This week I am spending a week in Gambier Ohio (population 600 people and 29 bicycles) at Beyond Walls: Spiritual Writing at Kenyon College, also affectionately known by its participants as Writing Camp. I’m sleeping in a top bunk bed, although, to be fair, it has no bottom. The bottom bunks are all in another dorm. We eat delicious food that has been prepared for us and are in groups that go do different
counselors teachers each day who impart knowledge and inspire discussion and give delicious writing prompts. I am exhausted and exhilarated. It’s exactly where I need to be. I’m sure at some point there will be s’mores.
One of the highlights for me has been hearing Marie Howe read from her poetry. I had read her work before, but to hear it in her own voice, I laughed in places I couldn’t have imagined and found my eyes full of tears more than once. Her daughter called in the middle of her reading–and she answered it. It was one of my favorite moments, because she was so real.
But most of all, she led a Master Class, which was terrifying and funny and exciting and new. This is what I wrote (and read. Out loud! In front of people, y’all!)
I heard the wail of sirens
round and round
like carousel horses
one goes up as another comes down
I can not remember his beard
or his hair, his face
is clear enough
The Scottish Wool blanket I hid beneath
Bad Jesus TV through the screen
He would always find me.
The blanket is lost.
I don’t know where to find it.