Friday, July 20, 2018

Lake Retreat

I was feeling pretty chuffed to begin my writing retreat with a project in mind. The project would involve research (Rilke's Book of Hours and a miniature reproduction of a lavishly illustrated medieval Book of Hours), subject specific language, and a flexible way of churning up material.

How did I then slip the leash of my own assignment on the first day of writing? Did it have something to do with my unnatural state of mind, a kind of jet-lag stupor? Does sleeplessness have its own bonus--weird jumps and connections and a sense of floating away from the usual world? (I don't recommend it.)

Although I've done some of the reading and stolen some of the language of my original project, I've written 6 good poems and 2 bad poems towards a project I still don't fully understand. Here are a few of the titles:
"The Ghost of My Good Intentions Bears Fruit"
"Minor Saints are Written in Black"
"Dead to Me"

The project has something to do with ghosts but not just in the regular way. I'm still doodling around to figure out how to define ghost--that which is insubstantial, that which is not present, that which is not fully realized, actual spirits, haints?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winter Retreat

I am at the retreat and I want to write about the retreat and I want to write but I also want to take a walk while it's still 51 degrees and little pieces of ice are crunching and returning to a runny state and really I want to read all the poems I've brought with me to see who I am now which I don't precisely mean because I know who I am but my moorings are different and I'm floating on bigger waves almost tipping over but there are also all the little notes the little dribs and drabs although they are not drab--where does that come from--little pieces or things that fly through my brain and I've been paying attention and writing them down to wit
  • labelling everything in the house
  • Aunt M and her bundle of hair
  • "It's all around us"
  • lump sum
  • like a slack drumhead
and I'm waiting for them to commune on the page to writhe like worms to find their best selves without a lot of bother from me. Sunshine. Wind chime. Pond path in January.