“Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale”

One more for today… I wrote this poem days before the release of Ever After, and had no idea how close I was to the last line of the film.  The first of a series of three I’ve written so far, this originally untitled poem speaks to me lately, as I live vicariously through the art of others, calling it “seeking inspiration”, instead of making my own.  A bit about the series:

S.I.F.T. Series (Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale)
These poems were actually written in pieces, months apart. The first I wrote days before the premiere of Ever After- I freaked out when I heard the end of the movie, as it was similar to the end of “Self-Inflicted Fairy Tale” and I was afraid people would think I stole it. I’ve even kept the email I sent to my then boyfriend (now husband) in for the date-stamp! The second one I wrote summer 2000, frustrated with computers and their place in my life. I think I actually drew a picture first, then wrote the poem. The last one I wrote in February 2001, at work, just after reading one of the essays in Kate Bernheimer’s book * Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales,* the one on Fitcher’s Bird and Bluebeard, then I realized the sifting is in Cinderella too, and then it’s the initials of my poem series. Weird!

All of them are about my life- the first and last have heavily to do with my work life at the time I wrote them and the dissatisfaction I had with it. I grew up with a heavy interest in fairy tales, to the point I tried to live them. If I had to do chores, I was Cinderella. If I needed to get to sleep, I became Sleeping Beauty. If I felt imprisoned, Rapunzel was my company. In college, I was called Cinderella because I would wear a kerchief on my head and, after I finished washing the floor in my quad, ask my dorm mates if they wanted theirs washed. I was that into it. As I’ve become more interested in adaptations, read the more PC versions, the adult versions, etc., I’ve been trying to find my own identity outside the fairy tales, but cannot associate or write without them. I find writing about real life difficult, or less satisfactory, unless there’s a bit of them there.

Hopefully the words will flow again soon.

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“Page fright, Dancer’s block…”

I’ve had a lot of “writer’s block” lately (not for lack of ideas- I have too many to complete in my lifetime!), so I thought I would share with you a few of my poems about writing.  They will be included in Cracking the Nut, a collection of poems inspired by ballet stories and dance in general, as well as a revised edition of my first self-published chapbook, Twisting the Glass.  May these hands of silver move across the page again soon.

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A pantheon of muses…

From one of my many works-in-progress, Hallowing / Hollowing the Ash.*

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So much to inspire,

    song,

        poetry,

            dance,

                portraiture,

to personify it all would create

        a pantheon

    of muses.

    Their essence,

            the minutae,

when does the inspiration end,

    and the art begin?

© Kerrie McNay, 5/25/08

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I haven’t yet decided which to use- it’s a collection of poems inspired by myths, legends, and various sacred texts, so either could work.