“Two poems from Ruth Thompson’s Crazing”

Review of Crazing on Reiter’s Block.

Jendi Reiter, whom I admire greatly both as a poet (I was honored to write a blurb for Bullies in Love) and an editor (Winning Writers Newsletter), today posted a lovely review of Crazing on her blog, Reiter’s Block.

Jendi included two of the poems from Crazing, including “Mary Speaks,” one of my favorite poems in the book, and one that felt as though a very distinctive and amused voice was speaking to me.

“How easily I vanished from the story,” Mary notes wryly.

And what happened then? “I bundled myself back on the donkey, / unwound the old stars to show the way. // In the dark of the moon I came home.”

Later she says, “These men will have no Mother. No matter. The boy is dead.” Characteristically she includes both an ironic pun (“matter/mater”) and a mother’s pain at the loss of her child.

I speak of her as if she wrote this, not I, and indeed, that’s how it felt. This is the Mary I heard, not the weeping powerless pieta of masculinized Christianity.

Reading at Hilo Public Library

Here’s the video of a reading I gave on June 13th, 2015 at the Hilo Public Library, after teaching a writing class to a great group of writers. We were joined by more people from the community for the reading. Don Mitchell made and edited the video. It runs 20 minutes. The energy this day was just wonderful!

Losing the Words

Another poem from Crazing. Recorded at a delightful reading on June 13th at the Hilo Public Library.

Losing the Words

Wantons, they’d give themselves to anyone!
See how they slip in and out of one another’s clothes?

How—dressed in zinnia-colored feathers, giggling—
they settle to the lip like birds, then flicker away?

Oh, they hide behind the roof of my mouth with flashlights,
cast firefly shadows on my stuttering tongue—

dash onto the stage and off, grinning madly—
above them that terrible sign: Exeunt Omnes.

For one day all of them—
all the thousand thousand names of God—

will fall in love. Conjoin. Merge
into the unkempt darkness behind the stars.

They will be gone forever. Then silence
will enter the echoing chambers of my mind.

It will speak its name at last.
I will say Yes.