Sunday Morning Muse Resurfacing

I spent the past 6 days going to a morning poetry workshop at the Port Townsend Writers Conference with a group of 12 poets, led by Ilya Kaminsky. If you are a poet and you’ve never met, or work-shopped with Ilya, I urge you to do so if you can. He is the most generous, funny, creative and insightful of the many wonderful poets I have work-shopped with at PTWC (and elsewhere) over the past 10 years, each of them delightful in their own way.  How Ilya stands out is for his process, his ability to converse with poetry, his teaching savvy, his inventiveness in overcoming any barriers to getting the poem written. And his generosity, especially. He spent his lunch hours holding in-depth individual conferences with each of us.

I’ve been in a “poetry cloud” for the past week, and need to return to earth. Return to hospice visits, clinic work, volunteering, and the general decline of civilization.  Spending time with poets this week reminds me that there is kindness, generosity, and creativity in this world, and that our work does matter.

here are some small 3-liners from a workshop exercise

The only difference
between sex and death
is sex. 

Gather materials: 
seaweed from a mermaid's hair
corn husks from a pig's mouth

A small problem:
getting from nowhere
to here

Poem, I love you but
why work my ass so hard
when what I long for is a soft landing

my life is the size
of a small cabin in the woods
composed of decades

I only remember riding my bike
in the rain, along empty streets
preparing for the grief to come

As if I came to the Pacific ocean
having known nothing of water
but rivers

We used to have so many suns
but every time a species goes extinct
another one burns out

I watched you crumble
your body unsteady and compressed
your enlarging spleen and those cigarettes




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2 Responses to Sunday Morning Muse Resurfacing

  1. I love the life=cabin. So much in so little.

  2. I love 💕 these magical lines. I would love the exercise.

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