It’s hard to believe my running mates and I made it through this crazy poetry writing marathon! I want to give a last shout out to Carol Willette Bachofner, Mackenzie Carignan, Sarah A. Chavez, Ryder Collins, Clare Louise Harmon, Patty Joslyn, and Carlene Kucharczyk. These truly inspiring writers made it happen every day, and because I knew they’d be showing up, I showed up, too. Every day! For them, for me, and for you. Read their full bios by clicking here.
Thank you to Lynne, Carrie, Helen, Cece, Connie, Amy, Ana, Rich, Kate, Cinamon, Lisa and Julie for joining me in the Desire as Purpose fundraiser workshop on 3/29! Your participation generated $240 for Tupelo Press! Thank you also to Shelley Blanton-Stroud, Susan Flynn, Kristen Lee, Doug Asche, Maggie Cullen and Carol Darlington for generously donating to Tupelo Press since the last roundup, on behalf of my month-long poetry writing “marathon”! And, thank you to the six people who registered for my private workshops in the month of March; on *your* behalf, I will be donating $120 to Tupelo!
Friends, with your generosity and help, we have to date raised over **$1000** for Tupelo Press–and I know a couple of donations are still working their way through accounting. THANK YOU, on behalf of Tupelo Press and poetry and my own writing practice, for your support of independent literary arts and artists!
I want to share with you a favorite poem from each of us on the March “running” team from the final days. You’ll find these below. Enjoy!
And, if reading this poetry moves you, THERE IS STILL TIME TO DONATE IN MY NAME! Head over to the 30/30 Project website to read all of our daily poems, our bios, and to *donate*! Want a gift in thanks for your donation? Check out my special 30/30 Project webpage and view what I have on offer, including the below one-of-a-kind gratitude poems and also the below limited edition broadsides–check out last week’s roundup to view samples of these!
Here’s to poetry!
Here is the final poem I wrote for the project, a found poem using lines from poems each of us wrote during the month. Enjoy!
Nest / by Carlene Kucharczyk
(composed of lines from 30/30 poems by Kate, Claire, Carol, Patty, Mackenzie, Ryder, Sarah, and me)
When we lived as birds,
I ate baby animals—
pink flaking flesh,
they were delicious.
We danced all winter,
swing and sway. I wanted
to know the silence
as ours alone, feel it entirely.
We’ll never have
that recipe again. But maybe
it’s not the empty pan,
this one bowl—
I am hardly ready
to be buried.
No Luxury / by Carol Willette Bachofner
Poetry is no luxury.
It is the insect bite
on the inner thigh
that swells and reddens
like fire and pulse.
Poetry is first sex,
hard member into soft
pushing away the pure
door to reveal a new home
furnished with big chairs.
Poetry comes hard
as childbirth, bloody
wet words gushing out,
falling to the mattress
and wailing for a breath.
Poetry is no luxury
at all. It must be hunted
down, dragged over the hearth
and eaten raw.
You think you know my secrets / by Ryder Collins
What secrets do you know besides angry mu shu? Besides the relatives to avoid and the relatives to suck up to? The ones that have condos and timeshares we could use before the babies pop? Do you know the secret words or the secret flowers to blend with secret herbs to give me as tea so that I birth all daughters? Do you know my regrets? I can list them for you: I regret OkCupid, I regret my ex, I regret being mean to the one man who rode me up a hill on the back of his bicycle, I regret sleeping with his slut friend. You probably know all this. I miss my pit bull; I regret putting her down. She was a fighter more than me even. She had cancer all over and used her leg tumor as a headrest. You want to be my headrest. You want to be my tumor even. You want to be inside me, but, tallman, you are too tall. Your bicycle’s too short for your legs, and you never ever offered me a lift up a hill over a bridge after midnight. You never kissed me on that hill. I never said I would call you. I called him, though. Over and over & over that hill that bridge that moonlight those kisses I called.
I Still See You In My Dreams / by Sarah A. Chavez
You wouldn’t remember this,
but the night you knocked
on the front door of my mom’s place,
just half past midnight: Docs muddy,
pants stained, a crumpled paper
grocery sack carrying the shreds
of shirt left after they cut it
off your chest in ER, (a souvenir
you said) I washed your hair
in the kitchen sink.
And because you don’t remember this,
you won’t remember how we tipped
the chair against the edge of counter top,
propped with an old edition
of the Webster’s dictionary shoved
under the front legs – fitting
considering the ways words
had always carried us.
And because you don’t remember that,
you won’t remember you closed
your eyes, while I ran the water
until it was warm, used a cup
to wet your hair, just the way
my mom used to when I was a kid,
placing my hand at your hairline,
making sure to shield your eyes.
The shampoo smelled of lilacs,
the scent intensifying while steadying
your head with my fingers, my thumbs
rubbed circles over your scalp. Foam
building suds dripped down
my wrists, skated through your hair.
You kept your hands folded
in your lap until I pressed
closer to the counter to turn back on
the water, fill the cup once more.
I wish you remembered this:
as I leaned in to rinse
the remaining lather, your eyes
still closed you unfolded your hands,
wrapped palms to my hips, pulled me
down onto your lap, the weight of both
our bodies balanced precariously
on those two shuddering legs.
You never opened your eyes.
Just rested your cheek
against my breast. Silent.
And that is how we stay
forever in my memory.
the Eve of my Larry’s Birth Day / by Patty Joslyn
Later, I will tell you about the things
that keep me here
it’s a long list
and life times.
Tiny things like sesame seeds.
Big ones like you.
A bowl of polished abalone
shines in the sun
I remember there is nothing
I really need
except your hand in mine.