Infrequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of blog is this?
A: It is a (mostly) poetry blog. Or an excuse to use as many photos from “” as I can afford.

Q: What does the title “No Talent for Certainty” mean?
A: It is a quote from the movie version of “Mansfield Park”, written (so far as I know) by the writer-director Patricia Rozema. It means, other people may be certain about things, but I have no particular talent for being certain. So I don’t write a lot of essays, and when I do, they are of a personal nature.

Q: What would you say is the leading feature of your poetry?
A: That there’s a lot of it. And that most of it is short.

Q: Do you have any advice for people starting a blog?
A: Don’t get discouraged. It’s hard to get attention in a room with only three people in it; with billions of people online, trying to get any attention is that much harder. Be patient, and be true to who you are as a writer.

Q: So is the above advice what you did?
A: Oh, heavens, no. I was impatient as hell and copied every technique I could find to try to draw readers.

Q: Are you always this honest?
A: No. But always heartfelt.

Q: Are you a professional writer?
A: No, I am a professional mathematician. And raconteur.

Q: Who are some of your favorite poetry bloggers?
A: Oh, let’s see… Bill Friday and Ra Avis are two. And not just because they tend to like my hapless Instagram posts.

Q: Do you do spoken word poetry? Are there videos?
A: I have not. I rarely dance in public, either.

Q: What does your tagline mean?
A: It’s a quote from a poem by Thomas Grey called “The Progress of Poesy: A Pindaric Ode” which is great, in spite of its title. It is a description of what good poetry can be.

Q: Are you married?
A: Yes. My wife is the only reason I would ever dance in public, by the way. So I guess she would have to want me to do a poetry reading for me to do one.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Yellow.

Q: Why?
A: Because no one else wanted it.