Poetry is My New Thing

Back in September (2020), our chapter of Maryland Writers’ Association held its second annual open mic at the open-air Sky Stage in Frederick, MD. In 2019, I’d read from children’s manuscripts I’d been working on. This year, about a week or two before open mic, I was still struggling with what to read. I decided I wanted to try my hand at poetry. I then struggled with something to write.

I tried to write a true #metoo-category poem, but it just wasn’t happening. I tried to write a poem about the fear of memory loss, but that just wasn’t happening (I have to note, though, that fellow writer Rod Deacey performed one poem about Dementia and I was like OMG!). Then I tried to write about the things that school never taught me. That one stuck, and I produced “Suburban Lies.” It went well, for my first poetry reading ever. I submitted the poem to Pen-in-Hand and it was accepted, published in January 2020.

Then I began work on another poem, “Capitol Offense,” about the Insurrection. I recently read it at a virtual open mic and it was well-received. I’m tweaking it for submission now.

Meanwhile, friend and spoken word poet Patti Ross (who has a chapbook coming out soon(!!) and hosts First Fridays, the open mic where I’d read “Capitol Offense”) asked if I had anything to submit to Berks Bards, which is doing their Bard Fest online this year. The submission had to be under one minute. “Capitol Offense” was just over two minutes, so that wasn’t happening. I decided to revisit the #metoo poem and I produced “The Sauerkraut Song,” which was accepted. I’m on pins and needles waiting for it to be up online in April!

So now, like I said, I’m tweaking “Capitol Offense” for submission. I’m also working on more social justice spoken word poetry. I kinda love it. It combines my passion for words, my anger about social justice, and my love of wordplay. There’s so much more leeway and control over spoken word than when I write children’s manuscripts in rhyme. So for now, while working on a manuscript (Adult nonfiction mixed with the vignettes of a well-meaning Liberal), I’m going to be working on poetry!

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