Now, I’ve done it…opened Pandora’s box.
Sigh. I suppose I shall be forced to write.
From a small town in North Kackalacky where tobacco was the state tree (sort of),
I was always made fun of for my myriad use of hyperbole, metaphor and iambic pentameter.
Learned to read when I was 3, teachers hated me.
I remember first grade; a horrible year.
By that time, I was reading Reader’s Digest novels, and spelling better than the teachers.
They drug a little desk to the center of the school, a meeting area of sorts, completely barren.
This was where I spent almost all of my school day; seated there, in a little wooden chair,
slouched behind a menagerie of colorful, sundry and irregular books.
I loved to turn the pages on a brand new Webster’s, the thin pages translucent,
a bouquet of ink, wood fiber, and…life – these words were
friends to me, intimate rapport of rhythm, movement, flow.
I will never forget a talk at Warren Wilson by the most brillant Brooks Haxton.
I was so blessed to be allowed to work with him while there; his Southern twang
spewing forth precision; a neurologist of the English language.
I would like to share a favorite with you…enjoy.
EVERY DEATH IS MAGIC FROM THE ENEMY TO BE AVENGED (from the Volume, Uproar)
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
When fever burned the last light out of my daughter’s eyes,
I swore to find and kill the ones to blame. Men
must mount the long boat in the dark with spears.
At dawn, where the flowering spicebush hid my scent,
I crouched. A young wife, newborn slung across her chest,
came first for springwater. She stooped. My god,
for vengeance, spoke her secret name inside my ear. Her god
stepped back with no scream, his right hand at his mouth,
the knuckles clenched between the pointed teeth.