August 24, 2011

Escaping the Pen

It's been nearly 3 weeks since my last entry! I'm headed down a slippery slope.


After a stint in Maine and a stint in Georgia, I'm back in Madison for awhile and have been working on my syllabus and manuscript pretty non-stop. I feel like there's a 2-3 poem gap in my current draft of my MSS (which is now well past its 20th and best rendition), and so I'm hoping to write toward these. The way it usually goes is I'll write 6 poems and half of them won't be any good and the other half might make it in. We'll see.

I met with some brilliant friends and we swapped manuscripts and gave each other feedback. They advised me to cut a few poems that I've known for awhile needed to go. I've been hesitant because just over a year ago I thought one of them was the best poem I had written to date. It seems strange to drop it from the book when other poems are staying that feel weaker to me but are more thematically aligned. Oh these tough decisions! My hope is that Andrew the Llama will be escaping his pen in a future poetry project, if not this one.


I reviewed Melissa Stein's Rough Honey over at Devil's Lake.


Lately I've been feeling this very intense urge to go on a trip of some kind, to see more of the country. I feel like I'm getting to that age where one starts to become too bogged down by responsibilities to just go. Twenty four, and I already feel trapped by adulthood. So I've started planning a tenting / road trip for the end of the school year when I move from Madison to Athens. Via the west coast. Stops include but are not limited to: the Tetons, Yellowstone, Cathedral Arch, Zion, Big Basin, hot springs, Spider Rock + Canyon de Chelley, and Big Burgess. 


In an hour, my friend Liam will be in Madison for a visit! We've been friends since I was a freshmen at UMaine-Farmington. Here's a picture of us cleaning our bathroom back in carefree days:

August 2, 2011

The Waiting

Earlier this year, I planned on spending the summer working on a new writing project, as summer begins to wind down, I ended up writing more poems for the first MSS and trying to get back into that headspace. It's been good. I've been adding new poems to the middle section, the one that to me feels the most lost. These poems don't "fit" thematically as cleanly as I would have allowed myself in earlier drafts. I'm hoping these poems will reach further, or take the reader to more unpredictable places, or mature the book as a whole (cue Jackie Wilson's "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me (Higher and Higher"). Who knows. It'll all be different in another few months. I'm trading manuscripts with some brilliant friends in a few weeks, and I'm looking forward to hearing what they think (but not as much as I'm looking forward to reading their manuscripts).

I'm also looking forward to the fall when all the journals and book competitions and reading periods open. And then the waiting, the dreaded waiting.


Brandon left for Georgia, and since, I've been trying to fill that part of the day I usually spent with him. I can usually keep myself busy to about 6pm, and then after that I start pacing or bugging my roommates to watch even more reruns of RuPaul's Drag Race or Arrested Development. I don't usually like watching TV but it makes the time go by faster. Part of me is excited to reconnect with people I haven't seen as much as I would've liked. And I'm hoping I'll read and write more and be even more productive (because reading and writing for 8 hours a day was child's play). Still, despite all this, I'll be glad when June comes and all of this separateness is over.