Sunday, October 3, 2010


I had just about forgotten about my poem "Parallelism" being published by "Quay: A Journal of the Arts", when it arrived in the mail last week. (Yes, it is the Spring 2009 issue. Apparently, it's hard times for poetry journals as well.)

Its arrival coincided with a conversation I had with a friend who is juggling work, travel, partner, family -- not to mention striving to make time for a creative life. Well, maybe I have this conversation with lots of friends. Maybe all the time.

But I do think that there is a frustration particular to my artist friends as they try to find time for the quiet mind to switch from left brain to right, to sit with the part of their life that is life-giving, life-saving, and utterly elusive.


She had mastered the ability
to read Adrienne with her right hand
while collecting the remnants
of daily life with the left.

On Fridays, she sorted words like laundry:
plate and table to the left,
grace and hunger to the right.
Some demanded definition.
Others sprawled across her desk
like sullen teenagers, daring to be defined.

Once on a late train from Baltimore,
her ghost floated over the Chesapeake.
Mirror-flipped, her words tumbled right to left,
fluent in a foreign tongue, exotic as silk,
until the train reached home.

A trick of the eye sees parallels converge
like train tracks far beyond the station.
But she knows what is true
and what she keeps leaving behind.

Beth Feldman Brandt

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