Last night five writers, South African, Egyptian, 2 Americans and myself, Jamaican/Caribbean, sat around the table, stuffed, listening to music of the 60's sung by an Argentinean (he has lived in Egypt for 15 years), entertaining mostly German tourist at El Gouna, Egypt, where we are fortunate to gather to write for a month, and I posed the questions: What is the value of a residency? All concurred, the time and freedom to write, but equally important the opportunity to commune with other writers/artists.
All that is true, but I am here to work, and working is what I am doing, not as steadily as I planned. My body is still adjusting to the time zone difference ( arrived June 1 after 7 airports and planes from St Croix), I am eating far too much, it is hot and dry, and the aqua lagoon fed by the Red Sea is far too alluring. But aIl that aside here is what I have outlined for myself. Complete essay on Louis Bennett, long over due. Begin and complete short book project with Egyptian painter, Shyama Kamel, of her images and my short poems; revise and put to rest (submit somewhere), Love's Promise, my short story collection I completed three years ago. And I have added since I arrived, write short-short, persona poems on common Egyptian names; and my original project that I said I would be working on: begin a juvenile novel about a Jamaican girls who visits Egypt and is thrust back in time, and meets one of the important queens. Ambitious! Yes! But one has to make outrageous goals when such infrequent opportunities present themselves.
So what have I accomplished so far. I have named all 35 paintings. Have organized them in the Table of Contents, and have written, 14 poems, one of which I have included below with image so you can judge how I am doing.
Don't promise to blog daily, that is just too demanding and time consuming, but will keep you abreast of my progress at least 2x weekly and share something of what I am writing. Deal!
I dared them to stone me
after I threw him out
he thought I was a pot
to piss in then shove aside
I have seen too much suffering
it was often my mother’s only meal
my grandmother swept it
under the rugs daily
the neighbor with seven children
and a drunken husband wore it in her bruises
its bitter taste puckered my lips
so I spat it out and rinsed my mouth
I am not eve
adam ate out of his own need
I am my own cotton
Causes Opal Adisa Supports
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