Friday, August 6, 2021

I finished a first draft of my new poem, which of course didn't turn out anything like I'd expected but went down another hole entirely. I do love that about poems. I don't know if it will be a keeper, but anyway it now exists on the page and I'm happy to have made it. Looking back, I can say I've had a useful, if uncomfortable, week. I got a big stack of paying work done, but I also got a big stack of private work done . . . writing, reading, revising. I've been busy, very busy, and I've pushed myself physically and mentally, but I've also been self-indulgent. My version of self-indulgent isn't ice cream for lunch. It's allowing myself to wallow, without goal or duty, among my books; then springing up from my chair to run outside and cut a vase of flowers; then, for some reason, clicking through a gallery of photos of Carole Lombard; then scribbling down a random phrase that pops into my head; then bouncing back upstairs to the Odyssey; then, 15 minutes later, bouncing back downstairs to John Irving's The Hotel New Hampshire, which for some reason I picked out of a free pile on Monday; then deciding to bake a blueberry coffee cake; then filling in five clues in a NYT crossword puzzle; then wandering around the house staring out the windows and wondering what the neighbors are doing; then hugging the cat; then bouncing outside to see if any tomatoes are ripe yet; then examining the giant dirt pile in my driveway; then suddenly running back inside and upstairs to my poem draft and changing all of the "I's" to "you's." I can only live this delightful, scattered, focused life if I am completely alone in the house. The presence of anyone else changes everything. 

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