Thursday, July 19, 2007


Fred Joiner runs one of the most meaningful reading series in the city. It reminded me of readings in college---either the Wick readings or the ones at the Brady. This is when poetry was really about connecting with people and the world around you. It didn't matter where you came from, we all have that same well inside us. Last night was a reminder of why I write. I remember when Katherine wrote in a poem of hers back in college: "Maj has taught us to address things by name" and so let me say here, Sarah and Jehanne, to read with you was honoring and inspiring---I was so awed by both of your readings and so nervous to go up after you. Fred, the space and the environment that you are creating is already blooming. Last night reminded me that poetry was about life and embracing everything---the children, the struggles, the deaths, the music, the loves, and the language, each other.

I woke up with a poem this morning!

After the Reading

Anacostia sounds like
a Russian shtetl,
same beginning, same vowel
opening, ana, delicate
lace of streets, handiwork
of dreams as we writers
gather on good hope
road, mid-summer
DC cries Ana, the woman
I could be or the one
I won't be, or the one
I want to be.

Anacostia is my mother's
hand on my forehead
or the slips in her drawer
and trying them on
when she's not there.
Anacostia is lifting
what belongs to you
to your face and closing
your eyes.

What is the bridge between
hearing and understanding,
the difference between sympathy
and empathy? Ana, ana, a, a,
pastel blue, pink and
bone in my hand.


Sarah Browning said...

Thank you, Carly. It was an immense pleasure and honor to read with you!

Sarah Browning said...

Oh AND - what a gorgeous poem. Stunning!

carly said...

thanks so much---i've started reading your book and am awed and stunned. i'm so glad i know you!!


Carly, thank you so much for the kind words and for being a part of the series, please come back whenever you like.
After the Reading is amazing! thank you. thank you. thank you.

carly said...

I will totally be back---really want to put together a reading when the anthology comes out!

Alan said...


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