The Gods are throwing bowling balls,
cracking fissures in the sky.
Lucille’s mother was a gifted poet with only an elementary school education. Her poetry was offered publication but Lucille’s father wouldn’t allow it and forced her to burn the poems in the fireplace. It’s said Lucille never forgot it and I’m sure it shaped much of her own poetry. About the incident, she wrote a poem called “fury”:
“her hand is crying. / her hand is clutching / a sheaf of papers. / poems. / she gives them up. / they burn / jewels into jewels.”
She was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for two separate books in the same year: Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir (1987), and Next: New Poems (1987). She won the National Book Award for Blessing the Boats (2000); the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize; and the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2010, just before her death.
When I discovered Lucille’s work I felt energized. Her messages of empowerment and self-love are lessons every one of us should take to heart and put into practice. How great it must have been to hear her read in person.
And their voices rose
pushing foggy ignorance
into the atmosphere
toward the stratosphere
away past the stars
around white dwarfs
into the biggest
in the memory of everything
that ever was or will be.
That is the power of community.
Written from the dVerse prompt “signs”.
A plastic bag in the wind is trash
to some, beauty to others.
Who’s to say what’s right or wrong?
Desperate eyes see freedom in lift and airiness,
a thing not of nature riding on nature’s wings,
accepted without question, unencumbered
by expectations, allowed to be
its most spontaneous, creative self. A vessel
to hold other things, it’s true, but filled
with possibilities of what those things might be.
Poem inspired by the plastic bag scene in the film American Beauty which I find achingly sad yet hopeful.
There’s that damn watery moon again –
the same one that used to look in on us
in the tired-as-crap early morning hours
tangled in each other’s wild-ass wonder,
ribs on vertebrae, clavicle on cheekbone,
arms stretched to the breaking point as feet
beat a staccato on torn sheets. She won’t look
away, that moon, watching through the window,
inching silently across my strip of sky until
she disappears and I’m left with counting
the dawns until she and you return.
Image by Susan Clements. Thanks for inspiring this poem, Susan!
The window unit hums.
I lie on the bed, the coarse cotton spread
chafing my bare legs. Unspoken words
churn overhead, fueled by their own
fury, but the air in my lungs is so still
it’s nearly solid. Only the billowing curtain
above the a/c shows signs of life.
Photo by me. Detail of home in the Lower Garden District of New Orleans.
Atomic Theory Micropress has printed up my poem “Bravado” on postcards, with art by Jon Butterworth, for purchase on their website. I am thrilled! It never occurred to me that it might be possible for my words to fly around the country (world?!) in this way. Proceeds from the postcards will help Atomic Theory finance the publication of their limited edition handsewn chapbooks. If you love poetry, small press, and/or the art of bookmaking, please consider purchasing a postcard or two.
Support poets, support art, support small presses!