Posts Tagged ‘Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award’

You Are The Embodiment Of The Poet

October 30, 2015

My heart burst reading that line.

I was in the upstairs bathroom at work wrangling monkeys, brushing teeth.

Brosse/brosse/brosse/

Les dents/

Brosse les tres souvents/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

Tous les jours/

A les belle est dentes.

Brush/brush/brush

Your teeth/

Brush them every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Every day/

Ah.

The pretty teeth.

(sung to row, row, row your boat)

Yay!

“Spit,” I said, running the water.

I had to put down my phone, I could not finish reading the sweet e-mail I had received from my patron, my eyes kept tearing up reading it and I had to manage the two boys.

I’m just going to call him that, he’s my patron.

Anyone who sends me a check for $1,000 for some poems is my patron.

Anyway.

I had sent him an effusive e-mail thanking him for the check and how I was honored and seen and just over the moon.

That moon.

Did you see her tonight?

Sometimes in the waning I feel there is more power, more poesie, more haunting and longing.

The wandering back into the self, the darkening lunar landscape, the eery rise in the night sky and the glow as it rose over the trees in Golden Gate Park, the nipping wind chill on my neck and my arms, reminder to up the sweatshirt ante here soon.

The Indian summer is passing and the autumn cold is coming.

But that luscious moon.

Yes.

Over the moon.

He sent me back another sweet missive and the above quote amongst them.

To be the embodiment of the poet, that means so much.

The validation has been powerful.

It’s hard to acknowledge and yet, I know I absolutely have to, its false modesty to not acknowledge it and the sorrow for all the time I didn’t let myself create, the doubt, the fear, the negotiating my own way through the world, poetic voice or no poetic voice, being an artist, yet denying myself entrée into the club.

No.

Really.

I don’t belong here.

No.

That table couldn’t possibly be for me.

No.

I know you say I have a reservation to be here, but there’s been a mistake.

The maitre d leads me to the table and seats me despite my own fuss.

“When I heard you reciting them,” my person said to me in front of the Church St. Cafe as we sat and drank tea and caught up, “I thought to myself, oh these are lovely, who’s are they?”

He continued, looking at me with his sparkling blue eyes, that matched exactly the corn flower blue cashmere sweater wrapped over his shoulders, “I didn’t know you wrote them, it took me a minute to catch on!”

We talked about the story behind the poems and I told him how I got there to the creative process and how I did a nonce and what that was like and it was me running away at the mouth.

“Girl, I knew you could write, but I had no idea about this part of you,” he said and smiled, with his eyes and mouth and heart, and squeezed my hands.

“You are an artist and you are curious and you let yourself go there and you have experiences, this other artist saw that in you and you connected and you let yourself do that,” he smiled more.

My heart squeezed itself in my chest and tears rose in my eyes.

“I feel like I may have cheated myself a little though,” I told him.

“How so?” He asked, curious himself.

“Well, I cashed the check and immediately, like within minutes I had transferred the entire thing into my savings account, there was no celebration, there was just a straight transfer, I feel like I should be celebrating and doing something with it, although I am doing something with it, I’m going to get a Vespa, a new one, which is what I wanted to do all along before I got bamboozled last year with the knock off I bought.”

“Girl, you are celebrating, you are telling me the story of the poems,” he looked at me, “it’s good that you put that money right into your savings.”

He’s right.

I don’t have to go out and spend the money frivolously to prove some sort of point.

In fact.

I transferred the entire $1,000 and another $150 of my own into savings.

I really want to get a scooter.

And I really want a Vespa.

So.

Just a little closer to my new ride then I was the day before yesterday.

The acknowledgement, the accolades, the poems themselves, the being a poet, letting myself be seen, that is the celebration.

Plus.

All the love from my friends who have always seen this side of me and applauded it when I did not or was not able to.

Sitting here.

Doing my blog.

Being happy.

Knowing that I made another artist happy with my work.

That is celebration.

I revel in that.

I also revel in the almost weekend of it all and my staid Halloween plans.

Which include going to 7th and Irving to get right with God, meet my person at Tart to Tart, maybe get the nails done, then lunch with a friend, and afterward, borrowing said friends couch to sit and read all day long on and maybe, just maybe, let myself take a nap.

Yup.

Those are my mad, crazy Halloween plans.

That and sitting down tomorrow to write-up another sonnet.

I have an idea I want to submit to the Bastille and I need to get it out to them ASAP, the deadline is the 31st.

Plus.

I have decided that the compensation for the sonnet series being what it is I am not, cannot with any integrity, submit it for further publication or award.

I have been amply compensated.

That being said.

I am still submitting to the Nemerov Award.

I am going to send in a sonnet that was supposed to be part of the sequence, but I messed up the rhyme scheme and the principle was out-of-order, so I tossed it.

I tried to re-work it but, it just didn’t fit.

I let it go and wrote a fresh one that fit the schematic I had set up.

But I really liked the sonnet.

And.

This means, I have an extra sonnet with all the flavor of the sequence, that I did not submit to my collaborator and patron.

Thus.

I will rework it and tighten it up and send that off instead.

I love that I have ideas falling out of my head.

I still have lots of work to do for school.

Another paper to write for Human Development.

More reading to do.

Etc, etc, ad infinitum.

But I will find the balance with the poetry.

And move forward into the generous flow of language that is out there just waiting for me to cast my net upon it’s worded sea of stars and images.

I’ll push out my boat into that ether and gather wide the nets into my arms aching and full.

Heavy with the heavenly catch that lies awaiting me.

All the things.

All the love.

All the pretty.

Pretty.

Poetry.

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Luminous

October 26, 2015

Don’t put your light under a bushel!

I wanted to grab the woman across from me and give her a hug.

I did later.

But.

In that moment.

I nodded my head, I used a small furthering word, I repeated back what she said.

I used her words.

I heard her.

I really heard her.

I used feeling words and listened.

And.

It was amazing.

“You’re doing it kid!”

I was so excited and present and there.

The classroom fell away, I didn’t hear what was happening with the other dyads that were spread around the room, I didn’t notice anything but the woman across from me, the feelings registering on her face, the words she was saying, the situation she was describing.

The vulnerability.

I could swoon with the honor of bearing witness.

I had my first taped, as in recorded, role-playing session where I was a therapist and my client was herself, ie, not a made up character taken from one of our texts, which is what we have been doing until today.

I will have to transcribe it and I am eager to hear it and loath to as well.

Hearing my own voice recorded is not my favorite thing in the world, although I like my voice, I like reading out loud, I like reciting my poems, I like reading stories to the boys at work.

Speaking of reading.

The artist I collaborated with from Burning Man got back to me and he is very happy with the sonnets.

I reiterate.

I am very happy with the sonnets.

In fact, I think I may rework them a tiny bit and submit them to the Howard Nemerov Sonnet award.

The Formalist is accepting applications to the award until November 15th.

I am going to submit the entire ten as a sequence.

Only one sonnet will win the award, but as a poet I can submit up to twelve sonnets.

I have never submitted more than one that I can think of, at a time.

I have submitted I believe four times.

There were times when I thought, I will just keep submitting until they give me the damn award.

Now.

Well.

Sure.

I want the award, but I think, just as much, I want them to be published.

Even one of them.

They just do make me happy.

Of course, technically, I have published them, here on my blog.

Quick” is the title of the blog.

Anyway, I digress a touch.

Where I was going with this is that the collaborator wants me to meet with him and read him the works.

I am excited to do that, to read them, just as much as to have them printed off.

There is something really visceral about reading them to someone.

They become more than the words on the page.

Oh.

I want you to see the words on the page too, they are some clever words, and some tidy word play and some great rhymes, but really, I want to perform them for you, read them for you, have my heart in my mouth and my soul bare before you, so that you receive the full song of the sonnets.

The epic.

Well.

Ten sonnets in a row, is not necessarily an epic, but all linked together by the words of another poem, using formal verse, my, my, my, Carmen, I think you made up another nonce.

I’ll take it, thank you very much.

I love poetry.

Not that you can tell.

Ha.

And I love the sound of my own voice and I am not humble at all.

But I have some modicum, every, once in a while, of humility.

That humbles me, that leveling of my ego, the evening out of my pride, that being teachable.

I am teachable.

I am learning.

I feel like I am an ever emerging young adult in the world, open eyes, dancing over the sewer grates of the down town rough and tumble asphalt, innocent, perhaps not, but open, fresh, awakened, alive, a light, a lit, in love with my life.

“You are my light.”

And you mine.

I smile and sink into my heart space and feel surrounded and held and the words float out like holograms.

She used the word again!

Luminous, luminosity.

The depth of seeing that she has for herself that she is not even aware of having, and how she does not want to hide her light and yet feels compelled to dim it down.

Shine brighter love!

Be brighter.

Be your own light.

Be the beacon, the unsheathed light of love.

Let is shine.

Shine darling.

Light up the sky.

I kept my mouth shut.

I let her do the work, which in of itself is a lot of work, a lot of knowing to just listen, to sit back, or forward a little, leaning into the words and cadences of her phrases, seeing how her body would get small, then big, then open and the emotions chasing themselves fleet foot and dancing over the planes of her face, the rich brown eyes deep and doe like, soft with tears.

I’m learning!

I wanted to shout.

I wanted to dance in my chair.

I don’t know that I was exactly articulating that in my head, it was just a nice buzz of knowing of connecting, of being in the moment and being there for that person and knowing, in my heart, deep and true that I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing, my gratitude.

It knows no bounds.

It leaps about the room.

It rolls across my bed and giggles.

It kisses my neck and drops me dizzy and divine, my hair fanned out behind me.

Lush.

Luminous.

Light.

Lit up.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

Liminal, dancing there, on the threshold.

Lined in love.

Lightened like feathers, swan down, cushions of softness and swathed in light.

All the light.

I wanted to reach across the way, to touch the back of her hand with mine, so I reached with my heart.

I believe it was felt.

I looked with my eyes.

I did not touch with my hands.

Sometimes when I look at you, I am touching you with my hands.

Stroking the soft crown of your head, tracing the bones of your face, holding it dear, sweet, delirious in its humanity in between my cool fingertips, scrolling down the tender nape of your neck, holding you, darling, close to me.

Sometimes I see you so bright and lit and full of love.

It astounds me and I fall aghast with love, adorned with love.

A glow.

And I know.

I know.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Spot lit by love.


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