So Friday night I went to a book launch reception and a spontaneous poetry reading broke out.
This was the Mutabilis Press event for Improbable Worlds. It was a lot of fun catching up with old friends I hadn’t seen in a while. I was pleased to see some of my students out there, too; it’s nice to provide a little real-world context for what we do in the classroom. And I admit I like it when they have a chance to see me as an author and not just as a teacher. Even though this is no doubt all in my imagination, I get the sense this lends me a little more street cred come Monday morning and I’m back behind the podium.
I had really wanted my children to come to the event, too, but it just wasn’t practical. It’s actually more important to me that my kids see me out in the world being an author, so that they can have some context for when I have to tell them I can’t take them somewhere or play with them or sit and watch cartoons all Saturday morning because I have to go to a writing date or a writers’ group meeting or poetry reading. But taking them to The Jung Center this past Friday night just wasn’t practical. Ah well, someday.
In the meantime, here’s a quick little poem I wrote a while back (speaking of my kids). It started off as an exercise, but it turned into something, sort of.
A Hand-Drawn Card from the Girl Who Does Know Better But.
after Craig Raine after John Berryman
I am the girl who does know better but.
I am desperate for your attention.
I am apologizing for pushing the little brother in the yard.
I am planning the next push anyway.
I am pulling the long hairs of the cat when your back is turned.
I am shouting a song to the sleeping baby while you nap.
I am offering the hamster a fruit snack.
I am changing clothes a dozen times a day.
I am adding extra sugar to the lemonade when you are not looking.
I am wishing you had brought me to school a little early so I could play.
I am wishing you had ironed my clean dress.
I am insisting I can brush my hair myself.
I am happier when you brush my hair for me.
I am asking you five times a night for one more bedtime song.
I am breaking and entering in your nail polish drawer.
I am impatient to grow tall enough to build my own sandwich.
I am asking for potato chips for breakfast.
I am sad when you go to your party.
I am trying to learn how to read.
I am pushing the little brother off the couch.
I am waking you up with kisses.
I am loving you, loving you, loving you.
I am trying to be patient for my sixth birthday.
I am plunging my face into the bowl of cake batter.
I am waiting for you to giggle with me.
I am looking like you every day.
I am turning into a little lady.
I am hoping you’ll take me to tea in my new hat.
I am five and loving you so much.