Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's in that trunk, girlfriend?

by Samantha Wilde
I have written so many books, half-novels, parts of books, and chapters, that usually, when I come across one, I have no recollection of having written it! The same can not be said of my poetry which I have collected into bulging manila folders; I remember every heart wrenching one of them and generally find them all terrible.

This picture doesn't have anything to do with trunk novels.
It's the cover of my mother's latest and 22nd!! novel.
She's one lady who doesn't need a trunk!

A few months ago, while visiting my mother, novelist Nancy Thayer, on Nantucket, she asked me to look through a chest (it could certainly qualify as a trunk) full of my "junk" so that she could, at last, dispose of the thing. I found a wide variety of treasures hidden inside: an old Middlesex sweatshirt (not the novel, the boarding school, which my brother attended), reams of negatives from my photography at Wellesley College-I'm-a-fine-art-major days, pictures of me from high school in cheap frames, and, you guessed it, a novel.

I began to read the novel. I don't know when I wrote it or why I wrote it or why I never finished it, but damn, it was good! I would share it with you, except when I finished reading it I put it write back into the trunk. When it comes to my writing, I'm not at all sentimental.

My lost novels exists on at least three separate computers, one of which is so old I doubt I will ever recover the file. And on floppy disks, which does me no good because I can't get them to work in a CD drive no matter how hard I try!

One novel I did send out to about twelve agents nearly a decade ago was about a mysterious death at a seminary. I wrote it the summer after I graduated from Yale Divinity School. I actually had two agents for HOLY FIRE. Well, one almost agent and one agent who took it on only to give it up later. I don't blame her either. It has way too much sex in it.

Another winner: THE GEOGRAPHY OF LOSS. God, I'm depressed just writing the title. Thank goodness that one never got published or I would suffer a Sylvia Plath career and a suicide and then I'd be too dead to write this now (although my trunk novels would be posthumously and famously published. I can safely say I'd rather be alive and obscure than dead and famous.)

FATTY has to be my favorite. I wrote it in college. It's still funny, though I can't quite remember what it was about--other than dieting, of course.

I have a host of non-fiction books and starts of books around also, but I think it's safe to say that if you've read this far into my post what you really want is to read some of my kick-ass poetry. (Oh, the short stories! I have those too!) My poems are terrible and primarily about love. I did find ONE that didn't have to do with personal love. It's terrible too, and probably a decade old, but it speaks about my other life--as a minister and person of faith--and so, since it has nothing to do with trunk novels, I will share it with you.


There's a lot of talk about you
some say they walk beside you
some say they have the key
as they assault me on the street.
Many raise sweet voices
as they constrict women's choices,
and there are many,
I know many,
who will never sing a note.

There's a battle out about you
factions preach and shout to love you
some harbor only hate
for those who won't participate.
Some promise true forgiveness
as they slowly rob your business.
Many dwell in peace divine
and I wonder if they're lying,
and there are many,
I know many,
who never fight this war.

So when they ask me if I'm happy
if I have found the Lord--
I am anything but bored,
for in my gratitude
and in my attitude
I would hope that they could see
that I am happy clearly
and I love someone dearly
and I know a mighty power
just who that is, hour by hour,
becomes less clear to me.
But just being able to see
the sun off the snow off the dog
makes me know some God
works in the energies of the world,
designs miracles to be unfurled
and receives without prejudice every prayer
just the silence of listening so rare.
Hallelujah, I'd offer out,
maybe some praises, maybe a shout,
but I would be surprised
if from my lips would rise
a solitary name--

great goodness, great goddess
great natural force
great energy, great synergy
great power of choice,
hallelujah, hallelujah
praise to the skies,
there's a lot of talk about you.
And a little bit is wise.

You have to imagine this spoken, like at a beat poetry slam.
Gosh, it's a good thing I'm working with some new material now....my agent just asked if I could write about seminary!

Samantha Wilde really does enjoy poetry, especially good poetry, loves to write, can't stop reading, spends her days with three small children who are teaching her, ever so slowly (and she's not always the best student) how to really be spiritual. She's an ordained minister, a Kripalu yoga teacher, and the author of THIS LITTLE MOMMY STAYED HOME and I'LL TAKE WHAT SHE HAS (out in Feb. 2013!) She has never shared this poem with anyone else before, so go easy.... You can learn more at samanthawilde.com.


  1. Thanks for sharing the story of your trunk novel, Samantha. This has been such an interesting series and it makes me feel better about all the starts and stops, half-finished novels, I have on my computer.

  2. I enjoyed sifting through your trunk, Sam. Love the title of your new novel. So sad about Nora.

  3. so much fun to read about all this Sam! I think you might need to post a reading of the poem on Youtube so we get the whole picture!

  4. Cool poem! While reading it, I imagined it set to music--so no surprise that you imagine it being rapped.

  5. This is making me think of a time I did do the whole beat poetry rap thing while at Kripalu doing my yoga teaching. It was hilarious! Maybe I'll do the Youtube thing one day for comic relief!

  6. 22 NOVELS??!!! Whew...

    Appreciate your sharing your poem, and I'd love to be a part of a poetry rap/Yoga! And love the title of the upcoming novel.

  7. Excellent poem, although I think there should be a goat in there somewhere... in any case, I remember FATTY fondly, and I can tell you it was not at all about dieting - it was about being oneself, proudly, with no apologies. Which I think ends up being the takeaway in most of your best writing, so keep it up!