jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I forgot how much I love Anne Sexton

My last post of 2008. No sniffs. No sighs. I'm looking forward to a new year, a fresh start. All those blank calendar pages, blank journal pages, poetry books waiting to be read...

I had a very productive last day of the year. Sent in two submissions (in by the skin of my neck!), and collaborative ones with Carolee at that. Hooray for us!

To top it off, we were both inspired by a rare video of Anne Sexton reading (see it here), so we started a new collaborative piece, using five phrases from Sexton's Her Kind. Next, we each wrote five sentences using those phrases, then wrote a poem blending the phrases. Mine follows...

The Eskimo Word for Woman is Abnaq

Too many people think they know
what is and what is not a woman.

Lonely thing (that woman)
walking with a blanket round her head.

My grandmother (that woman) fixed the suppers
--no one helped her clean up.

Jesus fixed the suppers while the women
(that woman) washed the dishes.

Pummeled by flakes, she is not a woman
but another word for snow.

At night, dreaming, she is a cat
with no kittens, teats full and glossy.

If you still bite after all these years,
consider yourself happily married.

I sweat sometimes at night, dreaming of a new body
(that woman) to wrap my skin around.

Do you still bite your lip when you think about me (that woman)?

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

June Cleaver Sends Best Wishes and a Casserole

A Poem for Carolee's Mother on the Eve of Surgery

May your apron wrap round your waist
snug as the man of your dreams at your thighs.

May your flour be content to hide its purity
in the darkened circle of a porcelain rooster,
never dusting your cheeks with traces
of another self, another pale incarnation.

May your cookies rise like hips
in heat, hold their softness on your tongue
even after the oven has cooled.

May the man in white deliver the milk
of compassion, seasonal nog and spirits
well before you prowl the morning
floorboards, a rested angel in flannel robes.

With this dish, may your gut fill
with what it needs. May you find
each ingredient at your fingertips.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

How to Be a Turtle

Wind yourself up in the world’s smallest flower
snore like a stubbly old man, slowly, slowly

slowly. Follow a crusty shelled amphibian
home for dinner. Admire the swamp, breathe

deep from its gasses. Pencil your new habitat
on the map under your hat. Pull in your head

dive deep below the muck and old tires

careful not to swallow the algae. Show
the minnows who’s boss. Wrap a slick snake
skin around your stick neck for warmth.

Paddle your way
to the surface.

If this has taken a long time,
slow down.

You’re in the shell.
You’re in the tank.
The ride is never over.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

This is Not a Love Poem, or: So, Jill Says to Jack

When you told me
take this pail
I drank the water
carried myself up the hill.

When you demanded glue
I roiled my insides
pieced your crown
together with bits of sticky flesh.

I am not afraid to fall,
even without you beneath me.
The higher the hill, the more
sky to swallow on the way down.

When we are mostly water
what is there to do but swim?


This is a letter poem in response to Carolee's Systole. Thank you Carolee, for inspiring me to finally write a poem.

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A Poem from My Husband, Away at School--Obviously, He Rocks (Today...)

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Your hair is awesome
and so are you.