"I'm inspired by my neighborhood, by things people say to me and snatches of overheard conversations, by folks glimpsed in passing on the street or at the store, by the borderlines where cultures bump against each other, and by love, most of all by love."
As a child, I used to creep onto the stairs when my parents had guests over and eavesdrop on the grown-ups. A creak of the stairs would invariably give away my position and I’d be chased back to bed, only to reappear at the next opportunity, hiding and listening. I wanted to be where the interesting conversations were happening. I still want that. Only now the conversations happen all over the country, all over the world, with friends, friends of friends, and complete strangers. Our stories rub up against each other and expand and change in ways I could never have imagined when I was young, and they now include rocks, weeds, fruit trees, cats, stars, and myths from all over the world, as well as all kinds of people.
If you’re just stopping by to look for a poem or a link to a creative resource, welcome. If you’d like me to present at your conference, give a reading, workshop, or keynote address, send me an email. I am also available for individual consultations at reasonable rates. Otherwise, I’ll be here at home, digging weeds out of the rosebushes, or sitting on a bench at Lake Merritt with my notebook on my lap and my ears open.
Offering herself to strangers,
ripe purple ova,
sweet sacks of seeds
soft for the squeezing and tasting--
somebody tell her
not to do that!
Sprawled all over the sidewalk
for any dogwalker to finger,
any old lady, hobbling by on her walker, gets one,
or homeless guy settling in for a smoke,
or surreptitious single mother
with her plastic bags,
her army of climbing kids.
Not very ladylike,
crotch open for a sneakered foot,
a panting embrace,
and all that black honey, oozing.
See how her heart’s left
smashed on the sidewalk
for feral cats to sniff,
her intimate goo underfoot,
pecked by pigeons, swarmed with ants.
Should have pruned her harder,
brought her up short
before she showed her desire so freely
upraised arms opening to sky, profligate
branches that could poke somebody’s eye out:
such crazy need to feed the world.
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Each month I share with you a mini-essay, notices of upcoming events, and a poem.
LEARN ABOUT THE NEW MUSICAL
Lyrics by Alison Luterman
Music by Loren Linnard
Read the synopsis and listen
to one of the songs!