NaPoWriMo #1: City Woman

Last year I was able to come up with 30 poems in 30 days for National Poetry Month. Like the year before it was a great exercise in producing new work, staying focused on one project and still getting on with the rest of my life.

I’ll be going for the 30/30 again but this time I’ll split it up into a couple of different projects
– new poems from my Berkeley City College writing assignments
– continuing last year’s Urban Relación series (previously known as Anything to Declare) which went from poem #26 to poem #32 in the last day of April 2009. It’s going to be interesting to come up with the five missing poems
– putting Urban Relación into a chapbook which I intend to bring with me to NYC for the upcoming Acentos Festival
continuing to beef up Anywhere Avenue and see if I can add more music, faces and women to my current ms

The last point has become apparent to me when reading through my work.  It’s heavily populated by men and the few women who do appear are very sanctified, converted to mother figure in the city and subsequently glorified.  This probably comes from my affection to my own mother who passed away when I was young and my protectiveness towards my two sisters and teenage niece.  All fine and good emotions but as I was reminded by my VONA Poetry Collection Workshop: “If you’re writing about Anywhere Avenue, then we need to see more of a variety of people in your work.”  Here’s my first attempt to diversify the population in my work.

One more piece of background:  At my poetry class last week, one of my fellow students did a presentation on Anne Waldman’s “Fast Speaking Woman.” As part of the exercise, we all took turns reading stanzas from the poem, in effect, demonstrating the power of oral poetry and its transformative effects for an individual and group.  Our takeaway exercise was to write a poem based on a random line from “Fast Speaking Woman.”  Instead of torturing myself over which line to pick, I asked Barb to pick one out for me, and she chose “woman was in the world was walking”

Here goes the poem and, as always, comments and critique are always welcome.

City Woman

woman was in the world was walking
– Anne Waldman, “Fast Speaking Woman”

[Poem was here.]

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