Friday, January 6, 2017

Day Six

Day six. I have an index card tacked up above my desk that just says "show up for the words." So far, I have. In the past week, I've written over 3,000 non-poetry words. I've written four poems. Fifteen journal entries. Three blog posts.

Maybe I'll blog more this year. Maybe I won't. Either way, it doesn't matter. We're all going to die. In the relative scheme of things, we're all going to die pretty soon.

Last night I watched Hard Candy. A little Ellen Page kicking pedophile ass. It was a pretty good movie. I'm also finishing up my third book of the year. I have a pile of books next to my desk I'd like to get to. But the new semester starts on Tuesday. Soon after that, I begin working in the factory again. I always set high expectations for myself, and I rarely meet them.

Maybe I ought to start putting things on my to-do list like "drink a beer" or "complain about my body."

Tuesday after my first day of class, I'm leaving for Indiana to do a reading with my two favorite blonde poets. We're getting tattoos, and then we're going on a writing retreat. I have been looking forward to this for months. I'm almost sad to see it come and go.

But today I will water the plants and make bread. I will make a packing list. I will clean my desk, do laundry, put away my clothes. I will wash my face, and walk outside. I will do small things well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

All the Good

Here are some good things that happened last year (yes some good things happened last year):

I wrote 56 poems.
In a year where I spent over two months in the hospital, I count this as a win. This averages out to about one a week. Hopefully this year I write many more.

I read 48 books and 13 short stories. 
See previous post for details.

On top of all that reading, I did a lot more watching.
Which, for now, I'm going to be okay with. I watched about 90 movies. I watched 55 seasons of TV shows. This year, I'd like to flop the reading and watching. I'm aiming for 100 books. I don't have a goal for movies and TV.

I practiced yoga.
Not a lot. But I did practice. I've been practicing yoga for over four years now. My goal for this year is to go 2-3 times per week. If I make it a habit again, the hope is that I'll want to go more.

I got rejected.
Again, not a lot. I usually aim for 100 rejections in a calendar year. It means that I send out my work. I got 28 rejections in 2016.

I got a four acceptances.
From THRUSH, Word Riot, Poetry City USA, and Vinyl.

My nieces were born.
I now have two more nieces, who were both born in November of 2016! Audrey and Katie Beth.

I fell in the alleyway
while trying to go put my face into a gigantic cardboard cutout of a lobster.

I did eight poetry readings.
Poets & Pints, Three Blonde Poets, Ali O'Reilly's book release party, The Red Stag Supper Club: New Shit Show (Twin Cities Lit Crawl), Altcomics, Poetry City USA @ Sisyphus Brewing, First Mondays @ Troubadour, The Christmas Spectacular)

I became a little obsessed with Patti Smith
after reading Just Kids.

I turned 30
and refuse to feel weird about it because I'm coming into myself and hey that's cool.

I walked.
A lot. Like, over 300 miles. It's what I spent most of my summer doing. I'd just leave the house with no direction and come back a couple of hours later. I found a lot of weird trails by the Mississippi. One time I helped a lady parallel park her car.

I took two aerial yoga classes.
Taking an aerial yoga class was on the list I made of 40 things I want to do before I'm 40. I did this twice! It was fun and hard and I'll probably do it again. I also took a barre class, which kicked my butt.

I cooked a duck.
And we ate the whole thing in one sitting.

A LOT of D&D got done.
Carlton Beerjug got into some serious shenanigans this year. He's a rogue elf, and he likes to steal.

My new chapbook came out!
It's called OVER THE MOON and you can order it online.

I bought a lot of lipstick.
Like, a lot.

I spent a week on Mallard Island.
With nine other women poets from Minnesota. It was one of the most magical weeks of my life. And I get to do it again next summer.

I won tickets to a Very Weird Concert.
By randomly calling into The Current when I heard "be the tenth caller now! Here's Garbage while you dial." I won tickets to see The Starfolk and Ice Palace.

I ate, approximately, 358 avocados.
This number was approximated using my memory and all of the pictures of avocados I posted to my Instagram account.

I spent five days camping and canoeing in the Boundary Waters.
It was pretty intense. I had never been to the BW before. We had to carry all of our supplies, canoes, and tents/packs on our backs while portaging between lakes. But it was beautiful. I caught a walleye and a turtle stole it.

My husband and I celebrated our six-year wedding anniversary.

We stayed in and made Indian food because it was like, -25 degrees outside.

I survived. 
And for many days of 2016, I didn't think I would.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Some Things Happened

This year, some things happened. I blogged about none of it. I spent a lot of this year in the hospital. I spent a lot of this year walking. I spent a lot of this year reading and watching TV and movies (mostly watching TV and movies). As with all other year-ends, I realized that I want to write more down. I've started doing that on paper, and in secret places online where I'm ferreting away ideas and fears and gibberish and stupid thoughts I need to get out. But maybe I'll start writing more here, too.

This year, some things happened. Maybe now I will try to capture the good things.

I read forty-eight books and thirteen short stories (my absolute favorites have been bolded):

Books

Flow - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats - T.S. Eliot
My Feelings - Nick Flynn 
O Holy Insurgency - Mary Biddinger
Blood Dazzler - Patricia Smith
Things and Flesh - Linda Gregg
Floating, Brilliant, Gone - Franny Choi
Some Ether - Nick Flynn
The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion 
Basil - Katharine Rauk (re-read)
Slouching Towards Bethlehem - Joan Didion
Tender Buttons - Gertrude Stein
House of Light - Mary Oliver
Some Planet - Jamie Mortara 
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle (re-read)
Transformations - Anne Sexton
Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh (re-re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read)
Just Kids - Patti Smith 

The Wind in the Willows - Keneth Graham
Ronia, the Robber's Daughter - Astrid Lindgren
Palliative for a Pretty - Matt Mauch
War of the Foxes - Richard Siken
Step Aside, Pops! - Kate Beaton 
Song of Myself - Walt Whitman (re-read)
Mathematics, a Beautiful Elsewhere - Jean-Pierre Bourguignon
Dearest Creature - Amy Gerstler (re-read)
Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country - Louise Erdrich
Lucifer at the Starlite - Kim Addonizio (re-read)
Happpy Apocalypse Day - Luke Pingel
Chapel of Inadvertent Joy - Jeffrey McDaniel
Prelude to Bruise - Saeed Jones
Buried Choirs - Katharine Rauk
Night Sky With Exit Wounds - Ocean Vuong 
The Threatened Everything - Paula Cisewski
The Opposite of Work - Hugh Behm-Steinberg
Seven Days Now - Erica Anderson-Senter 
Things That Are - Amy Leach (re-re-re-read)
The Awakening - Kate Chopin (re-re-re-re-re-read)
Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times - Ed. Neil Astley (re-read)
Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon (re-read)
The Princess and the Goblin - George MacDonald (re-read from long, long ago)
Ultra Violet - Chris Monroe
Miracle Mile - Ed Ochester (re-read)
Horse, Flower, Bird - Kate Bernheimer
Breath in Every Room - Tami Haaland
Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott (re-read)
What the Witch Left - Ruth Chew (re-read, again, from long, long ago)
How a Mother Weaned Her Girl From Fairy Tales - Kate Bernheimer

Short stories (all re-read)

The Fat Man in History - Peter Carey
The Canebreak - Mohammed Mrabet
Ysrael - Junot Diaz
The House Behind - Lydia Davis
The Old Man Slave and the Mastiff - Patrick Chamoiseau
Mark of Satan - Joyce Carol Oates
The Girl Who Left Her Sock on the Floor - Deborah Eisenberg
Night Women - Edwidge Danticat 
In the Shadow of War - Ben Okri
Midnight and I'm Not Famous Yet - Barry Hannah
Helix - Banana Yoshimoto
Reflections of Spring - Duong Thu Huong
The Courtship of Mr Lyon - Angela Carter

Many of these books and stories were ones I re-read, either because I was teaching them or I wanted to revisit them personally. Of the forty-eight books I read, thirty-four were new to me. Four were (are) manuscripts-in-the-making by my friends and Twin Cities Poet Peers. Twenty-seven were collections of poetry. Eight books were non-fiction. Six were young adult books. Two were comics.

And shamefully, here is the list of what I watched this year, favorites bolded.

Movies

The Force Awakens
Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban  (re-watch)
The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus
Hot Fuzz  (re-watch)
We Need to Talk About Kevin
The Giant Mechanical Man  (re-watch)
The History Boys
Ballerina
Pulp Fiction
  (re-watch)
Jumanji  (re-watch)
Silver Linings Playbook
Sisters
Drumline  (re-watch)
Bruce Almighty  (re-watch)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Hail Caesar
Sunset Boulevard

Breathless
Gone Girl
Hateful Eight
Bring it On  (re-watch)
The Lion King  (re-watch)
Se7en  (re-watch)
Bridget Jones's Diary  (re-watch)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid
Mary Poppins  (re-watch)
Hush
Housebound
My Girl  (re-watch)
Sixteen Candles  (re-watch)
The Land Before Time  (re-watch)
Clueless  (re-watch)
Grease  (re-watch)
Tell No One
Final Destination
Pretty in Pink
Now and Then  (re-watch)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High  (re-watch)
Easy A  (re-watch)
The Legend of Hell House
Pirates of the Caribbean: Black Pearl  (re-watch)
American Beauty  (re-watch)
The Ward
Sister Act  (re-watch)
To Catch a Thief
The Ring  (re-watch)
Legally Blonde  (re-watch)
Kristy
Cape Fear
The Davinci Code
Empire Records
Don't Say a Word  (re-watch)
Back to the Future  (re-watch)
We Are Still Here
Frances Ha  (re-watch)
The Taking of Deborah Logan
Creep
Grey Gardens
Say Anything  (re-watch)
Saw  (re-watch)
Back to the Future II  (re-watch)
A Ballerina's Tale
Darling
Jeepers Creepers  (re-watch)
Sleepy Hollow
Wetlands
The Goonies  (re-watch)
500 Days of Summer  (re-watch)
Eulogy  (re-watch)
Blazing Saddles  (re-watch)
The Fellowship of the Ring  (re-watch)
The Inbetweeners 2
Hocus Pocus  (re-watch)
Scream  (re-watch)
Scream 2  (re-watch)
21
Napoleon Dynamite  (re-watch)
O Brother, Where Art Thou  (re-watch)
The Others
Burn After Reading  (re-watch)
National Lampoons Animal House  (re-watch)
The Babadook
10 Things I Hate About You  (re-watch)
White Girl
A Christmas Story  (re-watch)
Home Alone  (re-watch)
Dazed & Confused  (re-watch)
The Uninvited
Rogue One

TV Shows

New Girl (s1, s4, s5)  (seasons one and two: re-watch)
Dance Academy (s1, s2, s3) (twice) (re-watch)
Arrested Development (s1, s2, s3) (twice)  (re-watch)
Seinfeld (s6, s7, s8, s9)  (re-watch)
30 Rock (s1, s2)  (re-watch)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (s1, s2)  (season one: re-watch)
Veronica Mars (s1)  (re-watch)
The Lizzie Borden Chronicles (s1)
The Killing (s1, s2, s3, s4)  (seasons one through three: re-watch)
Lady Dynamite (pilot only)
Broadchurch (s1, s2)
The United States of Tara (s1, s2, s3)  (re-watch)
Stranger Things (s1)
American Horror Story (s1, s2, s5)  (seasons one and two: re-watch)
Black Books (s1, s2, s3)  (re-watch)
The Fall (s3)
Poirot (s1)
Wallander (s4)
The IT Crowd (s5)
Californication (s1, s2, s3)  (re-watch)
The Brak Show (s1, s2)  (season one: re-watch)
Gilmore Girls (s1)  (re-watch)
Firefly (s1)  (re-watch)
How I Met Your Mother (s1)  (re-watch)
The OA (s1)
Shameless (s1)

In total, I watched 89 movies (far more than last year), forty-eight of which were re-watches. Yowza. I watched 55 seasons of TV shows. This is my confession.

Maybe next year will see me reading more books and watching less TV. Maybe not. Anyway, I'm going to keep writing it down.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Get Out Of Here, 2015

I'm only partly joking when I say that 2015 should get out of here. Obviously, first thing, I have no control over time, so I don't really have a choice in the matter. The Earth keeps spinning rapidly on its axis, and I eat breakfast and go shopping and the universe does not look out for me. Second thing is, disregarding some of my more prominent troubles (mostly medical), 2015 wasn't as bad as I maybe thought it was. I often get stuck on the bad things that happen and can only see those. (Take middle school, for instance.) But I made myself sit down and make a list of the things I accomplished in 2015, and I would like to put them here.

I met my nephew.

My sister had a son, Rocco, in November of 2014. We were going to travel down to see him that Thanksgiving, but we got in a car accident just a few hours into Wisconsin, totaled our car, and had to come home. We were able to go down and spend a week with them over Easter, and it was amazing.

I completed my first Whole 30 Challenge.

In February/March, I tried Whole 30 with a few friends, and remarkably I stuck with it. I cultivated some good eating and health habits that have stuck with me (somewhat...), and I felt really great, now that I think about it. I think I may do another Whole 30 this year, starting in February.

I taught my first J-term class.

I pitched and taught a class on ghost stories in January at St. Thomas. There were only five students in the class, and it was one of the more fun courses I've taught to date. I'm also looking forward to this coming semester, when I will teach a class on poets under 30.

My chapbook, OH NO EVERYTHING, was released in March.

My buddy Aaron King started a press expressly for the purpose of publishing my poems, for which I could not be more grateful. We had a big party on my birthday. I turned 29, and my book turned 1 day old. If you want to check it out but didn't get a print copy, you can get it online as an ebook for a buck!

I took over the Maeve's Reading Series in NE Minneapolis.

Previous curator and founder of the Maeve's Cafe Reading Series, Matt Mauch, handed over the reins to the poetry reading series at AWP, which was the first reading I helped with, and the last one Matt had a hand in. I hosted my pilot reading in June, and our next one will be next Saturday (an all-women lineup)! I can't wait.

I played the hell out of some Dungeons and Dragons.

Having never played before, it was interesting to embark on this magical journey with a bunch of other people who had also never played before. Our intrepid Dungeon Master, Reinhardt, explained everything (many times over) as we pillaged and murdered, and eventually we got the hang of it. My character is an elf named Carlton Beerjug. I don't feel like I have to say much else.

I did a buttload of poetry readings.

Among the highlights: The Soap Factory/Talking Image Connection, Poets & Pints @ Fair State Brewing Cooperative, The New Sh!t Show @ the Fox Egg Gallery, the Feminist Comedy Block Party @ Lowertown St Paul, The Great Twin Cities Poetry Read (where I won a drawing for real, actual money!), Independent Bookstore Day @ Boneshaker Books, Dead Media, Subterranean Reading with Steve Roggenbuck @ AWP, and the Trotter's Cafe New & Nearby Series.

Got experience working in a factory.

Over the summer I worked in an aluminum can making factory in downtown St. Paul. I'm hoping to go back next year. I did lots of random administrative things, organized weird rooms that hadn't been organized in years, inspected cans, and generally was a jack of all trades, which is my specialty.

Wrote over 200 poems.

I got a lot of writing done in the factory on my breaks and lunches. I wrote about 100 poems during the three months I was employed there. I didn't send very much out in 2015, but I'm planning on getting my butt into gear on that front in 2016.

I read 65 books.


For details, see my previous post.

I got a few acceptance in the poetry world.

I was in one of the last issues of PANK before they changed hands.
I have two poems coming out in an issue of Gargoyle Magazine this month!
Two poems were published in an issue of WomenArts Quarterly early this year.
And I got an acceptance from BOXCAR; a poem for which I was nominated for a Pushcart Prize!

I also won a Best of the Net Award.

My poem "Eve" was published originally in Sundog Lit and I got the news in February that it won Best of the Net for 2014. This news made me dance in the living room.

- - -

I also did a bunch of other exciting things: celebrated weddings, my own five-year wedding anniversary, and a trivia win at Galactic Pizza before my friend Kristin moved away. I filmed some episodes (with Kristin) of What Did You Look Up On Wikipedia, including one about yoga and farts (my favorite so far).  I got a record player, played a LOT of board games, and did a lot of yoga (worked on handstand and floating, which are my two favorite things to do in yoga). I went blonde again, learned how to throw a football, went to a baseball game, and found competent medical care (FINALLY). I went on a few short vacations and one long one, to Florida. I published some amazing work with my partners Molly and Jenn in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. I got stung by a wasp, got an MRI, and laughed a lot, cried a lot, and spent time with people who matter. I think that counts as a year that's worth it.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A Year of Consumption

No, I don't mean I got TB this year, but if you could get TB from TV I definitely would have.

As many of you probably know, I like to track everything I read and watch during the calendar year. That way, I can see what I spend most of my time consuming (as if I didn't already know). It's also interesting to see what I rewatch, what I reread, and how my reading and watching vary from year to year in terms of what kinds of things I'm into, or how much I read or watch. This year I'm thrilled that my reading list is a tad longer than last year's reading list, due mostly to the fact that over the summer I worked at an aluminum can making factory and took the bus to work. That's when I did most of my reading--I did about two hours of commuting per day.

I ended up watching 30 movies, and (I can't believe I'm about to say this) 53 seasons of different TV shows. I also ended up watching some other odds & ends, like The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents, which is only 8 episodes, and which I didn't count as a season of a TV show. I spent a lot of my time staring at a screen this year.

BUT, I also read 65 books, plus some other manuscripts I read for a class I took with Todd Boss at the Loft about ordering a book of poetry. I listed some of those manuscripts here, whose titles I remembered or had written down. In addition to those manuscripts, I read MOSTLY poetry, though some graphic novels (kind of a first for me!), fiction, and non-fiction were thrown in for good measure.

So here's the list: everything I read and watched in 2015, though we have a few days left, and no doubt I'll be adding a movie or two to the list before the end of the year. There are also a few books near the end of my reading list that I am finishing up, and hopefully will close the book on (heh) before 2016. My most, most favorite new books I read this year are in bold, which means you should definitely read them, though one of them isn't published yet (!!!!)

READING LIST

Black Aperture - Matt Rasmussen
The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
Any Anxious Body - Chrissy Kolaya
The Dig - Lynn Emanuel
The Wild Iris - Louise Gluck (reread)
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James (reread)
The Tell-Tale Heart - EA Poe (reread)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving (reread)
The Monkey's Paw - W.W. Jacobs (reread)
Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror - John Ashberry
1408 - Stephen King
Citizen - Claudia Rankine

Women Who Run With Holsteins - Jeanne Lutz
Poems - Lee Kisling
Sleeping With the Dictionary - Harryette Mullen
Things That Are - Amy Leach (reread)
Don't Let Me Be Lonely - Claudia Rankine
Beautiful Pathology - Katharine Rauk
Pyramid of Lemons - Carolyn Williams-Noren
You Are Not Dead - Wendy Xu
The Turn of the Screw - Henry James (again, for a class) (re-reread)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera (reread)
Flow - Del Doughty (reread)
These Are the Gloria Stories - Kelin Loe
Land Sparing - Gabriella Klein
Blues for Jocasta - Timothy Otte
Zion - TJ Jarrett
Bad Feminist - Roxane Gay
Don't Let Me Be Lonely - Claudia Rankine (again, because why not) (reread)
What the Living Do - Marie Howe
Still Another Day - Pablo Neruda, translated by William O'Daly
At the Drive-In Volcano - Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Haunts- Laura Cherry
[insert] boy - Danez Smith
Urban Tumbleweed - Harryette Mullen
Memoir of the Hawk - James Tate
The Road - Cormac McCarthy (reread)
You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am - Tao Lin
What Do We Know - Mary Oliver
The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands - Nick Flynn
Staying Alive - ed. Neil Astley (poetry anthology)
Hum - Jamaal May
The Art of the Story - ed. Daniel Halpern (short story anthology)
Ariel - Sylvia Plath (reread)
NOX - Anne Carson
Wind in a Box - Terrance Hayes
Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon
The Awakening - Kate Chopin (reread)
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Debbie's Inferno - Anne Emond
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson (listened to this on tape)
What It Is - Lynda Barry
Show Your Work! - Austin Kleon
Lewis Carroll in Wonderland: The Life & Times of Alice & Her Creator - Stephanie Lovett Stoffel
If the Tabloids Are True What Are You? - Matthea Harvey
An Unquiet Mind - Kay Redfield Jamison
Life on Mars - Tracy K. Smith
The Empathy Exams - Leslie Jamison
skin, sin, shine - Erica Anderson-Senter
Autobiography of Red - Anne Carson
American Barricade - Danniel Schoonebeek
Live My Lief - Steven Roggenbuck
Through No Fault of My Own - Coco Irvine
Some Planet - Jamie Mortara
Native Guard - Natasha Trethewey



WATCH LIST

The Desolation of Smaug
Hauntings: Is It Real? (watched twice, for a class)
Don't Trust the B*** in Apt 23 (seasons 1 & 2)
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (rewatch)
Friends (season 1) 
(rewatch)
A Long Way Down
The Haunting (watched twice, for a class)
Star Trek TNG (season 1)
La Vie de Boheme
The West Wing (seasons 2 & 3) 
(rewatch)
Dirty Pretty Things
1408 (for a class) 
(rewatch)
The Fall (season 2)
It's Such a Beautiful Day
House (seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 
(rewatch, though it's been ages since I've seen House)
Parks & Rec (two episodes only)
Californication (seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) 
(rewatch)
Weeds (seasons 1 & 2) 
(rewatch)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 1)
Arrested Development (seasons 1, 2, 3) 
(rewatch)
Mean Girls 
(rewatch)
Twin Peaks (seasons 1 & 2) 
(rewatch)
Louie (season 4)
Top Gun 
(rewatch)
Game of Thrones (season 2)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail 
(rewatch)
Wet Hot American Summer (season 1)
How I Met Your Mother (seasons 1 & 2) 
(rewatch)
Veronica Mars (seasons 1, 2, 3) 
(rewatch)
The Rescuers
Dale & Tucker Vs. Evil
Hocus Pocus 
(rewatch)
New Girl (seasons 1 & 2 [twice], season 3) 
(rewatch)
Moonrise Kingdom 
(rewatch)
Dance Academy (season 3)
X-files (season 2) 
(rewatch)
American Horror Story (season 4)
American Psycho 
(rewatch)
Zombeavers (gave up on this one)
Orange Is the New Black (season 3)
American Psycho 2 (also gave up on this)
30 Rock (part of season 1) 
(rewatch)
Gilmore Girls (season 1) 
(rewatch)
Seinfeld (seasons 1, 2, 3, 4) 
(rewatch)
Darjeeling Limited 
(rewatch)
Hannibal (season 2)
Girls (season 1, partially)
Juno 
(rewatch)
Gothika
The Ultimate Guide to the Presidents (8 episodes)
Killer Legends (this was truly terrible---I did other things while watching it)
Stonehearst Asylum
Planet Earth (episodes 1 & 2) 
(rewatch)
The Double
Psych (just the pilot episode)
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (in progress)
Mind of a Chef (season 1)
Jackass 2 
(rewatch)
The Simpsons (4 episodes) 
(rewatch)
Burlesque
Pulp Fiction 
(rewatch)
The Following (season 2)
Love Actually 
(rewatch)
Home Alone 
(rewatch)
White Christmas

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Travels, La Croix, and a Pushcart

Things have been just crazy around here lately. Will and I went to Florida over Thanksgiving and it was glorious. We did a lot of sitting outside reading, sitting on the porch reading, and, well, lots of eating. I always eat seafood when I go on vacation because I so rarely eat it at home, and it's one of my favorite things to eat. We also got to hang out with my family, see a cannon get shot off, and tour the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.

Now we're home, and the end of the semester is in sight. We both have just two weeks left of teaching, and then about a metric buttload of papers to grade. My desk right now is atrocious. I sometimes use the coffee table as my desk if I'd rather be sitting on the couch while I work; this moment, it's littered with books, notebooks, and empty La Croix cans.

Somehow, even through all the traveling and grading, I managed to write twenty poems and read nine books in November. I'm unsure if this recent burst of productivity and diligence is due to the fact that I'm turning 30 in a few months or what, but I guess I shouldn't be asking any questions. I'll just take hold of this bull by the horns and keep going.

ALSO, I was literally writing this blog post when I got word that I have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Boxcar Poetry Review nominated my poem "Genesis." I have never been nominated for a Pushcart before, and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried a little when I got word.  Now I must go and buy a bottle of champagne and pretend I'm not scared when I pop the cork.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

XTREME POETING

I have been trying to write a little each day. It is working. I can feel myself coming back to myself. I work out what I think by writing it down. If I don't do that then yes, I am failing myself.

Somebody today told me that I use a lot of "extreme" words. (The kinds of words that tip you off to the idea that a true or false question should be marked 'false.' - Always, never, etc.) I refrained from making a joke about XTREME POETING.

I make an X in the calendar box when I write in my poem notebook. It has been a week. I have written for a week. The words are feeling more fluid when they come out. Not as it used to be, but I am in the process of recovering what has been lost. It is a long process.

Right now I am reading The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath. That damn girl could write. And she did write. The journals are 624 pages not counting the notes and the index of the book. Two journals were even omitted--the two journals she kept nearest to the end of her life. One of them "went missing" and the other was destroyed by Ted Hughes, which is fascinating to me. Destroyed.

I'm hoping to get more and more X's as the days go by. Write a poem. Feel more myself. Write a poem. Feel more myself. We're going to Florida next week, and I want to make sure I'm still writing, even when my schedule is not what it normally is. I'm looking forward to the beach and the warm weather. It snowed today. I thought I was ready for that, but I was not ready for that. I never am.