Expressing my desire to find rhythm in my words, Rita Dove was recommended reading for a poet who dances on paper. Early this year, when I finally got around to seriously read her work, I preordered a new publication, a recent compilation of her 30 years of writing and dove in, head first.
Thirty miles to the only decent restaurant
was nothing, a blink
in the long dull stare of Wyoming.
Halfway there the unknown but terribly
important essayist yelled Stop!
I wanna be in this; and walked
fifteen yards onto the land
before sky bore down and he came running,
crying Jesus — there’s nothing out there!
I once met an Australian novelist
who told me he never learned to cook
because it robbed creative energy.
What he wanted most was
to be mute; he stacked up pages;
he entered each day with an ax.
What I want is this poem to be small,
a ghost town
on the larger map of wills.
Then you can pencil me in as a hawk:
a traveling x-marks-the-spot.
I actually needed to be resuscitated after I read that. I got lost on a lonely road and was found by Rita Dove. I suppose now, only now will I never look back. Again. Praying I never veer too far away, again.
Claude Wilkinsen, in his own right, dances, and taught us to dance, during a poetry workshop in Santa Fe, at The Glen. This was my first, get down and dirty, learn the craft of poetry and get stuck in the mud, fall in love, and let the words become your destination, workshop.
The rain stops. It’s dusk
and the sky is a foreign tangerine;
the only music is huddled doves,
frogs wanting more rain. Mimosas
and roses regain their composure.
Steam rises like a herd
of souls. And just over
the electric next ridge,
a raven-haired gypsy
sends her charms for me.
Will I ever put myself aside, long enough to not be known, but be read, and the only thing seen is your dream? Happy writing, J