Welcome to where I am, where my kitchen's always messy, a pot's (or a poet) always about to boil over, a dog is always begging to be fed. Drafts of poems on the counter. Windows filled with leaves. Wind. Clouds moving over the mountains. If you like poetry, books, and music--especially dog howls when a siren unwinds down the hill-- you'll like it here.


MY NEW AUTHOR'S SITE, KATHRYNSTRIPLINGBYER.COM, THAT I MYSELF SET UP THROUGH WEEBLY.COM, IS NOW UP. I HAD FUN CREATING THIS SITE AND WOULD RECOMMEND WEEBLY.COM TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN SETTING UP A WEBSITE. I INVITE YOU TO VISIT MY NEW SITE TO KEEP UP WITH EVENTS RELATED TO MY NEW BOOK.


MY NC POET LAUREATE BLOG, MY LAUREATE'S LASSO, WILL REMAIN UP AS AN ARCHIVE OF NC POETS, GRADES K-INFINITY! I INVITE YOU TO VISIT WHEN YOU FEEL THE NEED TO READ SOME GOOD POEMS.

VISIT MY NEW BLOG, MOUNTAIN WOMAN, WHERE YOU WILL FIND UPDATES ON WHAT'S HAPPENING IN MY KITCHEN, IN THE ENVIRONMENT, IN MY IMAGINATION, IN MY GARDEN, AND AMONG MY MOUNTAIN WOMEN FRIENDS.




Friday, July 10, 2009

Lunch With Harold and Jane


Yesterday we had lunch at Spring Street Cafe in Sylva with Harold and Jane Schiffman, who spend summer and fall in their mountaintop home in Robbinsville. Harold has set my Alma poems to music in a cantata titled Alma (see sidebar with cd cover and link to Harold's website) and last year premiered in New York City a song cycle for soprano and piano based on my "Blood Mountain" sequence from Black Shawl. He also composed cello music for the cd of Wake that Spring Street Editions released several years ago.




He's interested in seeing new poems, hoping he hears music rising out of them. I'm hoping so, too. Here is one of the new poems I gave him, in the chapbook Lit by Language, published for this year's Asheville Wordfest. The theme? Azaleas. (If you would like to order a copy of this chapbook, please contact Laura Hope-Gill at laurahopegill@aol.com)






RAPT

for Chris, former student

“Nothing exists I can’t azalea with a glass of water.
Should there be a three month grace azalea for sex?...
I blow smoke at the azalea and write
letters to imaginary lovers, azaleas. "

C.S. Carrier, from Azalea

I too love how azalea
seduces me,
makes me want more of her
coming out, debutante
no matter how many years

she has been resurrected
from mulch. What azalea desires
I can’t fathom, other
than just enough water
to suck, enough
humus to snuggle her roots
into. So, let azalea be,
kindling again atop Gregory Bald.

In the valleys’ front yards,
let her bloom white as doilies,
or Barbie-doll pink.
Let her dare to bloom gypsy magenta.
Don’t make her sell perfume
& cheap whiskey, or be a verb
curing heartburn or hangover.

Azalea bloomed overtime
in my hometown. Sure,
I took her for granted,
but that was before I climbed
Gregory Ridge and
beheld her as flame into
which I could disappear,
turning to ash on the wind.

When azalea blooms now
in our mountains, I dream
about vanishing into her
small throat, my poem
like a proboscis
listening,
listening,
rapt in the sound of azalea.





5 comments:

merrilymarylee said...

To be set to music by Harold Schiffman! How perfectly wonderful and how very deserving, Kathryn!

Oh, I do love Sylva!

sjr said...

what an inspiring cross-time collaboration with c.s. carrier's words...i almost remember the lines of his name poem enough to lament that i don't remember more!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful poetry. Harold and Jane live in a beautiful part of the world. Have a nice trip and we'll see you on your return.

I've been on holiday for a couple of weeks without internet access and I've missed everyone. It's nice to be back.
Sam

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Kay,
I hope you have a nice trip. It's great to have your poetry set to music. I know it's beautiful. I liked your poem.

Julie said...

Beautiful poem!!