10 Line Tuesday — Peeling Apples — a Poem By Maya Stein

Episode 4

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peeling apples

By Guest Blogger Maya Stein
"Write as if you were dying," the teacher tells us. "Because you are."
I'm trying to wrap my mind around this, having spent so many years
shrinking from death, holding it back by the brute force of my own terror.
Now, I'm to act as if it were right here, hovering dangerously close to my ears.
What about the languorous thread of minutes I had been so bent on teasing out,
the slow, meticulous laps in the pool of an examined, marinating life? But then,
one morning, peeling apples for sauce, I find myself hypnotized by the spiral route
the skin takes, the sudden nakedness of flesh, the knife going through again and again.
And just like that I'm wedded to the task like my life depended on it, full of new fidelity
for these fleeting beauties, in love even with loss. And I knew there was nowhere else to be.

Maya Stein Poet

10 Line Tuesday: Maya Stein Poems

About Maya Stein

My first job out of college was at a PR firm whose primary client was Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. In between writing tip sheets and press releases, I found myself immersed in the whimsical world of clowns and daredevil acrobats and dancing elephants, and I began to see the larger connection between the written page and the landscape outside of it. Since then, I have sought out creative adventures to weave into my writing life, and have designed projects that bring writing opportunities to unexpected places.

My 2010 Tour de Word was a two-month, 12,000-mile driving trip circumnavigating 30 states, during which I led writing workshops for children and adults. In early summer 2012, I launched Type Rider: Cycling the Great American Poemriding my bicycle for 40 days and more than 1,200 miles from Amherst, MA to Milwaukee, WI towing a typewriter behind me, stopping daily to gather words from strangers in the communities I visited.

I followed that with Type Rider II: The Tandem Poetry Tour, a tandem bike ride from Boulder, Colorado to Beloit, Wisconsin in July 2014, during which my partner and I built 25 Little Free Libraries and wrote poetry for the people we met along the way.  The motivation behind these and other projects is to inspire people to share their stories, to make writing more accessible – especially to those who don’t consider themselves writers - and to build community through creative action.

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