Sunday, November 21, 2021

Well, my giant kitchen project is taking longer than I'd hoped it would--so much dishwashing, and dish moving, and cabinet cleaning, and reorganizing. It isn't even a big kitchen, and I don't even have that much stuff. And I tidy and surface-clean it every day! Disorder is so insidious.

I've still got the pantry cupboard and the refrigerator to tackle today, but at least I finished all of the storage cupboards. I won't have to spend every waking moment in the dishpan.

But enough of this housework talk.

Outside, the last golden leaves are sifting down from the spike-armed maples. Inside, the lamplight shines on John Fowles's novel Daniel Martin, the collected stories of John Cheever, Russell Hoban's The Mouse and His Child, a book of New York Times crossword puzzles, and some fat photo books whose titles I can't see from where I'm sitting. Behind my head, the cat is humped up, slitty-eyed, on the back of the sofa. Upstairs, Tom clanks his coffee cup and sighs.

A week from now I will be standing at a third-floor window, staring out into the morning mists of the Chicago skyline.

In the meantime, I've got a dentist appointment, and a poetry-group meeting, and my friend Teresa's next poetry collection to copyedit. All in all, a quiet slide into the holiday. No cooking, no fussing. Just a lot of of public transportation and my children making their traditional jokes about how many books I packed.

Poetry life is humming along. Clustered on my computer desktop is a batch of new poems in various stages of construction. On Monday night I'll do some revision talk with my poetry group. I'm getting ready to return to my copying-out-the-Inferno project, which got body-slammed during the pandemic year, when I no longer had a desk to work at. My fifth collection, Accidental Hymn, is in production, and I'm happy to say that the cover will feature Kathy Wright's painting, which she created during our collaborative project for Art in Common Places. (You can see our original broadside at the link: it's gorgeous.) Right now, my poet brain feels supple and fluid, busy and attentive, and full of confidence. This may all be lies, but I'm enjoying them anyway.

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