On this day 2 of the 2-day release of Our Wolves, I would like to share an interview by journalist Deborah Kalb on her book blog. In this interview, she asks questions that probe the origins of the project, including why I chose Red Riding Hood as my “fractured fairy tale.”
Here’s a photo of the champagne I shared with the gardener yesterday for the launch. Note that he tried to order me yellow gerbera daisies which would have been in the photo, but he called Saturday and the florist had already left for the day. So he owes me flowers.
Today is Release Day for Our Wolves. Today and tomorrow. I wanted March 5 because the date has personal significance to me. It’s the anniversary of the first date my husband and I went on, and the chapbook is dedicated to him. Because today is a Sunday, I consider tomorrow Release Day, too!
I hope you will consider heading over to Amazon to pick up a copy of this lil big-mouthed book.
Before I talk about the tour, editor James Lewis so kindly published three of my Rooted and Winged poems in Verse-Virtual‘s March issue: https://www.verse-virtual.org/2023/March/castle-luanne-2023-march.html I hope you like these poems. “Gravity” is about my grandfather gardening in the muck of Kalamazoo. Yes, muck. That is the wet black soil that Kalamazoo is known for, which is why Kalamazoo is known for being the Celery City.
Bloggers: if you would like to piggyback onto the tour in the month of March, I would be happy to share an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy pdf) of the chapbook in the hopes that you will like it enough to review it on your blog and on Amazon (and any other social media sites you care to) in March. If so, please let me know.
This week’s prompt by Colleen Chesebro is to find a spice in my cupboard and write a syllabic poem about it. I chose a spice that I no longer use that has sentimental significance. And for the form, I chose a hard one, the Kerf. The reason I find it hard is that I think pairing syllable counts with rhymes makes it hard for the poem to be sincere and meaningful.
Kerf with Mild Sri Lankan Curry
When I was in grad school,
she was my daughter’s teacher
in the university’s large day care.
She taught my girl each rule,
was the one who could reach her.
We became friends with times and hugs to share.
We loved her native food--
curry that she loved to cook--
so she gave us dried powder at the car--
richest spices, imbued.
Now we can just hug; time took
her memories, leaving only this jar.
You can see why I want to keep the jar of curry powder, although what is left at the bottom is no longer fresh or at its peak. But when I open the jar I remember the old Elaine, vibrant and chattering and smelling of roses and fresh chicken curry.
About the Kerf: it is 12 lines with 4 tercets. Lines of each tercet are syllable counts of 6-7-10. The rhyme pattern is abc, abc, dec, dec per stanza.
This Sunday and Monday is the release of my new poetry chapbook, Our Wolves, based on the Red Riding Hood story.
This Sunday, March 5, is the launch of my new chapbook Our Wolves with its gorgeous cover art by Kiki Suarez.
In light of that event, I wanted to share a little bit about Kiki and her work.
Kiki was born in Germany, but ended up moving to Mexico where she has lived most of her adult life. She is an artist, a writer, and a psychotherapist. Check out her website, Kikimundo which shares her work, about her company, and a little bit about who she is. I first met Kiki online when we were both writing articles for a site called Cowbird. In a way, writing for Cowbird was like blog writing before I had a blog. Like WordPress, the international community that developed from our shared projects was wonderful, and many of us still stay in contact with each other online.
Here is some more stunning art from the same collection as the one I chose for Our Wolves.
On Facebook, Kiki writes long posts that tell stories about her life. And I noticed on her website that she has blog posts, which I did not realize until now. Here is a wonderful one about her father. Remember that these are written in Spanish, but Google translated for me. I hope it will for you, too.
Now I said that Kiki is a psychotherapist. Here she is in a space devoted to healing people. She says that she combines elements of Rogerian and Gestalt therapy, as well as many elements of Buddhist philosophy.
I owe a big thank you to Kiki for her gorgeous art for my chapbook, as well as making my life more enjoyable in general. I love to read her stories characterized by her big heart and to see the vibrant art she shares online.
I love that Colleen wrote: “REMEMBER… don’t just describe the woman… we can all see her. Like all of us, this woman has a story. Write THAT poem….” I have been working on my ekphrastic poems, as well as syllabic, so this was a fun exercise. I chose to write a Reverse Cinquain. And, I’m sorry if this seems like a strange response, but all I could think about once I put myself into the woman herself is how uncomfortable I feel wearing this outfit. Then, my second thought was, but I sure feel beautiful (and I can’t wait to unhook my bra and the spanx and take off my shoes, etc.).
I maybe have shared when my poem “Waterland” was first published by Open: Journal of Arts and Letters. Then it became part of my new full-length collection Rooted and Winged. Today I’m really tickled that editor Christine Klocek-Lim has published it in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily.She expresses her thoughts about the poem at the end. I’m grateful for her enthusiasm for the poem.
This week’s prompt is to use synonyms for change and growth in a syllabic form. I decided to write a haibun because it’s a form I feel comfortable with. I like the expansive quality of the haibun. It’s a prose poem, followed by a haiku that sort of furthers the poem or comments upon what comes before. I prefer the prose portion to be aligned on both left and right sides, forming a box, but I don’t know how to do that on WordPress.
My inspiration was the hummingbird mother I reported on years ago on this blog and then two years ago it happened again that a hummingbird mother helped her more immature baby.
How to Mother
She builds an elastic nest of spiderwebs and leaves, twigs and lichen, so small and round it fits in a child’s palm. Then she lays two white eggs, the size of cannellini. All month she warms them with her tiny body and only whirs away to feed on nectar and then whir back again. When the babies burst through the shells in all their wet messy glory, she begins the rapid rhythmic constant search for food for their always open mouths. After the first one leaves the nest, she spends all afternoon with the other demonstrating how to fly. The metamorphosis from nesting to new flight is complete.
The mother directs life’s forward move, inspiring her babies to thrive.
Have you tried writing syllabic poetry for the #TankaTuesday prompt? If not, give it a try!