Kim Stafford

I love a fountain pen I bought at a little store in S. France…but can’t seem to keep it working. So any marking tool will do.

Notebook at Piccott's End

GEMINI INK: How do you work?

KIM STAFFORD: I take a walk before dawn, and words come to me. Then I write them down. Then sunrise, and the day.

GEMINI INK: What theme or symbol keeps emerging in your work? Why?

KIM STAFFORD: Hidden things, secrets, darkness, not knowing, failing, stumbling, singing, breath, the work of the hand, peripheral vision, glimpses, dreams, ordinary things lit by strange light.
Notebook with chairNotebook in Barcelona

GEMINI INK: Do you have a favorite writing tool?

KIM STAFFORD: I love a fountain pen I bought at a little store in S. France…but can’t seem to keep it working. So any marking tool will do.

GEMINI INK: Describe your first writing desk.

KIM STAFFORD: There was a nook at the top of the stairs in my college house. I build a screen of concrete-spattered boards, and a desk of pallet wood.

GEMINI INK: What is integral to your method of writing?

KIM STAFFORD: Being open to what comes—today it’s the pain and confusion and glimmers of discovery following my mother’s death at 97 two days ago:


Second Birth

Hollowed by pneumonia, broken by a fall,
our mother with 97 years clenched
in her one good hand began
to grow smaller for passage
through her final knot of pain
with little cries a bird’s voice
flying in dark rain for
something we can’t see
here with her low lidded eyes,
cold skull, dry leaves
sticks, earth, and a promise.

 

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