Being a poet is kind of like being a good detective. Taking mental notes on what was happening to my body, mind and environment during and after the hemorrhage allowed me to distance myself from my own experience and helped me cope during what has been one of the scariest and loneliest experiences of my life. During my blood transfusions, I thought, “I need to write a poem about getting a blood transfusion while watching the Leon County Spelling Bee on TV” and “No, wait! I need to write a dramatic monologue in the voice of a BLOOD CELL entering another person’s body.” When Ezekiel, my three-year old son, came to visit me, I thought, “I need to write a poem about TOWERS and I have to incorporate the fact that he keeps calling the hospital “mommy’s tower” into the poem. And that reminded me of going on a field trip to Watts Towers when I was a little girl growing up in Los Angeles and then that reminded me of how I was in Dante class in graduate school when the Twin Towers fell and isn’t this a little bit like being in a circle of hell and if it is, which circle, and more importantly, which way to PARADISE? Auden is right when he says, “poets are tough and can profit from the most dreadful experiences.”
Read the rest here. And check back daily for more.