Thursday, September 13, 2007

Fulfilling an Assignment

Rachel is slowly becoming a groove in my sedimentary geology. The fossil fills with calcium; the calcium is mine.

My daughter lives through me and all who loved her. She was a joy and a gift. I did not cry over her today, which means nothing except an aberration in my limbic patterns.

Meanwhile, in filling up my dance card, my creative writing teacher gave us this week's prompt: to write a non-rhyming poem of 15 lines with the words "sour, pepper and seven."

I have given up poetry but could not fail my assignment:

Beginning with the Pleiades

Like white pepper thrown against the night
there are six, not seven sisters—
and Orion’s dog looks nothing like a dog.

Not to sour on the Greeks,
but if they had not connected the dots
into standard constellations

Would our imagination benefit?
Or must the memory of a superior culture
inhibit what we envision?

Pigeon shit scattered on Churchill’s statue;
winter may hide it but for now
the present outranks the past.

The Greeks kidnapped the stars,
but what artist among us could top
a terrifying darkness woven with bright gods?

More importantly, I received a two-page single-spaced letter from a major poet yesterday about my work. To my astonishment she told me that I was on my own; that the level I had attained would likely not be helped by workshops or mentors or other aids. She also mentioned that her success had nothing to do with connections but with the faithful licking of envelopes.

Perserverance. Again and again. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Never give up. The reason to write is because you are a writer and you must.

Kathleen and I had breakfast with Pat Jones this morning (art maven for Shit Creek Review), and we reminisced about the early LitNet and characters like Don Taylor, Jaimes Alsop and the the late Ron Jones. She keeps pushing me to post at the Gazebo again. Maybe I will.

Small world, huh?

2 Kilobunnies,



  1. Very nice poem. I particularly like the white pepper image and the surprise change in tone with 'Pigeon shit'.

  2. Thanks, Sorlil. Sorry I had to break my promise not to write poetry for the class assignment.

  3. Anonymous5:41 AM PDT

    Did I see you pop up at Alsop CE? It's an entirely new crew from the waspish days of yore. There's a couple of really promising poets up there as well as the perennial hackers, like me.

    take care

  4. Yes, Pat Jones kept urging me to participate, so I registered and left one little critique on the last poem posted.

    Maybe I'll play a little when I'm not writing.

  5. Nice line "The Greeks kidnapped the stars." A good result from an exercise!

  6. I am a good salesperson, Norm. I figure one more lunch at the Down Home Cafe and I will have him posting poems. : )



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