Mass Poetry supports poets and poetry in Massachusetts. We help to broaden the audience of poetry readers, bring poetry to readers of all ages and transform people’s lives through inspiring verse. We are a 501(c)(3) organization.
When I was a freshman at CSUN (Cal State University Northridge) I audited a senior-level poetry course—and asked a classmate: “How does everyone know what Deconstructionism means?” He shrugged, “We just do.” One day we flipped a page in our thick Norton and there was Sylvia: “You do not do, you do not do.” I don’t remember the ensuing discussion—just this shiver of recognition. Just that first tang of her manic hilarity that meant, “I’ll show you control!” I had no idea her lines were iambs. Or that she was foreshadowing a marriage “I do” to a man who was a “model” of her dead father. Or that I was a cliché: an angst-y teen-girl obsessing over my own absentee-father, and knee-jerk responding to the first openly enraged and intelligent daughter I’d ever encountered.
C .D. Wright, Language poet; C.D. Wright, elliptical poet; C.D. Wright, poet of the Ozarks, of Arkansas, erotic poet, poet of conscience, of place, of reportage, ekphrastic poet, elegiac poet. Poetry is the weird one: funny-looking on the page, resolutely non-commercial, refusing the neat thesis or linear narrative, and those of us who practice it often find ourselves in a defensive, explanatory crouch in the face of the question “So, what kind of poetry do you write?” As often, we acquiesce, labeling ourselves by school or influence either out of guilt for having introduced the awkward subject in the first place with our presence or because the stage, by its smallness, invites division. C. D. Wright, whom we lost suddenly and much too soon just over a week ago, never succumbed to this pressure.
At Mass Poetry we do a lot on very little. In fact you may find it hard to believe what your contribution can mean to our work. But here’s an example: a monthly contribution of $10 over the entire year will pay for a workshop leader at a Student Day of Poetry. And check out the graphic below to see the power of those workshops!
I wrapped the piece of cloth around a good-sized stone,
then bound it with yarn and tied one end of the yarn
to a heavy branch on the bank. I lowered the cloth-
covered stone into the pond; black silt swarming up.
A thin-legged water bug climbed into a fold straight off.
That muck must be iron-rich, I noticed the same smell weeks later
when I retrieved the cloth from the pond, unwrapped it
from its weighting stone, dangling algae tendrils, and snagged it
between two sharp, vertical rocks planted in the stream