Michelle writes poetry?!

When my college adviser said that my "Creative Writing: Fiction" and "Creative Writing: Non-Fiction" credits would not transfer to Eastern Washington University unless I also took "Creative Writing: Poetry" I'm pretty sure my vision went a little red. (It's English 291 and 292 which is really Poetry and Fiction. Apparently Non-Fiction is a fake class that I took for no legitimate credit. I could ask EWU if it transfered; I didn't bother)

A poetry class? I'll be honest: my first thought was along the lines of "eww, fuck that." I'm not a poetry snob--I just dislike reader response criticism, interpretation and that entire concept called symbolism. I didn't want to take poetry, damn it. I knew at some point in my college future I'd have to take poetry (and British and American literature) but I just wasn't ready.

Thankfully, North Idaho College has a stellar English department in my experience. The teacher (whom I have seen in passing, and met briefly in my last 2.5 years wandering the hallways) was incredibly disarming and polite. So I dragged myself to my first poetry class (and saw that a friend was also taking the class: she ended up being the reason I didn't drop it entirely) and I stayed. And fumed, and seriously was nothing but angry, frothing-face for a good month straight.

And then we started writing poetry, instead of just reading (and responding, ugh) it. I was forced to experience poetry, to read the work of others. To appreciate and be surprised by the work of my classmates. And there some moments where I was seriously "What the hell am I reading" for hours. And hours. And I'd send my friend a message: "OMG did you read that poem" and get the "WTF I know, right?" and we'd laugh. And then we'd talk to the poet, who gave us some insight about what the poem really was saying, and we'd change our minds--and look forward to the next.

I learned how to read poems better; not to stumble or pause at the end of a line or line-break.

I can't post the other poems from this class since they're currently being reviewed by online poetry publications and rejected!

Once they're all rejected I can post them on the website.


Poem attempt number one:

My Autumn

I wrote a poem and
now the world is ending
7.4 magnitude earthquakes and
too many hurricanes to bother counting
school shootings and
dust choked
space heaters
New purple leggings
Divorce paperwork
My autumn is not
your autumn
My anger is not
your anger
Mine infects
Like a 24-hour flu
going on 34 years now
No matter how many layers
of amethyst, mauve or lavender
 various shades of bitterness
There is no forgiveness
beneath these leaves
Stop asking
You’ll never get your answer
unless I fall
or you first
One of us will be right
in the end.