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.




Showing posts with label Red Room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Room. Show all posts

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Poetic Passion? Let Me Clean Up the Dog Barf First




This riff was prompted by a Red Room request for writers to blog about their obsessions.



Writers are supposed to be obsessed. Obsessed with words. Images. Dreams. The brush of silky wind across their inner arms, their thighs. The last light on leaves. The pokeberries hanging from their brances out side my window, pendants ripe for the picking, beckoning to be put in a poem about late summer in the South.




But first I have to clean up the barf one of my four dogs just left at my feet. It happened while I was talking to my mother on the phone, reassuring her that I'm still alive, and will remain so, even though my husband will be gone for another night of looking after his ill father. My mother is obsessed with my safety. I am obsessed with all the dog fur that has gathered on my carpet over the last 24 hours.

I barely have time to look out the window at the pokeberries or the morning-glories. I am busy cleaning up after dogs. And when I'm not, I'm cleaning up after making sauerkraut, pickling beets and cucumbers, stewing tomatoes, canning jams. Or pulling weeds. My writer's hands? Dirt under the fingernails. When I reach for a ball-point, it's to write another reminder on my to-do list.






My house smells of dogs, vinegar, and cabbage. My bedroom is littered with recipes. My garden calls me out each morning to see what damage my rampaging dog-pack has wrought. I spend my day obsessing over what else I can save from rot and decay, the tomatoes leaking all over the counter. The peaches growing soggy as beer-soaked sponges. I want to save every last cabbage leaf, every plume of chard, every spike of okra. It's August in the rural South. Isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing? Seizing the day, like any time-obsessed poet? Stroking butternuts like words. Chewing on Red Russian Kale as if it's my best poem.

At night I search Pet-Finder online for dogs to save. I don't need any more. Neither does my garden. But a poet can always dream, can't she?