I Miss Being a Poet



A strange string of things happened recently that made me wish I still wrote poetry. Last week I listened to an interview of W.S. Merwin on fresh air. He was talking about memory and mortality. He read several poems and I loved the details and images he used. I thought, it's great seeing life through a poem.

Then the other day Hank was digging through a trunk of old journals and scattering them over the floor. I started looking through some and got a kick out of my dramatic outbursts and told Willie that if I spent less time obsessing about boys when i was young and more time practicing the bass, I would totally jam by now. Anyway, I found a journal from the year before I met Willie. This is when I really started to write and some great poems came out of this journal. I stayed up late reading and found ideas for several new poems.

Then today I was trying to find an online archive for some poems that I had published in Dialogue and I found a blogger that posted a review about one of my poems about my Grandma. It was thrilling to see someone find meaning in one of my poems. Below is the poem and a link to the blog post.

I think these experiences may lead me back to poetry. Now I just need to come up with some free time.

Inheritance

I wear her name
and a two carat diamond
which, like a heavy rock of salt,
falls to the side between my fingers.
I'm sitting on a pink velvet chair
holding a tape recorder,
but she is asleep,
mouth open, skin loose
like pie crust draping over apples.

I want her to wake up and tell me stories
about how she slid down the banister
to meet the mayor in Bel Air,
or when Grandpa wouldn't let her eat
so the green sequined dress
she wore to the country club would fit
like a waterfall of thin emeralds.
Still, she would eat chocolate
in the shadows of her closet.
"It always fit," she would say.

Soon this bed will be empty,
the electric blanket smooth
over her place,
reading glasses on the table
reflecting the afternoon sun.

***
Here's the blog post about the poem.

10 Comments:

  1. Jewel Stratford said...
    What a beautifully written poem. You, truly, have so many gifts. Never give up on your passions.
    Tyler said...
    Sally:

    You've written some excellent poems. I hope you do make your way back to poetry. It seems to have burrowed its way into you, which is one thing I love/hate about it myself: I can't go anywhere, do anything without thinking poetry. It's a demanding vocational pursuit, but I wouldn't trade it for much (if anything).
    Travis said...
    This poem rocks. Keep writing. And then write one about me!
    ginger said...
    Sally... I love this poem! You are truly talented. I hope you can find time to write more. I love the imagery of the first stanza. So beautiful.
    Hilma Bellessa said...
    That poem is a gift to all of us. I feel your love for grandma. It is our writings that become our beacon and that preserve us beyond the grave.
    Julie said...
    Sally, I love this poem. I have to admit there hasn't been a whole lot of poetry I have appreciated. It's one of those things I know people do and enjoy and are good at, but I just don't get it very easily. But I really enjoyed this one. It is beautifully visual and simple and familiar. Thanks. :)
    love Julie
    Kathy said...
    Great poem! What a thrill to see it on a blog, analzyed. I enjoy your creativity. Thanks!
    Kathy
    Melynne said...
    LOVE the poem! i have a few memories of visiting your grandma (loved those LA trips) she was... beautiful! kind eyes and she ADORED you!
    Amy said...
    I can't believe I hadn't read this poem. It is beautiful. It makes me miss grandma.
    Emilie and Branden said...
    You should definitely be writing.

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