Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A friend is headed to AWP, and I realize droves are headed to Chicago again. I will stay in the Denver area as I can't afford it. I went to a meditation class last night, a transmission meditation group and found the experience VERY powerful. I felt a sense of spirituality I haven't felt in many, many years. The group meets twice a week and I plan on attending. It was a very good experience, and I went with a friend who has a kind and wondrous spirit who was just given a cancer diagnosis. If I could be one tenth of the person he is, I would have lived a good life.

It's time for me to focus on revising the manuscript, the albatross about my neck, but I think now I have worked some things out that where blocking me, like why I write, who I am writing for etc. There was a lot of distorted thinking about who I thought I needed to write for, and now I know I just need to write and try to help the people who need it and want it. I am not up for the games played sometimes. I just want to get back to writing with a heart for the people who need it out of love and care. And now I am writing about sexual abuse and recovery in the context of seven sins and seven charities. I think these things matter more than who-knows-who.

We can only write what moves us, what brings us pleasure and healing. Overall, I am feeling free after having had a difficult few weeks. I hope to continue meditation class as it is very freeing and full of hope.

Be well.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Another great Dylan song. I will take care of myself, be a bit selfish, and relax tonight and tomorrow. Leaving to Austin on Monday, and I am VERY relieved to be getting out of the Denver area for a while. Believe me, very much looking forward to being in Texas. I will be in a workshop with Marilyn Hacker with other Canto Mundo fellows on Tues. I believe. Very much looking forward to spending time with fellow Canto Mundistas as I am a bit stagnant. Maybe more than a bit stagnant. Blessed to be going to this thing, very blessed. Hoping to get motivated. I'm sure I will be motivated to write after this symposium.

Hospice came and evaluated my grandmother and her time is short, but she may just make it to 100. Know my mom will take this one hard.

Read some long essays about poetry and sentimentality and more which were interesting and I wonder how in the heck people have time to write such longish outcries about sentimentality. Of course, what is viewed as overly sentimental or "emotional" is outside of the realm of narrow aesthetics that some have. Same with narrative-- I'll never forget some famous poet telling me narrative is dead. Not sure what the gripe is with story-telling at this point in history. It seems there's plenty of room these days to write non-narrative non-linear poems. The fact is our stories are barely beginning to be told and then pow, the dominant view seems to be we want non-linear poems and we will refuse anything that makes sense.

Yet, I am beginning to think  a lot of magazines prefer narrative poems. Someone said I was a narrative poet, but the work I sent out recently was more of a discombobulated mess. And no one took it! No, that's not true, a few places did, but overall, I'm thinking many of the places I sent to want a story, something tangible, something meaningful. Actually one poem recently taken is highly narrative, and the others are non-linear. So maybe things are more balanced that they appear. Too much was sloppy, unpolished and unclear.

Someone wrote on facebook that the way to start an argument online is to state your opinion. How true!

Well, hope to relax and let go of things tonight and listen to some music.

I really like the animals, the group. Also I enjoy the critters around my new  place: foxes, rabbits, squirrels and Canadian geese.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feeling better as I've actually done some work on manuscript regarding section titles and quotations for section titles and will move on to remove excessive "I's" in it, and also will trim "Chico's Tacos." Removed "Feeding Season" and have moved a few poems around and will need to do so with several others. Potential cutting of poems if they don't fit in with the overall theme of the section will follow. I feel better when I take these tiny steps and begin writing/revising again. It is that joy, that feeling of relief and pleasure that have me taking tiny steps again. Finally.

The joy of writing will flee if one focuses on the dirty politics of the game. I am more and more isolated in that I'm no longer teaching and am living in abject poverty with acceptance of my limitations. Rejections coming in with a couple of acceptances. Must seek out excessive amount of rejection to find my way. At least I still think about poems, though it grew difficult to write as I still some days grovel in the absurdity of po-biz and see myself out of the loop or far removed from the game "players." And despite this, I am blessed. I am beginning to look at things a different way. I am beginning to see that things fall into place once we surrender and let go.

Settling into new apartment and realizing I have a well lit place and a room of my own. It's been at least four years since this has been the case. I have a working printer and computer. I have a few people behind me and my work, people that approached me based on my poems, not my "marketing" or "schmoozing." I have good friends, companionship and freedom like I haven't had in many, many years. Hopefully the hearing will turn out fine and all will be well. If not, I will simply re-apply and give my car away. I have trimmed down my life. There are no excesses any more. There is less materialism, less commercialism, less ownership and need for ownership. I have what I need and am grateful for it. I no longer feel I have to have things, own things, carry things, keep things or show things. I am free to say I have limitations. It feels good.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

I am stuck in apartment still as my car is buried in snow. At least ten to twelve inches in front of it. Luckily a friend is going to help dig it out later this afternoon. Am stuck with writer's block still, but did manage to get one project out of the way, and will work on a review tonight, and hopefully tomorrow I will actually do something with manuscript as I really need to zero in and focus on it again. I think I put too much pressure on myself to publish as others publish endlessly so flawlessly. So, working on getting better, doing better, feeling better.It's okay to go my own pace. Worried at times I'll never get the second book out! A friend used to say everything happens for a reason, so I'm thinking what happened with Notre Dame and Arizona are blessings in that in the end it will be a better manuscript. At least this is what I say to myself, but I am afraid at times I don't have another collection in me, yet others believe I do, so I will continue to try to get one out some year.

Basically, first book situation was bad. Didn't expect it to turn out so terribly, and I was terribly surprised by people's selfishness, which I shouldn't have been at my age. Now, I have to forgive, move on, have faith. Also, I am seeing that there was much to be grateful for, but I of course focused on what hurt. And this is simply a reaction to early trauma. And I have to move forward somehow as the last few weeks after meeting with fantastic editors, I was stuck. I have to get unstuck tomorrow. I just have to get unstuck. Let go.

Did some drawing last night. Going a bit stir crazy as I've been snowed in a bit for two days. Will work on reading the tail end of Dona Stein's book, which I'll write a review. Lost one book I was going to write a review on and then found it during the move, but the fact is, I am going to have to not review books for a while after this as it takes away my energy for working on manuscript.  Hopefully I won't be spinning my wheels going nowhere as I have some good editors helping me. I just need to get busy with it. Tried to write something new the other night and stared at the blank computer screen. So, hopefully I can re-order (yet again) the manuscript and cut at least one poem out--"Feeding Season"- and work to refine and cut down "Chico's Tacos."

They say blogging is good for one's psychological health. Maybe. I don't know. I do know that I need to work on that manuscript and feel good about the process. This place helps me air things out, re-think and re-examine what I'm doing or not doing.. Do one thing a little bit at a time, I suppose. Just get started. Do something you need to do for just 15 minutes and see how it goes, then do a little more for another 15 minutes later. Hopefully, I'll somehow grow immersed in writing again. Overall, I let the negatives of po-biz (which is a terribly dirty business) get me down, way down. But then again, I had/have some healing to do and circumstances beyond my control really, got me down. It all blurs when one must heal from early violence.

Simplicity, is a nice thing, yet sometimes things are very complicated by their very nature. I'd like to agree wholeheartedly with living in sublime simplicity, but there are dark things in this world which we must wrestle with and heal from. I mostly need to get unstuck as when I am not writing I am a moody person. Writing is freeing, and yet, here I am stuck. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some creativity my way. I think it will. I have faith.