Blogging, Poems, Podcasts, & Homecoming

I've noticed -- maybe you've noticed, if you pay attention to when these posts come out -- that I'm on more of a biweekly schedule with the blog of late. It's not a bad thing, really. I am often negligent in posting to the blog because on Friday mornings, when I would usually write a blog post, I'm busy still working on the poem, and when 9:30 rolls around I switch to the Long Form Friday mode, and work on, well, long-form projects.

The poems are turning into a kind of long form project themselves, developing into what is undoubtedly a manuscript -- but I'm nervous about assigning anything formal to what I'm working on. Lately, I've slowed down in the poem-generation, compared to my pace in August and September. Part of this is because I see a kind of narrative emerging, and that narrative dictates certain kinds of poems that must be written; and this is kind of unfortunate, because I don't want anything to dictate any direction at this point. I like -- I've been thoroughly enjoying, reveling in -- the play, the fun of creating poems without any kind of pressure. I want to move back into that space instead of being further locked into a narrative. I don't really know if I can do that at this point . . . but we'll see. This upcoming week, that's my goal. Play more, write more, worry about the big picture less.

My pace has probably also slowed because the amount of grading I have to do right now is INSANE. Who the hell told me to assign all of this work? Honestly, taking a week off at the end of September, right as I was collecting major assignments, was most likely the thing that's slowed me down this semester, but there's no way I'm regretting that decision. 

Also this week, while driving my kids to and fro and everywhere and also commuting, I've listened to two episodes of the Commonplace podcast and I highly recommend them. One is very long -- the Gabrielle Calvocoressi episode -- and the other, with Danez Smith, is shorter but no less interesting. Both talk about inventing forms and D.S. speaks about MFA programs and how they can be damaging, and G.C. speaks about the poetry grant/prize system in the U.S. and all of it is really smart and thoughtful. Plus, I'm a huge fan of both poets. Apparently, they're both talented on the page and also super eloquent in conversation, too.

In general health news, I finally (finally) went to see an orthopedic and I *do* indeed have bicep tendonitis, and now I'm on some anti-inflammatory stuff (like a stronger ibuprofen) and I have to find a physical therapist to go to twice a week. I asked the doctor if I was stupid for having run with arm weights to begin with, and he said not necessarily, but that I probably should have adjusted my gait and that I've been holding my shoulder blades all wonky and my biceps had to do extra work and that's why they're all like, "OH HELL NO" when I try to do anything now, like carry my nephew or load groceries in the car, or, you know, sleep for any amount of hours uninterrupted. 

Last weekend my best friend Laura and I went back to Harrisonburg, VA and James Madison University for our 20th College Reunion/Homecoming. We arrived late on Friday and had to cash in all of our drink tickets at once, so she took this picture of me holding all the beers and also did something weird with the iPhone so the result is this super trippy photo that pretty much sums up the theme for the weekend: We're old.

Lookit my elongated dinosaur-hands, everyone!
I think that's everything accounted for. Maybe I'll have news and more play progress updates on Friday -- if not, I'll see ya'll in two weeks.



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