Someone just asked what my favorite poem I’ve written was, and it’s probably this, but I realized that it wasn’t online anywhere — so here it is. What I liked about it was the experience of its creation. I had no idea what I was writing about, but meaning emerged entirely spontaneously. And then playing with the text resulted in this form, which I’ve used in many poems since.
I’m glad Rattle is a print journal and I’m glad you told me. Our event was a big success, but I sort of knocked myself out on it, and on an incredible work schedule all the way back eight months as I did the final work on my new book that will be released by Oxford University Press on March 1. It’s a long story, but it might be what the old woman was doing before she came in and smelled “The Flowers.” I am an old woman, and it’s a good thing to be if you can read a poem where every petal is it’s own flame and another poem where you can go in your mind to a window that is no longer a window but a box full of light. All of your poems are full of light. “The Body” makes me think of May Swenson’s poem, “Question.” Everything is open there, too. Anyway, being an old woman and like my Ozark grandma, “I don’t have the sense I was born with,” I hurt myself with overwork and had to pay attention to the body and so I missed my chance to send you some “southern” poems. But I thank you. –Pat Schneider