25 October 2010

A slight case of overbombing.

I was one of those girls who really liked horses. Shocking, I know. Anyway, I don't ride horses now because there's no time. I'll probably have to teach my kids eventually. But lately I've been thinking back to when I rode horses, and they were other people's horses, because we lived in the city and my mom never agreed that we could keep a horse in the garage behind her 1978 Chevette.

Some semesters are like the sad ponies that walk around in a circle under a tent. Other semesters are like sad horses that wish they were walking around in a circle under a tent. This semester, however, is like a horse that gets spooked by a dragonfly and proceeds to gallop into another county.

So what's there to do? Just hang on, I guess. And that's what I'm doing. Because it's week ten here, and soon it'll be week eleven. I'll be in Jackson, Mississippi in week eleven, reading at Millsaps College with Erika Meitner. I am a little ashamed to say that the only time I've been to "the south" was for AWP Atlanta. Thankfully Alison Pelegrin is helping me out with what to pack, because I have no idea what the weather will be like. I'm so happy to be able to take my poems somewhere they've never gone before (at least not out of my mouth).

The aforementioned runaway Appaloosa of a semester is to blame for my lack of new poems. Some people beat themselves up about not going to the gym. I beat myself up for a total lack of creative activity! I haven't even been taking decent pictures lately. I was glad to snap the above, which is my contribution to the season.

Week ten started out with good news for somebody who really deserves it, not to mention the magnificent Browns win last night. At least a runaway semester eventually makes its way to a lake and has to stop, at least for a few minutes. I'm looking forward to making up all of the creativeness that I'm keeping in jars for the time being.

I hope those jars are watertight.


Alyssa Ast said...

Before I began writing full time for my career I use to be agonized with creative thoughts trying to escape that I could no longer sleep at night. It was such a relief when I was finally able to write as much as I possibly could whenever I wished. Plus, I now sleep better than I have in years. Hang in there!

Alyssa Ast

Justin Evans said...

I really liked the S.O.M. reference.

As for the semester being out of control, I know exactly what you are talking about. This semester is one for the record books---literally.

Years from now, when the world has righted itself, I may just have to tell that story. However, chances are it will be such a small thing years ffom now, the only thing perspective will have given it is a death warrant.

today's word verification says it all: "smess."

Suzanne said...

Love the photo and the new look. xo

Sandy Longhorn said...

May I admire you?

Seriously, you rock, Mary B. Love this post from top to bottom. I hope the South gives you the warm welcome you deserve! Be sure to have a Moon Pie and a shot of Jack.

Penultimatina said...

Golly, thanks you guys.

How nice to have all these comments.

Justin: love that you got it!

Sandy: thank you! Thank you!

Totally stressful week on its way and these notes make me smile.

Lyle Daggett said...

Just have to say, I really like your current profile photo. Peeping out from behind. I recommend using that as the cover photo on a book, for instance.

I recently read The Poetry Lesson by Andrei Codrescu, just out this year. Your post here reminded me of it --

It's a more or less fictionalized account by Codrescu of teaching the first day of an Intro to Writing Poetry class. He gives his students a (slightly absurd) list of required supplies for the class, and then begins to assign each of them a poet who will be their "Ghost-Companion" for the semester, a poet whose work they can go to for help when they're writing. Along the way he goes off on wild tangents and flights of reverie, posing insoluble questions, etc. Not hilarious, necesarily, but I enjoyed reading it. (I've never taught for a living.)

Word verification is "mundogan." For some reason I keep thinking that might be an Australian word, or anyway sounds Australian-flavored. One of those things both ordinary and unexpected that one might encounter by the roadside going through the outback. Something like that.

MaryKate said...

It's almost over.
And just think, the best poetry workshop you've ever taught will be getting under way in mere months. We will inspire you and you will inspire us and we will all write massive amounts of creative brilliance.

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