I have the privilege of reading Jo Hemmant's Houdini poems in manuscript. I don't know any other poet quite like Jo. She's a novelist, really – but her novels are a couple dozen lines long. The writer she reminds me of most is Maupassant. That spareness and clarity. I think she hails from an alternate universe, in which Wordsworth and T. S. Eliot never existed. None of this heavy breathing and groping for God's privates, none of this blundering about knocking over the furniture in search of the sublime. She has nothing to confess or apologize for. It's the ordinary human world, but in focus for the first time. You didn't know how blurry your vision was, until you put on your Jo glasses.
The next three-week project is underway. No refined carbs at breakfast, fresh veggies every day, no eating after 7:30 pm.
Winter is quietly packing his belongings, getting ready to leave. He's been an unobtrusive guest this year, in the Willamette Valley.