Dear Candi, Thank you very much for doing the week of poetry work shops with us. You really helped me learn how to write poetry better. I especially liked the poems with dialogue. They were fun. You were good about giving us a way to write our poems but we could write about anything we wanted. Thank you very much again! Sincerely, Kaci
The last day I taught Kaci's class I had them write dialogue poems with two characters: me and them. The could call me The Poet or Candi. The result was shocking for me. Maybe for them too.
One boy wrote a conversation like this:
"Hey, how you doing?"
"Not good! My Mom is holding a knife to my neck!"
"Really you look fine to me."
"No, Candi, don't go! I'm not lying!"
"Then why are you laughing?"
"Because I'm trying to keep from crying."
Then his Mom stabbed him and fed him to pigs.
The class laughed loud before I was even done. Because I read it like it was happening for real. I think the poet and I were affected with the adrenaline in the poem. The audience was reacting with a typical defense mechanism they use when things get suddenly heavy. Ha! Fed him to the pigs! Did you hear that?
They forget the childlike pleading of the poet to me to save him from his Mom. I judged him by his face instead of his words and turned away.
Is that big T truth? I did cancel two more classes due to rain and anxiety the next week. Did I look in their faces and then turn away?
I feel like I'm still looking at them. Sitting there in hoodies and Converse shoes. Making eye contact with me as I rock them from one side to the other. As I read poems to them I walk the room. I've gotten really good at reading a script cold. 8th grade handwriting and texty misspellings. I usually avoid saying the hidden cuss words and drug references.
I'm looking right at you! The pigs will not crunch your bones on my watch!