in the inner city
like we call it
we think a lot about uptown
and the silent nights
and the houses straight as
and the pastel lights
and we hang onto our no place
happy to be alive
and in the inner city
like we call it
— Lucille Clifton
And here’s a little more Sonia:
How happy am I that I figured out how to upload that? I have another one, one of her reading a haiku series. For some reason, it’s being fussy about uploading. Maybe tomorrow.
And speaking of tomorrow, maybe that’s when I’ll get a better idea of what to do about this rhyme royal. What is it about rhyming that’s throwing me so off kilter, that feels so forced?
here I am always
visible and invisible, seen and unseen
what is true, who I am, stays
inside me, clean
and hidden behind an obscene
grimace, a mask, this face
this touch of, “Don’t look!” of commonplace
Still not in love. I don’t know. With the tanka, I felt like I’d come home. Even when I wasn’t quite getting them right, they were right … if that makes any sense. The rhyme royal really feels like trying on someone else’s clothes. Awkward.
Sanchez talked a lot about poetic forms, said that we should try them out, really try them out. I think she would have liked my tanka-a-day exercise from last year. It’s very similar to what she did when she discovered haiku. So, given my experience last year and her comments last week, I want to try to stick with this form for a while, as uncomfortable as it feels today. Who knows? May it’ll turn out that big sister’s clothes fit me after all.
And just as I was about to hit ‘publish,’ I remembered: