Diana Khoi Nguyen

A centaur from the waist up.

Poet and human.

Day 4/30: Get ahead, or at least, get not behind

Was telling JB that even though we start and finish a new poem on the day it's to be posted, I can't help but feel behind--because the non-JB/D marathoners seem to have poems roaring and ready to go bright and early in the morning of day! Which leads me to suspect that these poets are writing the poem the night before--which leads to my feeling like I'm behind! But I'm not behind. I'm only behind when I submit my poem at 12:14am or like last night: 1:34am which has been every night since April 1.

But! I've been able to still enjoy a semblance of a life: napped yesterday (instead of furrowing brows over poem/poem notes/book(s) of poetry). Then I biked to the pool and swam! It's renewing to do these little things--and I have to remember to make the time for them and hold myself accountable.

But I've had to write an email to the roommates/instant message "buddies" that I'll be pretty much incapable of human interaction/conversation/hanging-out for the rest of this month. Working a full-time job plus taking care of my various needs (food! swim! bike! sleep! bath!) proves challenging for the poem-a-day goal. And I can't flake! Is this what residency doctors feel like when they do like 36 hour rotations? I am not a doctor, so I don't know if I just made up that number of hours--and doctors are doing more direct BUENO for the society than my poems ever will so please forgive my attempt to analogize. Basically I feel like a zombie but with a really functional brain and yearning heart.

Oh! Notes for the 3/30 poem:

  • - Still not 100% sure if field notes is one word or two--sadly, I consult the internet, which means I am not the brightest.
  • - Books I carried all day: Mark Levine's Debt and Enola Gay--I also just picked up The Wilds from the NYPL and started reading that--and love it. But didn't get far enough in it (and didn't take notes) for it to influence this poem.

  • - con út means "youngest child" in Vietnamese. It was what my brother Oliver was affectionally called in household speak. And since we didn't really leave the house much, it would be correct for me to say it was bunker-speak.

  • - I'm officially on watch: CORD, GOD

  • - This poem feels a much flimsier than the last one, but it was a challenge to speak about family--especially my brother. JB wrote an autobiographical family poem as well, and we did this non-communicado sitting across from one another. I think our water's spiked.

The support I've been seeing on Facebook has really been encouraging--and I don't know why this surprises me. Get a grip! Onto the next poem! Ah!