Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

White cloud morning view over Vineyard Sound from the Menemsha Hills

White cloud morning view over Vineyard Sound from the Menemsha Hills

“Remember: The rules, like streets, can only take you to known places.”

Ocean Vuong

A dry and windy morning with sun breaking through clouds; we walked the new path down through the Menemsha Hills to the stairs that give us more time walking the rocks of the beach. This morning I am thinking about leaving. Not our last walk yet, but I feel the approach of the last walk, and so I walk feeling thankful and appreciative for my time here. I listen to two wonderful Guardian Books podcasts. I have not yet read Ocean Vuong’s new novel, but I ordered it today. Sometimes, when you listen to a talk about a book, an interview with the author, you end up feeling, okay, so that was interesting, but now I don’t need to read the book. But the interview with Vuong, and the commentary about the book, made me definitely want to read it.

Ocean Vuong and the new Great American Novel - books podcast

Tue 23 Jul 2019 02.00 EDT This week, the Vietnamese-born poet Ocean Vuong joins Sian to discuss his prose debut, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Taking the form of a letter written by a Vietnamese migrant to the US to his mother who can’t read English, Vuong’s novel has already been hailed as the latest Great American Novel. He shares the autobiographical roots of his book, why US citizenship begins in its foreign policy, and why so many positive words in American vernacular – smashed it, slaying, making a killing – are rooted in violence.

It was a long walk, as usual, and so I listened to another Guardian Books podcast, an interview with Tracy K. Smith about poetry, and she was brilliant, as usual. This has been a rich reading trip for me – as beach trips always are – and I am into my third book of this trip; my favorite so far. I didn’t bring it, I took it off the bookshelf here. “Snow Falling on Cedars.” by David Guterson. I am so deliciously lost in this book on the beach and in bed at night! Suzi sat down on the trail this morning as if she were meditating on the view. After my walk, Frank was free and off the phone, and we sat and had coffee outdoors in the sunshine and had a wonderful, relaxing talk. He made me an offer I cannot resist: he wants me to take some time this fall to go away and write undisturbed. He wants me to have the experience of not being distracted from my writing. I know I will do this; I’m developing my plan. I will go west. I have many many poems waiting for revision. I haven’t submitted a poem in months. I am not sure what I’ll focus on during my writing retreat, but I trust my process of warming up. Buoyant. The beach was fun, a yellow flag day of surf and I let myself be tossed and rolled and sparkled on by the sun. This is my last night of sleeping here. The doors are open to the crickets and the quiet. I felt, for a few minutes, the melancholy I feel when I leave every place I love. It is my spirit’s way of saying: this place and this time have changed me, moved me. I have been here, now, and I have noticed how special this place and this time is. And one of my favorite parts (beyond having my children, here, of course) was having my brother, my younger brother, here with us for a weekend: to have him all by himself. To have his wonderful chatter and laughter and to see how much love he has for his nieces and nephews, and how much they love him and enjoy having him around. Also, because, a couple of months ago we had a conflict during a phone conversation. It didn’t end well. We were both frustrated. Convinced we were right. And I think, yes, I couldn’t help it – I was right! So, I lived in that for a couple of days. And then I sent him a text. Just saying something true and appreciative about him. Did he get it? Who knows. I felt better having felt it and sent it. I don’t like being out of comfort with my loved ones. And then, as it happens, soon enough, we made it up with each other. (And I was right. And we laughed. We always do.)

Kelly DuMarComment