At the Writers' Conference
Every surface in this rented room
is either striped or steel
like a prison
or a hospital
or a convent --
where people of greater faith than I
will save them.
The drain is laced with nets of hair
in tangled phlegm,
the mattress stuffed with flakes
of strangers’ flesh.
Outside my window, sparrows
bare their beaks to song
and a backhoe opens its clever throat
to trill a back-up alarm.
Inside, I am without
my nattering keyboard,
or nodding desk lamp
or chugging printer
that presses the dark powder
of my poems
onto the flawless skin
of white paper.
I want to scuttle to my knees
and scribble words
in the shadowed line
where floor meets wall.
Instead, I slowly pick at the edges
of a scab, finally lifting
a stiff plate of blood
from its curdled home.
what editors say ...
You have a lovely, clear voice that rings true for the reader.
-- Kerry Holjes, Senior Editor of When Women Waken
I love this poem. My girlfriend and I will only wear black when we eat out.
-- Michelle Hartman, Editor of Red River Review
Your poems show a side of and take an angle on Ritual that is unique among our submissions, and we think they would be an excellent addition to the Issue.
-- Troy Payne, Editor of Lantern Journal
These concrete details are lovely; their settings stronger still. Your understanding of how to move a piece forward, how to give it motion, is a true strength.
-- Judge from Sustainable Arts Foundation
Thanks for sending us your work, and we’ll be very pleased to include it in one of our poetry issues. I’m thrilled to be able to include your work.
-- Dr. Christopher Todd Anderson, Guest Poetry Editor, The Midwest Quarterly
what readers say ...
Lyrical and sensitive …
-- Jayshree M. Tripathi
I really enjoyed this uplifting poem which celebrates the power of the perfect shoe.
-- Pamela Newham
I love this, and I really relate to the torn feelings you so eloquently shared.
-- Stephanie Gagos