Crucial Minutia
it's the little things...

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Cristina Pippa
Dear Reader,
No Comments | posted April 29th, 2007 at 10:30 am by Cristina Pippa

Iowa City was just warming up to draw its writers out of their dens with their coffee cups and notebooks, encouraging them to stake claims on bright sidewalk cafes, when I left for Chicago on Friday. I was back with the Hawkeyes for a couple of days to interview the WWII female soldier I’ve told you all about, but I got to catch up with friends finishing the Writer’s Workshop and Playwright’s Workshop this spring. As usual, we traded details about new projects and career moves. But how often have we talked about our audience– the very reason for our work? My friend had lent me a Billy Collins CD, and I thought of this as I drove off, listening to his poetry.

But now you are here with me,
composed in the open field of this page,
no room or manicured garden to enclose us,
no Zeitgeist marching in the background,
no heavy ethos thrown over us like a cloak.

Instead, our meeting is so brief and accidental,
unnoticed by the monocled eye of History,
you could be the man I held the door for
this morning at the bank or post office
or the one who wrapped my speckled fish.
You could be someone I passed on the street
or the face behind the wheel of an oncoming car.

–from Billy Collins’ “Dear Reader”