What follows is the original “About Page” written when this blog first started in 2006. Initially, it was designed as a poetry blog, so if you dig into the archives you will notice a formal homogeneity to the posts. Clearly, We are dealing now with a different environment.
Currently, I am a retired scenester engaged in average intellectual and creative pursuits in Chicago.
I moved to Pittsburgh in the late ’90s, when I was still a teenager, when I was ready to start my life for real. I lived in the Jeanette apartments at Millvale and Baum in North Oakland. I was a lonely girl. Every day I rode the 54C bus or the school shuttle to the University of Pittsburgh campus where I had enrolled in the maximum number of credits intent on some kind of double major in English and Philosophy.
My “Introduction to Poetry” teacher wore screaming neon earrings and sweatshirts crusted in bright puffy paints. I felt somehow unsafe in her classroom. On the first day, during a lecture on what distinguishes poetry from prose I happened to glance at my neighbor’s notebook and shuddered seeing “Poetry Vs. Pro’s” scrawled across the top of his looseleaf.
I dropped the class a month later after she shamed and humiliated me infront of everyone for suggesting My Papa’s Waltz By Theodore Roethke was not, as the class had decided, a poem about child abuse, but rather, a love poem instead. It wasn’t long before I dropped out of school altogether.
I return often to the image of my ignorant classmate’s notebook. It no longer haunts me the way it did when I was young and angry and snobby. Over the years it’s morphed and mellowed into a sweet and hazy equivocation, one that seems oddly fitting for the way I’m often trying to say. (there is no typo there, I meant that to read as it does).
In workshops, my colloquial, narrative poetry often solicits the suggestion (or critique, depending how one puts it) that I might as well jettison attempts at verse and opt instead for a prose poem. But I’m as stubborn as I am unlearned. Sometimes I’d rather just let it be that way. Even if it’s not very good.
even if it’s
My breathing changes when I break a line. The ghost of Elvis floats the pointer over each ouija board of words and says “here.”
I am not pro and these words are not prose. We’re just words on verges and edges. This is not exactly poetry but it isn’t exactly not poetry either. Thank you for reading, your comments and critiques.