Writing Class……….hopefully. 2 poems

On Writing Our Ancestors   UCLA CLASS at Westwood Methodist Church

Writing Group, 1993

They cleared their throats,

hushed with the years,

whispers, at first,

then sure and strong.

We conjured them here,

from Kiev and Kansas,

and they spoke of their lives,

their loves and choices.

We wrote in tongues,

that busy writing Wednesday,

their voices pushed our pens,

told us of our pasts,

even hinted at our futures.

That was a piece I wrote during a wonderful UCLA extension writing class. Edwina (Paul Thomas Anderson) Anderson and Nicola (daughter of Ernst) Lubitsch were both in it…what an honor.   We decided to write a piece on our ancestors and that was mine.  Mal and Baysider discussed Mal’s (and my) Armenian background recently, so I thought of this.     I also remembered this one I wrote some years later about my grandmother and “her massacre”

 Grandma’s Massacre

Escaping from their village, pregnant women ran, holding their bellies in a final hug before their deaths.

 She survived, my grandmother.  She survived the Turks, and loneliness, and hunger and thirst

and went to the new country

But the massacre came with her like dirt under her nails

like photos in her mind

Snapping now and again…like she should have.

A long time ago.

(Sorry for the format, it’s lovely otherwise, making it far more understandable, but wouldn’t work here)

Z

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4 Responses to Writing Class……….hopefully. 2 poems

  1. JG says:

    Writing at UCLA was an experience, I was Electrical Engineering at UCLA in the mid to late 70s but could not write and after my first class was told to drop the English class and leave English for community college. The UCLA English Professor told me that English there was for writers and not for Engineers like me. I did just that took my English Courses and Chemistry at community college and it worked out good. I learn to write and also business writing. I also finished Chemistry also.

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  2. geeez2014 says:

    JG,,,Always better (and cheaper!) to take non-major classes at Community college, for sure…You did the right thing!
    Our BOCOPRO here was a prof of business writing. BUt he sure writes everything well.

    This UCLA experience for me was in my THirties, well after college, and it was an elective type thing…After taking a class AT UCLA, some of us decided we didn’t need that much supervision OR that much tuition to pay, and we found a room at the local Methodist church which let the

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  3. geeez2014 says:

    JG: Oh! Sorry…this thing printed before I wanted it to in the comment above!…..??? Anyway: After UCLA’s class was over, that church let us meet once a week for nothing….I think we paid a bit of a thank you gift every year, it lasted 3 years or so…and was wonderful because all of us were pretty good writers and the input from others was even better than that of a prof by our level of writing.
    I LOVED getting to know Nicola Lubitsch and hearing her father’s film business stories, and Edwina Anderson was Paul Thomas Anderson’s MOm and was married to THE biggest voice over guy in LA, Ernie Anderson, which is saying a lot…….All were older than most of us, but all of us really did give good critiques and all got some pretty good creative writing done there!

    Edwina’s son was a NOBODY until halfway through our classes together and she said “My son made Boogy Nights”. We all dropped our TEETH in shock!…and, of course, he’s gone on to be QUITE a producer/director, etc. What a fun surprise to see that amazing fame come to him from virtually (as far as we knew) NOTHING.

    I hope my poems here were interesting to you.

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  4. Baysider says:

    Yes, quite interesting. Spare and lean, while conveying much.

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