So very close to Christmas Break. For those of you playing at home, that means a month and a half free from teaching and student-ing. I cannot stress enough how glorious this will be. I bought a puzzle that I plan on spreading across my coffee table (replacing the student workshop packets that usually occupy that space). Get ready folks, it's almost sweatpants season.
"Salvation Blues" by Rodney Jones
"Man Suit" by Zachary Schomburg
"About Grace" by Anthony Doerr
"Stripping Cane" by Jeffrey Foucault
I'm thinking of this upcoming break as a chance to write lots of new poems. That said, I'm currently trying to plow through drafts of what were "new poems" at the beginning of the semester. I'm pretty comfortable with most of these (at least comfortable enough to send them out in packets last week), but there's one that I've been struggling with. Theoretically, it's the title poem of my thesis (After the Ark ), and it very well may be the longest poem in there. At least it's long for me (translation, 2 pages of fragmented couplets). But there's a very interesting conversation going on over on Oliver de la Paz's blog regarding long poems and how they can serve as "anchors" in a collection. So with that conversation in mind, I've been trying to push this poem as far as it can go, doing what Richard Dillard calls "writing past endings." That may be my problem, I keep arriving at lines and having to resist the impulse to put a period on things. Then I can't help but feel as though the poem is stalling on "restart."
I bought my dad an ice cream maker for christmas. My brother, a beard trimmer. I am very happy with my choice of gifts. Hopefully they are, too.
Friendly rejection from Appalachian Heritage today. "We really liked these. Please send more." is really beginning to lose its charm.
Shelley taught me how to make calzones yesterday.