Jan 30, 2009 Herm Card Uncategorized
One of the great things about poetry is that there are plenty of poets. One of the problems is that we are not always aware they are among us. There is too often isolation — a group here, a group there, an individual here, an individual there.
One of the goals of this column is to introduce some of these talented folks to the rest of us with the hope that the poetry community can become more the community that it should be.
One of those who bears introduction, is Jules Gibbs. Some of you reading this are saying “I know her — why is he introducing her?” My point exactly. Until a week or so ago, I didn’t know her or of her work (though it seems that I should have) and am enlightened by the fact that now I do. This introduction came about through her efforts to have student poetry published in this column.
It turns out that Jules is active in trying to bring poetry to the young students of our community and create more poets among us. The efforts of the young poets she works with at Franklin Magnet School will be featured here in the near future. Today, after brief introduction, we will feature some of her work.
Jules came to poetry via the circuitous route that many of us have traveled, saying that “I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I was an English/Creative Writing major, women’s studies minor. I wrote fiction back then, never poetry. Lots of life lived in the in-between, writing for magazines and editing for newspapers in Kingston, NY, paving driveways in the Catskills, selling glass in Boston.”
She says that she really entered the world of poetry when “I began the MFA program (at New England College) in 2004, and realized I knew absolutely nothing about poetry: not how to read it, and certainly not how to write it. But you know… one learns; that’s what we’re built to do.”
In that seemingly short time there have been awards won, fellowships received, and since she “started publishing, timidly, in 2006” much of her work published in numerous publications. She even admits to having won some New York Press Club awards in 1999-2000 and “way back” the George B. Hill and Therese Muller Memorial Awards First Place Prize for Fiction.
“Now I’m here, teaching poetry in after-school programs at Salem Hyde and Franklin Elementary, and I love the work. I’m also teaching poetry at the Downtown Writers Center, which I think is a fabulous resource for beginning and advanced writers alike.”
So…we can now count Jules among our poetic acquaintances, and her poetry among that with which we are familiar — and hope to become more so.
Even Jesus discovered it the hard way —
to begin, you’ve got to outsmart
the metaphor, dismantle the ritual
songs of childhood,
which is like saying goodbye
to the only life you ever really had,
that cracked-egg moment
when you existed both
yolked and split, meaning and act,
a vehicle motored by a pack
of parochial kids who touched
to be touched, pried the body
to open, to open more, find
the universal in the crude
the wound in the Amen.
And if the body is the last refuge
every waking since has been
an assault on the senses,
brute dictation, maturity
as the practice of a hunger
that smacks without discrimination.
It doesn’t matter if it’s me or you
or Jesus we’re talking about:
we cannibalize ourselves three times —
once as offspring, next as mother,
again through the muddled
articulation of self that emerges
all wrong, all other.
To sign up for Jules’ current class, Motive and Metaphor or any others at the Downtown Writers Center, contact director Phil Memmer at 474-6851 x328, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For full brochure, go to: ymcaarts.org/workshops.html.
Palace Poetry Group notes:
From 7 to 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4 an open mic offers the chance to hear talented poets, to share poetry you like, and to let others hear your own poetry. You may want to bring love poems in preparation for Valentine’s Day.
The Palace Poetry Group meets in the community room at Books and Memories just East of the Palace at 2600 James St., Syracuse. Parking is by the side of the building or on the street. For more information call 479-8157
To send your poetry for publication to the city eagle go to email@example.com.