Outside the Lines

Apr 10, 2017 by Marcia Diane

OK, I’m really in trouble this time…I’ve got too much to share and too many astounding poets to choose from…maybe they’ll give me a couple more inches this month in the paper…

I’ll start at the top with some seriously exciting news…those of you who read this column regularly know I am constantly putting out the invitation to join us on-line for our monthly writers’ group. Well, this month I’m pleased to invite you all to not one, but two in person groups! I don’t know quite how this came about, but I do want to give a big shout out to Sandy, Alicia and everybody down to the Rocky Point Times who stood firm all these years. Yes, years folks while we nurtured along our vision to the point we now have two venues. The second shout out goes to Sally Dalton of Xochitl’s Café in Cholla Bay who hosts the daytime storytelling group and to Laura Rivera who hosts the evening one at Kilombo, on the main Blvd. I’ll put contact info at the bottom as well as times.

Now to our poets of the month, first an amazing woman writing out of New York; Deborah Paredez. Deborah is the author of This Side of Skin (Wings Press, 2002). She teaches at Columbia University and lives in New York City. Just read this!

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Change of Address

Rate your pain the physical

therapist instructs and I am trying

not to do what they say

women do lowballing the number

trying hard not to try so hard

to be the good patient scattered

assurances lining the aisles like

dead petals and me left

holding nothing but what’s been

emptied out obviously I am over-

thinking it when I settle on someplace

in the middle six or seven

times a week I walk past the street

vendor on Broadway and say

nothing while eyeing the same

pom-topped hat the physical

therapist asking me now

for the name of that Chinese place

where I sometimes go asking

for the patient just before me

a street vendor in need

of a cheap massage as I lay

the plain wreckage of my shoulders

in the shallow hollows

the street vendor’s body has left

on the padded table in the center

of the story I sometimes read

to my girl a cap seller sleeps

under a tree’s shade waking

to find the monkeys in the

branches above have plundered

his wares he waves his hands shakes

his fists until his rage makes him

throw his cap to the ground and the

monkeys mimic him and down

float his caps his fury finally

fulsome enough to restore

what he’s lost you’ve got to find

another way to move the physical

therapist modeling for me the poses

to mimic assuring her I won’t move

what’s left of the heavy boxes later

unpacking the last of them I learn

about the woman who once lived

here Charlotte who twisted the cap and shook

out the pills Charlotte who swallowed

and slipped into sleep in her last act

of volition here in this bedroom where

the westward windows go on longing

for dawn and I am trying to move in

a new way to pull the mess of sloughed

hair from the bathtub drain to move

in the space of another’s suffering

scrub the caked toothpaste

from the sink make a home

in the space where suffering

may meet its end.

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And since I’ve gone way into the second page here’s:

Juan Felipe Herrera. Juan is the current Poet Laureate of the United States. He served on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets from 2011 to 2016. This one is short and will knock your socks off.

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Five Directions to my House

1. Go back to the grain yellow hills where the broken speak of elegance

2. Walk up to the canvas door, the short bed stretched against the clouds

3. Beneath the earth, an ant writes with the grace of a governor

4. Blow, blow Red Tail Hawk, your hidden sleeve—your desert secrets

5. You are there, almost, without a name, without a body, go now

6. I said five, said five like a guitar says six.

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Look both of these amazing poets up…like chips, bet you can’t read just one.

Here’s contact and info for the Storytelling Groups

Afterhours at Sally’s-Xochitls Café 382-5283@ 3:00 pm First Monday of each month.

Second Monday Storytelling-Kilombo 638-388-5339 @ 8:00 pm

And of course still please join us for our on-line writers group at m.diane.writeon@gmail.com

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