Writers' Corner

Sally Dawidoff

2005 Poetry

Author's Statement

The NEA fellowship is allowing me to work part-time for a year in order to devote myself to writing poetry. The grant is also making it possible for me to collaborate with a composer on musical projects. My work is benefiting from the extended periods of time I now have. I'm exceedingly grateful to the NEA.

Excerpt from "Visiting Hour"

Your average schizophrenic will dilute
chaos with lies: "Once upon a time
I had a daughter. She's a prostitute."

Delusions are a coping style - neurotic,
almost. I "get" that. Every time
I leave, I check the stove. (Idiotic.

I don't cook.) I used to think one ought
to challenge the delusion: "Like in Times
Square? Turning tricks?" I thought

wrong; he'd just smile and nod. You argue
with psychosis, sister, you're wasting your time.
Surely I have better things to do -

learn to cook, go out on a date
with my ex. . . So when I find the time
to meet my father for coffee, I tolerate

his news. Be Nicer is my newfound motto.
"Dad, that's nice you're dating Renata Scotto."