Saturday, January 9, 2021

So far I've written six Accident Sonnets . . . most of them while sitting in the middle of the living room and being interrupted by people and news. But I'm trying to make interruption a quality of the poems; I'm not trying to be deep or kind or eloquent; I want these pieces to be an accident of existence, to bump up against accidental feeling and thought, to assume their shape accidentally. All have 14 lines but some are narrow, some are wide, some are a combination, some have stanza breaks, all are irregular, none so far are rhyming. All have been composed during the insurrection and in its immediate aftermath . . . an accident of historical overlap.

Today is Saturday, and I am going to go for a long walk this morning, and then I am going to order seeds for my garden, and then I am going to watch the Bills game with the boys. Tomorrow is Tom's birthday, so I've also got a few celebration plans to finish concocting. For dinner: probably something with shrimp in it. I hope I'll also write another sonnet or two, maybe during the game. Football poetry could be interesting.

I hope you're hanging in, managing to keep yourself together, finding some way to cope.


nancy said...

The day after

The day after my heart almost stopped beating
When I was left shaken and gut-wrenched
When our city upon a hill seemed unable to
“avoyde [the fatal] shipwracke”
that my forebears had warned against

I stumbled into my makeshift classroom
Opened my computer and struggled to teach.
Usually my students’ Zoom boxes swiftly turn to black
despite the principal’s injunction to keep them open

But on this day--the day after marauders stormed our nation’s temple--
One box remained open after an obligatory attendance.
In her living room, a student had artfully positioned herself
In front of an artfully draped
Confederate flag.

Dawn Potter said...

Oh, Nancy. Sending much love. This is terribly, terribly painful.

Carlene Gadapee said...

I'm so sorry to hear this.
My students were quieter--and one wrote in his essay about Morrison's "The Origin of Others" that he was not sure, after Wed., just what being an American means anymore.
I grieve for these kids, and for us all.

Ruth said...

Nancy, how very shattering. You have indeed captured this divide.