My brother passed away unexpectedly 8 years ago. I always say that God, or whoever you believe in, started having me read and publish so that I could speak at my brother’s memorial service. My mother said to me “I spoke like a mother. You spoke like a poet”. Would I give everything back to have my brother back? In a second!
Looking back at my older poetry I can say “that was my Erica Jong phase” or “that was my Diane Wakoski phase” but I don’t think I imitate too much anymore. I’m willing to be wrong but I’m pretty sure I’ve found my voice and I’m comfortable with it. Even if my styles or subjects change from one poem to the next I think I’m pretty recognizable as plain old me.
our feet make as we take
our last walk. We converse
about the small things,
kick stones with
as if mounted under glass.
We head toward our sandals -
my dress absorbing the
colors of the crashing foam
your legs purpled with the cold.
impressions - the front
of mine deeper as I
lean toward you, your
heels deeper as you lean
away. I feel spent as beach grass.
The symphony of winter is an
appropriate final audience for us -
witnessing our undoing.
hands in pockets, always leaning.
He whispers gently to women.
They say no and walk away.
his attention stolen and set free
in a love story. He craves rescue.
The birds call from across the street
“welcome to dreams, have a nice life”
one washed in light, golden in his wake.
My full-length collection was published by Bellowing Ark Press. It was also a good experience but I had less control over things. And quite honestly, sometimes I have to read it backwards because I only have patience to read about half of it before I’m tired of it.
particular writing forums that attract you? Feel free to give names, websites and links.
Sometimes I write “slices” of people. They are one-page, margin to margin and they are more like character studies rather than poems. The exception to this is Slices of Alice, which ended up at 21 pages. The first page and the last page have to stay in order. The rest can be read in almost any order.
I’m writing more prose poems at the moment; form is an interesting thing. I don’t dictate the form; the poem decides whether it’s going to be prose, Decasyllabic, a pantoum , “prisoner’s constraint”, whatever. It will tell me what it wants to be and I’ll write it that way.