Incognito: A snapshot of looking for my father

When he was home, my father often said he was “incognito.” I thought this was an actual place, called Cognito. Perhaps it was, as it meant he was in his study with the door closed. If he emerged briefly, he refused to answer if spoken to. He was not to be disturbed, and never was.
     From this remove, I have the urge to diagnose. Sensitivity? Hypoglycemia? Asperger’s? Whatever it was, my father believed that his preferences and reactions were right, the morally correct course. A hatred of small talk was not just his quirk, or a personal preference. It was an elevated position, one that any superior person would automatically take. I, who even now enjoy a chat about the weather, fruit trees, real estate, gossip, and clothes, had to rally my childish resources to discuss the ancient Greeks.

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Carole MacRury on Tanka

Carole MacRury on Tanka
She says: I write it because it brings me closer to my free verse roots, and it allows me to focus more on the personal than lyrical verse does. Like Haiku, it is condensed and can be powerful little poems. I’ve explored many themes in tanka. Here’s a link to my e-book, “The Tang of Nasturtiums”, which won the snapshot press e-book award.


Some examples from this elegantly done collection:

in my closet
clothes for all occasions
yet the years
it took to be comfortable
in my own skin

this beach glass
scoured a cloudy blue
so like your eyes
fading and emptying
to a relentless tide

She also recommends:

Tanka by Terry Ann Carter

just the way
the light reflects
on my Buddha’s face
no welcome

morning of my mammogram
I arrange ikebana
nestling the pink breast
of a blossom
between two stones

first night
for the transplanted hydrangea
I cover the roots
and sing a lullaby
under stars

although I SWORE
I’d never say it
at my son’s
bedroom door

so much worry
about your transplanted organ
no time
to appreciate
this cherry petal season

on the opera stage
everyone dying
the straight spine
of the woman
in front of me

Creative Writing at Community College

Check out Santa Fe Community College’s creative writing program for fall. There are some spaces left in our classes. Terry Wilson is teaching her signature class, Exploring Creative Writing (English 120). She says:

“I run the class workshop style, so students often get to know each other quite well. Many of my students have had their essays, stories, poems, and even books published. Writing Creatively is a perfect class to take to enter into SFCC’s Creative Writing Program because in it, you can experience many different types of writing and begin to develop a discipline. Or if you’re a more seasoned wordsmith, you can use the class to keep writing, keep getting feedback, and keep developing your skills!”
Wednesdays at 6 pm

And Terry is teaching a FREE intro class. She says: I wanted to let everyone know that I’m teaching a free creative writing class at downtown library on Monday, Aug. 3 from 5:30-7:30 pm.–it’s an Intro class in case anyone wants to know how “happening” my SFCC English 120 class is! 😉 And by the way, we do a lot of memoir writing in English 120 (Exploring Creative Writing) in addition to fiction and other non-fiction. So check it out, y’all!

Shuli Lamden is teaching poetry on Mondays at 5:30 pm. This class rotates among several teachers, so this is a good opportunity to study with her. That’s English 222. In general, Shuli’s approach emphasizes the relationship between the writer and the world, and metaphoric connections.

Just a few spaces left in my on-line intro to fiction class. This is taught with a flash fiction approach. Expect lots of exercises to develop plot, character, setting, dialogue, conflict, and resolution—in bite sized pieces. English 221. It’s on-line, so you can write in your pjs if you like.

My twice a week Memoir class (English 227, Tues/Thursday at 1 pm) is basically full—but if you watch registration sometimes a spot opens up. From diary to personal essay, this is an intensive writing class that is subject driven. What is your autobiography in food? Politics? Nature? How do we know what is “true” and should we even care. A look at the eternal questions of memoir writing, with critique groups, lots of feedback, short and long forms, and inspiring reading.

“The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes and Tales From New Mexico” by Lynn Cline

Lynn Cline’s new book, “The Maverick Cookbook: Iconic Recipes and Tales From New Mexico,” launches next Friday, July 24 at 6 pm at Collected Works Bookstore downtown. Chef John Vollertsen will introduce her, followed by a brief interview an even briefer reading and a booksigning.

She’s a terrific writer, and this looks exciting!