September was quite a busy (insane!) month for me, and I didn’t have a moment to breathe, let alone blog. School started, my husband started a new job, we all were sick with a stomach flu for a week (the first week of new job/school), and my little guy turned one years old!
And in the midst of all this, my second book of poems arrived on my doorstep!
It’s called Morph and Bloom, and I wrote it during the first five years of my older son’s life. It’s hard to boil down poetry in just a sentence or two, but I would say that the book’s main theme is new motherhood. There’s also sex, love, marriage, childhood, loss, identity, etc. And there are certainly poems in it about breastfeeding, including toddler nursing, bigger kid nursing, and weaning. Again, it’s hard to generalize, and to me, poems exist on a different plane than most writing, where there isn’t really one thing a poem is about, and certainly an entire book of poems. A good poem will move you with its language, its nuance, its sensuality, its darkness, its light.
I know some people think reading poetry is difficult and impenetrable. I think it really depends on the poem and on you! If you’re open, if you find a voice, or a texture, or a music that moves you, then you’ve gotten it! I write narrative/lyrical poems, so although there might be aspects of them that are hard to “get,” I think they speak in pretty clear words.
Here is a poem from the book. It’s called “His First Week” and first appeared in No Tell Motel, and in the anthology, Mamas and Papas: On the Sublime and Heartbreaking Art of Parenting.
His First Week I feared the blood on the sheet, the knifey zap of letdown, the choking spray of milk. Each time he fell asleep, his death. And when he wouldn’t sleep, his gray, feral eyes. My face: puffy, swollen, as though I’d suckled at the amnion, drowned in the birth pool. And what if I did die, what if he had no mother, no milk. What if we never slept again, and the world became dream and the dream became world. I feared the world, the polar ice caps melting, my son never knowing winter, his life an endless summer, his lungs, his skin, the boy who had grown in my body black and burning. It was winter and the bedroom was shot with bourbon light. I folded him up in a blanket and carried him through the apartment. This is it, I told him, the sink gleaming with dishes, my old clothes in twisted heaps on the floor.
If you’d like to read more poems from the book, here are a bunch of links to poems online. And if you’d like to buy the book, you can order a signed copy here, or order from Amazon. I am always happy to answer any questions about the book that you may have.
And just for fun, I am doing a GIVEAWAY of the book this week! Anyone who leaves a comment on this post (any comment you wish) by next Friday, October 11th, will have a chance to win. I will randomly select a winner on Saturday, October 12th, and will announce it here. The book will be mailed to you and signed by me.