A Dinner with Poets

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Southern Poets Dinner plus Scenes around Atlanta from christine swint on Vimeo.

Dinner with poets at the Colonnade, plus other Atlanta landmarks.

What wonderful dinner companions, and such a nice location in Atlanta, the Colonnade, known for its southern cuisine. I met up with Collin Kelley, Karen Head, Julie Bloemeke and Dustin Brookshire, all of whom have or have had poems in ouroboros review. Poet Rupert Fike was also there, as well as Cleo Creech and Chelsea Rathburn.

Thanks to Collin Kelley, who organized us and chose the location for our gathering. It was a big thrill for me to be included. I’ve only been writing poetry for publication for a year and a half, and it still seems like beautiful dream to be a part of the world of poets.

Dustin has asked all the poets in attendance to share a poem in the comments section of his blog. Cleo Creech wrote one just last night, inspired by the restaurant. His poem does a wonderful job entering into the atmosphere of a southern restaurant, and the life of a waitress. And Collin Kelley has shared a pithy, vivid poem about rain, travel, and umbrellas. I think he want to return to England.

I needed this outing at the restaurant. After all the hard work Jo and I did trying to get the magazine launched, our server was barraged with a DDos attack, and the site went down for over 24 hours. If you haven’t had a chance to read issue 2, please go have a look. It’s stunning, even if I do say so myself. Thank you, Jo, for all your energy and savvy.

Here’s the poem I shared with Dustin. It’s a re-write of one I wrote last spring.

If Ophelia were from Georgia

It might have happened like this,
that she does a drunken electric slide
down the hill till she reaches
the creek’s edge, wedges a sneaker
into a dogwood’s vee,
hoists herself onto a limb.
Filches buds to weave a garland,
scoots across knotted bark,
cracks off twigs as she seesaws
toward the water.

I swear, that man’s a dog, she drones
and tries to pin down
her reflection in eddies
dark from silt and rain.
Who the hell is he to tell me
to straighten up?

And then the branch snaps ¬
she drops into the creek.

Serene in the whirlpool,
gazing at a hazy sky,
she sings herself to sleep.
White petals snow
on a bed of pine needles
the day they find her body.

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