I just returned home from the AWP conference in Chicago, and, boy, is my brain tired. Three days of readings, panels, networking, book fair shopping, talking to editors, and meeting some of my virtual poetry pals in the flesh. The conference was both invigorating and demoralizing. The sheer number of writers and books in the world makes me have to re-commit to the process of writing because it is a part of me. Otherwise, I would be ready to fill my proverbial writing pockets with stones and wade straight into the lake. Many writers/editors I met were open and kind and encouraging and even complimentary about my work, while many others were aloof and self-aggrandizing and treated me like an outsider. I chose to focus on the kind people. So, instead of a poem today, I will offer a few really wonderful lines and phrases I gleaned from some of the readings I went to this weekend. If you want to write, try using one of them as a title or epigraph for a new piece of your own.
Robyn Schiff – “A power tool called will/You turn it on by saying no.”
Eduardo C. Corral – “Brutal skin, fictitious marrow”
Tim Siebles – “My name was smoke in her mouth.”
Daniel Khalastchi – “full catastrophe living”