(From Within My Illusions)
There’s a voice inside my head
That says I’m wasting time,
That I’m supposed to follow a straight line
And not spread myself out all over the place,
That I stretch too far beyond my territory,
That I’m not behaving the right way,
That I could use more discipline.
The voice was loud this morning,
But I was louder as it scolded me
About all the things I had yet to complete.
“Just stop!” I proclaimed,
“I’m taking a walk.”
About a mile away from home,
I was thinking about a poem
When I was distracted
By my neighbor’s yard.
Don’t those flowers know
That they’re supposed to grow
Straight up from the ground
And not sideways through cracks in stone walls?
Perhaps someone ought to tame them back
Before beauty becomes unruly.
Last week, my friend Paul replied to my Sunday poetry email saying, “I love that you have events during the time of plague, elections, and Zoom.” Shortly after receiving the email, I went for a walk and put on a Spotify playlist that was made by a group of college friends. We made the playlist this summer as a way to stay connected in lieu of the reunion visit we were going to have. Three songs in, "1999" by Prince started playing. It took my back to December 31, 1999. Those same friends and I had gathered at my parents’ house in Lakeville, CT as we prepared for the world to end, or whatever Y2K would bring. We cooked (pasta, I'm sure), played one of those “How to Host a Mystery” party games, and danced until we couldn’t feel our feet. All the while we speculated about what would happen when the clock struck midnight.
Twenty-one years later (and being twenty-one years older), perhaps it is the ultimate act of hope for the future that I am offering Zoom performances and publishing a book of poetry. Perhaps it is my way of leaning into a sense of purpose during a time of great uncertainty. What I do know is that it brings me great joy to share my writing with those of you who enjoy reading and hearing it.
It is with this sense of joy that I offer my new book of poetry, Within My Illusions. It is a poignant moment for me. After months focused on editing, formatting, and designing the book, I’ve been sitting with the final, printed copy. Over the past week, I’ve taken it in little by little. As I did, it dawned on me that this book represents more than the writing conveys. Beyond each poem, lies a story, a relationship, a discovery, an unraveling, a revelation. The meaning each poem had when I wrote it was specific to me in that moment. Now I experience them through a different lens. And I know that as you as read, hear and receive the poems, they will take on new meaning, new expression, new life.
And so I invite you to explore with me, to let yourself experience the poems in your own unique way. And perhaps to share with me or with others what you discover.
Within My Illusions is available anywhere books are sold online. I love to support independent booksellers so would direct you to Bookwoman if you would like to do the same.
If you would like to receive a signed copy directly from me (either for yourself or as a gift), you can respond to this email and we can arrange that.
And if you prefer not to buy a book, I hope you continue to enjoy the poems I share freely in these emails.