the poetry MFA (or what can be ridiculous and still worthwhile)

at least half the nights now, the sun takes her heat with her when she goes, a sure sign that it is late august. we’re closing in on fall, and the most sensitive leaves are turning color already. with fall comes the beginning of school — the chaos of homework and sports schedules, the thick clumsiness of early morning, meals on the run. this fall, it’s not just the boys who are heading back to school. i’ve finally taken the plunge into an MFA program.

word on the street #3: she’s a poet

a warm august evening on willett street. one of my neighbors asks what i’m reading. before i can answer, his partner tells him, she’s not reading. she’s writing. she’s a poet. i tilt my head as far back as it goes and admire the crooked line against the sky made by roofs of the brownstones and the church on the corner. it is the border between the positive and negative spaces. a metaphor, if ever there were one.

following natalie into the room

i don’t remember my own grief very well. i’m not sure i’ve done much of it at all. nothing that has a narrative, for sure, like these memoirs seem to. and i can’t really access it: what was i doing while she was sick? what was i thinking about? who was around me? how did i feel when … and yet cheryl and natalie nail it. it makes me think of how incredibly important it is to tell the stories we can tell.

poem about being a tourist in your own city

as one of the “women poets of willett street,” i featured at poets in the park last night. this 4- or 5-part series (saturdays in july) is one of my favorite local poetry events. and now, since i live on washington park, it’s a few steps from my door. though i read other work, i focused my reading on poems set in downtown albany, including a couple new ones, like the one below. i wrote it after the boys and i decided to be tourists in our own city, and so we booked a tour with the albany aquaducks on the company’s final weekend of doing business locally.