Each month, the Denver VOICE publishes a selection of writing from workshops sponsored by Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
The Hard Times Writing Workshop is a collaboration between Denver Public Library and Lighthouse Writers Workshop. This workshop is open to all members of the public—especially those experiencing homelessness.
Hard Times meets every Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. on the fourth floor of DPL’s Central branch.
The Lighthouse sponsored workshop at The Gathering Place is specifically for that organization’s clients.
To check out more writing by the poets featured in this column, go to writedenver.org.
What Words Are
Words are to the rolling tongue
Their touches and their textures
bear its burden on all sides.
Words are rippling waves of sound
borne on tides of air.
They’re dark stains upon paper
otherwise left clean but bare.
Words are made of light and shade
typed across a screen.
Words are physical. They’re real,
no matter what they mean.
Prayer for this Clay Earth
Teach us the language of spilling out of ourselves.
Teach us the language of moon, rain beating on cheeks,
divinity lighting our eyes. Teach us nothing
conceptual about fear, only how it concretely tightens
chests, trembles down arms. Teach us fiery music,
the silence of trees, the currents of sky and water.
Teach us to rebuke the language of drowning,
to hold close breath and pulse of the body—
Teach us healing above all, soothing the center
of our being. Teach us dark
solitude without longing.
Samuel Johnson said,
“Nobody but a blockhead
ever wrote, except for money,”
I recall a psychotic episode I had
while I was at the University.
I freaked out a bit
oversmoking the stash a friend
had me keep. I went ove the edge
because I couldn’t write fast enough
to keep up with my mind,
Expressing that, one of my professors
urged me “to write from both ends.”
By his remark I deduced that
I needed to switch from marijuana
to scotch. That mellowed me out
until that got to be a fresh problem.