by Tina Cane
year of the cloud of pollen that chased me to my car across the supermarket parking lot year I was overpowered by flowering magnolia petals in a windstorm while walking home year of the murder hornet and coronavirus and weather as a system that shaped each day in a way that felt different from the past year during which you understood how the neighborhood you grew up in shaped the way you say friend how the word childhood is the start of a sentence that has no end until you aren’t the one saying it anymore year of grown-ups with their gravity making everything a question or a fragment depending on their personal weather whether some of them were green or deep as trees of your imagining year when the way trees speak with each other about each other was more essential than the shade they gave year to try to live like trees upright yielding seeking sunlight and silent languages year I got a book in the mail about housecleaning as a joke from another poet regarding a poem of mine about life being hard and people’s constant quest on the internet to make things easier year the cover of the book read Introducing Your Household Heroes: Regular Products with Multiple Abilities how multiple abilities sounded more like an affliction than a capacity year of nights I lost sleep year my mind cradled me
Born and raised in New York City, Tina Cane serves as the Poet Laureate of Rhode Island where she is the founder and director of Writers-in-the-Schools, RI. Her poems and translations have appeared in numerous publications, including The Literary Review, Spinning Jenny, Tupelo Quarterly, Jubliat, and The Common. She also co-produces, with Atticus Allen, the podcast, Poetry Dose. Cane is the author of The Fifth Thought (Other Painters Press, 2008), Dear Elena: Letters for Elena Ferrante, poems with art by Esther Solondz (Skillman Avenue Press, 2016), Once More With Feeling (Veliz Books, 2017)and Body of Work (Veliz Books, 2019).In 2016, Tina received the Fellowship Merit Award in Poetry, from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. She is also a 2020 Poet Laureate Fellow with the Academy of American Poets and the creator/curator of the distance reading series, Poetry is Bread.