This is it! The final day of the 30/30 Tupelo Press poetry challenge. I'm delighted to say that I made it to the end without missing a day, and it was a challenging pleasure. Thanks to those of you who have been reading; I'm astonished to talk to friends and family who say they have been consistently reading the poems daily; there is no greater compliment. Thank you!
What didn't occur to me until about halfway through my version of the project (using the word of the day as a jumping-off point) is that I couldn't really cheat even if I wanted to because I've been attached to something--a word--that is released daily. I can't even work ahead and write, say, three poems on a particularly creative day. I really trapped (???) myself inside of the project, and the process really has been exquisite.
If you haven't already contributed, please consider giving something, anything please, to Tupelo Press in this final day of the challenge. I'm still pretty far from my goal, and every $5, $10, or $20 gift would help a ton at this point.
Today's NY Times word of the day is douse. It's not a articulately "poetic" word, but then again, what is? I think of douse from the perspective that it defines a change, a transformation, usually one of excess. I'm horrified by what is going on in Indiana, so this poem is written as a gesture against this injustice. The poem is not entirely political, but it has leanings and works towards images that welcome all kinds of love, regardless. I can't imagine having any kinds of leanings otherwise.
against Indiana's Religious Freedom Act
what you know of gratitude
knows you too. it is with swollen
experience that I tell you this.
your body has a place or
maybe it's folded and walking
on its way to pray, half-covered
in snow and the relative weight of endings.
another self is drafted
and fought against in passive voice.
what a blue moon you cling to.
what a risk of being on the wrong side
of what we know
to be tenderness. rhetoric, birds.
the feathers up to my ankles.
I will swim in the green space
that holds the mitochondria.
to believe it starts there,
where we manufacture cellular energy,
where we begin to be drawn
to another body like the navigation
through a maze and over and over
arriving at the same place,
the same and other body that fits
& becomes someday utterance, love.
the child draws a flip book, images
moving down the page like gliding
towards you. catch her. it's your chance
to hold something that floats. so did the
white and effortless line
on the white and effortless paper.