The Longest Day

by Suzannah Gilman

The Univ. of Arizona Poetry Center presented poetry prompts at the opening of their new building in 2007.  This was mine:  “Include in your poem one or more of the following: rope, hands, a rubber band, a legal document, corn starch, and a promise.”  No problem. 

 

It seems so clear—
suddenly? (after twenty-odd years)—
we should not have held hands
on that sticky June morn,
cornstarch sprinkled under our arms,
summer solstice,
June twenty-first.
Now it hurts
to know
(last week you told me on the phone)
the promise we made that day
was all that kept you with me,
hurts like the sting of a rubber band,
over and over again.
This much I know:
dissolution is a good thing
and I’d divorce you again tomorrow,
blessed sunset on the longest day.

 

mother of 4

I emerged the very loved and fulfilled mother of these four people, so my years were not spent in vain.


Writers I Want To Kiss on the Face(book)

Karissa Morton’s blog on how we should support one another hits home with me. She writes:
It doesn’t take much to open someone’s link & read a poem he or she is proud of. It takes even less to click “like” or make a congratulatory comment, to metaphorically say, “Hey, I see your achievement in this tough, competitive world!” If we’re really a community, let’s engage like one.

Karissa Morton Carter

 

“We have all known the long loneliness and

we have learned that the only solution is love and

that love comes with community.”  Dorothy Day

 

On last count, Rebecca Makkai’s Ploughshares column, “Writers You Want To Punch in the Face(book),” has been shared almost a dozen times on my Facebook newsfeed today.  I have to wonder why.  Are we really all that passive aggressive?  Each time someone posted it, I couldn’t help but wonder who they were silently jabbing at.  (I can guarantee they each had at least one person in mind when they hit “share”—otherwise why share it if they hadn’t seen it themselves?)

In the column, Makkai invents a hypothetical writer, Todd Manly-Krauss.  Our dear Todd is described as a “good enough guy in real life,” but his Facebook presence is depicted as insufferable.  He’s the guy who claims to be “so…

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In Boozo Veritas #29: Writers in the Festival Mode

Susan Lilley guest blogs for “The Drunken Odyssey” from Key West.

The Drunken Odyssey

In Boozo Veritas #29

Writers in the Festival Mode

I am honored to welcome the brilliant and amazing poet Susan Lilley as guest blogger for this week’s In Boozo Veritas. While I’m braving the ice and snow up north in Indiana, she is down south in Key West no doubt having a remarkably different experience.

—Teege Braune

Special dispatch from Key West, Florida February, 2014

Untitled 2

Writers know better than to make a no-alcohol resolution on New Year’s Day. After all, the doldrums of January signal the beginning of literary festival season! Actually, it’s always lit fest season, but the period of January through March seems to have more than its share of workshops, residencies, seminars, and confabs of all kinds. As one who just survived a glorious week at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, I can say with certainty that, if you imbibe at all regularly, there is absolutely…

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Living Life to the Max

MAXINE KUMIN, 1925-2014

Seven Poets Laureate in Washington: Mark Strand, Charles Simic, Kay Ryan, Maxine Kumin, Daniel Hoffman, Rita Dove, Billy Collins

Seven Poets Laureate in Washington, Oct. 2010: Mark Strand, Charles Simic,         Kay Ryan, Maxine Kumin, Daniel Hoffman, Rita Dove, Billy Collins

Maxine Kumin relished her role as the first politically active female Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the position now known as Poet Laureate.  She was the last laureate to move to Washington, yet she was there only one year; her outspokenness and political activism were probably the reason she was not asked by then Librarian of Congress, Daniel J. Boorstin, to stay for a second year as is the custom.  Equestrian, gardener, scholar, professor, critic, novelist, essayist, memoirist, author of children’s books, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and activist for women writers, human and political justice and animal rights, Maxine boldly jumped the fences built around women and showed us what a woman untethered can do. Married to chemist and engineer Victor Kumin, who helped invent the Atomic Bomb (and who later refused to continue his work after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki) for nearly 68 years and the mother of three, Maxine proved with the fiery determination with which she lived her life that, yes, a woman can have it all.

More on MAXINE KUMIN’s year in Washington.