Tuesday, July 12, 2011
the cat chooses his options
curl at the foot of the bed—
or roam nighttime's darkened house.
Second time around
the pond, drowning in heat
of early twilight,
a bell rings with flattened chimes
—and then I notice the moon.
For a brief moment,
we confuse the sound of a
distant dog barking
with the baby three rooms down
the hall, yet sleeping peaceful.
An odd depression
unfolds over me— dark wings
without justified reason.
After eye exams,
the outside world burns with fire—
pale auras surround
everything, every object
reveals hidden energies.
I can hear silence
throbbing in my ears, shifting
as darkness settles.
We lie in bed, side by side—
locked in a firm present tense.
Some nights its harder
to reach within that storehouse
of words, gather seeds
of sensory impressions
as from a pomegranate.
Since Brendan's birth, much of my free time dissolves into absence. Why this surprises me, I am not sure. Why I did not plan to compensate for my loss of personal time, I do not know. My concentration for creative work lessens as well— which alarms me. Grading papers or editing material for my free-lance gig, these still function with normal processes. Yet, whenever a blank page sets before me and an allotted time span exists— a sense of overwhelming fatigue takes hold. The mind wanders through web sites of useless information, or worse, I get lost in the confusing paths of various tweets or blogs. And then also, I continually anticipate Brendan to call out. The responsibility of raising a child slowly erases my past identity, remolds me into the role parent, father, authority figure.
I do not mean for this to sound like a bitter rant. These words serve as a notice to myself: be more careful of your ideas. Plot free time very carefully. Read more often in spare moments.
Yes, as of late I have been rather negligent with updates and regular posting of materials. I do have a ready list of excuses: newborn, teaching summer courses, lack of sleep, distraction of secondary projects, et cetera, et cetera. At one time these rationalizations would be a central theme in my journals and conversations with other writers and curious students. Likewise these pleas would factor in as heavy subjects in my blog entries— somehow today for the first time I realize how much weight these excuses carry in day to day activities. I shold have seen the evidence. One of my greatest complaints to students is their prepared dramatic speeches for not turning in homework— I collect these notes in numerous digital files for ready examples for future classes.
My point: if I expect my students to not rely on a quick excuse for a lack of personal motivation, the I should do the same for myself. In basic terms, drop the cliched phrases and just do the work.
Received a wonderful rejection. Pank Magazine, a source on line I hope to be associated with one day, sent me the best "No, sorry—" The difference this time, I felt that a connection was made. They understood the experimentation on the page. The poem's fit with their publication was just-not-right.
Read their material. It contains many teeth. Bites quick. But carries a strong point.
On a mor positive note, another magazine, but.if.and.that chose a short poem for their theme of "Decomposing Summer." The selected piece began under a new approach— utilizing a different set of images and words I never put to verse. Once the e-publication is live I'll post a link. Until then, visit their site as well to see what they offer. Good bag of tricks.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
from Jed Alexander's blog, I Apologize in Advance:
Theres no denying that violent stories are compelling. The threat of violence is the easiest way to put your character in jeopardy. But I think there's another reason these stories are so brutal, even if it wasn't a conscious one. Before modern medicine, children were surrounded by death; death in childbirth, death by disease, death from violent mishap. People simply didn't live as long, and you never knew when someone you loved or cared for might die some horrible death. I think these kinds of stories served as a buffer for that. As a safe container for, and point of transition to accepting real death and real violent misfortune.
Read more at: http://jedalexander.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-kids-need-scary-stories.html