told in poetic form
what she holds is the story of love and hate, of tender affection and abject fear, of careful attention and violent eruption, of too much and too little. This is the story of a life unfolding in the arms of chaos, the story of healing the past, a past that had bled into the present, the work that stopped the bleeding.
Deep gratitude and thanks to Philippe Chardet for the cover image. The reason this image is perfect for this book is the definition of akène: a small, dry, one-seeded fruit that does not open to release the seed. The writing of this volume of poetry was a transformative act and a central part of my effort to heal and reconcile a difficult relationship with my father, posthumously. The book’s title refers to the need to let go of grief over the loss and many other traumas involved in this eons-long relationship, one I am sure has lasted lifetimes. The akène seed “cannot” let go in nature but as Chardet’s image title suggests, one can let go metaphysically if one believes. This possibility is at the heart of this writing and thus, makes his art perfect for mine.
Thank you, Phillipe!
I am also ever indebted to the writers and editors who have written blurbs and reviews for this collection: Cindy Huyser, Chella Courington, Jacob Kobina Ayiha Mensah, Martha K. Grant, Robert Okaji, and Leslie Ferguson.
Here is a peek at Jacob Kobina’s kind review in Missouri Baptist University’s lit mag, Fireflies (p. 97):
If you’d like a signed copy ($12.50), message me here. I’ll happily sign and send.
Here’s a sample to entice you:
gut punching i was thin my pelvis caving in ribs like wires —corseting my barely there body —a pale ballet ~ in the fall of my fourteenth year i shopped for shifts: dresses straight cloth sacks empire waist i bought six & chose one i’d wear the first day of high-school: navy blue & yellow linen yellow fish-net hose ~ the first day the first week came and went me bent over bile coming up letting go ~ my parent’s bed my hot hot head my mother her cool hand my father kneeling please eat something he said ~ age eighteen with freshman fifteen a carat diamond on my left hand my hips round my buxom breasts substantial full of myself not a waif a woman ~ you’re getting fat he said —gut punching ~ there were days ( for years ) when i didn’t eat a thing
As always, I appreciate your support of my work in the world.