Scarecrow Oracle in the Inlander

After more than a decade as a luminous leader in Spokane’s poetry scene, Mark Anderson is celebrating the release of his debut collection, Scarecrow Oracle. The former Spokane Poet Laureate (2017-19), also founder of the weekly Broken Mic series and a frequent publisher of poetry in local anthologies and publications (including the Inlander), has compiled several dozen poems composed in recent years into the 86-page collection. Anderson’s rhythmic, reflective compositions take root in childhood memories, yearnings for love and remembrance, our instinctual fear of death and loss, and wonder at how a single fleeting moment can trigger emotions that rattle us to the core.

Chey Scott

Scarecrow Oracle June 4 Release Party

‘… On the Wings of the Wind …’

From the Armadio degli Argenti of Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), c. 1450

From the Armadio degli Argenti of Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), c. 1450

… he came, cherub-mounted, borne up on the wings of the wind….

Pslam 18:11

Cover Art by Tiffany Patterson

Design by Thom Caraway

For the book by Mark L. Anderson

Soon to be published by Korrektiv Press

Jess Walter on Scarecrow Oracle

Mark Anderson is the oracle of memory and longing, of hide-a-beds and rusted Chevys. And these poems show him writing with his trademark sense of wonder and humor and place. I really enjoyed this collection.

—Jess Walter, author of The Cold Millions

Scarecrow Oracle, Coming Soon

Mark Anderson’s Scarecrow Oracle (coming soon from Korrektiv Press) opens by “Going Backwards to Where It Starts” and then takes us forward through the speaker’s childhood into his early adulthood, traveling through time as he stays rooted in place–the Spokane Valley, The Empyrean Coffee Shop, the Rockford Fair. The question the speaker is always asking is how to live in a world steeped in loss. Early in the collection, the young speaker asks a dandelion this question, and in response, “it lets go of everything it has ever been.” Towards the end, the older speaker, less stunned now by the dandelion’s quick vanishing, tells us as he performs the ordinary act of making his bed, “I want to be ready to be a ghost or a nothing…./ And when the time comes I part the curtains / and let in the astonishing day.” Anderson’s book translates the silences and fears of childhood and early loss into a series of images that answer, beautifully and without explanation, his difficult question. — Laura Read

When you live inside Mark Anderson’s poems, someone a bit like an oracle speaks to you in almost but not-at-all ordinary speech, you give up sleep for most of your life, death crowds close but the poet bravely writes it away, you feel the terror of a crawl space and the patience of a jellyfish with the “body of a half-sealed / Ziplock bag / flushed down the / grime filled gutter, / inexplicably filled / with life / instead of a sandwich,” and you learn “We came to the Earth to have / feelings.”  And you have feelings. It’s an extraordinary place to be.   — Kathleen Flenniken

Mark L. Anderson lives and writes in Spokane, Washington. He co-founded the popular Broken Mic spoken word poetry series and has traveled the United States performing at open mics, poetry slams, taverns, coffee shops, and libraries. From 2017 to 2019 he served as Spokane’s poet laureate. Scarecrow Oracle is his first book.

The Korrektiv Iceberg

See also: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/iceberg-tiers-parodies

To the Tune of “Kodachrome”

For reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kVY3EWg8fI

From the YouTube Music Video Archives: Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (‘Resurrection’) – Finale

“Why have you lived? Why have you suffered? Is it all some huge, awful joke? We have to answer these questions somehow if we are to go on living – indeed, even if we are only to go on dying!” These are the questions Mahler said were posed in the first movement of his Symphony No. 2, questions that he promised would be answered in the finale.

–John Henken, Los Angeles Philharmonic, ‘About the Piece’

The full symphony is available on YouTube here, courtesy of the Netherlands’ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Quin Finnegan has more on Mahler (and Percy!) here.

‘… Still With You.’

From the Armadio degli Argenti of Blessed John of Fiesole, OP (Fra Angelico), c. 1450

‘… I rose up and am still with you.’

Psalm 139: 18