National Poetry Month Celebration
Bio: Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. Cindy won an Honorable Mention in The Rattling Wall Poetry Contest. Cindy is a Guest Author for Saint Julian Press. She is a founding member of PoetrIE, an Inland Empire based literary community. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in A Narrow Fellow, shuf poetry, Poetry Quarterly, The Prose-Poem Project, The Wild Lemon Project Literary Journal, Welter Literary Magazine, The Sand Canyon Review, Inlandia, A Literary Journal, Lili Literary Journal, andPhantom Seed. Cindy is collaborating on two chapbooks and working on her second manuscript.
Every year before Tet mother treated Mai Ly and her best friend from school, Long Anh to breakfast. Glass noodles with eel for Mai Ly and Sticky Rice for Long Anh. At first Mai Ly thought Long Anh annoying. Short with bobbed hair, Long Anh almost jumped when talking, talking in a loud voice. Always smiling. In time Mai Ly found her joy contagious. Long Anh gave Mai Ly the courage not to be so shy.
Excitement filled the air along with the aroma of Rice Vermicelli. The crowd buzzing when
Mai Ly noticed mother’s face gone ashen.
What is it, Mother? Asked Mai Ly.
She followed her mother’s gaze to the tiny altar of tangerines and incense surrounding the statue of the Jade Emperor tucked away on a small shelf.
I, I thought the statue closed his eyes and bowed to me, said Mother.
Mai Ly’s throat tightened. She wanted to reassure mother about Phong’s passing to heaven. Mother did not know about Phong’s impending death.
Mai Ly said, Oh, Mother, are you imagining things again?
Long Anh laughed. Felt an undertow nipping at her legs.
Note: Tet is the Vietnamese New Year
Where do you get you inspiration from to write?
Life experiences, stories people tell me, walks. I like to create mythical worlds that involve a quest. i explore different cultures than my own increasing community while expressing universal truths. Nature inspires. I go beyond the physical world to spiritual places. Push the boundaries of what is typically considered real. I am also an artist. I began as a painter and now create fiber art. My art and poetry are feeding off each other. For example, a story about a ghost fish became an art series. Creating the art works give me a deeper understanding of the characters in the story.
What advice do you have for someone that is threatened by poetry?
Read several styles of poetry. There are many voices to experience. Attend poetry readings. A friend recently told me that he didn't think he liked poetry, but enjoyed a reading my group, PoetrIE, did in the alley (see photo) connected to an art show. Write what you see, feel, and imagine. Then give the story sounds, touch, smells. Read what you've written outloud and hear the sounds of language; live the words.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I was a hippie.
Where were you born? Where are you from?
I was born in Oakland, CA. Grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I have lived in San Bernardino, CA over 30 years.
Who is your favorite poet?