You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘motherhood’ tag.

On January 11, 2016 the world learned that David Bowie had died at age 69 of cancer. Heartbroken, I turned to poetry, and wrote “#DavidBowieReal” and thus began a year-long project that I called something like a “Poem-a-Day (for-everyday-that-I’m-not-teaching.) This was inspired, I believe, by a Robert Bly and Donald Hall poetry reading I’d attended several years earlier after Bly had published his collection, Morning Poems. Bly discussed how he’d embarked on the year-long project of writing a poem a day each morning before he even got out of bed. Later, he edited and collected the best of these into one of his acclaimed collections of work.

My approach was a little different. I wrote on my couch with my first cup of coffee near by, and decided that on the days that I need to be out of the house by 6:45 am, I would not require the writing. Hence, the total of 241 poems rather than 365. (In the end, Bly’s deemed 82 of his worthy to make it into his book.)

I posted a few here as I was immersed in the project, but most of them have sat dormant in my writing journals for over a year and a half.

2016 was a good year to have such a project going. It was a terrible year filled with significant celebrity deaths – after Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds – and that “election” we endured . . .  As well as personal trials and tribulations, and I’ve always intended to go back and “do something” with the work.

Now, after reading Maggie Millner’s article “Instapoets Prove Powerful in Print” in the latest issue of  Poets & Writers , fretting over the fact that I’ve not written much poetry since January of 2017, and missing the virtual artist communities of TGAP and the Myspace Poetry Society,  I’ve decided to publish all (or maybe most) of the poems from this project here in their unedited glory, in order, one a day.

I hope you’ll join me for this literary adventure.

 

 

 

Advertisements

In 2006 then Senator John Kerry made a comment that was insulting to our military. While addressing students at Pasadena City College, he stated, “You study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” (Hillary Clinton Joins Criticism) I was so upset by the underlying, negative assumptions Kerry’s statement made about those who serve in the military, that I quickly came home and removed my “Kerry 2004” bumper sticker from my car. Those who know me, know that this is no small gesture for a woman who still has her “OBAMA 2008” sticker proudly displayed on her station wagon.

Lately, however, it seems politicians have learned nothing from Kerry’s “botched joke.” Just last week, while trying to justify the cruel budget cuts suggested by the White House, politicians were throwing insulting assumptions all over the place. The budget director explained, “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” (Single Mothers Shouldn’t Have to Pay) The National Endowment for the Arts was also included in that assumption.

I am here to take offense at that assumption. I was a single mother for the first five years of my son’s life. During that time, although cash was quite limited for us, we visited art museums, I enrolled my son in arts programs. Both of my children are artists. They’ve taken music lessons and sculpting. My son took VLACS Economics, so that he could take Advanced Art and still graduate high school on time. Both my son and daughter intend to go to film school. I am a poet and a writer. I’m writing this now and I wrote a poem this morning.

Art is an integral part of our lives and just because we were poor for a while didn’t mean that we forgot about the importance of art to the human experience.

Today, the National Endowment for the Arts is more important than ever. Six giant corporations are the gate keepers for publishing most of our music, films and literature. They also control what and who gets promoted. The current climate in the United States is not one where someone who is an artist can easily make a livable wage doing such. The NEA offers grants and programs that allow artists to flourish. They offer schools  the opportunity to pay artists to bring their experience into schools. They help to fund educational programs like Poetry Out Loud.

I don’t know of any mother, single or otherwise, who wants her children to grow up in a culture that doesn’t value art and artists. I am offended that any politician would suggest such a thing. I vote for my tax dollars to go to artists and to PBS and to Meals on Wheels, before a single dime of it builds a bomb. No matter what those who currently hold power may tell me to be scared of, I am much more afraid of living in a world that doesn’t value art and artists than I am of the terrorists they constantly tell me to fear.

And, while we’re on the topic of insulting and down right ignorant assumptions, what parent, single mom or coal-miner,  hasn’t relied on Big Bird? As my students often say, “When you assume, it makes an ass out of you and me.” Maybe we should have an artist design a bumper sticker with that phrase on it.

 

 

Goodreads

Lady Diction’s Calendar

August 2018
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
Advertisements