More substantial posts coming, but I want to sustain whatever small momentum I've found here.
So, last week I spent two full days in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and it was fantastic. Yes, you can quibble about the induction criteria and about who's in versus who's not (the fact that Abba got inducted this year and Darlene Love, who was on the ballot, did not is just a crying shame) - but for anyone who's grown up with this music it is an absolute treasure trove of memory and revelation. So many times I found myself standing in front of an album cover I'd spent hours upon hours staring at in high school while playing the album over and over, and next to that album cover, the actual thing that was on the cover. John Lennon's costume from the cover of Sgt. Pepper. Stevie Nicks' pointe shoes from the cover of Rumours. And, of course, Bruce Springsteen's guitar and leather jacket from the cover of Born to Run. (That jacket is tiny, too. He was a scrawny little dude. So many dreams packed into that small, beat-to-hell-and-back leather jacket.)
Other than the Springsteen stuff (which I'll get to later), probably the thing that made the biggest impression on me was John Lennon's first passport, issued in 1960. When he first got the passport, he filled out all the blanks dutifully, writing "Student" in the space marked for Profession. Later on - and oh, how I wish there were some way of knowing exactly when - he came back and, with a considerably bolder and firmer pen, lined through the word "Student" and wrote "Musician."
The power of naming oneself. Just intense.
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Also, I've pretty much decided I am going to do my damnedest to get to AWP next year. More later about why (I'm not on any panels); for now, I just want to throw out there that I will read at the drop of a hat, or a poem, so if any editors or other reading organizers would like a middle-aged Midwestern poet on their bill, you know where to find me. :)