i bless the black
skin of the woman
and the black
night turning around her
like a star’s bed
and the black
sound of delilah
across his prayers
for they have made me
— Lucille Clifton
Here’s a wonderful thing that happened. I went to buy a couple of books for Fox’s birthday (Octavia Butler’s Fledgling and Tananarive Due’s Blood Colony). Because I love reading, because I love discovering new authors, because I think everyone needs to support the publishing of new writers, I stopped to check out the “new fiction” display. I was quickly drawn to the title and cover design of a book. I took a quick glace and was pleased to find that it was short stories (even mor passionate about supporting the publishing of short story writers). Took an equally quick glance at the author’s photo and liked her face, so I bought the book. When I got home, I put it in my travel bag so I could bring it on the mini-trip to visit Fox and my mom from which I’ve just returned.
Next day, I got a “possibly related posts” hit on my blog from a Catching Days post about a day in the life of a writer named Robin Black. I was curious and scrolled down until I saw a picture of Robin Black … and saw that I knew her. She’s someone I was in college with. We lived in the same house freshman year. Cool. I kept scrolling down, curious to see what linked that post to my blog … and saw a picture of the book I’d bought the night before: If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This … Robin’s first collection of short stories!
How wonderfully serendipitous is that?
Robin thought so, too when I left a comment on her blog to tell her. I love random, excellent little all-the-pieces-falling-into-place things like that. Love them the way I love being far from home and running into someone I know on the street. They ground me, make me feel more connected to the world, if that makes any sense.
I’ll be on my way to hear Robin read later this month, either at Sarah Lawrence or KGB. Can’t wait to tell her how much I’m enjoying the book!
The rhyme royal continues to be a struggle. Yes, this is like my new mantra, right? Maybe we should just assume the struggle and I should keep quiet about it. It’s hard. The point it made. What did I write today?
the fork in the road, choice
waits up ahead
I can strain to hear the voice
of reason, the guide, but instead
will always remember what you said
about reaching out, about my heart before
you turned your back and closed the door