john berryman

Moving Onward by Diana Khoi Nguyen

Hopefully there won't be too many apologies during the lifespan of this blog--where I apologize for long gaps between posts: I'm sorry! 

Been unraveling after the grueling 30/30 month in April--and thoroughly enjoyed my birthday month (May) / wedding of JB's birthday (busy!). But, all relaxation/celebrations aside, I've still been reading mucho--maybe not 5 books a week, but at least 2-4. Am taking notes toward fodder for the poems I'll have to originate during my time lakeside/poet-side in Squaw Valley (Tahoe) come June 22 - 29 (so excited!!!!). 

Also gave my notice to work, which makes me sad--since this is the most supportive work environment I've ever had the pleasure to work in. JB and I are moving to Lewisburg at the end of August. But! I've got such an exciting summer/year:

June 21 - July 2: California! (LA, Tahoe, SF) 

July 4 - 7: Countryhouse living w/ JB's family, Pennsylvania

July 28 - August 2: FAWC Provincetown thing w/ Martha Rhodes! 

August 3 - 10: East Coast road trip / JB chapbook reading tour/BONANZA. Am in the midst of booking venues, asking poets/writers to read, etc. Never done so much event planning for such a short period of time (nearly every day that week), ever! Going to be fun. Our other main focus for this trip is to eat only delicious things and relax/see America!

August 11 - 24: Bread Loaf! (likely my last summer--so grateful for any time here). 

August 25 - 2014: Life in Lewisburg/at Bucknell University! 

And ...  

I've secured at least a 3 (hopefully 6 if I can get a residence permit) month internship at the Textilsetur in Iceland starting in August 2014!!!! My current internship at TAC in Brooklyn is amazing and I'm learning so much--and I love the classes (last week I learned how to needle felt!). My goal is to do weekend intensive weaving (and dyeing) classes in NY in the fall. In Iceland, I'll be working in exchange for living quarters and a studio/use of textile arts facilities. So I'll need to save up funds for living expenses/art supplies/plane ticket. I really want to devote part of my life to fiber/textiles. Consider me happy.

I'll leave you with images of John Berryman and his wife (he married 3x). 

These photographs, taken from the LIFE archive, show the poet on vacation in Dublin in 1965.

Day 24/30: Feeling great, but still feverish by Diana Khoi Nguyen

It just may be that my cold I'm battling is finally showing signs of letting up--but it hasn't left entirely (or mostly) yet. But I'm optimistic and feeling in high spirits.

Only 6 more poems after today! That is such a small number that I can comprehend--with much less anxiety than every before this month! I am rejoicing!


"Flaw in the Nursery"

  • - I owe a lot to JB for going "Bedient" on this one--he is kind when he says that we are doing 60/30, when in fact I feel like it's more a 60/30 for JB.

  • - This poem is for my dear friend Rohan Samahon who shared with me the D.H. Lawrence short story, "The Rocking Horse Winner"--upon which this poem is based.

  • - A lot of syntax/thinking stems from my sitting with Jane Mead's The Usable Field, which is incredible. How have I never heard of her until now!

  • - I also stared at a lot of rocking horses via Google image search, but I don't think it did much for me.

Finished a major draft of today's poem and there is still daylight out! Will try to do some self-JB editing on it tonight and will post notes tomorrow.

Week 4, Day 7: No Surprises by Diana Khoi Nguyen

  • Mark Levine's Debt and Enola Gay (reread, so counts as 0.5 each) [DONE]
  • Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space
  • C.D. Wright's Steal Away  [DONE]
  • John Berrymans' The Dream Songs [HALFWAY]
  • Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies [DONE!]

While I should/maybe be proud of what I've pummeled through for this week, I'm disappointed that I'm not closer to finishing this week's goals. It is possible that I finish The Dream Songs today, but honestly: it's such a downer that my emotional ennui/depression from reading about Henry/Mr Bones is keeping me from moving as a rapid pace.

Depressing to read Berryman's Dream Songs? How surprising, Diana!

I do want to start the Bachelard--so maybe I'll take a break from sad/angry Henry and read about SPACE, which I think is a neutral topic? A girl can hope.

In other unrelated news, this week has been the blasts from the past week. And for a moment in my Berryman-induced-ennui I feared that in x number years, I wouldn't have any persons/moments for which to have future blast(s) from the past. I'm suffering from self-perceived friendlessness.

But what if it is true? I need a new narrative.

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!