I’ve been stretching my wings and wheels, lately, to cross mountains, state lines, and boundaries to the unknown.
These landscapes are from a road trip to Telluride, CO, where I was honored to read this month as part of the Talking Gourds poetry series. Some things are worth driving alone through a blizzard for, and this was certainly one of them.
The journey there and back was a full body immersion in an image-laced land, a dreamscape of ravens sharp against gray clouds, a tattered flag with red stripes waving in torn strips against a snowy field, eagles flying out of the sun…and delicious solitude as the vantage from which to witness it all.
How is it that we can live in the midst of all this and not–every one of us–be constantly writing poetry?
Do we not live in an ongoing call and response between us and the beauty and mystery and darkness of the world we inhabit and must look at with whatever keen vision we can summon, and then answer with our love letters and laments and strange, unexpected lyrics?
In the face of all this, how can we stand to be silent? How?
When we answer we take our place as part of the ever-expanding network that is a being far more than a verb, a being that links us as surely as if a great mycelium linked us, our imaginations, and our faltering language and lines.
So in whatever way you can, by whatever means you have, answer the call.
That is what the earth and sky taught me on my travels.
I’m not done road-tripping, either. Catch me this weekend at the Crestone Poetry Festival, and next week at AWP, where I’ll be giving an off-site reading at the Spanish Governor’s Palace.
Who knows what kind of deep thoughts I’ll have for you then!
Meanwhile, speaking of call and response, you can eavesdrop on this conversation I recently had about Refugia, and within which you will find me pondering things like my obsession with names, being born into an ashram in Virginia and leaving it at age twelve for the blinding light of New Mexico, the secret healing power of toxic amnesia, and why I will not despair about the future.
Many thanks to Natalie Etheridge for the thought-provoking questions, and to the editors of The Adroit Journal for creating space for our conversation. I am happy to be part of your mycelium.
And yours too, dear readers. Safe travels to you.