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The dishes are scattered around me
and the dogs won’t touch the scraps.
You who have condemned me
take back what belongs to you, for
you are not pure. If I held you up to the light
all would see everything you’ve hidden.
The eternal damnation you peddle
will someday be yours. When I die,
I will no longer carry it.
There is no room in this urn for what’s not mine.
Copyright 2019 Doug Anderson
I can’t seem to send this by way of the normal way of submission. I hope you get it, I hope you’ll consider for your daily posts. I love them. am inspired by many of them.
My Life On The Road!
Last night we went to areading by the extraordinary poet Carolyn Forche, reading from her first bookof prose, What You Have Heard Is True, a memoir of her harrowing experience ofEl Salvador in the late 70s, early 80s. I intend to write more of Carolyn, ourfriendship since the early 80s, but right now what’s comes is the difference inour lives as poets. Though I got the credentials I didn’t become an academicpoet as she did. Instead, after my children were grown–I was 36–I got in myvehicles–in the beginning a white Ambassador station wagon I named Roses—andmade them my home. Roses, Psyche and Valentine. This was so I didn’t have topay rent, so I could write full time. Through the years I had some brief, morecommon living situations–a couple of lovers, my dying mother, a few universityVisiting Poet positions but my vehicles were always ready to go. I LOVED mylife on the road, it never felt difficult, I came to know the roads, the placesto sleep at night, I got to know this coast, its awesome geography. I got toknow many poets, many poetry communities, subsided on readings and workshopsand wrote over a dozen books, poetry and memoir and almost 100 essays (I’marchiving the writing and so I’m counting!). These days I look on those 30+years a bit differently than before. The road always felt safer than houses,and were–I was raped at 7 in my bed in the middle of the night of a so-calledsafe home, the molestation continuing all of childhood. Believe it or not, theroad was rarely dangerous. For one thing I rarely slept in the same place. NowI’m seeing that life from another perspective than just wanting to write.Writers go into denial in maintaining their university teaching positions. Iwas driving for the truth, to find it, to not lose it. To not be bought off. SoI could tell it. My second book, South America Mi Hija, a 300 page poem, wasnominated twice for the American Book Award for Poetry, and my first poetrycollection, Psyche Drives the Coast, won the Oregon Book Award. My life on theroad enabled that. I’ve been blessed. The publisher of my last book of poetry,Naked to the Earth, has named me Mirabai after the 16th century Hindupoet who wandered the land for her poems. For love.
My new book of poetry, Naked to the Earth, 348 pages, cloth, $24.95, is now available from Wild Ocean Press, http://www.wildoceanpress.com.
NEW: My Beard, Memoir Stories, (Spuyten Duvyil, 2018) Available on Amazon.com
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