|Anne Coray will be giving a free Reading and Craft Talk tonight|
Back in the day, one way to qualify as a “real Alaskan” was to get behind the wheel at 7:20 on a minus 30 winter morning and squint out through a 2-inch peephole that you’d hastily cleared with your ice scraper because you were A. twenty minutes late for work and B. convinced there was no other traffic on your subdivision road. Yes, I admit, I was one of the guilty.
I heard on the news the other day they’ve outlawed that now. As they should. It’s dangerous.
But thinking back to that time when I lived on the road system, I see that my questionable behavior had some parallels with writing. At least the way I write.
Operating at first by intuition, I had a sense of where I was going, even if I couldn’t see it clearly. And then, and then … with the engine slowly warming and the defrost cranked on high, the peephole grew transparent, and the edges softened. Soon I had a head-sized circle to peer through, and I knew that by the time I was on the highway my vision would be 360 degrees clear and I would reach my destination without a catastrophe.
As a poet I don’t rush and I don’t punch a time clock, but some of my poems may appear to others as if written through an obscured lens. Writers of all genres can be accused of having a thing for opacity, but often there are scientific, historical or literary references woven in to a piece that aren’t as undecipherable as the reader might first think.
On Monday, March 4, I’ll be giving a craft talk titled "The Poem Within" at the Great Harvest Bread Company from 7 to 8:30 pm. I’ll read a few poems, sharing insights into their creation and talk about my newest challenge, the novel. Please come and join me. Be aware, drive safely, have vision. See you there.