Turtle blood is memory. Memory that would perhaps remain forgotten and submerged beneath murky pond water. The name of the poetry collection, “What Turtle Blood Tastes Like” is taken from a poem that began at the Kachemak Bay Writers’ Conference in a workshop taught by Stan Sanvel Rubin. The workshop focused on the workings of time in poetry. Stan said, “you write a poem in one time and then it is taken by the reader and interpreted in another time, a later time, or read aloud with different pacing, measure, a musical time” and “Time is a medium in which poetry exists…floating in time”. We read examples of poems in which time was juxtaposed and toyed with. One that sticks with me is William Carlos Williams’ “This is just to say.”
I have eaten / the plums / that were in / the icebox //
and which / you were probably / saving / for breakfast. //
Forgive me / they were delicious / so sweet / and so cold.
And from Williams’ time bounding, confessional poem my own childhood memories came rushing like blood from a deep wound and I jotted down these notes, willow swamp, purple blood, shell drum, raising and dropping the rock, the sick wet crack of mossy shell. That poem became, “What Turtle Blood Tastes Like.”