Losing the Summer
Winter enters the body and it collapses,
the blood cells attack, the fever leaves
the brain with its patterns of coils
and discs like a red stovetop,
an alphabet of rivers and branches.
This landscape, contoured for activity, settles
into animal hibernation,
while remnants of ancient languages howl
from the hospital monitor.
Like dried sap on a tree,
crusted, yet viable, a small scar has left itself
after the coma – such a thing is not
a deformity, but a bud:
a seed replanting its succulence,
an isthmus back to the world.
Come see me at Byrd’s Books on Sunday, June 3rd for a Book Club discussion of The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory, which chronicles that lost summer. “Losing the Summer” is from Four Blue Eggs, which was a finalist for the 2013 Poetry Prize from Homebound Publications. The 2018 Poetry Prize is now open for submissions.
I have to admit that before the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport Connecticut invited storytellers to participate in their first PechaKucha night, I had no idea what PechaKucha was. It’s simple to describe: a slide show of 20 slides which progress through 20-second intervals–so a story in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. More than the slideshow, PechaKucha is an opportunity to gather with others and share. Developed by an architecture firm in Japan, PechaKucha translates loosely into “chit-chat” in Japanese. It’s taken off worldwide and the U.S. is starting to catch up.
I was happy to participate as the Barnum Museum hosted its first (of many) PechaKucha nights earlier this month (May 9). I told the story of how writing helped me recover from a coma–a story that I share in more depth in The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.
Annotating the Self: Writing and Recovery (or click the image below)
I’ll be at Byrd’s Books again on Sunday, June 3rd for a Book Talk about The Comet’s Tail. Support your local independent bookstore and join us.
From Four Blue Eggs (2017 Homebound Publications), a poem that has had quite a journey, from a notebooks sketch more than 25 years ago to a small but central kernel excerpted in my forthcoming memoir, The Comet’s Tail: A Memoir of No Memory.
In My Sleeplessness, I Hear an Opera
In the beginning, I hear the darkness.
I am crowded by the soprano’s knowlege
of body rhythms. I see I E flat cry.
And then the light bulbs begin to sprout, one
by one, by the side of the stage where all
the Presidents line up in order.
I know them by their thunderous tenors,
because when eyelids magnetize I do not
sleep. After that I pretend that I lay
in a coffin, my arms folded like white
linen in a closet oddly fitted
to the size of my body. I smell cedar.
But all this time I have been wondering
if my eyelashes have learned how to sing.
I’ll be reading from Four Blue Eggs and other works at Byrd’s Books in Bethel CT, on Friday, May 18th at 7:00 for part three of Byrd’s Spring Poetry Series.
October 8, 2016
Join me, Marilyn Nelson and Eric D. Lehman at Byrd’s Books in Bethel Connecticut for a Poetry and Fiction reading.
November 29, 2016
I’ll be reading at the Connecticut Forest and Park offices in Middlefield, CT at 7:00 p.m. This is the kick-off event and the inauguration of the trail’s new Poet Laureate David K. Leff. Joining David will be Connecticut Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin.
April is the month long celebration of poetry. Join me and other poets at these events:
Sunday, April 10, 1 p.m. at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, 7 Canal Street, Westerly, Rhode Island
Friday, April 15, 7 p.m. at Byrd’s Books, 126 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, Connecticut
Saturday, April 23, 2 p.m. at the Minor Memorial Library, 23 South Street, Roxbury, Connecticut
Support the arts and poetry in your community. Participate in other events and activities.
I had a great time at Saturday’s book signing with David K. Leff and Eric D. Lehman. The booth was part of the Danbury First Congregational Church Fall Festival. If you missed all the local authors (we were just three of many), head over to Byrd’s Books and catch up on your reading list.
Here’s me reading from Four Blue Eggs in March at Byrd’s Books in downtown Bethel (126 Greenwood Avenue). If you can’t get there in person, you can order online! Support your local independent bookstore. Byrd’s is one of the state’s best.