The reading went really well -- a lovely, sizable audience (the IOTA Poetry Series has been going on for well over a decade, and has a dedicated following), and a good opportunity to read poems outside of the context A. and I established with our "Poets on Childlessness and Parenthood" tour. Instead, we could just read poems. I read about 10 minutes from the chapbook and then 10 minutes of poems from the rest of the Fabulous Beast ms, and A. read a lovely selection from his book, Little Songs and Lyrics to Genji.
Here we are in action: (HA!)
|Isn't this backdrop kind of amazing?|
|Photograph of me and this guy's bald head courtesy of my baby sister, Lil' K.|
Also, I had a snifter of Bourbon Barrel Stout. Drinking beer out of a snifter is pretentious and really shouldn't be condoned, but sometimes it has to be done. It was worth the risk of looking like an asshole. It was delicious.
Beer and poems aside, I'm amazed that I managed to get through the weekend and NOT be a complete stress case. I answered student emails while I was at my mother's house, and didn't feel resentful while doing so. I even graded some quizzes. We took the kids to a "Dinosaur Expo" which sounded like a really good idea at the time but turned out to be a kind of hell even my 5 year old son couldn't get behind, despite the animatronic dinosaurs and bouncy-houses. Too many people, period. And yet even THAT debacle didn't sour the weekend. I took the kids to the LEGO movie, too (opening weekend, 'cause I'm an idiot). All in all, I felt like it was a good balance of concentrating-on-the-kids and indulging-in-poetry-and-me-time.
AND Vampire Baby slept through the night (probably exhausted from yesterday's exodus from VA up the congested Eastern seaboard) waking only at 5 to be fed and then falling back asleep -- so I have been able to do a little reading, including this terrific essay on the vitality of poetry in The Hudson Review, which -- while exploring the nuances (or lack of nuance) of contemporary poetry -- also reviews S.P.'s excellent book, The Black Sea.
I feel optimistic about the days ahead. Hopefully it's not a foolish optimism, and I'm not setting myself up for a major freakout or meltdown mid-week. I have a lot of balls in the air still, probably too many as usual, but for now I'm happy and grateful to be a circus act.