I won second place in this year's Amy Award from Poets & Writers. I'll be reading at the New York Society Library on October 22nd. Mark your calendars, New Yorker friends!
This week I registered for classes at the New School (linguistic anthropology & a nonfiction writing workshop with Zia Jaffrey), started training at the New Yorker, submitted lesson plans to my supervisor at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange, where I'll be teaching acting and musical theater this fall, turned in my poetry chapbook to Nate Pritts for h-ngm-n, and continued my obsession with Georgia O'Keeffe.
Near the end of the nineteenth century, the two Archuleta brothers settled on property north of Abiquiu, on the Piedra Lumbre (Shining Stone) Land Grant, the title of which had come from the king of Spain. At the base of the high mesas, they built an adobe house and channeled water out of Yeso Canyon for themselves and their livestock. One brother took the cattle to the market in Santa Fe and returned with the proceeds in gold. The older brother, Juan Ignacio, accused him of keeping part of the gold. His brother denied it; there was a terrible scene, and Juan Ignacio killed his brother. He buried the corpse on the hillside and told the widow he would kill her baby if she told what had happened. Here the story departs from the rational and enters into the territory of dream and myth. Ignacio threatened to sacrifice the baby to the grand master of evil spirits, Vivaron, a thirty-foot-long serpentlike creature. The wife felt it prudent to leave, with her baby, in the middle of the night.
Sixty years later, the widow's daughter told the story to Arthur Pack, who then owned the ranch. Vivaron, of course, was dismissed as a mythological creature fabricated by the Hispano-Indian inhabitants, until, in 1935, the complete skeleton of a pre-historic creature--a phytosaur--was found in the vicinity. It was thirty feet long, and resembled a serpent.
Georgia O'Keeffe, A Life : Roxana Robinson