“Pink Mountain” by X.P. Callahan

X.P. Callahan


When Joe filled me in on his big plan
to take off for the desert
and spend the days painting vistas of
red rocks, his eyes overflowed
with the marine light that can suffuse
some people as they become
translucent in their long dying. I
hadn’t learned yet to discern
such light. I thought my job was to talk
sense in his hospital room,
his last, with its view of Mount Rainier.

Later my mother called out
to strangers queuing up for a train,
and I knew enough to say
I can’t see them but I know you can.

Late September. Joe had ten
weeks. Seventy times we could have watched
that mountain turn every shade
of desert with the sun going down.

from Rattle #67, Spring 2020
Students of Kim Addonizio


X.P. Callahan: “Kim Addonizio was my first poetry teacher and remains the best. Over the past twelve years, I’ve taken several of her workshops, including an inspiring and liberating class on revision. In person, Kim has an uncanny gift for discerning the heart of an embryonic poem after a single reading and championing the poem’s organic evolution. In an online context, she balances guiding the workshop with making space for participants to forge their own connections. Kim has taught me to see that what I think is on the page may not be there, and to listen for what will speak more fully for being left unsaid. And as a formalist of sorts, I appreciate her evident pleasure in traditional and bespoke forms. I’m grateful that Kim chooses to provide high-quality instruction for post-MFA poets as well as for poets who are altogether outside the MFA system. Kim’s affirmation of poetry as ‘soul work’ invites all of us to adopt a generous, sustainable perspective on our writing.”

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