Saturday, June 14, 2008

a visit

Yesterday, I visited my former college campus.
It was a picturesque day, the dappled light filtering through the trees, large stones building ermerging from amongst the grassy hills. Memories lazily floated in my mind....triumphs, laughs and occasional regrets.
This past week Rosemont hosted a writer's retreat in conjunction with the literary journal, Philadelphia Stories. I was keen to attend the retreat, but other responsibilities claimed me. Fortunately I was able to squeeze this free lecture in by a very favorite poet of mine, Anne Kaier.
Anne was one of the associate editors of American Writing, A Magazine while I was an editorial assistant there with Alexandra Grilikhes the magazine's creator and editor.
This past November, I had seen Anne read at another venue in November with a very new little person, it was our first real outing. It was wonderful to see her read. She is arresting. & to hear her speak yesterday about her process, what poetry is like for her, where she is coming from...her humor....all were amazing. I related with her so much that my soul was just giggling the whole time. I think we share the same process. She didn't come out and say this, but I got the feeling that poetry just happens for her, which I really relate too. The visuals appear in my mind. It links things together and the language just comes. I loved her honesty. That was one of the things she spoke about yesterday, honesty. How truth is left to the poets, perhaps one of the reasons that doesn't make us very popular in the culture. She, in her words, is a confessional poet & I am very much in the same vane.

Since my visit to Rosemont yesterday, I have been visiting with ghosts. Alexandra, died, 6 years ago. Sandy Crimmins, a former associate editor with the a magazine, died almost a year ago. The two were my connection to Philadelphia and poetry. I was a naive student when I met the two. I remember feeling some of the time, that I just didn't get the conversation. After seeing Anne yesterday, hearing her moving work, thinking of myself and reflecting on what was said all those years ago, I am starting to get their meaning. Beginning to understand the depths of who they were as poets & women. Who I am becoming.
Its overwhelming, powerful....like waves behind my eyes.

In my search to provide some links to these amazing poets, I came across these from Robin's Bookstore in Philadelphia, Anne Kaier, reading Skull a poem for Alexandra
& poems by Alexandra. A poem by Sandy Crimmins.
These ghosts are reminding me of who I am, someone who rings herself out again & again...

1 comment:

punkymama said...

Man what a small place Philly is. My friend Cecily http://www.uppercasewoman.com was a great friend of Sandy and I met you in the park.

I hope to hook up soon you can email me!!