Thursday, January 27, 2011

This Cigarette Pinched Between Her Lips and Others Things

Spoke with a friend of mine yesterday about a poem he wrote years ago. I remembered the poem because it won an award, but I didn't remember the actual poem itself.

What I didn't know was that he wrote the poem after running across an old photograph of a young girl in a sun dress and pigtails and all that but with one glaring strangeness. The little girl had this cigarette pinched between her lips.

This detail took hold of his imagination, he said. And more eloquently, and in his own words, he said this about how the poem itself came to be: "It was like it was already a poem. It was a poem I needed to write a poem about." I love that.

Just finished watching the HBO series DEADWOOD. I thought it was fantastic. An ensemble cast with fast and smart dialogue that ranged from the profane to the lyrical, and a storyline that would almost write itself – the transformation of a camp into a fully realized town. If you've not watched this show, I would do so soon. Favorite line: "I don't drink we're I'm the only one with balls!" – Calamity Jane.

Quick note: Tom Robbins wrote the greatest preface of all time in his book EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES. The greatest.

And since I've jumped back to the subject of writing (I can never stay away long and rarely think of much else) I've been enjoying the "writer fights" over at Mel Bosworth's blog Eye Brains. Maybe you would, too. Here's the latest between Roxane Gay and xTx.


  1. thanks for the shout, shel. i've been meaning to watch DEADWOOD too. soon soon. so much goodness, so little time.

  2. It's a fine show, Mr. Mel. There is so much goodness, truth.


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