FernWithy (fernwithy) wrote,

4/28, National Poetry Month

Hmmm. I just joined a poetry workshop that prides itself on being really tough. The "hmm-ing" comes from the fact that, while I rarely lurk for the prerequisite amount of time anywhere, I do hang out long enough to get a feel for what kind of place it is, and even since I joined, I've seen four or five people join, try to post in the high level groups where it's specified that you're supposed to have extensive experience, and bitch about negative critiques. It's not like the site is in any way unclear about the fact that they will be tough. What's with shock and outrage when they are? Do people really not know that they're not brilliant on their first time out? Even when I was only eighteen, I knew I couldn't get into Intermediate Fiction without submitting work and having it judged worthy of skipping beginning fiction by the Intermediate professor. (I made it, but it wasn't a sure thing.) Advanced remained touch-and-go after that, and had to be auditioned for. (I was less patient with that, because a good writer of my acquaintance was turned out for having the nerve to write--gasp--science fiction. I didn't get much out of Advanced Fiction. The professor never could make a distinction between point of view and authorial voice, which disturbs me even more in retrospect than it did at the time.)

I digress.

I think I'll write again tonight. First draft.

Copley, by drum
The stick flies upward, twirling
against a sky that's a stained glass ocean waiting
to be broken, and comes down with a


beat of the Square is a Nandi epiphany
(everyone's Kenyan where marathons end).
Tortoise and hare wait in endless caesura be-
tween faith and science, beneath mirrored walls. And the
people who cross there see only the sidewalk as
vital news calls their attention away, and their
cell phones have grown from their fingers like tumors but
even so focused they still feel the beat and high
heels clack a rhythm on bricks red as Georgia and


hard granite flagstones that amplify every step,
echoing cadence in canyons of glass, and the
veiled ladies watch them with tarnished brass apathy.
Skateboarders rocket toward certain destruction, but
at the last minute glide down on a prayer past the
indigent man with his sign made cardboard that
promises he just wants money for food. But he's
not begging now; he's just digging the day, and says,
"Sister, why can't it be like this all year?" and she


waves to him cheerfully, grins at the sun, and goes
on with her day, and another blows by with the
phone on her ear and her eyes wide and focus-blind.
"What do you mean?" she demands with a glare at some
mythic opponent, and crosses the street toward the
tunnel below. And the drummer can see her now,
passing his nest, as she crosses her finish line
headed for home, so he gives her a flourish of
cymbal and


passes on angrily; can't win them all. And the
poet drops money and then disappears.
Tags: national poetry month

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