Storms passed through North Aurora early Saturday morning and my little dog Schatzi was fit to be tied. I wrapped her in a thunder shirt, lay down on the sofa beside her, and stroked her neck until dawn. As a result, I was too tired to attend my Saturday morning Early Riser get-together at the Limestone Café in Batavia.
I hated to miss that gathering of friends, who are also connected to the writing world. Energy is high–creative people bonding at the top of the day. We support each other in our artistic endeavors. My new book, Where the River Runs Deep (WTRRD), is dedicated to the Early Risers.
Open Sky Poets met in the afternoon. Six or seven of us get together every two weeks or so to read our work, receive critiques, and good advice.
In WTRRD, character Amen Hotep Jones is a poet and since I created him, it is, of course, I, who wrote his poems. I tried to find a voice for him, separate from my own. Whether or not I was successful has yet to be determined. Amen was African American, grew up in the Carolina swampland, and ended up in an Illinois prison. The following, part of “The Astarte Poems,” are his:
I saw you laying in a box
A dove sitting on your head,
Your breasts peaked like stiff egg whites.
I behold you, woman of clay.
Your laughter is an aria of joy.
Be the sonar of love
where the river is deep.
Wake us all.
Wake us all.
Velvet skin, like a hound’s ear.
During the night, did the honey bees sting your lips?
Did you comb the night into your hair?
And is the moon your tiara?
My sweet puppy, BoPeep, is part hound. And I was probably thinking of her with Amen’s mind when I wrote the first line. I can see BoPeep, ever watchful for rabbits, running along beside him on the banks of the Orchy River.