Home > Mutating the Signature > Dear Seven: A Circle of Epistles (1)

Dear Seven: A Circle of Epistles (1)

January 26, 2009

Part 1 in a series of 7

Dear Mike,

a man walks into a bar and finds a good view.

How are you?

his words rest heavy on the table.

I feel self-conscious as if I’m thinking this under a bright light.

he wonders how the light found parking on such a dark night.

Right now it’s pouring rain, really pouring, rolling thunder and crashes of lightning which feels out of place for November. I just got back from an appointment with my acupuncturist. While I was on the table I thought about this poem. How awkward it felt until joy broke through and I realized I could use your help lifting heavy things. A man! Between you and me, lately I have been tiring of being a strong woman. Strong like a man and strong like a woman. Chopping wood. Carrying water. Shopping for candles. Working to feed the babies and the wife. She’s starting her own business you know.

he’s been saying this for years.

Thunder and lightning are shaking the house at this moment. The animals are jumpy but I am sitting in the window writing this and enjoying myself very much. Have you ever noticed I have large hands? I prefer to keep them empty but it’s been a struggle these past few months. I want to fill them with air I have brought back from our land in Wisconsin. Did I tell you I am a landowner? Maybe that’s why I crave mud. The color. The smell. The weight. My acupuncturist said it’s understandable why some women want to eat dirt and I wish I had a big plate of it because I can taste the rich earth and I can feel my bones getting stronger. I can feel everything about me lengthening into the ground.

What do men crave?



by cin salach

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Process notes

The authors are, in order: cin salach, Mike Puican, Alice George, Mary Hawley, Cecilia Pinto, Chris Green, and Eileen Favorite. They write:
We — the seven poets whose work will appear here under the title of “Dear Seven: A Circle of Epistles” — have been meeting regularly for two years to challenge ourselves in the writing of forms and various other poetic adventures. Each month a new form or project is proposed; the following month we share our efforts. The resulting work offers us a chance to compare and contrast how we each approach each month’s “assignment.” The creation of “Dear Seven” was a defining moment for the group as we adapted the collaborative surrealist concept of “Exquisite Corpse” to the epistolary form. Over a month, a chain of letters was created, in which each poet only saw the letter they received, and the one they created in response. Then we assembled and read them in order, enjoying the surprising echoes and themes which emerged.

  1. January 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    What a great poem! The group sounds like a very rich and productive team of writers. Wonderful process, interesting form you have chosen.

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