01 January 2010

Three Poem Check-In, and the Inevitable.

Our colossal and now deceased Snowma'am sends happy greetings of the New Year. 2010 feels pretty okay so far. Actually, it feels kind of tired, and coffee isn't helping. The kids are watching Mary Poppins in the living room and shaking the entire first floor with their dancing. My eye hurts for some reason (confetti? no). But so far so good with the 2010, which is so much fun to type.

I did not see the blue moon last night. It was too cloudy. I'm not even sure it was up there. Anyone in Ohio see it?

Here's the big(ger) question: who was able to meet the "three poems before 2010 challenge"? Thanks to all who have already dropped me a line about it. I wrote four, and did some revisions, but having the kids home full time put a real dent in my plans for adding the new poems and revisions to my ms. The kids go back to school this week, which is the annual "how much can I get done in a week" week, and I hope it's a productive one.

I'm teaching two poetry workshops this semester, an advanced undergrad one and an MFA one. I have already collected the first round of poems for the MFA class, and I am so excited. I have taught workshops so many times, but it's always a different class, you know? I like it when I have a semester where I can teach all creative writing. Not that I don't like teaching lit, but there's something about carrying student poems around with you everywhere, battling that constant backlog of annotations, and being surprised every time you get something new.

I totally wasn't going to do resolutions, but this list is so awesome that I decided to make some anyway.

1. [Note: this resolution was made for me] After February 1st I will no longer add poems to my current manuscript, O Holy Insurgency. Instead I will send it out and just write new poems.

2. In the next week I will write the last two poems of the ms mentioned above, sequence it (finally), and let it chill.

3. I will start a new moleskine and actually use it. I noticed a serious drop in new poem production when I got lazy about this.

4. I will try to eat meals at a table like a normal person whenever possible. Typical day: eat breakfast standing up in the kitchen, eat lunch at my desk while working, eat dinner standing up in the kitchen or walking around the house. I don't imagine that's very healthy.

5. I will continue the following things I've already made good headway with: (*) Being more patient, especially with the kids, and not letting them drive me apeshit. (*) Doing something creative every day. (*) Appreciating the spectacular people in my life a bit more. (*) Maybe being a little less antisocial, maybe not, though. (*) Continuing to love my house and work hard to make sure it's the way I want it to be. (*) [Addendum] Letting things around the house slide a little, and handling things like cleaning in a triage fashion. (*) Trying to be more calm. Not letting stress from work get to me. (*) Continuing to enjoy, once again, things like trying new recipes (and eating them) since I wasn't able to do this for a long time. (*) Continuing to work on my budget, getting some tax help, and learning to do more with less.

6. I will somehow allow my poet side, editor side, teacher side, and administrator side to coexist harmoniously. Sometimes the editor and administrator back the poet and the teacher into a corner with a lot of cobwebs and centipedes and rattle them a little. The poet just zones out and feels a combination of anxious + resentful. The teacher freaks out and starts ransacking anthologies, looking for a Carlos Drummond de Andrade poem that was never actually written. I'd like these entities to be able to sit down at a table with some Sambuca and work out their differences.

My children are running around the house, talking about firewood, dogs, and cell phones. They just started fighting, and as an intervention I said something to the effect of: What difference does it make? Be creative. I think that may be my new slogan for 2010.


Kells said...

Mary, these are great! Okay, I always eat standing up too. Maybe I think I'm burning extra calories? ;-)

And I loved your #5. I am right with you on all of them.

And I took your poetry challenge and write 3 (actually 5) poems before the year ended! Thanks for suggesting that.

Happy 2010! And that is one big snowman. I'm impressed!

Penultimatina said...

Thank you!

The poor gal lost her head about an hour later. Too much thinking, I reckon. :)

Steven D. Schroeder said...

I completed the three-poem challenge. One poem had a nice structure and interesting theme, but the actual content was weak. The other two I'm pretty happy with and think I only need to polish. Thanks for the nice idea!

Karen J. Weyant said...

I finished three poems, too! All of them need a bit more work, but will be ready to send out, soon!

Happy New Year!

Lyle Daggett said...

You mean the Carlos Drummond de Andrade poem doesn't actually exist??

Damn, the hours I've wasted, looking for it...

Just managed to finish two new poems before 2010, though they're both longer than average -- both are going to be several pages long once I've typed them (they're currently more than several pages each in my notebook). Therefore I claim extra credit. ;~)

Tonight the weather people are forecasting a low temp of minus 15 overnight here. The snow (much of which is mixed with ice) is hard as a rock. No snowmen (or Snowma'ams) for this puppy any time soon.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Finished 3 1/2 poems. Thanks for the inspirations. Good luck in 2010 (it is much more fun to type!).

Rusty said...

I got one poem. Which is good for me. I hope all your sides balance out in 2010.

jeannine said...

Five poems - which I don't think I would have done without your challenge. Now, can you challenge me to write five good book reviews? Sigh...
Happy New Year! I thought eating standing up was normal? I can't even see the top of my table, so how can I eat on it?

Matthew Thorburn said...

Hi Mary, thanks for the challenge! I got my three poems down on paper, and am revising them still. It looks like two of them may round out the book project I've been working on the past few years.

Good luck with your resolutions! Here's to a happy 2010!


Penultimatina said...

Thanks, y'all!

Lyle, you just made me come dangerously close to snorting Dr. Pepper up my nose, laughing.

Valerie Loveland said...

Hey Mary!

I wrote 4 poems! Thanks for the challenge!

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Mary Poppins, i have bought tickets from
http://ticketfront.com/event/Mary_Poppins-tickets looking forward to it.

Take on May

It's the first day of finals week and I already have that loopy off-my-routine feeling. Waiting for things to grade, and when those ...