Tuesday, July 15, 2014

When a Poet Marries a Triathlete...

...She will get a carbon fiber bicycle in lieu of an engagement ring…

She will love it…

She will immortalize, in a poem: bicycle, fiancée, and grueling joy of keeping up on back-road rides…

She will fiercely grieve that functional engagement ring when it is stolen from garage fourteen years later (July 2014)…

She will be forced to settle on a silver lining: bicycle lives on in poem…

Dragonfly, the poem based on the 200 EMS Kestrel my husband gave me when we got engaged, is forthcoming in November Butterfly (Saddle Road Press, November 1, 2014) and was originally published in The Art of Bicycling: A Treasury of Poems (Breakaway Books, 2005), edited by former Bicycling Magazine editor Justin Daniel Belmont. It opens like this:



In lieu of the ring, a carbon fiber frame.

You had it custom done, turned it for me

In the sun outside our one-room flat,

This way: violet green, that: honey red….


…heartsick about it, but what can you do. The thief couldn’t have known it doubled as an engagement ring. Beach-combing, as if in response to the vacuum left by the bike, my husband nets seven left-foot fins and a plastic woman fire-fighter, salty, stacked and gloved (the figure, I mean).
When I take morning tea and my notebook out to the back patio, I find her planted with ginormous plastic boots on the table, fire-hose she lost to the sea supplanted by a colored pencil (it turns out, by my youngest son). You don’t have to tell my little guy twice: regardless of gender, you can fight a fire, write a poem, or survive a screaming descent from the saddle of a bicycle and live to bear and/or raise children.
Been there? Have a high octane partner? Survived a few adventures out of your comfort zone? How do you converge and thrive? Would love to know... 

Poetry News and related links:

Soundings East arrived today in the mail with the winning entry for the 2014 Claire Keyes Poetry Awards: Amy Pence, winner, for “The Lives of Composers,” “A Sensuous Proposal,” and “Naked City.” Runners-up: yours truly, for “Black Angel: Scripted, Never Shot” and Scott Withiam, for “Garish.” To order a copy, visit Salem State University’s website. Poems were chosen by Joan Houlihan. Additionally, Soundings East Editors selected poems by Judith Barrington,
Elton Glaser, and Bill Turley. Next reading period for submissions is Sept 1, 2014 to April 1, 2015.

Thumbelina was nominated as one of six poems for the Sundress Publications Best of the Net Anthology to represent Zoetic Press and The NonBinary Review (thanks to Allie Marini Batts). To read the issue in which Thumbelina appears, visit Zoetic Press to download the free app.
Or view the accompanying poetry movie Thumbelina (features the photography of Robyn Beattie, Stephen Pryputniewicz on keyboard, and some exquisite stills by artists Victoria Ayres, Genevieve and Raymond Barnhart, David Best, Max Fuller, Ned Kahn, and Ron Rodgers). Or follow The NonBinary Review on Facebook for links they'll be posting to supplementary artwork and videos to accompany the Fairytale issue. They are still taking Frankenstein submissions for the next couple of weeks.

Related post about The Art of Bicycling on the blog Better Living Through Beowulf:
Imagination Unleashed: Children on Bikes by Robin Bates

A few bicycle haiku I wrote for the haiku room:
My bicycle, My Chariot and the Angel Tree: Writing Despite Chaos

Related posts on marriage:

Some Mother: Abalone vs. Coffee

Feral Wife: Two Chainsaws, the Ocean, and an Untended Husband

Car Tantrums, Non-Parental Observers and the Cops

Why Every Wife Could Use Her Own Hmong Tribe (and a Thundershirt)





Elizabeth Brennan said...

So sorry to hear about the loss of your bicycle, T. But congratulations on your poetry awards! Awesome!

Tania Pryputniewicz said...

Thanks for the condolences Liz! Hope the blackberries are gearing up for pie time.