Happy to announce three of my poems were just published in the April issue of Indiana Voice Journal:
I am a Woman of Many Complexities
Eulogy for a Slinky
As a bonus to go along with these pieces, here’s a little behind-the-scenes scoop on each poem:
Eulogy for a Slinky
One day as I was walking home from the library, feeling steeped in literary musings, I cut through a neighborhood and nearly stepped on a Slinky. I have rather a phobia about stepping on dead animals. As a kid I once stepped on a fish a fisherman had caught and stashed on the riverbank for a moment. So this Slinky took my breath for a moment, as though I had run upon an animal corpse. It was half on the sidewalk, half in the dry sizzling grass. If you’ve ever owned a Slinky, you know that over time they get kinky and uneven. This one sprawled everywhere – it would never be able to walk down stairs again. There was something both tragic and amusing about the sight.
I keep a list of remarkable but flawed women, whose complex characters or situations fascinate me. These women aren’t necessary ones I want to emulate, as I would my heroine Susan B. Anthony, but I love studying the details of their rich lives. Marie Antoinette made this list, as did Marilyn Monroe, especially after watching the TV show about her, Smash. Joe DiMaggio’s song about the scene she films for The Seven Year Itch was especially powerful. It hits upon her celebrity and sex appeal, but also its cost.
In my poem, I wanted to also capture the excitement of her stardom in that iconic moment, but more of the hollowness and vulnerability that goes with it. Not exactly from her perspective, but as though I were talking to her.
And of course, there are lots of food references. Because I love putting food in my poetry – it’s so evocative.
By Trailer distributed by 20th Century Fox. via Wikimedia Commons
I will always have a soft spot for Marilyn Unwrapped because it marks the first time my artistic partner-in-crime, Alys Caviness Gober, and I ever collaborated together. Alys painted a piece entirely in textured white to accompany the poem. We exhibited together at Nickel Plate Arts in 2015. You can check out her painting on her website.
I Am a Woman of Many Complexities
This poem was inspired simply because I wanted to try a new form, the Bop.
The Bop was created by Afaa Michael Weaver during a summer retreat of the African American poetry organization, Cave Canem. The Bop consists of three stanzas, each stanza followed by a refrain. You can learn more at the Shadow Poetry website, a great resource of poetic forms.
Ready to read the poems? Check them out!