Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Writer Who Doesn't Write

Since Matt opened the door, I thought I'd make a full confessional. I haven't been writing. I have actually done some research for the Sarah Mitchell poem. That's the girl who was captured by Native Americans/Indians, whichever you prefer. Now I am torn. I don't know whether to write something long and sprawling, like a ballad, which was my original intent, or taut and tense, like a sonnet or a small open verse poem. The painting that my cousin sent me is of course the latter, because, well, it's a painting, so it has to freeze time in a single moment. So if I'm working from that, then the small lyric makes more sense. And if I listen to Simonides, I should work from that: poetry is painting that speaks, painting is poetry that is silent. It's a useful test. I'm very interesting in the image of the blade. In the painting, a warrior stands over Mitchell's mother with his knife raised. I know from the historical accounts that she was scalped. So I'm going to sit with that frozen-moment image for a while.

A few things I am looking forward to: 1) Kathleen Driskell and Tori McClure's readings at Spalding next Tuesday. 2) A couple of readings of my own the following week here in town at That Book Place. Hopefully, some of the poets in Women. Period. will join me for at least one of those. Must get the word out. If you are reading this and your poem is in the book, email me.

Alright, I must go out and enjoy the sunshine. It's 75 degrees!

Happy days,


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