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Deborah P Kolodji
29 July 2008 @ 11:24 pm
In the years immediately following my divorce, I wrote a lot of poems about earthquakes. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, Southern California was going through a cluster of earthquakes at the time.

Second, I always saw the 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake as symbolic of the breakup of my marriage. It didn't have the largest magnitude, but the epicenter was close enough that it toppled our chimney. The chimney came down approximately six months before Brian and I separated.

Finally, I think an earthquake is a great metaphor for divorce.

Here is one from that great boondoggle of earthquake poems I wrote in the early 1990's:

Sudden Separation

ignorant of seismology, most thought it was a strike-slip
San Andreas sort of anger severing our marriage
we appeared traveling in opposite directions, pulling
& tugging at each other until we broke apart
yet tremors stemmed from hidden thrust fault
blaming, straining at angles to surface stability
& when violence erupted
shocking the community with wedding china
rubble -- they wondered why?
Dr. Kate Hutton replied, "We don't know."

- Deborah P Kolodji
from Poetpourri (now The Comstock Review), Fall 1996

As for today's earthquake, it shook us around a bit, seeming to last longer than your average quake. I had some minor things fall off shelves and a desk - some photos, a few books, a stack of papers. My sister had a couple of photos fall of her walls, breaking the frames. But none of my friends or family suffered any real damage and we're all ok.