On, In and Around Mondays
"I'd love to see a few regional poems in the collection," I told him. "It's what distinguishes a poet."
The idea had been on the tip of my consciousness, though it was the first time I'd articulated it that clearly for myself (or someone else). I'd been reading Wendell Berry's Imagination in Place. I'd been reading two poets concurrently, Mahmoud Darwish and Marcus Goodyear. I'd been thinking about how the presence of jasmine and doves and chinaberry trees in Darwish gave me such a different feel from Goodyear's sotol sticks, succulents and open roads.
We live in place. And when we write in place it provides a deeper sense of who we are. It is partly what distinguishes one writer from the next. I was struck by this again when I posted On the Table Where I Write. A handful of you responded so warmly, even offering your own descriptions of what sits on your tables.
I loved that. It gave me an idea for a more regular way for us to write-in-place. On, In and Around Mondays (which partly means you can post any day and still add a link) will be a regular invitation to write from where you are, and tell us what is on, in, around (over, under, near, by...) you. Feel free to write any which way... compose a tight poem or just ramble for a few paragraphs. But we should feel a sense of place.
Mine, today, might go something like this...
At the golden granite counter, I stand and notice our white toaster flecked with crumbs. Cat in the Hat Beginner Spanish Dictionary sits nearby, and I remember this morning with Neruda. (I walked in circles over these red oak floors, stove to counter to sink to window, and tried to put his words in my mind... Inclinado en las tardes tiro mis tristes redes/ a tus ojos oceanicos... leaning towards evening I cast my sorrowful nets/ to your ocean eyes). Now my red Neruda sits beside me (I had to see if indeed my memory had held his words; it did). A wood handled hair brush says I just brushed Little One's amber hair. It says, too, remember LIttle One. She is part of your place in this day. It says I like to brush words from the air and put them in your mind. It says, hold me in your hand, I wait for you...
Would you like to try? Just write something in place and add your link below. If you could kindly link back here when you post, it will create a central meeting place. :)
New York City photo by L.L. Barkat, which I am sincerely hoping has some kind of thirds or ninths thing going on for Photoplay. :)