Yay! My poem, “Flowers Bruise Too Easily,” and short story, “Saturday Morning Skate,” have been accepted for publication in The Virginia Writers Club Centennial Anthology. Release is targeted for VWC’s annual meeting in November 2017 to kick off the club’s 100th year in 2018. I am so happy!
It’s like plucking a ripe tomato I grew to give to a neighbor. Something I nurtured took flight beyond me. My writing and my tomatoes have wings!
Every April, which is National Poetry Month, I like to write a poem a day. I started in 2014, when Katherine Gotthardt led a poetry workshop in historic Manassas, Virginia. I wrote one with Katherine. Then I wrote another. And another! I filled April with poems. I didn’t realize I had them inside me. Now, April has become like poetry-hatching season.
This month, I’m encouraging everyone I know to join me and write a poem a day. In fact, every Thursday this month (April 6, 13, 20 and 27), from 4 to 6 pm I’ll be hosting a “Coffee with a Poet” at Grapes & Grounds, a coffee shop at 135 S Third Street in Smithfield, North Carolina. Hang out with me over coffee or a glass of wine and we’ll write poetry together or just talk about writing. I’ll have lots of poetry templates and writing prompts on hand, thanks to tips from poet John Dutton, a nominee for Prince William Poet Laureate and facilitator for Spilled Ink, an open mic at Jirani Coffeehouse in Manassas, Virginia.
Then, on Friday, April 28 from 7 to 9 pm, come to the fourth Friday Open Mic at Hula Girl Café, 103 S Raiford Street in Selma, North Carolina and sign up to read your poems! This open mic is hosted by Cornerstone Writers, a new writing group in Selma, facilitated by Susanne Pote of Platform Pounce, Hula Girl’s next door neighbor. Come with an appetite — Hula Girl is famous for their applejacks (fried fruit pies). Jennifer serves them with scoops of ice cream and whipped cream on top.
Meanwhile, here’s a poem I wrote last year. I carried wallet-sized copies of it in my purse and handed them out at one of those business after hours that the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce sponsored. Taking poetry everywhere!
As workday morning rises
Cars ring-a-round drive-thru lanes
Of a nearby fast food restaurant.
It doesn’t matter which chain.
They would circle Dante’s Inferno
If the poet advertised
Bacon egg and cheese biscuits
On the way down.
I’m hungry for a poem
But there’s no window for that.
Not even a pizza poem, vegan verse
Or raisin rhyme.
I’m left to bake my own
Jotting it down on the back
Of a Val-u-pak coupon
While waiting at lights for change.
I find it weeks later, squirreled
In the glove compartment
Of a 16-year-old Saturn
In need of two new tires.
A gift, like a coupon
That never expires.