The very first Combat Paper/Warrior Writers post-workshop performance and exhibit of 2017 (in the DC Metro Area anyway) is coming up! Friday April 7th at 7 pm at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia. 9801 Ox Rd, Building W-16. I hope I see you there. (Especially you, Deeanna–we’d all love to see you!!!)
In the second grade I played the month of April in the class play. April had decided not to cry and all the other months were really concerned about how that would affect them and so they conspired to give her pearls that were actually onions so she would cry. Then I got to hold an umbrella while a watering can was emptied over me INSIDE the school. That was the very best part. Not sure why that occurs to me, but I’m writing this whole new blog post because I want to save the one I wrote for next week to give you more time to keep writing the daily six sensory memories each day, because that prompt sort of relies on that.
Sometimes we have to be hard or demanding, even in a beloved community for the sake of something larger or for the sake of everyone. But you still feel bad when you unglove your anger, you still feel it in your heartbeat and skin. The thing with anger is that the hangover is shit. And if you’ve been committed to regulating your emotions in a careful way, it feels particularly like a failure. A few weeks ago I had a cubicle monster confrontation that didn’t leave me feeling particularly good about myself. I mean, it’s a funny story in retrospect, and I also wouldn’t have done it differently if I had to do it again, but that’s not who I want to be. It happens at home too, with certain kids who are quickly becoming physically larger than me but need to be reminded that even when you’re a hundred years old, I’ll be a hundred and nineteen. (Literally a quote from our household yesterday. It was necessary/I hated it) So the poem this week is perfect. “Archival Footage of a Necessary Outburst.”
This line kills me: Tell me about your own defiance/while I stand here bleeding in my pants. Fuck yes!!!
Our opening line is: “It’s hard to know what lives/in my hands when I’m not paying/attention to who I claim to be.” oof.
Archival Footage of a Necessary Outburst
by Anne Cecelia Holmes
It’s hard to know what lives
in my hands when I’m not paying
attention to who I claim to be.
I never said I wanted any of your
swagger because I don’t. You have
the nerve to hold a morning glory
to my face and tell me to breathe in
as if my senses need permission.
Perhaps I am being unreasonably
defiant but that is my victory today.
Tell me about your own defiance
while I stand here bleeding in my pants.
That is another victory I can claim
and I will. I worry I am living
perpetually in corpse pose—
did I deep sleep inside
the moment or miss it hook
and line? How do you feel
unfetishized and embalmed
by your bloodline? It is a privilege
to have a name at all. I build
a temperate zone around you
just to watch how two belts
of latitude rip you apart.
I got some awesome emails this week from people I am so grateful to have been able to reach through my work, both literary and in the world. One such message came from a woman who had been in a writing class with me and was inspired to challenge herself to daily writing on a blog of her own. Check it out.
And last week I had the really really great honor of being interviewed by the legendary poet and educator E. Ethelbert Miller, who asked me some really great/tough/fun questions. I was blown away by how carefully he had read my book. You can hear that here, you have to click on the 3/30/17 podcast.