Monday, September 21, 2015

Going through an Old Address Book

Copying An Old Address Book

B: Joyce Blackwell who worked as a bouncer and fell in love with the bartender. She sent her a dozen roses with a card from anonymous.Joyce lived in one room in a hotel where the ceiling cracks dropped chips onto her bed. I met her at a writing conference and loved the way she chose her words and spoke her truth. I wrote to her for months until she moved to San Francisco. One day she grew too tired to continue and my letters were returned.

C: Miriam C. who lived in a world where reality and fantasy had soft boundaries. We hiked parts of the Appalachian Trail while she told stories about trails she had hiked all over the world. Once she called me at 3:00am to talk about cows.

G: Holly G: whose partner of fifteen years fell down the stairs and hit her head. Because Holly wasn't family she couldn't give permission for the doctors to operate. The hospital contacted her partner's brother After she died Holly became an advocate for equal rights.

H: My cousin Bobby H. who never forgave the family for not attending the funeral of her son who died of AIDS. " He used a bad needle." He converted to a church offering healing services that gave him hope and grace. Bobby died of a cancer that spread throughout her body.

L: Linda L. Who flew in from Rome to attend the Feminist Women's Writing conference in upstate New York. She taught English to Italians. We went swimming in a lake and swam until the sun dropped into the water.

M: Lynn M. who wrote poems on napkins and then read them at poetry readings when they appeared in journals. She lived in Vermont and wrote poems about the earth and about women " straining to be authentic." I remember the slab of bacon she cooked over an open fire.

P: Melanie P. who worked in New York City. She fell in love with a woman from Utah who owned a cattle ranch in the shadow of Bryce Canyon. Within months she moved from the city to the land of canyons and wrote poetry tinged with the dust of the red rocks.

T: Deborah T. Who published a chapbook of my poems on cream color paper.

W: Leslie W. who traveled to Somerville from Louisiana. She couldn't stand the cold and after one winter went back south even though she fell in love with Cambridge's folk scene.

Z: Irene Z. who owned a bookstore in Ithaca, New York where she sold coffee mugs that said, So Many Books and So Little Time.

I can't forget the woman who wove baskets from wood splints she prepared or the woman I knew who had a story accepted by a prestigious journal. Her talent disappeared in a bottle.

And then there were names and phone numbers of people whose stores have dimmed or disappeared.


Post a Comment

<< Home