I’m taking a break from the ABC’s of poetry to take you to a room. On Saturday at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Valentine Pierce, a performance poet from New Orleans, presented a workshop for Acadiana Wordlab. She is a force in a room. She performed a few of her poems and had me rapping out the beats of my words as I tapped the pen to the page. For one of her prompts, she asked us to write about the room we were in. When I first walked into the room, Clare and three other women were wearing red. I commented, “I didn’t get the memo to wear red.” And then Clare introduced Valentine. So thus began my poem about the room.
This Room is for Writing
I did not wear red today
to honor sweet Valentine.
I am wearing green
like the peridot of my birthstone.
I didn’t expect to give birth today
here in this blood-red chair
that pushes back on my shoulder slump.
Sit up, girl, and write a poem!
Shout it out like the rockets
speeding off the racetrack of the wall.
Lay your life down on the black boardroom table.
Place your heart on the frosted glass.
No one will mind if you cry a little.
They are crying, too,
for their children, their crazy aunts,
and for that empty beige wall
waiting for someone’s art
splattered in paint,
dripping down to the carpet
under our rock hard feet.
We stand sure;
All of us together
know that I will not be shamed
for not wearing red.
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved
Please check the progress of the Progressive Poem in the right bar. I am coming up in 2 days!
The Writing Process Blog Tour continues with Clare Martin at Orphans of Dark and Rain.