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To write.

January 4, 2009

New Years Resolution:  To blog again.  And, more generally, to write.  Specifically, I am starting to write a sequence of 17 poems, one for every story in the book of fairy tales I found today (Phyllis R. Fenner’s “Giants and Witches and a Dragon or Two”).  I chose a children’s book for a couple of reasons: one, I work with children all day.  Two, I have been thinking more and more about writing my own children’s books.  And, lastly, the incredibly piercing psychology of children’s books, the raw metaphor, the terrifying imagery and towering scale that they imbue is lost on most children.  Or, rather, it seeps in on a subliminal level.  Whereas it jars, and jangles along the frontal nerves of us grown-ups.

To start, a couple of rough drafts:

“Her Hands”

Her hands are made of hollowed
bird-bones, quickening the wooden brush
through a tray of pink and orange goo. I study
her face in the mirror. It’s morning, and cold.

The wind roared me down the highway
toward her clear, black eyes, her face,
flattened to match the open planes,
eyes closing to fend off the wind.

Her nose is beaked, more than expected,
her skin a rich yellow-gold. In her hands,
the scissors run along my hair,
and beside me is a stretch of brown fibers,

four inches long. On the tray, to be woven,
for someone else’s earth-bound skull.
I should hand them off to the birds, to build the nests
now cradled like stones in the tines of winter trees.



I saw you in a dream,
two nights ago. Your arms
laced through the arm of your husband.
Mark. You have a Mark.
I have a Mark. Mark,
Mark! To mark. Marked. Marking.

You are married.
I didn’t know that you’d been married,
much less to a man named Mark.
He’s tall, his eyes are light, his ears stand off.
He took you home to your town.
Your tiny shared town, the town where you went
when you left me, left home.

After you left, I saw you twice.
Once, Baba had died. You stood in her wedding dress
outside the hall closet. We were twelve.
Again, your mother and mine,
me and you, walking through woods in Pinehurst.
We went to see a new friend.
A friend who’d made a bed of branches
bound together into an electrifying statue,
like a bird’s nest, tucked with the batting
from a jewelry box.

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