Poet of the Day – Candice Kelsey

National Poetry Month April 3, 2020

Candice Kelsey

                        for Meghan Markle
This poem is the press
This line the Daily Mail
This caesura – your father
These letters your letter
This stanza breaks
Like the shutter
Of a super telephoto lens
And this alliteration
Is afterthought arising
Around Archie – your agony
These metaphors
Are your brown eyes
Elegant script
Under saddened brows
Washed over
By flattering streams
This verse is free
Of meter and rhyme
Donning its fancy title
Like your cocktail hats
And this stanza resembles
The Pont de l'alma
Unlike your feather-soft heart
Of wife and mother
This poem’s not vulnerable
It will never hear
Thank you for asking
This poem is the press
Writing you without you
Breaking lines like stories
No one should read
Megxit was published in early January 2020 by Poets Reading the News.

1.     What inspired you to write this poem?

A child of the 80s, I grew up watching Princess Diana and admiring all she did. As an adult, I don’t really follow the Royals, but the recent interview with Meghan Markle pierced my heart; she seemed so defeated. And when she thanked the reporter for asking how she is doing, I felt the pain of all new mothers who are struggling.  The irony, of course, is that the poem advocates for giving Meghan Markle privacy while it is now published.

2.     What do you like about this poem?

 I like that the poem became a sort of ode not only to Meghan Markle but also to Diana and, of course, all women in who are under the universal eye of scrutiny either by their husbands, their mothers, or even strangers. I suppose my favorite stanza is the one that mentions the tunnel where Diana’s limousine crashed. I hope that my poem has treated Meghan Markle tenderly with compassion and dignity.

3.     What would you change about this poem?

 Well I did change the title. Initially it was titled “A Black Cocktail Hat with Two Navy Feathers,” but the editor felt it was too long. The change to “Megxit” was an obvious one, and I’m so pleased with it.

4.     Where, when, and how often do you write?

 I am always writing — either in my mind, on my phone’s Notes App, or at my lap top. Recently, however, the poems come to me once I am lying down in bed for the night. Sadly, I have endless ideas and phrases just waiting for me to utilize them in a poem, to build their home if you will.

5.     What poetry books are you reading right now?

I’m reading Insomnia by my favorite Linda Pastan, Arias by the incomparable Sharon Olds, and Sight Lines by the National Book Award Winner, Arthur Sze. I’m doing well in this department!

My forthcoming book of poems Still I Am Pushing is available from Finishing Line Press

My Twitter handle is @candicekelsey1

Picture of Candice Kelsey