Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Anvils, A Collaboration With John Straley

Way back in the last century, the early 1990s, I think, I spent an enjoyable evening in Juneau with Sitka novelist, poet and criminal investigator John Straley. It was the final night of the legislative session and the usual intrigue was ripping like the Taku Winds through the Alaska Capitol Building . The two houses of the legislature were tussling with each other and the Hickel administration. Deals were being concocted and demands were being made. It was a wild ride as usual, and we had a fine time watching it all fall together, or apart. After the session ended, John generously sent me a copy of his book "The Woman Who Married a Bear". Then we lost touch.

Half a year ago, I ran across John on Twitter, followed him, and we struck up an electronic acquaintanceship. In the course of our tweets John learned that I have Parkinson's Disease, which also afflicts his wife.

A couple months ago he was in Anchorage on a book tour for "Cold Storage, Alaska" (which is a terrific read.) I went to his presentation, and we had a nice chat. John suggested we do some sort of collaboration. I said "Sure". These spur-of-the-moment ideas usually fizzle when the time to do the actual work arrives. So I was a bit surprised that John called my bluff with a poem, "Anvils", which appears below for your reading and viewing . I believe as you read it you will come to understand that it's not about anvils.


Susan O'Shea said...

Whoa! This just carves into us, Jerry and me, husband and wife, living with chronic terrible disease. Thank goodness, though, we have no anvils in ours.

Alison Hull said...

Well put. I read it three times, each time it was more powerful. The illustrations are an integral part.