on losing light, believing in poetry mojo and giving the finger to hecklers

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we are losing the light, and i don’t know if i can stand it. somehow, 14 weeks of farm share vegetables are gone. we’re still getting deliveries, but it’ll be wrapping up soon. we have had three classes of the MFA poetry workshop at St. Rose, which means we’re well into the semester. i have loved summer. i have loved everything about it: long days, warm nights, romance here and there, a terrific birthday, a wonderful maine vacation with the boys, time with friends, relaxing with the boys free from crazy schedules, music and poetry and drinks and laughs.

i want to tell the new season to go ahead on without me. i want to tell it i’m not coming this time. (and i don’t think that’s a thought that’s original to me. i think i read it somewhere a long while back. it sounds like dale, doesn’t it? dale, did i steal that from you?)

but i have the feeling there’s something i need to do this fall and winter. i’m a little bit worried that it has something to do with toning down the social life and quieting my mind. i have a feeling i’m due for some dark alone-time. i used to crave it. i used to protect it ferociously. i used to be a beast if something interrupted it. for most of the past year, i’ve been very casual about it. once in a while, i try to grab some, but it’s mostly lip service. i am easily talked out of it, and i mostly waste it when i have it.


this is the third week in the new apartment. it’s on a busier street, so there are new noises to get used to. the loudest sounds at the old place were sirens, all day and night, from ambulances speeding through the park on their way to the medical center. here, the voices on the street are loudest. much like the sirens, they’re not steady, so they’re often surprising, sometimes jarring. but also like the sirens, i imagine they’ll fade to the background after a while. the new place is more spacious, and it’s gorgeous. the boys and i have more room to do the things we do, and now that i’m settled, it’s much more relaxing.


it’s so tricky handing the kids off, back and forth between me and my ex. i’m a much better parent without him (and i suspect the same is true for him), but it’s still hard to navigate that time when we overlap. other things are hard, too. like last night, one of the boys said they didn’t want to stay with him anymore; tonight, a different one said he didn’t want to be here with me. both were lashing out about something or other. both were angry. we all say things we don’t mean.

it’s nearly impossible to talk about that kind of thing with anyone, and it’s really frightening to say it here. what if someone involved in the divorce process takes it any other way than kids venting? we share custody, and it would kill me if that changed. i’m tired of that kind of anxiety, though. i’m tired of putting my head down about the whole terrible process. i’m tired of being afraid of handling it with anything less than perfection. i’m tired of being gracious. i’m tired of trying to avoid saying the wrong things. i’m tired of being brave. i’m tired of being strong.


i was also going to say, i’m tired of not writing. and that’s true. it’s also not true. i am tired of not being productive in my writing, but i am writing (making notes, at least) — and reading every day again. and i’m writing one poem a week now to bring into the workshop. (i’ll post an excerpt of one here tomorrow or over the weekend.)

i’ve said out loud to anyone who’ll hear me that a small part of me believes that loss of my poetry mojo is punishment for leaving my marriage. i recognize how foolish it sounds, but i also know people who think it to be the perfect karma. most of me, of course, knows i’ll get the mojo back, and i’m willing to be patient. well, maybe patient‘s not quite the right word.


if you think divorce is easy or simple for a woman (or anyone) to do just because it’s the 21st century, think again. if you think people try to understand or give people the benefit of the doubt, you’re wrong. even in this blog space (which is supposed to be one of my happy places), i am being heckled. someone making up email addresses and fake domains, saying things like self-absorbed, flaky, narcissistic drivel, bad mother, poet-wannabe. i published one of them. i have the IP address/es, of course, but whatever — we’re not in middle school.

if you’re a hater, fine … but own it. if i’d needed or wanted your approval, even a tiny bit, i would have asked for it. if you’d like to have a conversation, then let’s have one. otherwise, shut the fuck up.


  1. I do think those events are probably connected but the mojo will cycle back around and since you’re making notes and churning out at least one per week, you’ll have fabulous content.

  2. more anon, when I’ve gotten some sleep– for now I just have to say, wonderful to hear your voice again. Poetry mojo is a strange thing, and has its own seasons: I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have stayed to reward you for being married, and that it didn’t leave to punish you 🙂

  3. My boys were a little older when I left so I kind of get how you feel. Your mojo probably needs a little more time to ferment into something wonderfully ripe and rich.

  4. Here is my basic feeling about life – it is good to feel it all – the good, bad and the ugly. It is good to write it all – when you can and in whatever format works. As for periods of transition for you and the kids, it takes time to adjust and just when you have it nice and smooth, something else happens. Be okay with the bumps of it all – and forgive yourself daily for not being perfect – this is a good example to set for the kids. Or as I told my son, it’s all about Rocky Balboa – it’s not how many times you get knocked down , you must get back up AND all we are all doing, per Rocky, is filling gaps.
    I love your frankness, your doubt and your curse words!

  5. Like Austin Powers 2, I think you have (and have had) (and will have had) the mojo all along. Sometimes you just need to catch it with a net. Until then: keep writing!

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