1. I started in on "Ted Hughes
Bakes a Cake" last night while in the Cantab audience, somewhere between finishing my knitting and escaping out the back door for a quick smoke. The draft is in a weird place. Ted Hughes is currently attempting to hypnotize the oven. I'm not sure where it will go next. Probably somewhere too serious for the title, though I'm really trying to keep it as light as possible. Everyone who's heard about this project cannot contain their laughter; it comes out through spitting noises, like their mouths are deflating too quick for their lips.
2. I brought the Dickinson
persona piece to workshop this afternoon and felt attacked. The majority of people thought it was too harsh an indictment of Amherst. It's defeating to have a poem I thought of as pretty solid knocked down a peg, but I'll probably just cycle it through several drafts tonight and push it through the problems. I'm trying to have a better attitude about editing, mostly as preparation for the thesis-writing I have to do starting in a rough month.
My second piece at workshop was "The Church of Tchaikovsky
", a poem I wrote after a prompt my friend Erich
gave me a few weeks ago (he asked me my convictions and after I answered, told me I should write about them). It was a really tough poem to get to-- I must have drafted it nearly fifteen times since I started working with the concept. There are at least four or five more poems to mine from free writes surrounding the thing that I turned in today, but the polished piece of it seemed well-received. I was proud; it's not often that I talk about my relationship to religion at all, let alone in my writing, so it was a tough thing to share in a class setting. Compared to reading in on the open mic at the Cantab last night, I'd say that class is far more nerve-wracking than being on stage, even if I am among friends in both cases. The distance probably helps.
3. As is Thursday afternoon tradition, Cass
and I watched ANTM
and got a little too giddy during the results portion. It was double elimination, which would narrow the playing field from four girls to the final two, a set of circumstances that some people would also see as cause for freaking out. I want to know those people, so that we can all get together and have a fondue-driven support group. Or a fashion blog knitting circle. Or something similar. Being on a campus focused on "social change", sustainability, and recreating the late 80s/early 90s via the Salvation Army bargain bin makes it very easy to deal with what I lovingly refer to my "schlub" days (the ones when I wear jeans instead of some incarnation of my fairly steady uniform of mini dresses and black tights). It also makes it incredibly difficult to not feel like a freak when I am wandering campus in five inch suede platform heels. Fashion and global-mindedness should not be mutually exclusive. Where are the other secret sequin lovers? (From the mouth of Gaga
: "I'm just trying to change the world one sequin at a time.") My roommate and I can't be the only ones. Two of my friends saw me walking back from the library in some pair of pumps the other day and had a serious conversation about how they couldn't understand my impetus for such shoes. But then again, this anxiety could be its own entry, and will probably be further explored in later lists.
4. Rob "Ratpack Slim" Sturma
featured in Cambridge last night, and I laughed so hard my abs were sore this morning. I'm not sure if it was the Van Halen
, or the waltzing, or what-have-you, but I'm glad it happened. He just released a book with Write Bloody
. The more I see of the poets in their catalog, the more I want to get all of them in a room and have a semi-trashy cocktail party with many ashtrays and spanakopita. Then, once everyone was properly liquored and trading stories, I would stealthily extract their brains one by one and secret them all into mason jars. So that I could study them. Perhaps to understand why they all find butterfly knives so aesthetically appealing. But mostly because I keep lending out their books and not getting them back from long, intolerable stretches of time.
5. I crave a conference with Sean, a trip to New York, any kind of small vacation to keep me from getting so buried in books and the mad woman-poet lives of the already-dead that I can't crawl my way out. Being back last week was a short breath, followed by a long a serious plunge under water again. I am bad at scuba diving. In fact, I've never done it before. This feels like drowning. I am taking serious advantage of winter break this year. Sophia said she would take me to her synagogue, and her writing spot. And then there's that Gaga concert. Sometimes I wonder how I manage to convince myself of my love for any other city.