History is the nightmare from which I try to take a break, every now and then. Poetry, too. So I'll take the occasion of an officially recognized national holiday to note the dramatic geographical feature I experienced yesterday, viz., the drop-off from the Arkansas Ozarks to the alluvial plain of the Mississippi River, in eastern Arkansas. If you've driven from the coastal range of California into the Central Valley, you have some idea of the impact. But this is even more abrupt - the "hills" a little higher, the flatland just as flat. You're up on a high ridge looking out on others one moment; then you go down a hill to the Black River, and bam - nothing but rice fields. The Mississippi Delta may start in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel, but the "Arkansas Delta" goes a lot farther north and west.
Author of Things Come On: (an amneoir) (Wesleyan University Press’ poetry series, 2011), earth day suite (Beard of Bees Press, Dec. 2010), Of Some Sky (Bedouin, forthcoming), and Poetry and the Public (Wesleyan 2002).