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I am There Even When I’m not There

By Wanda Coleman

It is difficult to be in two places at the same time, but somehow I manage. I go and run and do, then some.  While beating up language poets at the AWP (actually, I was gesticulating to them about syntax and extolling the virtues of Arno Schmidt), I was talking to David the High Desert transmission specialist about getting my 1995 Chevy Lumina seaworthy again. Lately, I have redoubled my efforts to make myself omnipresent. There are witnesses who swear that I zoomed past them in the Conference Center corridors. How could they possibly miss my Cherokee-tinged darkness, my dreads like tangled fiber cables, my towering hips?  Another spotted me as I sat silently smiling, taking notes as I listened to the hissies on various urgent issues confronting contemporary poets. That was me exchanging contact information and passing out business cards near the reception desk, while I sat at the monitor preparing my latest blog entry.  As I descended to the mattress, I registered on the Richter Scale. There was even that delicious one who offered me a drink which I refused, excusing myself as being on medications as I flashed my wedding ring—all the while I was preparing ratatouille over a hot stove. This is a tremendous power—this ability to be present yet absent at the same time, reappearing and disappearing at the mere mention of my name. It makes me feel almost Godlike, immensely fierce.  If only I could package it and sell it.


Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, April 12th, 2010 by Wanda Coleman.