Wednesday, March 28

A New Day

I attended a poetry writing workshop uptown today. A room full of teachers acting as students for a unit of poetry lessons. Supposed to test them out on our students. Pretty straightforward ways of going about writing poetry. Lots of worksheets. Not quite the same as looking out your window and being inspired to write all day, but it'll do.
It was so nice be free of my classroom/school on such a pretty day, and to go sit in a room with other teachers and write poetry. For lunch, another teacher and I went down the block to Havana Central (which was appropriate - I'll get to that) where I had a tall glass of mojito with a the most fragrant mint leaves and a big chunk of azúcar de caño spilling out of it. When we returned to the second half of the workshop, I was tipsy and began making eyes with this handsome man all the way across the conference hall, who was totally enjoying the attention. Anyway, I produced two poems which I feel like sharing.
The first one is the result of the lesson about the "Self-Portrait Poem":

I am
midsummer in Little Havana
quiet, warmed
ready to settle down
for just a while

I am the sudden sunshower,
giving you
small inconveniences with pretty results
a rainbow before you can complain

I am
sweet plantains fried in ginger
sweet spice on the tongue

Storing moments of common
despair and secret beauty
I am like the tourists’ old cameras

I am the dusty salsa, old school, still fresh
seeping out the windows of the
dancehall on the corner
coaxing out your freest expressions

and then there was this one, for the "Memory Poem":

Underneath the trees, sunlight spotted
Me rocked by the breeze, all I heard
Were soft sounds of summer
Low squeaks of the hammock
The rustle of leaves
My sighs
And ice cubes in the water glass

Unworried, a little lazy,
Asleep amidst the scent of ripe mango

Mangoes have been a staple of my writing (moreso than my diet) for ten years. I had a love-hate relationships with them when I was little, but they are necessary these days, up here, and they permeate all my memories about Miami.
It was a lovely day. The sun was shining, my apartment was so warm I've got the windows open! I think I'm about to cop this. Two more days til a long break and hopefully the weather won't disappoint.


Anonymous said...

such a poet! i still dislike mangoes...too many summer days full of rotting mango scent. your poetry is inspiring, and so is this weather! can't wait for 10 free free free days!

ahnka said...

Aw.. thanks Joy!