My earworm tonight has been “Working My Way Back to You,” by The Spinners. I haven’t thought about or heard this song in ages — and my inner sound track has been just about all Prince all the time this week (of course) — but tonight it’s been The Spinners on a loop in my brain:

I keep working my way back to you, babe
With a burning love inside
Yeah, I'm working my way back to you, babe
And the happiness that died
I let it get away
Been payin' every day

So I let it fold itself into my writing tonight, imagining meeting up with The Morphine Man after all these years. The source text for this Golden Shovel is Lucille Clifton’s poem “1994.”

I almost cannot recognize you
and maybe you don't know
me in this old woman's face. Tell me about
books, your hands, all of the
music you're listening to, your fear
of dying alone. I welcome the
sound of your voice, even though it tears
at me with its reminders of the
way it sounded in anger, in denial. The scar
twinges when you laugh, and I think of
the space between us, not with regret but disbelief

National Poetry Month 2021: the Golden Shovel

As I’ve done for the last forever, I’ve chosen a poetic form, and I’m going to try to write a poem in that form every day for the month of April. I don’t always succeed, but I always give it my best shot. The “Golden Shovel” was created by Terrance Hayes in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. I learned about it from my friend Sonia (aka Red Emma). I’ll be using Lucille Clifton’s poems as my starting point this month. Here are the rules:

  • Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
  • Use each word in the line (or lines) as the end word for each line in your poem.
  • Keep the end words in order.
  • Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
  • The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.

If you pull a line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you pull a stanza with 24 words, your poem would be 24 lines long. And so on.

Should be interesting!

2 thoughts on “Rapprochement

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