Posts Tagged ‘M.V. Montgomery’

An Irish Blessing

October 21, 2009 2 comments

by M.V. Montgomery

for my father

May the Lord put you in a witness protection program where the Devil can’t find you.
May you always find yourself in the flow of traffic, and may the slower drivers stay
the hell out of your way. May your hair remain red enough to refract harmful UV rays.
May your appetite be hearty and the waistband of your trousers slack. May there be
no household project to ever get the better of you. May you shit out the colon cancer
if it starts to grow back, and then may the doctors go broke trying to find anything else
wrong with you. May the church parishioners listen in rapt attention to your readings
and your grandchildren hear your stories without any fidgeting. May you grow just
absent-minded enough to forget cross words. May your buddies from Korea stay out
of the obituaries. May your partner be there to chide you if you start to become morbid.
May you find samples at every supermarket and long-lost treasures at every yard sale.
May your coffin be constructed of toothpicks from fine dinners you haven’t yet eaten.
May winter cold melt in your breath. May the road ahead be soft enough for slippers,
and may the Good Lord reserve for you a fine pair of size thirteens.

Download the podcast (reading by David C. Wallace)

M.V. Montgomery’s first collection of poems, Strange Conveyances, will be published by the Plain View Press. A second book, a pamphlet of historical poems titled Joshu Holds a Press Conference, will be published in 2010 by the Conversation Paperpress.

Categories: Words of Power Tags:

My Lady Copia

August 21, 2009 Comments off


Perhaps because I can get so tongue-tied, I am not naturally economical in writing.
Cut half of what you write, advises my father, who is something of a raconteur.
Drop your last paragraph to avoid appearing argumentative, counsels my lawyer,
himself a gladiator. True, E.B. White held a good school. The English language is
naturally redundant: “to be” constructions, excessive nominalizations, clichés—all
deservedly banished from the Republic of Letters. Adjectives and figures of speech: 
never use when an action word will do. And by god, throw away your thesaurus.

It is always surprising, though, when the Occam’s Razor falls on poetry: We cannot
consider poems of more than twenty lines.  We ask that you kindly sum things up and

get to the point. Of course the poem itself may have been the point: the vent, the spill,
the tendril, the brave search party sent out after other words. (Pardon my pleonasm.)
The safest course is to unloose the diction only when it’s certain to seem appropriate.
A eulogy? You can get away with that sort of thing. Trash-talking with friends?
Of course you must play that game. An affectionate letter? Even those I have been
encouraged to tone down. Don’t pontificate, don’t come on too strong, don’t jinx things
with your exuberance. So I end here. It is, as they say, a wrap.  Ad FinemVale.

by M.V. Montgomery

Download the MP3 (reading by Beth Adams)

Categories: Economy Tags:
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