Up early on Sunday to go to day two of a poetry workshop with Kim Stafford. All the attendees are women. Kim is the kind of man to say that he feels honored to be in a group of women, and tells us a story of how one of his classes once named him an honorary woman and it was, in fact, a great honor for him. I am wary of such declarations, but as the workshop goes on there is nothing to indicate he doesn't mean it.
Half the class is in love with him, or at least they pretend to be for those hours we are all seated around the creaky table.
Weekend-long writing workshops always make me feel both deeper embedded in, and yet somehow outside of my body. It's like going to therapy, you start poking around in your unconscious, the tender wounded places that are shoved down beneath all the other more tolerable bits of your mind. And my body responds to this prodding in ways both expected and surprising.
Here's something I wrote yesterday:
The stones rattle like bones on the beach
empty of flesh, forlorn
but not hollow.
The wind makes the pine needles rain
down on the ofuro roof.
I soak and sweat in the deeep water.
The smoke rises, the heat rises,
the bluff is always crumbling down.
The ofuro smells of smoke and moss. My sweat
smells like slanted sunlight, obscure, oblique
crooked and untrue.
I did not earn it.