I write bad poetry. I doesn’t have any form. It doesn’t have any rhyme. I took up bad poetry after falling in love with a poet while getting my MFA from Bennington College. It was the first time in my life I had the experience of looking into the eyes of another person and feeling a rush of soul connection. I was 39 and working on my marriage and trying to save it from falling apart. I was at my physical peak. I was lovely at that age. I didn’t look near forty I looked like I was in my early 30’s. And I was doing something I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do. I was getting my Master’s degree from a prestigious East Coast college. I was working with Best-selling writers and meeting people I never thought I would meet. It was amazing for a woman that grew up on a farm in Moreland, Idaho. Literally, amazing. And then to fall in love at first sight. It was too much. It drove me to Bad Poetry.
So it is in June in Vermont and it is delicious. I am around like minded people. I see fireflies for the first time. The college in located in an old Estate and every night we have readings in what was called The Barn. We drink Sam Adams before it is a national beer and Rolling Rock. Then we dance and dance and dance. It is like heaven. No, it is heaven.
And one night this poem appears:
The Poetry Reading: published 1998 in Cabin Fever by the Log Cabin Literary Center.
I listen, to the woman’s words of diapers,
Dishes, car pools, and birth, flanked
By the same sex smells of underarms and between thighs.
I stretch cramped tense muscles, pull hard.
A bone cracks in my neck from an old injury
Looking over my shoulder my gaze and mind wanders,
But I rush past your stare.
Turning back, I touch my warm skin,
Re-attuning myself to the word woman.
Later gathered in copse of bodies surrounded
By the aftermath of poetry we stand full-faced.
Civilized I shake your hand,
Exchange a distracted smiler, pronounce
My name while I scan the landscape.
Our gaze meets in stunned desire, and a fissure
Suddenly opens spilling out images of
Forest pleasures. I laugh, say something
Senseless. When I walk away your hand
If I made a mistake in my life, it was then. I choose my commitment to a man I didn’t love over my passion not just for another man as this love was mostly in my head and probably unrequited over my passion for writing and living a life of a writer.
In many ways Tantra and the path of Tantra has restored my passion and healed me in ways to allow me to be happy and open for love if I ever cross its path again.
Pictures by the great artist Michael Parks