Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A poem by Jim Wayne Miller

Getting Together

Suddenly old friends are in the house. Laughter.
Separated years back, we've wandered around
lost in the American Funhouse. Together again,
what a crowd we are! The walls are angled
mirrors multiplying us many times over.
Each one of us sees the friend he knew
standing back of the one this friend has become,
and shyly, like an unacknowledged companion,
confused by all this familiarity, unseen by our friends,
stands the person we know we are. Laughter.

Moving through the crowd, I realize
I've gradually got used to walking around
in my life a huge elongated trunk and rippled face,
a bulging wrap-around brow, moving on stumpy legs,
my belt just above my shoetops, my chin
riding level with my fly. I have forgotten parts
of myself, my ears lie curled like lettuce leaves,
my hands grow right out of my shoulders,
no wrists or arms or elbows in between.

Glancing past familiar strangers, I try
to hold out a hand to someone who holds out a hand.
Laughter! We hold back all but the little horrors.

from The Mountains Have Come Closer. Boone: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1980.


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David Hampton: said...

Thank you for the compliment. With so many people sending spam, trying to post their link on my blog just to sell something, it is good to read a sincere comment.

Deanna said...

I enjoyed my last half hour on your blog. Thanks for the time well spent. I'd just posted pics from my trip a few months ago to North Carolina, I hit the "next blog" button and found yours quite by accident.

It seems that you are a writer too. A friend of mine, Rusty Barnes, publishes a couple of magazines called Night Train and Mostly Redneck. If you are looking for places to submit, check them out on the web. He's always looking specifically for Appalachian Lit.

Uhm... that wasn't intended to be a commercial or plug for him. Mostly, it was my way of starting a conversation with you and offering something more than "nice blog" and leaving.

Though it is. A nice blog, that is. :-)

David Hampton: said...

Thank you,Deanna, for your kind words. I haven't had as much time to blog as I used to. I've mostly been writing in my paper journal when I have the time, working on the last preparations for publishing my first novel next summer (The Slow Constellations Wheeled On). Thanks also for letting me know about possible places to submit. I've heard of Night Train, but haven't checked it out in a while. I will definitely look into it. Happy Holidays!

Pamela Martin said...

I have enjoyed stumbling upon your blog. I was bothered recently by hearing--yet again--what always sounds like unfair and uninformed references to the people and history of the South, and found some of your posts on the topic.

Interestingly, we have several points in common. I have roots in Morganton (my family owned Old Oakes Farm from the 1750's until very recently), Lenoir, Blowing Rock, and Asheville. And, I am a writer, primarily of short fiction. I plan on keeping your blog on hand, and checking out some of your future posts and links.

Thank you!

Pamela Martin

David Hampton: said...

Thank you for your comment post. I wish I had more time to post myself. I've been busy with work this semester, so much of my thoughts and writings haven't made it past being jotted onto scraps of paper. On the topic of Southern culture and its stereotypes, John Shelton Reed's book My Tears Spoiled My Aim takes an astute, yet humorous look at its origins.

Do you know a Dwight Martin (he goes by his middle name)? He is a writer friend who used to teach with me who's from Morganton originally. I believe his father used to work at Broughton. Haven't seen him in a while.

I wish you the best in your writing, and will have to take an extended visit to your blog in the near future as well. Take care!

Pamela Martin said...

Thanks, David, for your reply (it's a busy time of year!).

No, the name Dwight Martin doesn't ring a bell. But my father's family has been in your area for so long that I am sure there are many Martin's I am somehow connected to but don't know...

If you are up in Blowing Rock and see the old Martin House on Main St (which now houses numerous, annoying 'shoppes') you will be looking at one of my ancestral homes. Well, ancestral is stretching it--my grandparents and great grandparents owned it. It was, when I was a very little girl, a big, old, comfortable inn with a lovely deep and wide porch spanning it. And it wasn't yellow!

If you hear of a number of Martin lawyers, they are likely my uncle and cousins...And, my uncle, Charles Martin and his wife, Sarah, were the most recent residents of Old Oakes in Morganton.

And if you hear of any number of Houcks or Corpenings or Perkins and other such rabble--sh, don't tell them!--you'll also be running into relatives.

Sorry, when roots go this long and deep, these connections are all over...

What kind of writing are you doing? I write primarily short fiction, some essay, and some poetry (usually hidden from view).

I am impressed that you can find time to write while teaching high school--a daunting task, I know!

Good luck with your writing, and Happy Holidays1

David Hampton: said...

I know the house in Blowing Rock. I can only imagine how quieter it was then before it became so touristy on main street.

I write poetry and fiction, mainly. I have a small chapbook of poetry published, and am planning on publishing a novel by this coming summer. If you are interested, there is a good poetry journal you might want to submit to called Iodine, out of Charlotte, NC.

Merry Christmas, and keep up your writing!

Pamela said...

I will check it out, David, thank you!