Tuesday, December 28, 2010


so, i'm in a funk. how to shake out of it?

not sure. i think the start of residency will be good for me, it is, if nothing else, a diversion. strange i never thought my soul expression would be classed in the diversion category. but i'm full of questions. i got my ass kicked six ways from sunday last semester, and i'm just tired. not sleepy, but worn out. a bit of butter scraped across too much bread.

what to do? how to shake this funk?

maybe the benefit will be i'm actually receptive to people at the residency. though, it could go another way entirely, i could resort to hermitage amidst my fellows.

i don't know what tomorrow holds, but i know today, i have to ride this out.

all ends well.

how does it?

it's a mystery.

Friday, December 24, 2010

done again.

so my paper is done again. this time, for good. it's a relief, truly. i am refraining from handing it in until the requested date so i can read over it one more time and hopefully catch any issues, there shouldn't be any, i'm just being overly cautious for once in my life.

i'm in boston, loving it. it's snowy and i'm all toasty warm in the bed of the one i love. doesn't get much better than that.

now to edit a poetry book i've had on my plate since before the beginning of this semester. it is kind of tragic i didn't get to it back in the day, but everything happens for a reason, so i'm going with it.

i will be hanging up my freelance editor shingle again, in an effort to transition to my real life, from my day job status as editor. i do love editing. and while this paper has shown my many flaws, among them having pared the language down, mutilated it to a personal style which is unyielding (except after hours and hours of revision work...yes, i revised, even over-revised, never let it be said i don't go overboard when i go). i am now able to see how much i leave to the reader to intuit.

it's not a bad thing for a poet, it's awful for a prose writer. and many prose writers had to help me fill in the blanks by simply saying,
what the hell are you talking about?

and i would explain what i saw so clearly. but it was only clear to me. i understand this.

i'm not tired, for once, i feel quite good. excited about the work ahead and the beginning of my final semester in my mfa program now that i know i am passing this term.

what a load off.

so, to commence the work of editing, which is my natural and best work. perhaps friends would argue that point, but i don't see poetry as work, it is soul expression for me. that is entirely other than work. i don't know how to make a living at my soul expression, perhaps it will be revealed to me. but in the meantime, on to the work that inspires me. editing.

peace, have a wonderful holiday.

Monday, December 20, 2010

the last gasp

i swear this semester is neverending. even when it is supposed to have ended, i have yet another rewrite due. sigh. i must remember this is a blessing in disguise, the alternate could have been not passing, yet my prof was gracious and wants me to clarify just a few more things. at least she is no longer saying my argument has no merit, she is saying,
this is becoming a fine persuasive argument though i have concerns about some of the claims you make.

there are always going to be concerns about the claims i make. i'm uninclined to wait for verification.

and so many times she asks me to clarify things that i feel are plain and simply laid out, but they are not laid out plain and simple for anyone but me.

i'm trying not to be discouraged by this or a few of the other of today's occurrences though they have not resolved anything. i am just weary of things being drug out.

it will be well, i know it will. i'm trying to stay positive and focused on the near end of these seeming endless obstacles.

the end is in sight.

and all is well. i had a lovely weekend, one of the best i can remember. all i could feel was joy. i don't remember that ever EVER being the case.

and now, well, it's a tough act to follow.

but i believe it will be well. life is unfolding as it must and that which i need will come to me.

i believe this. i have always believed this.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


well, it's done. i've printed it out, sealed it up and it will go in tomorrow's mail.

i'm fried.

i learned a lot this semester, mostly, about the virtue of not giving up. keep at it until they call the game. why quit when you can try just a little bit harder.

now, i don't know what to do because i'm so used to doing that (as wretched as it was).

first things first, i guess i'll clean my apartment, which looks like a bomb hit.

then, i'll go a visitin'.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

scenic routes

i realized the other day while driving the lovely way home (not the fast way, nor the economical way, but the lovely way), that i've finally found a bit of breathing room in my life again. a small space where i can sit for a minute at the library in my chair, it has been a very long time since i've been there in that chair for more than fifteen minutes. while i was being productive in my chair, it was nice to be there again. to remember back to what was, while so eagerly welcoming what is to come. remembrance is good. hope is better, and i'm feeling hopeful again. it's been a long time coming.

so i am driving down roads where the mountains could not be moved, i'm spending a lot of time with my daughter again because i'm not so exhausted i pass out as soon as i get home. i make her dinner when she arrives home from school, we talk about the day, then work on homework side by side. it's been lovely. feeling like me again. or doing things i remember once enjoying.

i should get back to it, i've had a little time this morning to unwind, but my everpresenttodolist beckons.

i will tend to it, freeing up my tomorrow to spend with my dear friend.

peace and may you remember to take the scenic route.

Friday, December 03, 2010

almost home

well, i talked it over with everyone. my daughter said,
don't quit mom.
so here i am, still plugging away. i've gutted my thesis and i'm restructuring the argument. it's a far better paper than it was. i had a lot of work to do, still do, but i'm halfway through this latest revision and i'm beginning to feel hopeful again. like time is not after me, but i do have a lot on my plate.

it seems i wanted a certain thing to be. that certain thing was not what i hoped it was. no surprise there. but i had to mourn the idea of the thing, before i could move into the new thing. it's how i am. i do everything by feeling and intuition. maybe not the best way, but i've still about twelve days before my paper is finally due, and i know i can do it. as i said, i'm feeling hopeful again.

when my mind starts to wander down the list, the seeming endless list of obligations and deadlines, i just pull out my clipboard and write those things down. i have crossed off a great many of late, but the list is by no means done.

there are a lot of changes in store, i can feel it. this paper, this process, this ordeal, has changed me. and that's okay. i need to improve, there's always room. i think i was most shocked that i needed a good solid kick in the ass to get me moving forward. i had worked so hard to get the paper to where i thought it was done, but it soooo was not. i see that now. the paper is infinitely better now and it's not even complete yet.

my girl is happy, i read my paper aloud last night, the first ten pages of it. and it was far better than before. my girl and i sat side by side working on her homework and mine. she needed help with ideas and my strange associative mind was the perfect thing to bat around these long convoluted scientific sentences. i swear i don't remember any of that from school. she had to keep explaining the concepts to me and i would look at her blankly,
lactic acid, what?
she would sigh, and repeat herself. she is infinitely patient with me. which helps.

i swear it was like listening to charlie brown's teacher. i could barely comprehend what she was saying. but i tried really hard to focus, and sometimes she had to repeat the sentence and the explanation three times for me to even get it. but i did. we figured it out. and so you don't think i'm a total ditz, let me just say, i was working on my thesis at the time, so at least the first time she said the sentence my brain was still otherwise engaged. no explanation for the last two repetitions other than, damn, eighth grade science is hard.

one of the things i've realized, is i've so brutalized, maimed the english language here, so firmly entrenched myself in this style of writing that is me, that i can't write a normal paper without much angst. first of all, forget writing an outline. that ain't happening. second, using full sentences and caps. damn. third, i leap around a lot intuitively. this space is mostly the prewriting for my poetry, so i don't really care what the words say, it's the poems that matter. the words help me muddle through the clutter, but then, the poems come and they are spot on.

committing yourself completely to a thing, an angle, a process, a way of doing something is good and bad in that it takes a great deal of effort, conscious effort to fit someone else's box. mostly i'm hanging out of the box, and bitching about the box, but i've got to get most of my shit in the box so i can pass. i understand this now.

i will most definitely have earned this damn degree when it comes time for me to graduate.

and i can see the flag announcing the last lap.

what a relief, this semester has sucked major cojones.

so, time to get back to it.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


well, i've about decided what to do, that takes a lot of the pressure off. and whatever, it is what it is. i'm tired. sick to death of trying to make this thing live, but apparently it's crap. i have to come to terms with that.

though it's not crap from my vantage point, mind you, merely theirs. the thing is, it is their opinion that lets me move on. do i keep trying. why do i want this. what the hell am i doing.

sometimes i think i know. but mostly i hate this program and i wonder if i should just toss in the towel, except that i'm not a quitter and i'm half way through. what will the second half be like, i don't know. i can't possibly know.

apparently i've contorted the language so much, into my own style, that it is incoherent to others.

so be it. the troubling part is, i can do this editing work for other writers, but i can't make it happen for myself, is it because it's not meant to be, or because i am typical of all writers who cannot distance themselves from their own work.

dunno. i'm struggling though. what the hell am i doing and why.

is it worth it, this credential, to keep at this, to keep trying. why give up now.

so many big questions. i'm short on every answer.

all ends well.

how does it?

i don't know, it's a mystery.