Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Why I E-Subscribe to The Writer's Almanac

The Writer's Almanac is produced by Prairie Home Productions and presented by American Public Media. Each morning, I open my email and read a poem and several brief literary birthday announcements, or literary milestones. I like cutting and pasting a literary birthday each day on my Facebook page. Some people think I'm smart and just know all this stuff. Most people have my number.

Yesterday, I started my day with a poem called "Story," by Sabine Miller. It really affected me, maybe because I haven't felt motivated to write lately. Or maybe because I'm hosting Virginia Arts & Letters LIVE with Pat Carroll this Friday, and I have stories on the brain. Or it could be because I'm tired of watching the news and am starting to understand why people watch more comedies as they age. (True fact that I made up.)

Tonight, I'm receiving an award for "excellence in the arts" in the category of Words, along with twelve other artists in their artistic field. The Theresa Pollak Award recognizes my first novel, Ashes to Water, and my play, Full Plate Collection, both of "came out" this year. I'm really proud of this honor. Knowing my words touched some people is a wonderful feeling. It's why writers write. It's why this poem is so good.

Whatever the reason, this poem hit me just right, and I wanted to share it. BTW, you can subscribe to The Writer's Almanac, too. Or you can hear Garrison Kielor read the Poem of the Day at 6:00 am EST on your local NPR station.

That is all.

by Sabine Miller

Tell me the one
about the sick girl —
not terminally ill, just years in bed
with this mysterious fever —
who hires a man
to murder her — you know,
so the family is spared
the blight of a suicide —
and the man comes
in the night, a strong man,
and nothing is spoken
—he takes the pillow
to her face — tell me
how he is haunted the rest
of his life — did he
or didn't he
do the right thing — tell me
how he is forgiven,
and marries, and has
2 daughters, and is happy —
no, tell me she doesn't
die, but is cured and
gives her life to God,
and becomes a hand-holder for
men on death row —
tell me the one where the man
falls in love with the girl
and can't do it, or
the girl falls in love
with a dog and calls
the man to tell him
not to come, or
how each sees their pain
mirrored in the other's eyes —
tell me how everyone is already
forgiven every story
they ever told themselves
about living
or not living —
tell me, oh tell me
the one where love wins, again
and again                and again.

"Story" by Sabine Miller, from Circumference of Mercy. © Mountains and Rivers Press, 2010. Reprinted with permission.


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