Untitled, 2015, photograph by Amanda Chapman
THE WAR AT HOME
after “Untitled, 2015” by Amanda Chapman
The war was never real
for us. He had left
even before he became
a soldier, before he became
anything but another
aimless man in another
aimless town saddled
too soon with fatherhood.
We knew he existed
in a place we couldn’t know,
a place other than
the only place we knew.
We knew cotton mills
and baseball. We knew
graveyards and railroad tracks,
we knew chicken farms
and aunts and grandparents,
and whippoorwills and switches,
and rocks and shotguns,
and beans and buses,
and stains on clothes,
and constantly moving
and too little food.
We didn’t know him.
He came back the way
he left, already broken,
what few dreams he had
never given space to take
the shape of possibility.
The war that was never real
to us didn’t do this to him.
He had done it to himself.
Scott Owens reads his poem at the June 20, 2015 Art of Poetry event at Hickory Museum of Art. Photo courtesy of Roger and Ginny Sanford.
The museum will be the site of the first Fall Face to Face In The Foothills Poetry Gathering – Friday and Saturday, September 18 and 19, 2015, including the next Art of Poetry event on Saturday afternoon. Co-sponsored by Hickory Museum of Art and Art of Poetry, check out the tentative schedule below and join us!
The Fall Face-to-Face in the Foothills Poetry Festival
September 18-19, 2015
Hickory Museum of Art in Hickory, NC
Friday September 18
9:30 Kickoff in the auditorium: Welcome; Getting Acquainted; Books available
10:00-11:30 First session-NC poet laureate, Shelby Stephenson: Let the Good Times Roll: Opening up to the Lives We Live
12:00-1:00 Lunch Coe Gallery (readings and books available to buy during break)
1:30-3:00 Second session- Scott Owens: In Pursuit of Publication: When, Where, How, and Why
3:30-5:00 Third session -Joseph Bathanti: The Many Guises of Ekphrasis: Toward a New Definition.
Dinner on your own (with suggestions, maps, and ride shares)
7:00 until– Open Mic at Taste Full Beans – 29 2nd St NW, Hickory, NC 28601
Saturday September 19
9:00 Welcome back (announcements/ questions)
9:30-11:00 Fourth session – Robert Lee Brewer: Build an Audience for Your Poetry
11:30 Lunch/ speaker – Kathryn Stripling Byer: TBA Coe Gallery-
2:00 The Art of Poetry – Ekphrastic readings. Meet at entrance of Museum. Books available to purchase
3:30-5:00 Fifth session -Michael Beadle: Making Your Poems Come Alive
Evening options: Open Mic at McGuire’s Pub- or music/art event at Taste Full Beans