Thursday, January 21, 2016

Another whirlwind trip is behind me. Yesterday I spent three intense hours with a dozen Smith College students, experimenting with various avenues into the art of teaching poetry. And then I drove and drove and drove into the darkness, and when I got home, lamplight was spilling through the windows onto the snow and Tom was at the stove cooking a spinach frittata.

Tonight I will be in Waterville hosting a reading--poet Richard Foerster and nonfiction writer Kate Miles. Today I will be baking bread and solving the empty-refrigerator crisis. For the moment, though, I am lingering in a breath of aloneness.

I hear the dog downstairs enthusiastically clanking an empty tunafish can against the linoleum. Now she falls silent. A ticking clock rises to fill the void. Thoughts sift, like slides . . . the faces of young women in a circle, their eagerness rising as they share tales of the teachers of their past, the teachers they loved or fought with . . . a white cat at an upstairs window watching the shadowed day break across the snow . . . my pale fingers poised over a black keyboard . . . a portrait of Sylvia Plath hanging Mona Lisa-like over the gathered young women . . . a clock ticking, ticking, ticking . . . and what shall I read today? what shall I need to read today? . . .

Next week, I will restart the Tu Fu conversation.

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