Thursday, February 24, 2005

the plot thickens but is not stirred

Pushcart Prize nomination. First career-like development in quite a while.

Last night, over pizza, the stained lamp swinging, he asked How is your writing coming?

I wanted to say, I'm not feeling fiction in the evenings anymore.

Conferences instead of class. But for a sandwich, I might never have to leave this white, warm room. Today my students did a nonfiction writing exercise where I asked them to write about themselves in the third person. It proved interesting for everyone.

Sometimes she doesn't get to the dishes.
Sometimes the blankets stay kicked
at the bottom of the iron-black bed.
Lately there are saucers of sleep beneath
her eyes--not sleep, but its opposite,
wandering twin. She asked for a trim but
instead got this resolve to stop drinking,
a salamander-shaped bruise. Sometimes
she worries she's lost her power.
Sometimes the bicycle accident scar
aligns on her forehead; in certain lights,
it looks like a leaf. Today she will watch
the snow as it trickles, white pepper,
and walk over the tracks again, down
the street with its clatter--trucks,
their carts loaded with cages. Women
slug arm-shaped sacks of winter fruit,
dull with wax peel, and drag behind them
children's wagons. A red one is left
on a doorstep. Lettering in marker says
Do not take, and no one does.