In lieu of a final in my writing class, we turned in portfolios that contained samples of our writing in three genres: non-fiction, fiction, and poetry. We studied poetry during the last few weeks of class and I was initially not very excited about it. I know it is cliché, but I always considered myself one of those people who just doesn’t “get” poetry. I feel very differently now! Aside from reading some amazing poetry by some incredible poets (Elizabeth Bishop, James Merrill, and DH Lawrence were my faves), I found that I really enjoy writing it as well. It came as a complete shock to me. I decided to start a new series here called “Poetry Corner” and share some of what I wrote. I still don’t purport to be a poet, but I’m having fun giving it a try!
Those of you in Tucson will hopefully be able to relate to the sense memories that inspired this first poem. Let me know what you think! And this weekend, I will be posting the first installment of a series that I’ve been working on with my sister, Bree. I am so pleased with how it turned out; I think you will all really enjoy it! Happy Friday
|Photo by Johnny Thornton|
The sky is one big sheet of dark grey dryer lint,
complex nervous systems of bright-white lightning
intermittently asserting their presence. A sound, just like the crack
of a baseball bat, catches me off guard, makes me spill a little
beer on my dress. It gently settles into a rumble that echoes
through the valley. The wind will become so intense
that it rips trees right out of the ground. The corpses and their
exposed roots will litter roadsides for weeks to come. For now,
it just makes swirling groups of garbage dance down the street.
I’m on my porch in a wooden chair, stubbing out a Camel Light in
my metal ashtray from Bisbee, breathing deeply so as to
absorb the sweet scent of the creosote bushes, trying desperately
to make the scent a part of me, inextricable from my memory.
Finally, the water begins to fall, in small droplets at first
and then in big, fat, all-encompassing blobs. The pavement
seems to hiss and steam with gratitude, some relief from the oppressive
heat of another desert summer. I watch the dark spots
on the concrete sidewalk multiply in numbers, reaching
out to one another, uniting as one. A creek, and then a river,
runs through the gutters and I giggle, giddy.
I want to wrap my arms around this in a suffocating embrace.
I want to take this with me when I go.