Neile Graham (neile) wrote,
Neile Graham

Third Week of the Clarion West Write-a-thon

Last week I forgot to report on my submissions: I sent out a query to an agent for my novel and a query to a publisher for my poetry manuscript. This week I sent out two poetry submissions. One of the latter was actually sent on paper! How charmingly archaic!

This was a busy, busy week, and once again I have to thank the Write-a-thon that I felt compelled to do anything about my writing career at all. It's a little embarrassing how much accountability motivates me.

I spent as many hours as I could, including an afternoon-long writing retreat on Saturday, working on a total re-envisioning of my first short story I wrote (since I was 15 years old, people!) at Clarion West. It had lain fallow for lo! these many years until it started nagging at me during the first week of this year's workshop. I don't think this is coincidence.

However, I am not counting that as this week's draft because I am nowhere near finishing the re-draft. So, this week's draft (for my 2 submissions + draft) is a poem mixing NW Coast and Scottish myth about Salmon. I had a wonderful salmon meal with Leslie Howle, Graham Joyce, and Nnedi Okorafor (the latter two are this year's third- and fourth-week Clarion West instructors) and two other local writers, and I think my sockeye salmon inspired me to making something of what was a very nothing poem. I hope you agree because the draft is below. I still don't think I'm quite finished with this one, but it's closer.



Salmon Versus Raven East and West

How the salmon glow like swords
--Richard Hugo

The wisdom of salmon is endings. How else
to explain not alpha but Omega 3?

Salmon embrace the gateway of death
how else to become truly wise?

[and it continues. sponsors and cheerleaders saw the whole thing, such as it is.]

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