Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy July 4th!

Well, Ghostcards, my chapbook (a chapbook is a small book of poetry) is out in print and I've already sold quite a few -- I'll be at the Raleigh Jaycees meeting tomorrow promoting my free writing workshop next Wed. the 12th and will be on hand selling copies. A portion of my proceeds will go to charity.

This week I attended Meredith College's Women's Only Focusing on Form workshop for the third straight year. I took poetry with Betty Adcock and she was wonderful, helpful and taught a great class. We didn't chit chat among ourselves and worked our butts off. Everyone in my class of 6 people produced strong work and we were at all levels. Way to go, guys! I wrote 3 new poems and revised 3 more. Here's my "Mosquito" poem:

Fresh wings scatter waves from the gutter water —
Little vampire, she flies over the juniper,
And he swats her away this July night.

She comes around for another pass at the boy,
This time, she hits her favorite spot —
Behind the knees where the hot moist air
Triggers her spit so the slender proboscis
Can suck up the blood, soda in a straw.
So much tastier than flower and fruit juice!
Her belly swells as she dwells in her spot.
Intending to mother 400 more eggs
In the still, brown water.

The boy smacks his leg,
Rubbing insect and blood in a swirl
Of winged gossamer.

Her sister swoops from behind —
Boy, your ankle is mine.

Of course the same week that I'm attending my writing workshop, I have to turn in my Independent Study 20-page paper on Shubuta, bridges and lynching. Thank goodness, JD Mason gave me some additional information on the 1942 lynching which gave my paper more punch. But I rushed it at the last minute and had Keith look over typos/run-ons/repetitions (there was a lot here). Stayed up late almost every night, but it got done. My final conclusion: we need to use literature to inform others about lynching trauma. In fact, I used a poem I entitled "Ghostcards" to illustrate the boys' lynching and to give them a face. I'll post this poem, along with a photo of the Hanging Bridge either later today or tomorrow.

OK, great news! Got a poem published! In the Mom Writers Literary Online Magazine -- originally titled "He Runs Away" , which I changed it to ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). http://www.momwriterslitmag.com/ will be in the Winter 2006 issue. My son was diagnosed with ASD last summer, but he's doing great now, but at the time I wrote this poem, things were VERY stressful. Also have developed a system of sending poetry out, which I was meaning to do for quite some time.

Local star spotting! I met author Tim Tyson since his mom, Martha, was in the Meredith workshop and I'll send him my thesis curriculum when I'm done on Blood Done Sign My Name. And I'm calling my curriculum a cultural studies/rhetoric program w/the theme of race in America.

And then the bad news
My car (my beloved 1996 Mustang) got hit either at Meredith or Quail Ridge on Wed in the middle of the day --- BIG dent in front of the front tire, passenger side. No note, no witnesses. ARGHHHH! Stupid turkey. So I'm driving around with this big dent and it's not the first time I've been hit. My passenger side has been hit/run 3 times since I moved to Raleigh 6 years ago -- What's up with this? And the rudeness of not leaving a note. OK, just writing this is making me MAD!!

And the sad news...
The fellow who developed my film at Eckard at 540 and Falls of Neuse, Sean Johnson, died in a car accident June 20th on Atlantic Ave going to work at 11am (I found out later from the N&O's "What's Up" section on Friday). I was so sad since he was such a great guy - African American, same age as me, wore a cowrie-shell necklace-- felt a connection w/him, even though we exchanged but a few words. He was someone who cared about customer service! Always gave me free Advantix film as part of my order, cut coupons out for me and we talked about the retail life and what he really loves to do -- DJ, but he still needed a day job. So I went to a benefit night at Aries Lounge (across the street from Flying Saucer, where he DJed part-time). His friends were auctioning off his record collection and getting donations so that his parents can pay for his funeral. I got one of his mix CDs (very fun stuff), a silver lighter from his collection, and an old Blues tape of his -- Howlin Wolf. I felt much better after I went and after talking to a few friends of his. An older folk song couple was singing Amazing Grace, Woman No Cry and a couple other traditional songs. He'll be missed.

This Sunday, my husband, son and I went to the Festival For the Eno in Durham, which featured great food, music, crafts/clothing (couldn't stop at all with Daniel in tow) and toe-dipping in the Eno River. Keith liked Katryna Nields's music, so he got her latest CD, but didn't realize until I told him that it was all children's music! Song titles like "Hop up Ladies," "Going to the Zoo," and "Farewell, My Pants," didn't clue him in. Daniel liked it at least. It was very hot, but not buggy at all. Daniel had a bit of a trantrum when we had to get off of the shuttle bus, since he wanted to keep riding, but we managed to leave OK.

Hope you're having a happy and safe 4th of July and I'll chat with you soon!


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