Our Sleeping Children
by Renee Emerson
He never hears them
though we sleep in the same
room, same bed, and my side being
the further side with the more narrow view
of the door, the light a pale avenue.
Listening to the terrible
murmurings of my imagination,
which comes for us nightly,
I hear small assurances
of living: turns, irregular
breathing, half-awake mumblings
But mostly the silence
of their separate
rooms, and how far
away from me they are now.
from Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014)
With my third book, Church Ladies, coming out this spring, I would like to share a few poems from my first two poetry collections, Keeping Me Still and Threshing Floor.
I’m going to focus on poems that were only published in the collections, so maybe didn’t get quite the chance to be read on their own so much, and likely publish one a month.
If you want to buy a copy of one of my books, I’ve got links in the menu under Books.
I remember once Louise Gluck being asked in an interview what she thinks now of some of her older books (I think she was asked about Meadowlands), and she replied “I thought they were good…at the time…”
(for the record: her books were good at the time and are good now!)
That answer always makes me laugh, and I think how true it is for a poet (or any artist). While I do look back and stand by both my books, of course as I’ve grown as a writer I tend to see things I would change now.
With my first book, I remember especially how hard I labored over every single word and line! Since then I’ve written better poems with much less effort (and much worse ones too, mind!), but I suppose that is just the nature of growing in a craft.
All that to say, I hope you enjoy the poems you read on the blog in the coming months!
(and if you want a signed copy of my book, drop me a line)
Two poems per month.
Like I like to say when I’m running, “That is just as fast as I go.”
Writing lately has been in what I like to think of as my “plodding along” pace.
It feels especially slow compared to the breakneck novel-writing marathon I did this summer, or when I’ve really hit a vein of inspiration (whether that is research I’m excited about, or heart-wrenching grief that makes me want to die).
I’ve also been journaling more, reading more, touching up my manuscript Church Ladies (forthcoming next spring!) and my middle grade novel (WSMMLTRAB for short. Maybe needs some title work…)(also forthcoming!).
The truth is life is really busy right now. I used to worry that I would give up on writing during times like this–that it would just drop off the to-do list and never claw it’s way back on. But I know now that it is too much of a part of me to drop away, even when I’ve thrown it to the ground and tried to shatter it.
So, two poems a month.
Better than none.