Today, I had another great opportunity to take a virtual writing class with Tony Robles,”The People’s Poet”, the author of the poetry and short story collections, Cool Don’t Live Here No More–A letter to San Francisco and Fingerprints of a Hunger Strike. He is the current writer in residence at the Carl Sandburg Historic Home in Flat Rock North Carolina.” More information taken from his website states that “his works have been widely published in anthologies and journals including, Where are you From?, Endangered Species, Your Golden Sun Still Shines, Born and Raised in Frisco and Growing up Filipino Volume II. He was shortlist nominated for Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2018 and a recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission Individual Literary Artist Grant in 2018. He is a housing justice advocate and the nephew of the late Filipino-American poet and historian Al Robles.
This is my second class with Tony, and I have to say his classes are life changing. He holds space and provides craft talk while providing ample time to write, share and receive encouragement and feedback. It was a two hour class but because it was so engaging, it felt like 30 minutes.
I’m not a poet; I’m more of a prose writer but, here is one piece I wrote today during class:
Christmas smelled like sizzling garlic and roasted pig
A white ceramic place greeted me – filled with bright greens leaves
cold orange wedges
noodles shaped like the letter S
soft and sinewy, salted with soy and ginger.
Your feet worked in this kitchen
Your belly rested above the plaid waist apron
You pushed the meaty flesh of your skin against the counter,
Pushing the rolling pin covered in white speckled dust like new fallen snow