Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 07/16/10: Farewells, Incomplete Poem, Nixon/Frost

1. It's bittersweet when the NIWP writing retreat ends. It's sweet because we all feel accomplished, invigorated, nourished, ready to go forth into the world and write. We are reluctant, however, to let each other go and and relinquish the enjoyment we shared.

2. Bev suggested we follow the lead of Richard Hugo and go to the old cabin at Camp N-Sid-Sen and imagine a history for it, populate it with feelings, and make it into our reality. I was very happy Bev took charge of this prompt and I wrote a poem that I don't think is done yet, but here it is so far:

Your Cabin

For you it’s always November here.

That six-pack in Bovill got you to Harrison,

To this gray bay cold and empty.

The brunette wives stretched and tan on docks

Left months ago.

The smell of cedar left your cabin

Some time back when that judge in Spokane

Killed the clear cut near Benewah Lake.

You moved to Lenore then Greer then on up to Kooskia

Before you said to hell with it

And went to work for old man Konkol

Stacking short loads of white pine on dying trains.

This is not the life you dreamed of:

The dinner triangle unrung for twenty years,

The vacant chairs only the chill wind rocks,

The oil you never bought in Potlatch

For the stubborn door that barely lets you in.

No, you dreamed of a tender wife,

Long nights of Canadian whiskey

George Strait, George Jones

Her fingernail tracing the veins of your wrist,

Long kisses.

3. I drove to Kellogg, enjoyed stuffed green peppers with Mom, and rested after a week of being the retreat's visiting writer by watching Nixon/Frost, a movie I enjoyed thoroughly, especially because of the way Frank Langella portrayed the complicated, complex soul of Richard Nixon.

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