Saturday, June 12, 2021

Process XXXI

Achievement always makes me feel like I am getting away with something. I was stressed out about my poetry assignment all week, turning it in after midnight Saturday (Sunday morning). And what do you know? Actually working hard on something can be rewarding, even if you don’t realize it at the time.

Started re-reading Still Life With Woodpecker a week ago, but I am finding it demoralizing. When I mentioned it online, a number of people over a certain age, many of them women, expressed their long-felt affection for the book, and for others by Robbins. But particularly this one.

And yet, while my twenty year-old self was tickled by his near abusive use of metaphor and his liberated approach to sexual desire, I feel that centering the narrative on a progessive young woman is a trick, and very dated. His fetishization of Leigh-Cheri (is it lee-sheree or lay-cherry, her name is a sexual pun) seems creepy and I know how the story goes, as she will be seduced and radicalized by a man.

What is interesting is that, like many books, this one was recommended to me by a woman I was infatuated with, the same woman who never wore a watch because she didn’t want to be bound by the arbitrary strictures of time and besides, asking people the time, when necessary, means not being afraid of others. Because of her, for a year I did not wear a watch and as a result I was late for everything. Robbins should write a book about that relationship.

Huh. Maybe I will write a play about it. Hmn. Notes.

Okay. So. This is my bye week in poetry, I need to keep up with my reading but no assignment due today. Well-timed, as we are throwing a party for the graduate tomorrow. Summer in full effect. I feel like it's all gonna happen now.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Process XXX

How can I be so active and yet feel like it’s all rushing past me. Last week we went out of town for a brief vacation at the out-laws. And yet, I felt like I had barely a moment to rest. There was rest, but my mind? My mind was active. And yet, I was not doing anything with it. No projects, no writing, no drawing, just trying to read, or rather re-read, a book.

What I wanted to do was sit on the porch (the newly painted porch, it’s beautiful) at my mother-in-law’s house, and just read. It’s not a thing that really happened. I mean, it was a bit too cool. But so what? I could have bundled up, it could have happened.

I had rushed out of town on Saturday, just as I had completed and turned in my poetry assignment for the week. I had spent all week planning and plotting a “declaim and exclaim” video, analyzing works by Philip Freneau and Phillis Wheatley. And then I spent the weekend fretting about my grade. Fretting about my grade? There’s a first.

The thing about a summer course (which I realized too late) is that it is sixteen weeks packed into six. So my work, on a weekly basis, must be more detailed, and there is less room for error. This is the end of week three.

Today, this day, a Saturday, I will spend luxuriating in romantic and sentimental poetry, which is just what I think I need right now. Don't we all?