memorial for a brilliant woman

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Every Sunday in May, art 6 Gallery will host "Bend Your Ear" from 4-6 pm. Four feature writers will read from their original work in conjunction with the Paul DiPasquale exhibit of Ears (currently in DC)

I will be announcing the slate of readers soon.
Okay- I'm officially ready for National Poetry Month-

My web page is updated, and I'm ready to write a poem every day for the month.
Here's my official home:

I tried to change it to 2007 but apparently I can't-

Go forth and do it!

Monday, March 26, 2007

So I look up and I haven't posted anything in ages- I will say I am really enjoying the copy of Floating City by Anne Pierson Wiese I got in the mail.

National Poetry Month will be here on Sunday! I intend to make another year (my 5th) of writing a poem-a-day and dragging others in with me. It's a good discipline and I've gotten some wonderful poems out of the experience (also some terrible ones, but hey!)

I know there are those who pooh-pooh the whole thing and that's their decision. I happen to like any month when I can talk about poetry and have something that sounds official to back me up. Yeah, I know- I talk poetry all the time, but now people have to pretend to pay better attention.

More soon!

Get ready!

Check THIS out

and for teachers check THIS and THIS, too

and for bloggers

for a poem-a-day from publishers- try

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Responsibility of Myth

Imagine how difficult it would be to sleep
in a bright room, sit naked on a splintered bench,
find pleasure on a metal table. Extend your arms,
touch the smooth surface beneath, stretch
until your shoulders ache, your fingers tingle
with effort. Focus on the desire in your gut,
the urgency for release, to pee, to shit,
to fall to your knees in shame, reconciled.

Deeds done have consequences, should,
a dare made when more self-possessed,
when anything seemed possible, nothing
to lose, the weight of the universe lifts,
Atlas, free at last, holds only an empty promise.

The heavens are telling, if the world could
hear, see the intricate ablutions the body bears.
If there is to be eternal quiet, let it begin
with an exhale, mean and now, in the rattling bones
when belief is rendered bare, stilled.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Ball Blue Book of Home Preserving

It was her other bible, dog-eared and falling apart,
tucked in the back cupboard all winter, eager
for first fruits, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers-
things that had to be put by in a jar.

The ritual was precise, timing life or death, hunger or plenty,
a false step meant a wasted day, the book stayed open
on the sideboard as a quick reference, close to the wall clock.

Every other space covered with produce, water boiling on the stove,
Mamaw would roll her stockings down and can
into the cool of the night, TV on for "Guiding Light"
later "Arthur Godfrey" or "The Hit Parade."

My job was to stand on a stool and wash jars and lids,
inspecting each rim carefully for chips and spots, sweat
dripping into my eyes, I could have a bottled coke
as long I kept working, paid attention.

She’d tell stories about how she met Papaw
(at a camp meeting in Tyler, Texas) when she wore
a crisp white shirt (high-necked and starched to high heaven)
and a long blue and white striped heavy skirt she’d made,
transporting her with his beautiful Irish tenor,
and if her friend, Ima Clem hadn’t near fainted
from the heat and been taken to a nearby house,
she might’ve never met him and I wouldn’t be here at all.

She used to say things like that-
how my very existence depended on a sequence of events
that seemed magical, almost random: a butterfly In Waco
flying left instead of right, an open window where a panther
climbed in one night when my Momma was a tiny baby,
and Papaw was off working in Houston, how she stood
over the crib and locked eyes with the big cat for an eternity,
then collapsed to the floor and wept when it left.

That beast would’ve taken Joyce
if I hadn’t been right with God
and we wouldn’t have you then, would we?

But where would I be? Would I be at all?
I wondered, fearful of God’s serendipity,
sure she wouldn’t answer, I pondered
these questions in my heart, like Mary.

As I grew older, I’d help less often, besides,
she’d started freezing more by then- plastic bags
standing up in wax-coated boxes had little personality,
even with the boiling water blanch we didn’t talk as much,
I must’ve been a mystery to her, awkward and moody.

I have a Ball Blue Book, ordered fresh off the internet,
but I’ve never used it, why bother? It’s too hard to can alone,
my daughter would roll her eyes, microwave a Lean Cuisine,
never caring where my mother met my dad (in an elevator)
when she winked at the guy behind him (who didn’t notice)
and my dad followed her to her office and asked her out
charming her with his thick auburn hair, his jokes,
they feel in love so fast their world changed in a blink,
assuring my existence, and later my daughter’s,
though that story will never be preserved
in a summer kitchen to be taken out later and shared again.
cripes- I know, long time, no post.

It'll have to be tomorrow, daughter has a report to do (on my fracking computer)

I am so behind.

but my bad cholesterol is down 30%.. yeah.. for real.