Friday, January 22, 2016

Zombie Snow and Other Weather Inspirations

As usual, the weather is distracting me--no, not the weather where I live--that's thankfully somewhat boring.  I am driven to distraction by this snow/blizzard event that's likely to sweep through much of the East today.  So, let me record some fragments that may or may not be useful later.

--Upon news that DC will not be running the Metro system over the week-end, one of my Facebook friends posted:  "Wow. Is this the zombie apocalypse and they're just not telling us!?"  I wrote: "Zombie snow--now that would be an interesting movie! Or maybe a poem . . ."

--Rain taps at our windows down here.  I wrote this note on the fridge:

Chili tonight?
You could eat heavy,
I could eat light.

--I thought of that William Carlos Williams poem about the plums so cold in the fridge.  I'm not sure I can create something so crystalline, so perfect, and yet so oddly unsatisfying to so many generations of students.

--I loved this pairing of paintings and Luisa Igloria's poems in Mud Season Review.  How I love the poetry of Luisa Igloria--but I discovered her after I stopped teaching classes where I have control of the curriculum.  There are many poets whom I love, and I have no idea how students would react to their work.
--Here's a great interview with Jhumpa Lahiri; she talks about moving to Italy and teaching herself Italian--and then reading and writing exclusively in that language.  She's just published a memoir which sounds fascinating.  But then, I'm always attracted to stories of creatives and their processes.

--For those of us who might feel sad when we compare Lahiri's success to our own, consider what she says in this quote:  "The other day, I pulled down off my shelf all the little journals I published in 20 years ago, like AGNI or New Letters or StoryQuarterly. I felt like they’re sacred. With all due respect, no shelf full of The Lowland will ever give me that emotion. Because those were the things that felt like miracles. You wanted to publish that? I wasn’t paid, three people read them, I made like five photocopies and gave one to my parents and one to my friend and one to my writing teacher, and that was it! Nobody knew who I was and nobody cared and nobody commented on it, and it wasn’t reviewed. This whole experience—going to Italy, living in Rome, learning a new language—I’m keenly aware of some fundamental desire to go back to some kind of beginning place."

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