For a poet, I think I’m late to the nesting and writing stages of coronavirus grief. But thanks to a cat, perimenopause and Natalie Goldberg, I’m here now.
so far, november hasn’t been a month full of poems (though i have been making notes), but it has been a month of clarity and action. i’ll take it.
the light is going, and it feels lousy. there’s also another quality to its departure: a strange frenzy. i don’t really know how else to describe it. it’s not the soggy leaves in quiet piles i’m talking about. november feels like the crisp ones that race the wind. they never seem to stop moving. they’ll never be caught. and i’ll never catch up.
a draft of something inspired the ABBA poems by denise duhamel & amy lemmon … in which i also joke (sort of) about online dating and follow the ABBA rhyme scheme. yes, a rhyme scheme from a poet who typically can’t manage rhyme without going all green eggs & ham. but this time, with the exception of “something” and “humping,” i think i avoided the dr. seuss effect. i’ve also managed to be light and a little bit funny — two other traits not ordinarily in my poetry wheelhouse.
today was one of those days that you can’t quite believe – a whirlwind, in a good way. it began with an early morning hockey game out in the burbs, but the remainder was downtown. and a whirlwind downtown? just another day, of course: empire state plaza, washington park, occupy albany, two separate strange encounters (one with the albany police and another with a fast food joint) and a birthday for a dead guy (which is an interesting title for a poem: i got dibs!).
lately when people ask me what i like about running, i’ve been leading with this: it helps me practice positive self talk. in no other aspect of my life, am i able to cheer myself on as reliably as when it’s me vs. the road. today, i ran a half marathon with one of my besties, and we killed it — despite pouring rain!
as you know, i’ve been contemplating the light and romance and poetry mojo. they are three of my obsessions. how they ebb and flow. most recently, how they dwindle. i would be hard-pressed to tell you which absence is most disheartening. but i can say that i’ve lived long enough to know that neither light nor poetry really disappear. romance, however? i have little evidence that it persists.
jill and i traveled an hour or so to lenox, massachusetts, to see marie read her wonderful poetry. she had the high noon spot today as part of berkshire wordfest, hosted by the mount, edith wharton’s house. it’s an annual festival, and though we were there only briefly, it’s clear they do a great job. and what a contrast in settings from yesterday: 80,000 people downtown, on my street, for lark fest. and today, this proper, quiet estate in the midst of the wilderness.