Suzanne Cleary, Tracy K Smith, Webster Groves Missouri discussed on The Slowdown

The Slowdown
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

<music> i'm tracy k smith and this is a slow. Oh down every year our faculty members at the university where i teach must submit updated c._b.'s academic resumes detailing all of your publications in speaking engagements awards and contributions to the field over the span of a career your c._v. grows to become a long document document a running tab of everything you've ever managed to accomplish within your particular area of specialization but even the most most impressive. C._v. is only a partial portrait. Missing are all of the emotional markers that run through a life all the moments when something powerful was felt understood claimed or did i love today's poem summary of fifteen eighteen years by suzanne cleary precisely because it feels like an accurate roadmap to a full and varied life it doesn't and tell me what the poems speaker does for a living but it tells me whom she has loved and what she has drawn from the many memorable chapters of her life it tells me that she has endured heartbreak illness and loss and that she is awake to the ongoing adventure of of being alive grateful for the many different offerings her life hands her summary of fifteen years by suzanne cleary for m h i will tell the best and the worst paris five a._m. Mm-hmm trucks from the countryside men handing down crates women unpacking raspberries and pears my apartment in queens and on the window sill persimmon flesh like sunset softening growing sweet. I am in love with loneliness cleaness. A man who lives far away he plays the harmonica and is afraid of thunder. There is a black cotton dress <music>. How wearing it. I feel for the first time beautiful my first taste of plum wine my first serious live by. I scream alone in my car. I scream at the rain. There is pain in my back and x x rays pouring through my body like rain through a screen door in webster groves missouri. A photograph is taken. I wear a fur coat from the forties under a bank temperature sign one hundred four degrees. This is the year of trying too hard followed by the year of not caring one night. There is a lake invisible darkness not shining meaning until i touch it. There are is green dark brown. I step into to never fully return at some point. I begin to call strangers children honey. There is someone i love a hospital bed. A green stain gene on the pillowcase. A white dog runs out of the fog like part of the fog into my headlights. I clean out at my grandmother's house fine. My grandfather's skinny undershirts threadbare freshly washed then there. Is someone whispering into my ear again. After i had forgotten the feel of that then there is only the memory of it for their is imagined memory. Now there are gifts a silver pin. I wear on my coat a baretta that falls from my hair a man kneeling beside side me saying i want you to always remember this morning and there is what he does next. There is the loss loss of my mother's ring. There is seeing the hair on my father's chest is white and there is not knowing finally what call joy and what grief but wanting to tell it all in one breath so i will be here and you <hes> <music>. The slowdown is a production of american public media in partnership with the poetry foundation.

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