Genre Confusion

This has been a week of extraordinary writing-related events. From beginning with that discussion on last Saturday by Rex Bowman to the completion and reading of two new short pieces, I’d say the week was productive. And very, very emotional. (I know, never use “very.” Never, never use “very, very.” So what.)

I wrote a thank you essay for my cousin for a treasured gift. I used the essay to explain why the gift meant so much and why I would take care of it always. I don’t know what to do with it. Perhaps enter it in an essay contest some time along the way.

And then I wrote a piece that defies genres. Called Three Weeks, it’s either an essay or a poem. I realize it’s odd not to know which genre Three Weeks belongs to. Visually, it looks like a free-form poem. Orally, it reads like a short essay, but for the heartbeat of the refrain. I still don’t know which it is.

I asked my dear friend Donna Knox to do a cold read of the piece at Valley Writers Thursday night. Once we finished snuffling back tears, no one in the group could fit it into a genre. I took it with me to Lake Writers Friday morning but had no intention of reading until Jim Morrison asked if I had it with me. Another friend, Rodney Franklin, did me the honor of reading ot. Again, none of the writers in Lake Writers could definitively say to which genre it belonged.

Maybe the heartbeat of the refrain and the subject were enough. Maybe it doesn’t need to belong to a genre. I know the emotions it evokes are real. That’s enough for me.

I think it would be enough for my dear mother. It is about the last three weeks of her life. I hope I did her proud. Happy 87th birthday to the original Mini Mommy.

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