I ran into an old friend this morning. Nearly ten years had passed since we last met in the poetry section of the changing hands bookstore. At the time, she was a mother, poet, and musician in hiding; and I was a student at the university studying poetry. My inexperienced hands were no match to the living she had done and the stories she shared. I was a novice mesmerized by her large wings and long pauses, emulating her style — the disheveled clothes, the hair that covered her eyes and those tired old walking boots. During this time, she introduced me to many of her colorful friends, and occasionally we met to recite passages by Baudelaire.
(entire poem here)
For nearly a year, she influenced my pen to the dismay of my professors who had discredited her as a poet.
They assigned poems by traditional women poets, their scathing criticism abolished the idea that a musician can be a poet, and a class on John Milton’s Paradise Lost sent me back to the text books and away from her writings.
My dear old friend,
It’s a pleasure to see your black wings again. What a curious world we live in to be separated all this time only to find our trails reunited at this river, feeling and living according to similar sentiments.
At times it feels quite barren here.
It’s nice seeing you in this place.
(if you live in LA, go here this thursday. it’s free.)