Stories are a part of my life because of her.
They are a part of everyone’s life but not so vividly,
Nor so intimately, as they are in my life
Because she valued story and books and poems.
We took the station wagon to the Pryor Public Library
Once a week and walked out, each of us, with a pile
Of books we could barely carry. They spread
Through our house like amoeba, like fleas, like waters
Unleashed in a basin needing to be filled. She knew
The head librarian, so we could break the rules
And check out forty books at a time, forty books
That would live in us for a week in that house
On the creek, in that place where our stories thrived. Continue reading
The catfish are the Bozos of the bottom,
Blundering from ledges, bumping into me,
Their whiskers slashing my skirt into circus pennants.
Their heads are rocks split across the middle,
Mouths opening slowly as if levered.
They are ugly and regal and harmless,
Even when I forget where I am and startle them
By lifting the sword from the sand
And sending it to the surface before me.
The bass scatter. I speared one once. Continue reading
Shaun telling a story at the Chickasaw Cultural Center
It is time to make a living via poetry. Well . . . sort of.
I have two weeks left at my full-time job at the rock quarry before I get laid off. I teach part-time for meager wages at two colleges, and it’s not enough to live on. I am excited about not driving to Tulsa 3 days a week, but I am a bit scared about the prospect of supporting myself. I will have more time for museum enterprises, which have never cost much money anyway. The building was donated by my parents, the materials that went into creating the exhibits and displays were found materials or donated or bought on the cheap at yard sales. All the labor that has gone into the museum has been the loving work of friends and family. Continue reading
Old photo of Locust Grove
Many of you know that I grew up in the small town I now live in. I graduated from high school in Locust Grove in 1980 and went to various places, none far away. In 2005, I moved back here and began teaching at Pryor Junior High. My mother was a teacher at Locust Grove High School for thirty years, and her family and my dad’s family have lived in Locust Grove and Rose for more than 100 years. This community is important to us. Continue reading
We are old and the year is new.
I pull glass dust from my hairline
While you don one more layer or two,
Head into winter to finish on time.
Come with me now into the new land
Where moon music reverberates into day
Where the seasons arrive without plan
Where love is setting up house to stay.
The year 2013 ended auspiciously for your humble curator. On Dec. 24, I learned I won a grant for the museum from the Popular Culture Association. Two days later, I was run over by a semi-truck and lost my lovely Black Panther (Ford Ranger) and am still without a vehicle, but I survived.
What will 2014 hold for the museum? The biggest news is that I am expanding. Continue reading