Had my feature at Jesters’ last night. Had a wonderful time; Ted is right, and it is a great reading.
I wound up doing a lot of older stuff, though I began with a new piece, Secret Kings of the World. It needs work, but it was well-received for a first reading of a second draft. I have to develop it a bit. At the moment it’s just an odd story with a coda, and while eventually Engine Problem might form a triptych or some similar arrangement with it, I don’t know yet.
Engine Problem came next, but I shifted the point of view away from the narrative “I” and towards a more omniscient narrator. Then because it was International Women’s Day, I did Knitting Lesson, which both needs a sixth or seventh edit, and for me to memorize it. Then I did Grandpa, because it’s one of my favorites. Then came America because so many people tell me it’s so good, though sometimes I’m uncomfortable with it. I was planning on doing Oedipus Noir but a woman early in the Open Mic had read a piece about being in the hospital and cutting herself, and I figured a poem that talked about incest and gouging out your eyes might not be a good choice in those circumstances. So I did Judgment of Paris instead. Honestly, I don’t get tired of it, or at least I haven’t yet. Finished with the Heron, which I described as my poetic manifesto — opening the eye and closing the I, rendering what I see and feel transparent to the reader or the hearer, so that they have a chance to have their own emotional reaction to something that I’ve seen.
I’m currently sitting on the floor in Leah’s new apartment in Somerville, MA. Somewhere around here there’s a poetry reading on Monday nights, which we’ll have to go to together sometime this summer. Allegedly, I’m trying to work on another 18,000 words for White Wolf. In practice, though, I’m kinda cold and dulled by the weather, and I can’t get comfortable in her space to write. Maybe in time this will be a good space to write, but there’s only her bedroom and the kitchen; neither living room seems quite right, and there’s no place to sit. The kitchen has a table and chairs to sit at to write, but the light is strange and the chairs are not great for long sits; the bedroom has good light, but there’s not a good place to sit for long without getting skunched up and cramped. We’ll have to work on this.
Originally, Leah and I were going to get together on Friday, but with her sick and me sick, we delayed until Saturday. Sunday we went to the MFA and then walked up to the Prudential Shops for lunch. The Gauguin exhibit is nice, but nothing terribly amazing unless you’re a fan of Gauguin. We went to see Melissa’s excellent feature, and I confess myself amazed. She does wonderful things with words on a regular basis.
Monday, we hung around my place most of the day, cleaning clothes and catching up with ourselves about who we are and where we’re going. Gauguin at work, perhaps? Then to Worcester, where we picked up Tim, and out to Westfield.