10 Line Tuesday —The Winking Heart — a Poem by Maya Stein

Episode 32

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the winking heart

By Guest Blogger Maya Stein

For a moment, I thought the muscle had relaxed, lay flaccid

against my bed pillows, consenting to this new embrace.

My lips puckered open. The rain was coming down hard,

wiping the street free and spring was upon us, of course –

that would have been reason enough to say yes to the clean slate

of whatever this was. But the drama on the skylights jolted

everything inside of me, and I felt how quickly my heart

rose from its horizontal idleness, gathered its boots, and bolted

out the door. It knew the risk, returning – the house quiet and alone.

But what can I say? I am more river than rest, more flesh than bone.

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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