Monday, September 27, 2010

My four and a half days at Haystack were wonderful, though I could have done without the insomnia that is starting to make me feel like a tottering, squint-eyed invalid. I met some excellent people there and, what's more, took the plunge and began organizing poems into a new collection. I was amazed to discover that I already possess more than 50 manuscript pages. What a surprise. And here I thought I'd only been writing prose.

If I'd had a good night's sleep lately, I could write a more colorful entry about my Haystack experience. But I'm grasping at air this morning, and I suppose I should save my small stock of wherewithal for the 10th graders I'll be working with this afternoon.

Anyway: I came home to find two new publications on the coffee table: the new issue of Maine Magazine, which includes Tom's South Solon Meetinghouse photos interspersed with a few of my paragraphs; and New Walk Magazine, a U.K. journal that printed my name on the cover along with the name of Andrew Motion, who was Poet Laureate of England until 2009. I feel as if I have brushed the hem of fame's garment.

By the way, according to Wikipedia, "the salary of the [British laureateship] has varied, but traditionally includes some alcohol. Ben Jonson first received a pension of 100 marks, and later an annual 'terse of Canary wine.'" If Maine were to align itself with such a tradition, the state laureate would be likely to receive a few cases of Allen's coffee brandy and/or a suitcase of Bud Light. Maybe I should suggest the idea to the legislature.

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