I am sitting at the desk in our hotel in Reno, a way station on the way to Lake Tahoe and all that it represents for me personally which is in part a kind of personhood where all my first impulses are to me and to my writing and to my healing from whatever vicissitudes have been marking me. I want to let go of all the responsibilities I usually carry. I want to feel happy. When they say "happy as a clam," maybe it's because the clam is in his shell and can shut up shop for the day as he sees fit. I want to go and steep myself like a teabag in beauty. I want to open up the doors that are shut in the everyday behind which are the things of my poems. That's not really true since the things of my poems are made up of little pieces from my life. But something is shut up or off--maybe the muscle of my writing, maybe the ceiling is lowered when I need the whole sky to carome off of, gyrate, flex, like the acrobat/gymnast I never was. So, clam. So, teabag (sorry this has some kind of possibly icky sexual connotations). So, ceiling raised, pushed up, opened, wiped.
On the plane I made notes of 3 things I'd like to write about--not in poems I don't think:
1. What would your writing plan be if you got a Guggenheim or whatever and had a year off in which to write?
2. What is something you don't normally attempt like that note in the orange notebook about deliberately trying to evoke something in the reader--I think it was in response to an author saying how he deliberately tried to evoke horror.
3. Questions from the writing group discussion of my 2 poems.
- I was struck by B's noting my use of items from daily life/pop culture and calling them kitsch. Surely that 's a term of a derogatory nature. He asked why I didn't use more formal or classic elements. Was this question arising out of "value" or having to do with process? (kitsch--"something of tawdry design, appearance or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste." "tawdry, vulgarized, or pretentious (sentimental appeal)."
- L's question about how the poems had 2 parts which worked differently and had different levels of impact on the reader. Interested in thinking about this in detail.
- T's question about whether I intended emotional or intellectual response which I realized only later can never be one or the other but always both in various stages of realization/permutations of power.