Monday, July 19, 2010

On, In and Around Mondays

new york city

"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. :)

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Blogger Maureen said...

In place

rests a red folder
its inside dipped in pink contrast.
Red for the important notes
I'm collecting
for a business opportunity
I could not have foreseen,
like the comment last week
on somebody else's blog
left for me by a general
who was in place with Dad
among others in China,
Burma and India
more than 60 years ago.
He lives, though Dad does not,
and in my own state no less,
and he addressed me as
the Southern gentleman he is,
as a Southern gentleman might
a lady who's lost her kin.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

In place
my desktop strewn
with papers and a pink water bottle
and my favourite mug creamy white on the outside with a red dove embossed on its side,
red on the inside
three origami swans,
several heart rocks
smooth stones
one says, Believe
another Fearless
I am
and I Believe
in my dreams
An Inushtuk a client gave me
he carved it himself
soap stone warmed by hands
gnarled by time
like rocks formed by heat and time
and the passing of years
a photo of my daughters
the view out my window to the south
the SaddleDome a giant saddle
lining the horizon
three dried roses
a paper weight gifted to me
by the Government of Canada, a copper maple leaf embedded in glass
the copper from the roof of the Parliament buildings
Two postits stuck to my computer monitor
from my daughters
One yellow
One blue
I love you.
I love you too!
An open magazine,
quote circled
"artists navigate complex systems all the time. they make sense of the world in shifting times."
Collin Funk, Banff Centre Creative Programming Director.
A report
half finished
notes in margins
notes circled
like so much
half finished
done up
ready to be completed
ready to be side lined
My desk

2:26 PM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

Alrighty, I opted not for the tight poetic words, but for the loose rambling variety... I linky-dooed my in place post.

Thanks for this.


2:44 PM  
Blogger Glynn said...

I never connected Neruda and Cat in the Hat -- and now I can't get the connection out of my head.

And how cool is this -- to see where Maureen and Louise write!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Mommy Emily said...

i tried... i love this idea.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I like this L.L. I love knowing more about people. I think our "place" tells so much.
I couldn't help thinking about Jo in Little Women who thought it a ridiculous notion to "write what you know." It was only when she did that her writing became something extraordinary.
Thank you for this opportunity and for this idea. I will work on it!

6:02 PM  
Blogger Sandra Heska King said...

Oh, what fun!

I want Louise's pink water bottle and dove-embossed mug.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Marcus Goodyear said...

Maureen, the last four lines of your poem killed me. I love them.

Louise, I like the quote from the guy in Banff.

LL, great use of the linky-doodle-thingy. It is usually a gimicky tool, but I like how you are using it here.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, LL! I love the sense of place in writing. I am definitely hoping to join this place on some Mondays. Sorry it hasn't worked out yet. Next Monday, when I am on vacation, I will be in a place I have never been. Maybe that would be the perfect place to start!

8:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

you definitely have the two thirds thing going here...

as for a sense of place:

desk window sky
line of eye
road of heart

8:09 AM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

Hello Laura...

and for my second in place writing space...

my office at home.

I love all the comments and views!

And... the road of heart -- beautiful!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I will try, but later, I think. Off to another appointment...not the orthodontist this time, something more fun. Hey! Maybe I can do a poem while there? We'll see...

2:23 PM  
Blogger Michelle DeRusha said...

Oh LL I love this idea! I will definitely put it on my Monday possibilities list (well, I don't have an actual list...but you know what I mean). I've written a lot about place on my blog, because frankly I used to hate my place (nebraska) and now I love it! I just had an article published in Nebraska Life magazine where I wrote about that...and then I received an email from an English teacher in a small rural school here in NE about how she will teach my story in her class, about place, because she thought it was cool that a girl from Massachusetts learned to love Nebraska. Isn't that fun?

11:20 AM  

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