This year, for National Poetry month our poetry community again put together a DIY "open mic in a book." This is when we each create one page of poetry or visual art, front and back, and make 200 copies of it. We have an artist design the covers and the look of the publication. Then we have a session where each copy is collated, numbered and stapled. Unfortunately, I just haven't been in a documenting mood, so I have no pictures of the process. It was similar to what we did for our first issue two years ago, only this time we did it at the UU church instead of ArtReach (which, sadly, is no more...)
This year, I was thrilled to be invited to be part of a launch party at the Halcyon Gallery, along with the literary magazines from the local colleges: Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (those engineers have some good literary moves!) and St-Mary-of-the-Woods College. The event was last night and it was great fun - art from the students was hung and all the magazines stretched out in a line on several tables. Well attended, too, the gallery was humming with voices and excitement.
The last hour of the evening was devoted to readings. Seven of us read our poems from subT2.
I chose to read a poem I wrote last summer about Clover, my beloved companion whose dear, sweet image appears throughout the years of this blog.
"....I've been spending a lot of time outside in the yard with Clover - whenever the sun is shining and the temperatures aren't too chilly. We are having lovely days - one at a time. Being there. Present in each moment. Dog time and dog mind..."
Midsummer, I wrote this:
My dog is dying this summer
Her horizon wavers
and I squint into the hot light of her going,
walking a boundary between dream and life,
sky and earth, wishes and what-is.
I’m evaporating away some days
or stalking the air for clues.
The heat sizzles in my bones.
My hair’s a frizzy halo: I’d like to be holy,
deserving of the light around me.
I know Clover is.
An email promises: “speak a new language in ten days suzanne”
I want to learn the syntax of this summer,
its poignant grammar,
fluency in the idioms of presence,
all the synonyms for hope.
One day I hear everything whispering “be afraid.”
Another day I know that command was really “ be brave.”
Outside we are whole together,
the perfect dog-being, imperfect me.
Wasps spiral in idle threats.
Birds carry on.
A breeze moves through haze and my silence,
ignites green fire in the trees,
an excitement of leaf and branch.
The too-long grass shimmies with it
and Clover, dying, quivers with it all.
Everything about her still whispers, “I’m alive.”
--Zann Carter (2011)