The Roads Not Taken

Alice Fulton is a poet who recently won the 2002 Rebekah Johnson Bobbit National Price for Poetry from the UlS Library of Congress.
Back in the ’70s, when Alice was still a student. she and I were in the same poetry workshop led by Lyn Lifshin. We were still struggling to find our voices, our styles. Alice was young, gamin-like, talented even then. I was ….well, let’s just say I was in a troubled marriage and had two young children.
I remember that Alice had a low, resonant speaking voice, and she DJed late at night at a local radio station. One night she read poetry that we had all written in Lyn’s workshop. This is the one of mine she read:
I wake tight
wound in the sheet
(night winding sheet)
wounded
in the lined-yellow-sheet logic
of your woundmind
winding
sheet-tight
around my night.
So, now Alice teaches at Cornell and wins poetry prizes. I take care of my mom and weblog.
Before my daughter gave birth to her son, she had written several (as-yet unpublished) novels, and Alice Fulton wrote a “preview” of her best one. My daughter had a small press interested in publishing the novel, but they went under after 9/11. Now, she is totally into being a mother and has set her writing aside.
My daughter has no regrets. Neither do I. But I do have a little envy.

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