Friday, February 20, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Boy, leaving town threw me out of sorts. I had a stack of mid-terms I quickly had to finish grading. I also had to prepare for my week's worth of lessons.

Additionally, while I thought having my parents here would save me time, it's turned out to be quite the opposite. I'm finding myself over at their house fixing this and that. Hours have been spent setting up their computer network and other things. They bought HP's which broke my heart. I couldn't convince them to buy Macintoshes. Lucky for them I can handle both platforms, but still . . . they bought these two Vista OS-using machines and the OS is a little clunky, IMO.

***

Nerd mode off.

***

I've been having reasonably good fortune with journal publications recently, but my well is running dry. I haven't written a stitch for a couple of weeks. Yes, I'm crafting a long poem, but I haven't had the willpower to go back to it. Long poems--hard to get back into the "flow" of writing.

By the way, I hate that word, "flow." My workshop students use it so often. "The poem flows well" or "I like the flow from the first line to the next." I tell them that whenever they use that kind of language, I think of urination or diarrhea.

Sorry, I'm digressing. We're talking about me, right?

***

Pushcart nomination time. Thanks to all those who nominated me. I feel like such a tremendous disappointment to you. I get nominated every year and I come up short every year. Maybe this time, eh?

***

I bought quite a few books at AWP this year. I can't tell you how many 'cause Meredith sometimes reads this blog and I may get into trouble. The number of purchases I've made, however, has been dropping since I first started going (AWP Portland in 97 I believe). I just don't want to haul all those books in my suitcases, now that I'm traveling primarily with just carry-on luggage. When checking bags was free, oh boy, I took full advantage.

***

Current Spin:

Grizzly Bear. "Knife." Funny the type of life this particular track has lived. It's been covered by tons of people and if you glance at the other Youtube videos, you'll see quite a variety of styles. There's even a video of Zach from Beirut covering the song.

3 comments:

bjanepr said...

Welcome back West! "Flow" is good for starting a discussion on a poem's music, maybe? Then you can talk about line, about disruption.

But as for long poem, I think of it more like discontinuous extended meditation.

Oliver de la Paz said...

Well, it's certainly been "discontinuous."

My trouble with the word "flow" is that my students use it as a way to avoid close reading. Of course, I always attempt to redirect the focus to the poem, but they almost always use "flow" as a quick way to at once praise and dismiss a poem.

January said...

Seeing your pics and posts from AWP warmed my heart.

Denver '10, sushi's on me.

(Sushi in Denver? Maybe we'll have an elk burger or something. OK, my knowledge of regional food is sorely lacking. )