Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: The Nots
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Not many poets would confess to the personal themes they’ve avoided in their work, or even quite know what they are. Yet in this brave poem which concludes his new collection, Death of a Ventriloquist, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc of Portland both reveals those themes to us and challenges himself with them.
The Nots by Gibson Fay-LeBlanc
A writer is accountable also for what he chooses not to write. —Edmond JabesI haven’t described the flight path of my shouts at two toddlers in a car. I’ve said littleof my father, a dash. I’ve not been head in hands, unable to stop my baby’s wails.That wasn’t me, slack-jawed before a screen, vacant as neon, forgetting my own name.Not once have I forgotten my son on his birthday or how to touch my wife.That was someone else who tightened your heart with a skate key. Confessed notbeing the cherry atop a Manhattan, nor a tiny umbrella crinkling over a daiquiri.No tantrums on or off the page. I told none of the stories I wished to.They turned out to be tangles of nerve fibers unjoined, two roads without a bridge between.I’ve not spread my arms wide as they would and said, Do with me what you will.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2012 Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Reprinted from Death of a Ventriloquist, University of North Texas Press, by permission of Gibson Fay-LeBlanc. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.