From the archives

below are a few pieces from an old blog (crazy that there’s such a thing as an old blog)

These posts appeared on a website that has since shut down it’s blogging capabilities. Isn’t it a matter of time before it all gets shut down…?

July 4, 2008

There is a fine literary quarterly that comes out of Portland, OR called Tin House. Summer 2007 I attend the Tin House annual summer writer’s festival where published authors teach workshop style classes to aspiring authors. The workshop is one week and held at Reed College. Daytime is literature review and the rehashing of yours and your peers’ works. Nighttime is drinking. And writing, if you get around to it.

For me not every night was spent drinking. I wrote. I was fountain of words. A  shower of words. A water fountain of words. I was in fact so inspired that I tried my hand at poetry, something that is not my bag.

I shared an excerpt of my poem in progress with Marie Howe, the workshop’s poetry instructor. She said she liked a certain line. She didn’t hear the poem when I read it at an open mic one night, but I would be curious to know if she liked the other lines.

This was the poem.

They might have said: “What we need is a swimming hole. A cool pond where we                    

Can dip our legs and just relax, maybe have a sip, if we like.”

“Yes. In this weather, that sounds right.”                                                        

They marched then to the bowl,                                                                          

 A place they had been before,                                                                     

During the sweltering spells of heat.

The kind that pushed them harder and closer to the ground.                                    

The kind that stirred them into thirsty frenzy.                                                   

The kind that were upon them now.

They arrived at the cold, clear lake, slowed their nervous pace,                    

Plopped fat abdomens and skinny legs at water’s edge.

Relief, they might have said.                                                                              

Word spread                                                                                                              

That that was room                                                                                                  

For everybody and everybody came.                                                                        

Dipping, sipping, and rejoicing.

Then the light came on, their party paused                                                           

Pleasure to panic, senses spinning,                                                                               

Their time at the bowl, their precious hole, was ending.

Then whoosh, slip, down they went,                                                                                

The lovely liquid with them.

Quenched and quiet,                                                                                                    

They might have said: “What a lovely way to go.”

The poem is about ants being flushed down a toilet. I was inspired by the vision when I returned to my dorm room one night after drinking.

I am not a poet. I have resolved however, that writers, in order to be great, must respect poetry. It is after all, sublimity in words.

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