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Showing posts from June, 2017

The Restorative Powers of Quince Trees, Red Wine, Tacos, and Summer Reading

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Last Friday's trip to the Cloisters was indeed restorative, although my small hour (or two) spent drinking red wine with C.C. in her apartment in the West Village was also soul-feeding (albeit a touch dehydrating). Then I flew to Bushwick in a cab and made it to the gallery just in time to see M.S.'s exhibit at Wayfarer's. Then she and her husband fed me tacos. (I didn't need to eat tacos probably but who turns down tacos?) The next day I was a little groggy from a lack of sleep, but I definitely felt like my psyche was well-rested, if that can be a thing.
Today I'm spending some one-on-one time with The Boy. I try to have "a day" with the kids each semester, a little time with each individually where I spoil them and treat us to a meal out where we can talk without their siblings interrupting or competing for attention. I've already done this with both girl-children over the past two weeks. Today's not only the last day of school for The Boy, i…

Attempts at Self-Preservation

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It's been a week of sleep and silence, more or less. I'm really tired lately. I've been using the mornings to rest instead of waking and writing, and not feeling too poorly about it because I'm having one of those do-I-really-have-much-to-say moments. 
I've been doing more reading. I have a huge stack of books in my bedroom and a larger stack of chapbooks piled precariously in my living room that I need to read, and I'd all but taken a blood oath to refrain from book-buying until I'd made my way through these stacks -- and yet last week, before I attended the art crit in Brooklyn, M.S. and I ducked into Books are Magic and I bought -- because I have absolutely zero impulse control, apparently -- two books, one of which is Durga Chew-Bose's Too Much and Not the Mood. The title of the book comes from a diary entry of Virginia Woolf, who was also deep inside one of those do-I-really-have-much-to-say moments, and I suppose some feeling of solidarity was pa…

Risk & Second-Guessing & Really Bad Wings

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I've been feeling a little uncomfortable with my interview in the Hand of Wheel podcast this week. Not because of Maura and Haele, the hosts, or the fact of the interview itself, but in my relatively privileged response to some of their questions, primarily about the MFA. I feel a little douchey. Douchy. How does one make douche an adjective? Anyway. I feel alternately like a shit heel, and then defensive of my relatively low and insignificant place in the world of poetry, because it's a hard-won place even if it is cramped and spectacularly unremarkable.
Also, listening to yourself laugh has got to be one of the most torturous exercises ever. But I'm getting sidetracked.
I cringed inside whenever I heard myself say something on the podcast that I felt could, quite easily, be countered reasonably (and/or unreasonably attacked by internet trolls). A skilled rhetorician I am not, and it's quite evident here. And yet, part of me shrugs, too: nothing is accomplished witho…

Being Productive, Present, and Listening to Podcasts

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I'm now two weeks into the summer "vacation" and one week into teaching my summer literature course. Already I have little moments where I fear this precious, non-rat-race time is almost over, but overall I'm trying to stay level-headed and calm and be productive -- simply because if I can do good, earnest work over the next month -- prepping for fall classes and taking care of lose ends for the creative writing festival and the literary magazine I advise -- I'll be able to be present, and relaxed, during the entire months of July and August, and hopefully be more present, and more relaxed, than I ever have at the beginning of a fall semester. 
I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's probably a pipe-dream, but it's my pipe-dream, man.
Now that spring grading mania is over, I'm returning to things that I attempted to make regular practice but were elbowed out of the way when shit got real (and by "shit got real" I mean "…