Last month, C. D. Wright died suddenly in her sleep. There have been many good articles about her life and work since then. This poem, from her book String Light, reads to me as a self-written obituary.
Oh, the Novaculite Uplift–a chert and flint formation in the mountains of Arkansas (where Carolyn was born), Oklahoma and Texas.
I am your ancestor. You know next to nothing
There is no reason for you to imagine
the rooms I occupied or my heavy hair.
Nor the faint vinegar smell of me. Or
the rubbered damp
of Forrest and I coupling on the landing
on route to our detached day.
You didn’t know my weariness, error, incapacity.
I was the poet
of shadow work and towns with quarter-inch
phone books, of failed
roadside zoos. The poet of yard eggs
and sharpening shops,
jobs at the weapons plant and the Maybelline
factory on the penitentiary road. Continue reading “C. D. Wright”