Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Calm, Chaos, and States in Between

--Despite getting good sleep last night, I find myself feeling skittish.  It's the presence of Tropical Storm Bill, even though we will not be affected as it moves ashore in Texas.  Or are these rain clouds some trailing effect?

--I feel skittish because there are noises:  rain spitting on the windows (despite some sun), traffic, branches moving in the wind, perhaps something skittering across the roof, the creaks and groans of an older house.  I see why people once believed in ghosts.

--I might prefer a ghost to some of the explanations (inside the realm of possibility or not really) of creaks in a house.

--I am also skittish because of work drama, both real and imagined.  We're at the end of a quarter, when students go off the rails. The non-students are not always doing a good job of staying on the tracks either.  And our full-time faculty have been offered a voluntary separation package--a buy out, if you will.

--Perhaps that's an explanation for my skittishness.  The work drama is very similar to an approaching hurricane--one wants to prepare for what's to come, but one must wait until the track of the storm becomes clear.

--Yesterday when I couldn't sleep and was awake at 2 a.m., I typed some older poems into the computer.  I'm amazed at how many poems I have that were inspired by T.S. Eliot in some way.  Eliot was never one of my favorite poets.  I would have speculated that I would be more inspired by Wordsworth or Keats, and I have been.

--I've been far more influenced, however, by more recent poets, especially poets of the feminist decades.  I remember writing on a page of a collection by Marge Piercy, "This is my 23rd Psalm."

--I have Piercy's latest collection on my shelf.  I look forward to reading it.

--For those of us who call ourselves feminist poets, we should submit to Rattle.  Their call for Special Submissions says, "We’re currently seeking submissions from Feminist Poets for our Spring 2016 issue. The poems may be any style, subject, or length, but must be written by those who identify as Feminist Poets and often use poetry to advocate for women’s rights. Please explain how this applies to you in your contributor note."

--We've got until October 15.   More details are here, if you scroll down.

--I also like Rattle's weekly competition, Poets Respond (more details here, if you scroll down):  "Every Sunday we publish one poem online that has been written about a current event that took place the previous week. This is an effort to show how poets react and interact to the world in real time, and to enter into the broader public discourse."

--Last week I wrote a poem about the Tony Awards for Fun Home.  It didn't win, but it was fun to write on a deadline.  I don't always find poetic potential in the week's events, but I loved the idea of fun houses and mirrors and homes.

--It's good to keep writing, despite all the drama, real and imagined.  I can't always write my way back to complete calm, but I can write my way out of the chaos.

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