Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Writing this on the program for the symphony performance because I am so very early. I heard music as I was approaching the amphitheater and thought I had mistaken the time. But just warming up and delightfully discordant. The orchestra is wearing white. The Glossary to my left says Adagio. Allegro. I think there were more people here yesterday but maybe it's early days yet. The lecture went well. Heard that it was useful, rapid-fire (good, good). People laughed in the right places. My lecture/reading person is not the same me nor is my workshop person.
I think I finally managed to relax this evening before walking over here. I sat out on the balcony and read an entertaining, light-hearted book on Kindle. Usually my time is too carved up/allotted so that here long stretches of the day just confuse me. Maybe I can write for a set time for the next three days though I still have the workshop plus prep and the individual conferences plus prep. Molto. Piu. Sostenuto. What about what I began in class today? Object study of the patio's awning? Maybe make that sense of being a possession or attachment a part of the poem. Must be careful not to step on Mary's poem's toes. Many people with pillows. I can always sit on my jacket. Forte. Cadenza. I wonder if this robust rattle makes them more perfectly in time when the official music begins. Much fuller now.
Excerpt from my lecture--"Beginnings, Endings, Titles, and White Space":
A title is a convenience, an aid, an arrestment. If a poem has a title, the reader feels he has a handle on things, an orientation. And maybe that helps him enter the unfamiliar territory of otherness, the exotic, the dangerous, the sensory. So first, the title can make the poem approachable. OK. As the reader I know where we’re going, even if that turns out to be a complete illusion.
A title has many possible uses which is why I can never understand why people want to say “untitled” or “Poem #732.” Why throw away an opportunity?
Sunday, August 17, 2014
August 15, 2014
Where has Brenda Hillman been all my life? I have just started reading Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire. I love it—playfulness, attention to sound, wordplay, interjections of Latin insect names, scattered vivid image, white spaciness later on. I felt more excited reading the Section I title page (4 epigraphs and a section called “Argument” which is a very, very long list: “microseasons, vowels, panticles, California grasses, existence, sex, the cosmos . . .) and the first three poems than I have felt all summer.
August 16, 2014
Things I have heard this morning: operatic-y voice singing a hymn, somebody practicing the piano, church bells tolling the hour, church bells playing a Woody Guthrie song, boat honk, parts of a sermon, motor boat buzz. I have practiced my reading which will be today at 3:30. I have studied on the parts of my first workshop tomorrow. I have worked on the lecture that will be on Tuesday at lunch. After lunch today, I took a short walk down to the lake shore and over past the Atheneum to the beach. Later: reading + reception + more Brenda Hillman+ listening to Thrity Umrigar’s NPR interview. (Swimming in words.)