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Showing posts from November, 2009

The Valley

Working on a piece about the valley. Here's my brainstorm so far.

Standing here along the river -
I want to jump
Without thinking into the green
muddy water.
My white feet, clean and smooth,
stand firmly at the bank.

This border does not belong to me.
This border belongs to the
ones who live in fear
of being plucked
(roots and all)
to not survive
on the other side.

This border belongs to the hands
that reach into her dusty earth -
the bent backs and the browning necks
burnt and sweaty.

This border belongs to the feet
rough and dusty, the people
with labored sighs.

This border belongs to those
who aren't afraid
of her muddy green waters,
the spines of a nopal,
the burn of the comal.

This border belongs to those
with roots like mesquites, bending
in the wind on either side
of the Rio Grande - roots
that dig deep into the soil
roots that come back
even when plucked
and tossed aside.

No, this valley does not belong to me
Here - standing and afraid
to baptize myself in her muddy waters.

Witnessing

I'm trying to gather together enough poems about living here to make a chapbook. I'm short a few. I've been thinking, how can I write more poems of place for the valley? What have I witnessed here, in this land, that makes my experience unique?

I was reading a poem by Robert Pinsky, "The Shirt". Amazing image...

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.
One hundred and forty-six died in the flames
On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes-

-The witness in a building across the street
Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step
Up to the windowsill, then held her out
Away from the masonry wall and let her drop.
And then another. As if he were helping them up
To enter a streetcar, and not eternity.


That's so powerful. What can I write about here, the valley, that's equally powerful?
Hmm...

Dearest Pessmist Inside Me,

You're just my mom's voice.

I know why you say all of this, and it's because you don't want me to succeed. A lot of people who have read my work have enjoyed it. These people have praised my work when you have refused to. I'm a very talented writer and I know this because my language makes me blush. I can feel the blood rushing just below the surface of my skin when I read my work. It's lighthearted (Sometimes). It's fun to read. It makes me smile.

My writing is about emotion - feeling - having an intimate relationship with the shapes of words. My poetry can make you hard, or it can make you close your eyes for a moment and imagine, 'what if'?

My writing is about being connection, about learning to love - be it the body, a man, food, the page. My writing frees me to be a whore for my readers, pleaseing them in I never otherwise could.

Pessimist - I write to be free. I write to feel. I write to connect. Most of all - I write to love.

Dear Katie,

You will never be a writer. Do you remember all of those times when other people praised your work? The time when Mr. Winnard told you that you had a gift, a talent? Or the time when, in a workshop, Carol said that your poem belonged in an anthlogy, because it read like the ones she's seen there before? Remember when your classmates voted you to represent them and read your poetry at the donor's dinner? Remember when your poems were accepted into Gallery, voted the best, and given an honorable mention? Remember when Dr. Belau was upset because you weren't pursuing the M.A (you were going for the MFA instead), but she said that at least you'd be able to write brilliantly? Remember the smiles on the peoples' faces when you read in public, and how - once at a workshop - the gay priest just HAD to read the sexy teacher poem outloud to the class?

Do you remember all of this, Katie? All of these people were just being nice to you. They felt sorry for you because, in reali…

Finally!

Today I finally submitted my work to Touchstone.

Its something I've been putting off needlessly for far too long. I've always said I was going to do it, and today, finally, I was out of excuses, out of other things to do. I just did it. It's done.

I submitted:

1. The Martyrs
2. Poetic Release
3. The Common Denominator
4. Traveling West
5. Town of Mistakes.

Now for Breakwater Review...

I'm running out of material to submit, but with so many looming deadlines...

I need to write more. It's difficult to find inspiration sometimes. I'll keep searching.

But for today, I've accomplished my goal :-)

"We're in Uniform!"

A Co-worker walked by my office this afternoon. She peered in through the doorway, and stared at me for a tiny moment. Then, she smiled and her big eyes lit up. "We're in uniform!" she exclaimed in her high, innocent voice. Huh? I shot her a confused glare. She was gesturing towards her clothing.

I look down at my own. It was true. We were in uniform, both of us dressed alike, as if we were sisters.

But we couldn't be more different.

That got me thinking, and here is my writing exercise for today:

"We're in uniform!"
All of us - our bodies bathed
in different shades of violets, blushing
fucias and baby blues. We
all of us paint
our eyes and brush our lashes,
hide behind our perfumes.

We're in uniform,
all of us, we click
our heels, sway our hips
and wear, delicately -
our worries upon our shoulders
like lavish furs. Hiding
deep within our creases
of our painted faces,
we're all in uniform, together hiding
from each other.

Success!

Adding another publication to the CV.

Two of my poems were accepted into Reflections! They were Santa Rosa of Lima and The Double Murder.

This is definately a good day for the writer in me. This will definately motivate me to submit to Touchstone before the 15th.

I've been writing a little bit lately. Here are some of my more memorable images.

These are in no particular order whatsoever.

Your clothing censors your body.
Your eyes censor me from your soul, that part of you body I would never dare to touch.
You clothing censors your body- I'm left afraid of the mystery of what's underneath.

I write with my tongue - salivating in anticipation around each carefully crafted word and feel their movement inside of me. I'm ripe with poetry that's afraid to leave the womb. But one day, I know I'll explode a mess of guts and words here at my desk will be all that remains.

I'm a dirty dirty wife who prefers the chaos of my kitchen to the binding sparkling ring of its tidiness.…