Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Blah blah blah, but at least it's spring

For the first time in over thirty years, Indiana is observing Daylight Saving Time. I haven't had to make this time-zone transition since I was what, ten years old? Before digital clocks existed, that's how long ago it was. And it is weird. Suddenly it's darker in the mornings, which feels like a rip-off after gritting my teeth and plowing through the long winter and enjoying the relief of "finally the sun is up when the alarm goes off" -- that's been taken away all of a sudden and it's just plain disconcerting. And in the evenings, I keep thinking it's earlier than it is and then I look at the clock and feel rushed. I don't understand the light, all of a sudden. It's speaking a different language.

* * * * *

I've hit the wall with this poem-a-day thing. I keep putting it off till the end of the evening then dashing something off resentfully. I feel bored with the sound of my own voice. I know that's part of it, part of the exercise, hitting that point where you think you're through and continuing to push and getting to a place you might never have reached otherwise. It feels like stink right now, though. What I need to do is to remember that this is a practice, not a chore. A practice. Like the practice of meditation, or medicine, or kindness. It's something one does day to day, moment by moment, act by act, but always with the long haul & the big picture in one's mind.

* * * * *

It's fully spring, Bradford pears starting to bloom in earnest, daffodils everywhere, grass and trees green enough that you finally know you're not imagining it. Work is fairly nuts right now as we prepare to close down the branch library I've been coordinating for the past three years (we're closing at the end of May -- yes, I will still have a job, guaranteed; I'll even get to do some writing in the new job, instructional stuff, which is pretty cool). I'm taking lots of solace in the explosion of energy that is a Bloomington spring.

(And the explosion of pollen. Achoo!)

* * * * *

Two readings coming up. One will be an omnibus extravaganza type of thing, partly to celebrate National Poetry Month (about which I am feeling grumpy at the moment, see above), partly to honor a daily radio show on our local community radio station which will be leaving the air at the end of the month (er, the show is leaving the air; the station's gonna be around), partly to promote a local anthology that hasn't been selling as well as it should and maybe sell off some of the copies that are still sitting around. So I'll be reading two poems (the two that were included in said anthology, Celebrating Seventy). Barnes & Noble here in Bloomington, 7:30 pm on Friday the 21st.

The other will be a benefit reading/concert for the Bloomington Women's Writing Center. I haven't been involved with this organization so far, but have been watching from a distance and appreciating what they're doing. I think this is also about a two-poem deal. Sunday, April 30th from 5 to 8 pm at the Players Pub here in Bloomington, ten bucks in advance (purchase at the BWWC website) or $15 at the door.

* * * * *

Watching American Idol. Jenni, I blame you!


Carol Peters said...

re napowrimo . . .

the ragged haste of the gesture is full
of half-creation and suddenly wanting
to do something, since something was wanting

-- Molly Peacock

keep going...love.../c

Radish King said...

The thing I teach my writing students (and violin students for that matter) is that the goal of mastery is practice. I know it seems counterintuitive, but people who master anything, whether it be a musicial instrument, a sport, a science, or writing, do so by practice. By practicing every day. We like to think the godrush is the seed to poetry, but that's a very small part of it. If you make practice your goal, you will master your art.

Radish King said...

p.s. Also, if you grab this pebble from my hand, you will be published in Ploughshares in no time.


Anne said...

Loudon, you cheater, that's not a pebble, that's a piece of chewed-up old gum. Where's THAT gonna get me published, huh??

(Thanks, guys. I actually ended up writing something last night that might eventually work out. Sometimes I think you have to acknowledge that you've hit the wall before you can bust on through it.)

jenni said...

Don't feel Idol guilt Anne! lol

I can't believe you have to change the clocks. . .that's totally weird. We don't change the clocks down here.

The poem a day thing--yes practice. That's definately the right attitude. I've done it before and each day is different. I learned how many voices I had when i started writing every day. i know poets are supposed to have one voice, but I must have multiple personalities or something, because when i wrote every day for a few months I had like 20 different voices!

Collin said...

I just could not force myself to write a poem everyday for a month. It's depressing to think about the crap that would be pouring from my pen. I prefer to let the poems come naturally...whenever they choose.

I'm getting a little bored with American Idol. After the double disappointment of Mandisa leaving AND finding out she's homophobic...it just killed the show for me.

Anne said...

Jenni, yes, I find that I come up with "voices" I didn't know I had, too! I think that's one of the best things about an exercise like this.

Collin, I've written some crap for sure, but I've also written at least a couple that I wouldn't have come up with otherwise. I'm sure it's different for everyone. Part of what writing a poem a day does for me is that when I get a quick flash of an idea, instead of thinking "yeah, I'll write that at some point," I think "hey I still need a poem today, I'd better sit down right now and write this down." I doubt I'd want to keep up this pace for more than a month, though.