(wherein I explain why I didn’t read Three Poems for Thursday yesterday, and give you some information about snow cream. In the first clip, we begin by knowing that if you have no electricity/power, you won’t be able to cook on an electric stove; and, if your power is out for a long time, the stuff in your fridge is going to spoil … In the second clip, I actually read some poems.)
Welcome to a mini-reading! In the first frame, I read Dannye Romine Powell’s poem “Everyone is Afraid of Something” from her wonderful book, A Necklace of Bees (that title comes from a line in this poem); and, I read Jennifer K. Sweeney’s poem “Nocturne” from her beautiful new book, How To Live On Bread and Music. In the second frame, I read my poem, “Making Peace,” which was an Honorable Mention in The Writers’ Workshop 2003 Poetry Contest. Hope you enjoy these vids – I suspect they will get “rowdier” once I am comfortable with the technology (look out!).
We humans usually bring our shiny new lists into a shiny new year, hoping for the best, but, very often, not expecting much. After all, the first day of the new year is just a flip of a page on a calendar, and it is also the next day in a long line of days in which our habits have accumulated and settled in with us. Still, it is a treat to hit that mental “reset” button. In order to truly reset, we have to do some different things and not just vow to “do things differently.”
I am a firm believer in MLK Jr.’s “inescapable network of mutuality” and “single garment of destiny,” and not just for human beings who share the same time period, but for us and those living before and after us. In fact, this web of mutuality binds us to all of creation. In this same way, all of art is bound together in the way it speaks to us, teaches us, comforts us, challenges us, sees us. And, like us, art is bound to everything else and everything else to it.
So, with that in mind, I am vowing to crawl further out on the web this year … and I am dragging my mother with me. She and I have agreed to meet every Tuesday at the same time in order to briefly explore some endeavor that either we have left dormant for too long or have never experienced before. At any rate, the very intentionality of the encounter will automatically change the experience. It is to be a process of both learning and doing. Field trips will be required.
January’s Tuesdays will be devoted to the visual arts. Yesterday, for the first time in a very long time, my mother and I visited a museum together; we went to The Mint Museum. It was a good start to the month. I was inspired especially by the Lois M. Jones “A Life in Vibrant Color” exhibit.
One particular “aha” moment connected me back to poetry.