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Oklahoma Loves Me - April 10, 2014

Despite the occasional unsavory remark I have–from time to time–lobbed in its direction, the Sooner State continues to publish my poems. My wife, Tulsa-born, must still have some karmic pull. Or maybe my poetry hero, John Berryman, who was hails from McAlester, home to the state pen.

Which is all to say that I’ve a new poem in Cimarron Review (Winter 2014, Issue 186) published out of Oklahoma State. (I’ve previously appear in issue 172). It’s called “I Call My Journal Robert W. Shields” and is about a man who wrote a 37.5 million word diary (Samuel Pepys, by comparison, clocks in at 1.25 million), dying in 2007 at the age of 89. He clipped nose hairs into his notebooks and made such riveting entries as “Passed a large, firm stool, and a pint of urine. Used five sheets of paper.”

So, pick up a copy of the Cimarron Review if you happen to find yourself in one of our finer bookstores. Or, barring that, Oklahoma. Or if you’re simply up late on Facebook, and asking yourself–like Robert Shields–what all this recorded ephemera means. His answer? “Maybe by looking into someone’s life at that depth, every minute of every day, they will find out something about all people.” Maybe, Mr. Shields. Maybe so.

Derek MongComment