Thursday, July 28, 2011

The San Juan Spruce

So remember a few days back, when I received a wonderfully encouraging rejection letter from COR?

Well, at the end of the note, the editor invited me to submit to the next issue. The issue I submitted to originally was "The American South".

I have a complicated relationship with the "American South." I live, as you know, in deep south Texas, which really isn't considered a part of "the south" proper. But we're kind of south? I mean, you don't really get more geographically south than say, south Texas. And not only that, but... I'm not from here. I just have to open my mouth and people know I'm not from here. Whenever anyone asks, "where you from?" and I answer, "south Texas," I always get a smile -- "yes, but where are you ORIGINALLY from." I always get that.

So I think me considering myself a southerner is irrelevant. I'm not one. My voice gives it away -- the way I say "about" and "bag," the fact that once in awhile I let the word "bubbler" slip, and "pop."

The next issue of COR is a special issue on "The Great American North." My initial thought? No way in hell, I'm from the south, what can I have to say about the north??

But actually...

I'm also a girl from the north, The Great North Woods, to be exact! I mean, not since I was like ten years old, but still! And last week I started thinking, what could I possibly write about the north? I only have traces of memory of it. But on the other hand, I'd really like to submit more work...

And then it hit me! And the poems have exploded. I've been musing musing musing, and over the past week I've written FIVE (yes, FIVE) pages of metrical poetry about the San Juan Spruce, but really, about feeling displaced, and coming to accept and celebrate the fact that the world migrates, and with the world, our bodies, too, move.

So, thanks, COR, for inspiring me. That rejection letter... gosh, its the gift that keeps on giving. I haven't written this much in such a short time... er... ever?

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