Friday, December 8, 2006


Maybe misery really does like company. And while no one wants to wallow (it isn't good for you) it can feel helpful sometimes to share stories and frustrations—as well as inspirations. To gather around the questions that we ask and ask again. To mull over new inquiries.

Welcome to Poe-Query, a blog about writing and poetry (not necessarily Poe).

Why another blog about writing poems? Writing is something I mostly do alone (even when solitude is a luxury, it's a helpful luxury). But questions come up. What am I doing? Why am I trying this? How much more paper am I going to waste? What am I going to write about? Where should I send it? Where should I send it when it comes back with a rejection slip or without a rejection slip or as an empty envelope? That's the query part—questions about the creative part of it and about the biz part of it. I trade e-mail messages with friends, and it's helpful to have those conversations, but I thought it might be good to try getting out of the inbox and widening the conversation. I have questions all the time, and I want to hear what you think. It's nice to have a little company sometimes.

Finally, because this is primarily a poetry-related endeavor, I thought I'd include a poem—one that was inspired by the old saw "Misery loves company."


Clouds push full from the south.
Beside the window, a draft
and one chair. Enough to sit,
watch the day fail,
weigh each catastrophe
as crows pinch the red berries.

Stillness covers too thinly
to comfort. Chill creeps the floor.
Find another chair
for that corner—to weather
a rain of worry and rue.
It is better with two.

Then, for a pair, why not a lamp
in the violet shadows,
a knob of light
to fend off the awful dark.
Soon, a fire burnishes the grate
and appearing in the clearing: stars.

1 comment:

Judith Skillman said...

Wow, amazing poem! The use of "lamp" makes me shiver.

OK, if I seem like a fan of Joannie's work, I am. A stalwart fan.

I am amazed by the way she uses language so simply and makes her poems more than a sum of parts. I'm inspired to try and write my own 'Duet' poem...