Linda Ferguson, Rainer Maria Rilke

In which Carrie works on her identity . . .


This is the week for writing practice, vocabulary building, study and worship.  I have before me two slim books to help.  One belongs to a friend, the other to someone I might have had as a friend.  Rilke speaks to me as one in his Letters to a Young Poet.  There are nine total.  I will read one or two a day as advice on ways to approach poetry.

Linda has seventeen poems in her chapbook, Baila Conmigo.  One poem has this title.  Others are “Mama Gets Some Road Rage,” “The Speacialists,” and a particular favorite, “Dancing to Mendelssohn’s ‘Venetian Gondola.'”  Her poems here, unlike the ones she shared during the time I took a writing workshop from her, are more elusive and sharp.  I get the feeling the poet has given her all here, not holding back from her reader’s probable judgment, and the fact of that is inspiring.  We all want to cut loose sometimes, like a child at an outdoor fountain on a blistering summer day.  I’d like to do that myself.

So I leave for a week armed with these two friends and a vow to say “I love you” thirty times a day to mirrors I happen upon.  I plan to read one or two from each book every day while I, with aggressive love, cut loose from an old set of debasing practices.  I will write, and create something I like.

Perhaps by Wednesday or Thursday I will know more and care more about what is vital in me.


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