Plain Language

~ From *News!* for January 2013, a page with periodic updates for DotP.~


I love the writing circle, a time and place for composing and exchanging its fruits. The circle is where I hear firsthand experiences of what I stitched together from my internal rattlings. Sometimes an idea or turn of phrase to which I am attached is put to the test. “Why is this in the poem? … I just don’t get it … Why so many metaphors?” My deepest thanks to current and past writing circles! Your consistent care of my words has been invaluable.

Writing often serves a dual purpose for me: an embodiment of inner life and a means of communication. The writing circle serves as a sounding board, testing out how others are reached — or not — by my words. The response is illuminating, sometimes surprising. When others’ perceptions are far from my intent, I weigh what may be altered in order to close the gap. Plain language often is not my favored choice for the written word, despite my unwavering favor for it in relationships.

Blogging on Dey of the Phoenix is another way I convey insights from the inner life. Launched in 2008, the site initially began as a public expression of my work as a writer and community organizer. My first experience blogging, though, began in 2004 on an anonymous site that I shared with very few people. The intimacy of the former blog was a treasure, a precious gift that I wish to keep sharing when possible.

Thanks to this week’s visit at The Writing Room, a bimonthly writing circle in Greater Lansing, I realized that my recent entries about healing trauma may be experienced like peeking into a storefront with tinted windows. Blogging about an internal process as it unfolds presents certain challenges, and I appreciate hearing your questions when they arise. Readers, you are most welcome to respond with comments, as you are so inclined. Thanks to those who also have corresponded with me personally on these and other posts.

Tomorrow, Sunday, January 20, 2:00pm, at the MICA Gallery, 1210 Turner St., Lansing, I am presenting at the Lansing Poetry Club. The working title for the session is “Poetry: More than Words on a Page”. I will be using some plain language about what poetry means to me and what I aspire to through writing. My focus will be on new words, while briefly visiting Circle…Home (2011). Accompanying me is a beautiful mixed-media work incorporating by my poem “we begin” and gifted to me by the talented Sandra L. Cade.

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