5.23.2008

Postcard Poem

In my third year of college at Southern Utah University, I took a few classes from a visiting poet, Sam Green, who is now the Poet Laureate for Washington State. He introduced to us what he called the Postcard Poem, which is basically a short poem to someone/somewhere, from someone/somewhere. I recently ran accross a poem that I wrote while in his class:

Postcard to California, From Utah

I stayed in a town

called Eskdale yesterday.
In the milking barn I thought about you
while I touched a calf
for the first time-- let her suck my fingers.
She was only five hours old.
There was afterbirth on hard
dirt, next to a bucket of powdered milk fed
to unweaned Jerseys. I was

cold. Nothing there should
remind me of you.
Your golden body--
your warm curves.


I wrote the poem after visiting a small town on the Utah, Nevada border called Eskdale. I went with my roomate, who is from there, and had an enjoyable visit. The town is a really small religous community that call themselves the house of Aaron, and support themselves with a dairy farm. They live, work, and eat together, then have seperate homes that they sleep in. It was so interesting visiting there the few times that I did, that for a short while I considered becoming an ethnographer.

Another requierment of Sam's class was to submit a few of our poems for publication in a literary journal. I sent this one to Tar River Poetry, which is one of my favorite literary journals. I was very pleased to get a rejection letter and my poem back with a hand written note from the editor that said "This one almost made it in. Please submit more!"

I miss so much reading, writing and working with other writers. I loved my years in college working on the literary magazines, and having friendships with my professors and fellow students. I need to get involved with other writers locally.

Even if you aren't a writer, you should try writing a postcard poem. You may just enjoy it. And if you would like you can send one to my email. I would just die of happiness to get a postcard poem in real life.