Of apples, poetry and Google Glass

Because today was National Poetry Day, I decided to pick the apples off our crab apple trees. Standing in the yard, my arms raised overhead as I plucked one fragrant apple after another, I thought of ancient women standing in fields, their arms raised to the heavens in grief and triumphant.

apples

I had Richard Siken’s Scheherazade poem on my tongue as I picked. It tasted of apples. I lingered it around inside my mouth: “and the days/were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple/to slice into pieces.”

Oh, Jesus, how that poem dissolves me. It turns me to mush. My veins melt inside my blood. Scheherazade carries an odd yet seductive cadence, and often when I run I find myself reciting lines over and over in time with my heartbeat and breath.

When I lived down in Seward and ran the Lost Lake Trail, there was a spot in the middle of the steep and brutal uphill climb where I always found words from the ending of the poem singing inside my head: “That means it’s noon, that means/we’re inconsolable.”

LostLake1
Winding through the valley, Lost Lake Trail, Seward, Alaska.

I no longer live in Seward and rarely run the Lost Lake Trail, and sometimes when I’m feeling homesick for the places I’ll never return, I wonder if the shadow of our formers selves haunt the houses where we once lived, if the essence of our happiness and longings float through the night air, mixing inside the dreams of the people who live there now.

I wanted to include Scheherazade here but it incorporates a lot of odd formatting and white space, which wordpress converts to standard text, thus ruining the grace and cadence. But you can read it here on the Yale University Press Website .

News: I’m still swooning: Margaret Atwood, my very favorite writer, talks with the Harvard Crimson about her latest work, sexism and language in “Fifteen Questions With Margaret Atwood.”

More news: Check this out, it is so cool. YA writer, editor and copywriter Margo Rowder has been sampling Google Glass, those glasses that deliver a futuristic punch. Read her accounts of hands-free photographing, videoing and GPSing on her blog, Margoblog.

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