Today's post title comes from Jeanette Winterson's story, "The Poetics of Sex," a story I love and a story from which I borrowed the idea of Picasso as character. I'm thrilled to share here that an excerpt from my Picasso series will appear in A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, edited by Stacey Lynn Brown and Oliver de la Paz, due out this year from the University of Akron Press. You can keep up with news related to the anthology on Facebook here and, if you're so inclined, be sure to keep an eye out for a public release of the amazing and massive lineup of contributors.
In other news, it rained all day today. I love it. I could live in a rainy city. My productivity would skyrocket in a rainy city. The rain and gray and drear just work to do something to me, make me more thoughtful, more aware of the world around me, more human. Maybe best of all, I feel like a small hole in my heart has filled. So I searched long and hard for a photograph that could best capture what it feels like to me when it rains, and the one I've chosen above seems well-suited for the task. It's not a sad or depressed feeling; it's a feeling like I'm not alone, though I absolutely would prefer to be alone when it rains, or with a best friend who can handle the quiet; it's an inside feeling, which in turn invites looking out through windows, sitting on ledges, drinking leftovers, indoor smoking, and, for some reason, living in cheap-rent house apartments.
I once wrote a poem about rain, but it is not an accurate reflection of how I really feel; it was, instead, a response to Mary Ruefle's poem "Snow," which I love as much as I love Jeanette Winterson's "Poetics of Sex." The weird thing is Ruefle's poem and Winterson's story are definitely sex-focused. And my poem, which opens with "Every time it starts to rain, I would like to have sex," is pretty much the exact opposite of how I actually feel when it actually rains. All I really want is to be left alone to ponder, to meditate, to feel nostalgia and yearning and a happy sort of sorrow, if that makes any sense. I wonder if Mary Ruefle really does want to have sex every time it starts to snow. I wonder how she really feels about those bodies in cemeteries when it snows. Is that a weird thing to wonder? Probably. But the persona poem is an interesting thing, isn't it? It is the poet's chance to play dramatist or fiction writer, to write character, to think and feel and fight or yearn for her or him.
I want to live on an ocean. I have always dreamed of this. The sound of constant unrelenting waves in a storm. Candles. Rain drumming the roof, lavender and eucalyptus wafting throughout the house, the kettle whistling ready and the subsequent warmth of my tea just beneath my nose, the scents of the sea rising up, and surrounding.