once upon a time…

…there was an poetry teacher named Steve Kowit.  he told the story of one of his students, a waitress who started taking classes at the community college and writing poems.  a woman who was turning herself into a poet. a woman who was turning herself into light.

i sat in that class listening to the teacher, knowing that my backpack held a pink notebook full of poems and imaginings and ideas.  if this woman could do it–if she could begin at community college, taking classes for $21, listening to poems read aloud and carefully filling her notebooks–then maybe i could too.  maybe flunking out of the expensive out-of-state college wasn’t a simple failure.  maybe it landed me just where i need to be.

Dorianne Laux was the poet, and this morning, Maria at Brian Pickings left this post at my doorstep:  it’s an illustrated reading of Dorianne’s poem “Antilamentation.”  how could she know that

“the frayed/coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck/matches”

is hanging in my closet.

go read the poem, go listen to the poem.  and if you are left hungry for more good words, go visit the Poem Farm where the words are falling like leaves.  we’ll be reading that poem together this morning over our bowls of oats.  and an interview with one of Lucille Clifton’s daughters is featured at Author Amok.  the rest of the Poetry Friday offerings can be found at Paper Tigers.  such bounty on this first Friday of the new season!


  1. I’ve taken workshop classes with both Steve Kowit and Dorianne Lux. You are in good company if you are reading their poems. Dorianne’s husband Joe Mills is an excellent poet too.

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