forrest gander

Torrential by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Been meaning to share thoughts--but it's difficult to do that on the road and I'm increasingly less and less diligent with setting aside discipline to update blogs. But! That doesn't mean I'm not teeming with inane/quasi-news to share at any given moment in a day/week/diana-lifespan. 

In the aftermath of stress from writing first poetry review (and I failed as I thought I would, which in turn, in a kind of success: accurate self-awareness), I had to rush and pack for 1+ week in California, emotional prepare myself to a trip home, etc. And I am always so stressed before meeting strangers/potential poet/writer friends. But Squaw Valley was really incredible. And intense. SO intense. Sleeping/resting did not happen much since a poem was due by 7:15am/9am (depending on which deadline you chose--of course I never chose the 7:15am one)--so that's 7 days! So much for leisurely hikes to waterfalls and building miniature log cabins in the woods.

Even after doing 30/30, it was surprising that I could still churn out something of a poem for discussion in workshop--new poet-leader each day (and such amazing poets!) and new poet-peers (wonderful new friends now). I'm not going to lie: it was excruciating to pull out poems by the end of the week--when all I wanted to do was find a swimming hole. 

It'd been a sad previous week in my own poetry-world since I'd been getting rejections in the evenings all in a row! As if slush-readers conspire to pack one powerful punch-- I was prepared for this--but of course I was sad! But not debilitated. Just secretly discouraged, which is a ruse, because I won't stop writing poems anyway.

What I mean to say is that Squaw Valley was incredible. Playing softball with Forrest and Bob was a definite highlight--I love being active--especially after all the siting at a desk in the wee hours of the night, staring at moths in the window, hoping one of them will gift me a poem. In the middle of my week there--I got an email from Poetry --and didn't want/care to open it, but JB saw it and said I had to! "But it's just another rejection," I said, with my mouthguard still in--since we had just woken up and were still in bed. "What if it's good news, ham?" JB asks. Uh--somehow, surprisingly, it was.

So there's that! Just when a heavy rush of one direction flows--a sign of an other  arrives. And I am so grateful.

Am looking so forward to poeming in Provincetown and work with Martha Rhodes at the end of this month. I've been lucky.

Week 3, Day 7: Early Completion + Sprint toward Finish by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Somehow, managed to complete week 3's books with some hours to spare. And I only just now realized that I've been gorging, bingeing all March--at least there are no negative physical side effects (still got decent hair, nails, skin, teeth--all the valuables of a corpse.)

It's been tough deciding what the final week's books shall be, so here's what I've got planned for March 22-28:

  • Mark Levine's Debt and Enola Gay (reread, so counts as 0.5 each)
  • Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space (ambitious and cruel to add this as part of the 5-book-a-week challenge.)
  • C.D. Wright's Steal Away
  • John Berrymans' The Dream Songs (also ambitious but delicious--in the way that blood is delicious)
  • Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies (if I can find my copy).

What didn't make the list were the spouses/significant others: Forrest Gander, Emily Wilson. I also wanted to reread Brenda Hillmans' Loose Sugar and have decided that in the remainder of my hours at work, I'll try to do Hillman AND Wilson.

Basically, I like to see myself f(l)ail.

Not sure what to do with the straggler dates of March 29-31. Perhaps I'll gift myself that book-diet-free time to actually ruminate on all I've processed/notated to prepare for my grueling 30/30.

Doom is near! And I will wear a wonderful dress for him!