Word for Word, Part 3

Tonight was all about poetry in the Bryant Park reading room.  And I was more obnoxious and snobby than usual … which is funny considering how much I don’t think of myself as a poet.  I was annoyed with one woman who showed up with a raft of poems, expecting to be granted the opportunity to read them all during the workshop.  Yeah.  As if.

But enough about my intolerance.  As with the last two workshops, I had a great time.  Miranda McLeod is an excellent facilitator.  She so clearly loves writing and loves that we all want to be writing, and I was really touched by her complete generosity as a listener.  Her ability to find something golden even in writing that makes me cringe, to critique with kindness and support blows my mind.  I’m sad that tonight was her last workshop.

I wasn’t exactly feeling inspired tonight as far as actually getting some words down on the page.  Not sure why.  I think my brain is really crowded right now.  But I wrote a couple of poems all the same.

misunderstanding
the ice-hot rush of the chase
that chase could be all
guttering flicker of light
my heart stutters — open, closed

Yeah, any surprise that it’s a tanka?  I’m not totally loving it, but I like it well enough.  And then I went a different way.

float of her gauze dress
diaphanous flower
says summer, says free
invites eyes and smiles
turns his head
says yes
says everything here is exposed and hidden
says no

It’s not quite where I wanted it to be, but I can live with it.

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10 thoughts on “Word for Word, Part 3

  1. I also really like this tanka. I liked, too, what you said about your instructor’s generosity as a listener. That is an inspiring idea; theoretically, we could listen generously all the time. (In theory!)

    1. Generous listening would be a real gift we could give people, right? I’m good at it sometimes — mostly with my students — but it goes right out the window far too often!

  2. juliebrock

    generosity as a listener was my favorite line. I LOVE how I am in engulfed with your experience. I was at the workshop with you. I was picturing the raft of poetry lady and the smile from the instructor. Bravo. I love your voice!

    1. Thanks, Julie! I’m still trying to think of ways to build that kind of generous listening into my day-to-day … you know, not just save it for my students but share it with other folks, too.

  3. My mom has me on Google Alert and directed me to your site. Thank you for the praise, but mostly for coming to Bryant Park and sharing your writing. The piece your read for the creative nonfiction workshop gave me chills, and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it. I hope you do something with it – perhaps publish it here!

    1. What an excellent surprise to find you here, Miranda! Thanks, again, for your comments about that first piece I wrote. I did post it here. And thanks, also, for three excellent workshops. You have a real gift with a group, and I’ll be trying hard to emulate you when I’m back in the classroom in September!

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