Chemeketa Writes


Lawson Inada, Oregon's Poet Laureate, visited Chemeketa on Friday, April 18, where he read at the Multicultural Center. Later that evening he read at the Blue Pepper Cafe, accompanied by a jazz combo that had never before performed together. And on Saturday, April 19, he conducted a workshop entitled "Improvisations and Lively Noise," attended by Chemeketa students, faculty, and staff. Below are poems written by several workshop participants.

(Missed the reading? Thanks to the magic of digital recording, you can now enjoy it from the comfort of sitting in front of a computer.)

inada inada band


Erin Pfefferkuch
(Inada Workshop Scholarship Winner)

I wish I could write you—
Re-arrange you, Exchange you,
the things I didn’t like.
Punctuate you, paraphrase you.
          OR: I could just stop you,
when I wanted a break.
I could delete you, erase you,
save you.
Keep you on file for life.
Take you out when I wanted to re-work you,
but I wouldn’t have to —
because your mine.
No one else would have to meet you,
unless I wanted them to—
but I don’t.
Maybe later I will publish you,
Flaunt you, broadcast you
—become rich off your sensation—
Or I could just leave you alone,
and never read you.
I could do what I choose-
Re-written you are mine.


Five Haikus

Monica Oizumi

Una imagen.
Una letra detrás de otra, y se hacen palabras.
Un haiku, dos y hasta tres.
Y al final voces.

El poeta habla, mira y sonríe plácido;
ignorante de que su presencia
trajo a la vida a mi abuelo.

Come sing with me
fill my heart with joy
and flatter my soul.

Cacoethes scribendi, said Juvenal.
Latin, English, Spanish.
Words are just words,
and I’m nothing without them.

Words, no matter the language,
flow from my heart
to the piece of paper.



Made into a DanceAbility, dance, Chemeketa Community College, Spring 2008.

Nicole Taylor

(Inada Workshop Scholarship Winner)

The Twister game as travel plans, reaching out.
A tether ball game as returning to
          this little city, tethering out.
Tall firs, cedars across the parking lot in
          a solo dance.
The utility wires at the edge of the
          parking lot in a solo dance.
          (My dance teacher Maxine asked
          us to work on a solo dance.)
There’s also ~
The noisy crows on a wire as
          crying, noisy children.
Resting blackbirds waiting on a
          wire for a prom.
Dodgeball or popping corn against
          neighboring walls or doors.
Cracking, unlocking sounds of my
          arthritic shoulder.
An emotional see-saw life.
A speedy merry-go-round life. Jump in!

January 28, 2008
February 10, 2008

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