My collect of masks is vast: the mother, the wife, the daughter, the fictionist, the friend, the punchline, the professor, the activist, the traveler . . . and on and on.
The mask of the poet is not one normally in my collection. While I appreciate good poetry, my own attempts have always seemed contrived and stale. In some ways I believe it is due to the blessing and the curse of growing up reading Sylvia Plath and Ann Sexton. Their darkness, beauty, and gift was such that anything written in that vein appears anemic and downright comical. Even without the angst, I don’t have the deft rhythms of Frost or Alexie, two others I admire. My poet persona is something usually kept in the garage in plastic storage bins next to my grad school notes and the battery operated Christmas bears.
That being said, the website Sincerely, Fiction, which has writers photograph their work as it is scribed on the back of a postcard, inspired me to dig through that plastic bin. Reminiscent of Griffin and Sabine, the works on the website are beautiful and unique (“France” is a personal favorite). I adore the juxtaposition of the postcard image with the words on the back. As a collector of postcards, the kitsch ones are my favorites, but I think their entire approach to writing is fantastic. While I still found myself writing prose, it was a poetic departure for me, in part due to the abstractness of it, as well as the brevity.
So please, dear readers, visit this site and enjoy the writing (including something from yours truly). Perhaps this week consider dusting off a mask you don’t normally don and see where it takes you.