Friday, April 7, 2017

Napo 6 and 7

Howdy from Ada, Oklahoma!

I'm here for the Scissortail Creative Writing festival at East Central University. What a fantastic way to celebrate National Poetry Month. I've met some amazing poets today and had just a marvelous time. The only down side is that this place is a ridiculous drive from home, which means tomorrow, like yesterday, is going to be exhausting.

So, have I been writing? Actually, yes.
Yesterday, I spent the day on the road and didn't really write anything, though as I was driving I worked a poem out in my head! So that counts, right? I wrote it out today during a lull in the conference. My Napo 6 is about having a religious experience looking for tampons at Buck-ee's truck stop. Yes, true story, unfortunately. I actually REALLY like what I wrote today, and for that reason, I'm not going to post it on my blog. I don't think it needs terribly much revision before I start submitting, so we'll leave that poem private. But rest assured, I did write it!

Napo 7 I wrote here at the hotel this evening, and I like the idea though I'm less happy with the execution. I'll post this here since I plan on building on it as I revise (and work it into blank verse as I do most of my work). So, here's my napo 7!

God has a Handlebar Mustache

You may ask me how I know
God has a handlebar mustache.
I once was lost, wandering
The streets of a small town
In Oklahoma. No address
But a vague idea of where
I was supposed to be, staring up
At an infinity of sky.

It was spring. An embarrassment
Of green filled the vista.
My hair, swept in a bun,
As a cold gust of wind
Coaxed my coat into dance.
The smell of burning chicory,
Ominous in the distance.

Never had I felt so misplaced
In this small slice of world.
North. South. East. West.
They spun in circles
As pick-ups whirred past,
Spit diesel. My eyes widened.
Nothing makes sense
When you’re a stranger
In a strange town, except the voice
In a low, southern drawl asking:

Are you lost? Echoing down
From the shimmering distance.
And I was, in every sense
Of the word.  And he’s there,
Unremarkable save a handlebar mustache –
A man haloed in sunshine
And spring. A face
Furrowed with eternity
Like an old, live oak.

He pointed the way
With the certainty
Of black and white
On a fluttering page.
And I’m found, there,
The straight path
Unfolding before me
Like a story etched

Into the mind of us all.



When I have a bit more brainspace, I'll try to return and tell you more about my experiences at Scissortail, beyond that it was amazing. 

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