriad and borderless as this one, we are gifted the rare chance to stand at the threshold of a formidable human storm. And from here, it is clear that Goodfellow’s Mendeleev’s Mandala is an electric book. But its lines are not limited to lightning. They move more like thunder, startling, resonant, and suddenly everywhere in the mind at once. – Ocean Vuong, author of Night Sky With Exit Wounds
Jessica Goodfellow has a joyous intelligence and electric tongue. Reading this book a first time, my only regret was that I couldn’t read it a second first time. But then I read it a first second time and a first third. You see what I’m doing? I’m reading this book over and over, without ever completely taking it in. I think you will too. And like me, want only one thing from Jessica Goodfellow – more.  – Bob Hicok
From the origin of the number zero to immigration to map making, these poems leap dynamically between ideas and a blazing exploration of language. Folding and unfolding with searing brilliance, these poems reveal our human condition with a down-to-earth sense of humor and wonder. This must-read collection nourishes mind and body and opens up whole new ways of seeing the world around us. – Judy Halebsky, author of Tree Line

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Second Hour

In the past few months, I've changed my writing schedule. Instead of trying to write 45 minutes a day, I've been trying to write for two hours three or four times a week (and 45 minutes on the off days).

Until the holiday season I was doing this fairly consistently, and I noticed something. It's the second hour in which all the breakthroughs are made. All the twitching and losing concentration is done in the first hour, the sitting staring at a problem poem, then putting it away and staring at a blank page--that's all first hour stuff. In the second hour, I finally stop resisting, stop looking at the clock, stop noticing all the noises around me, and the ideas come to me. Two or three or four big problems that I've been struggling with in a poem or two are suddenly solved in the second hour when, as if by magic, the right words or forms or ideas come to me.

Really this should be no surprise to me; I've written before about how the subconscious mind does all the heavy lifting. It takes time for the subconscious mind to solve the problems (which happens before the sitting down, which happens in the days and nights and weeks in which I've been pondering problems), but it also takes a quiet conscious mind to receive them, and for me, that takes more than an hour to achieve. But when I get to that quiet settled-in state, there they are, the answers. And now I know that getting to the receptive state comes (for me) in the second hour, not the first. Good to know.