I love a particular cupcake company in Seattle, I love my partner, and I love food. I’m not a huge fan of math and so I wrote a love poem to my partner equating him with a particular seasonal cupcake offered on Father’s Day. The poem had references to math and originally more on love not being an equation one could calculate. I also brought in Adam & Eve, the quintessential couple.
And please describe the place in great detail. At the Balch Hotel, a renovated hotel that faces the east side of Mt. Hood, about 85 miles from Portland, Oregon. (https://www.balchhotel.com) The hotel has been renovated to its original décor of the era, it was built in 1907.
I don’t remember if I wrote this poem in my room or downstairs in one of the antique lobby couches, since I wrote in both places throughout the workshop. It is a lovely space to write and think. I wrote with a pen in a notebook, which is how my poems usually start, I keep a journal in process, and then I go to the computer to move writing out of my journal onto the page.
What month and year did you start writing this poem? October 2008
How many drafts of this poem did you write before going to the final? (And can you share a photograph of your rough drafts with pen markings on it?) I don’t keep draft revisions, but this poem went through at least three, maybe four, drafts, some poems have many more drafts, this one felt fast.
Were there any lines in any of your rough drafts of this poem that were not in the final version? And can you share them with us? I still have the original draft, so from that some lines removed:
Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? It was a delicious and fun poem to write. The most emotional part was the warming towards my long term partner while away at a writing retreat.
Has this poem been published before? And if so where? Cupcake is published in my first full size poetry book, No Father Can Save Her, Plain View Press, 2011.
In 2015 Couth Buzzard Books Espresso Buono Cafe, a local bookstore, was posting a daily poem on their Facebook page for National Poetry Month and invited me to submit. Because they were okay with a published poem, and because I had read from this book at this bookstore, I sent Cupcake, on April 16, 2015 it was on their feed.
Julene Tripp Weaver, a native New Yorker, is a psychotherapist and writer in Seattle, WA. She has a chapbook, Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, and two full size collections, No Father Can Save Her, and her latest, truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, published by Finishing Line Press, 2016.
Truth be bold was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, won the Bisexual Book Award, and four Human Relations Indie Book Awards in 2017; this book is being taught at LIU-Brooklyn, first in a class on Art Inspired by the AIDS Epidemic, and ongoing in a Western Literature class where it is compared to Walt Whitman’s work in the field during war time. Julene worked 21 years in AIDS services. You can find more of her work online, a few include: The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, Voices in the Wind, Antinarrative Journal, MadSwirl, and Writing in a Woman's Voice.