Thursday, July 28

This and That: Nothing of any consequence

As the title suggest I have been less than busy this week- and sadly, not terribly productive in some areas.
I have been meaning to work on the book, but it has not happened. Hopefully this afternoon...
Anyway in honor of my lack of work I thought I would share a poem that I particularly like. It is by Margaret Atwood.


My daughter plays on the floor
with plastic letters,
red, blue & hard yellow,
learning how to spell,
how to make spells.

I wonder how many women
denied themselves daughters,
closed themselves in rooms,
drew the curtains
so they could mainline words.

A child is not a poem,
a poem is not a child.
there is no either/or.

I return to the story
of the woman caught in the war
& in labour,
her thighs tied
together by the enemy
so she could not give birth.

Ancestress: the burning witch,
her mouth covered by leather
to strangle words.

A word after a word
after a word is power.

At the point where language falls away
from the hot bones, at the point
where the rock breaks open and darkness
flows out of it like blood, at
the melting point of granite

when the bones know
they are hollow & the word
splits & doubles & speaks
the truth & the body
itself becomes a mouth.

This is a metaphor.

How do you learn to spell?
Blood, sky & the sun,
your own name first,
your first naming, your first name,
your first word.

And so it is with Story and with the labors of love we all choose that cancel other possibility out of our lives- already so crowded with desires of our own, and demands...


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