The remodel began last week

The remodel began last week
and all is tarps and chaos, splinters and dust
unanswered emails and dinner out.

In hundred degree weather the strawberries wilt
next to sprinkler lines I only just realized were cut.
In the early dusk I was bitten by a wasp
my feet up on the Adirondack chair’s footrest
on the the patio farthest from the house, a refuge from the heat.

It begins again tomorrow
and yet
I am pleased. After all this, it’s begun.

 

A Quote

Saw this on another blog today. Very timely, for various reasons. Also, just awesome generally.

xykademiqz

Saw this on Twitter; I highly doubt it’s actually Freud’s quote (see a likely true source), but it got a life of its own and is a good bit of wisdom (definitely for women and minorities in academia). Also, being paired up with Freud’s pic helps.

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Walking through the West Village at night

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I’m always surprised by how calm & peaceful the West Village is at night. I don’t remember it that way – I remember crowds and cheerful shouting and lines at restaurant doors and the smell and lighter-flash of cigarettes everywhere. And yet here it is, Tuesday nine or ten PM east coast time… and this is a photo of a street, with no one on it, and just a distant glare of lights from a taxicab a few blocks away.

Or to put it another way: every time I walk through the West Village at night, I feel more as if the end of the world already happened, and no one noticed, and now it’s the aftermath.

It’s not that things are totally deserted; they’re not. It’s not that the area’s unsafe; as far as I can tell, it’s not. There are small groups of people, twos and threes walking peacefully home, holding each others’ hands or the leash of a small cheerful dog. Fragments of overheard conversations are things like, “but I’m romancing you!” and, “she’s thirty-five, man? What are you doing?!” (which sounds unreasonable until I add that the two guys having this conversation were, in my estimation, themselves only twenty-two or twenty-three years old). A tall college-aged woman in a long t-shirt style dress and a sturdy-looking man about the same age played some version of tag-plus-hide-and-seek down the empty streets, ducking in and out of doorways and laughing at each other. A skinny man in a hat and a worn but still stand-out suit played a viola on a streetcorner, its case open in front of him as a hopeful target for donations. He played well as far as I could tell, and unlike many street musicians, used no backup speaker. I gave him a little money, and he asked if there was a song I’d like to hear.

The bakery was closing as I walked past, the staff inside wiping down counters and slinging on backpacks. A few restaurants had cozy yellow lights in the windows and a few people seated at tables, talking quietly.

There were a lot of empty stores and a lot of construction of new stores (why build new stores if the existing ones stand empty? I don’t know.). Some of the streets were torn up; some of the streets were blocked off.

It was in many ways a lovely place. It was in many ways a lovely walk. But mostly… it was quiet.

and

And I missed the deadline. Contributing factors include:

  • Timezones – if you’re planning to submit poetry to a magazine in the UK, well, May 29 there doesn’t end at the same time there as it does here
  • Weather – it was really really nice outside and so I read a book in a chair in the sun rather than cleaning up piece #3 that I wanted to submit
  • Friends – had dinner with friends rather than cleaning up piece #3 that I wanted to submit
  • House – did useful stuff re: planning the remodel rather than … yeah, that.

I did learn some things though, namely:

  • Clearly, submitting these pieces to this issue wasn’t my P0 (ie, highest priority) – I had plenty of things I could have chosen not to do, that I did, and therefore I didn’t do the writing. As my mother says my grandmother said, you do what you want to.
  • I can write really fast when I think I’m on deadline. When I finally did clean up piece #3, on a plane just a few minutes before what I thought was on time… wow, that was fast. And the results are pretty good. I’m happy with how it came out.
  • I also found another poem inside a longer piece I’d written years ago. That was cool.

So. I didn’t make the deadline, I didn’t send things off to this particular thing, but … I did stuff. It’s stuff I’m pretty happy with. Okay.

#amwriting

I’m pulling together 3 poems, a bio, and a cover letter to submit to a magazine I like to read. I’m down to 5 poems, one of which needs massive editing and is really more of a prose-poem than a pure poem but might be incredibly funny when I finish it. Fun of writing vs lure of procrastinating vs difficulty of choosing. Two of the poems are similar in tone and structure; are they a tone and structure that this magazine will find compelling? They’re a little more dense in construction than most of what it publishes. On the other hand, I think they’re good. And they fit the theme. But then… maybe better odds of success if I submit three things with more variety. Three things to submit is not very many! How to choose, how to choose?