Saturday night I read a collection of poems to a crowd of 40+ friends and strangers for the first time, and I didn’t die. They didn’t die. In fact, they actually seemed to love it. One woman asked if I’d be willing to come speak at a teacher’s conference. One stopped me on the street later that evening as I was walking back to my car to tell me how much she liked it. A couple of people were even talking about it on Twitter yesterday. All of that was unexpected—I only went in hoping I wouldn’t bomb it.

It’s been a heady, surreal weekend. I think maybe I’ll make myself do that again.

sometimesagreatnotion:

ANYTIME

How long ago the day is
when at last I look at it
with the time it has taken
to be there still in it
now in the transparent light
with the flight in the voices
the beginning in the leaves
everything I remember
and before it before me
present at the speed of light
in the distance that I am
who keep reaching out to it
seeing all the time faster
where it has never stirred from
before there is anything
the darkness thinking the light

— William Stanley Merwin


This is the kind of poem that takes me two or three reads to fully grasp, but when the grasp happens, it’s a hard clutch.

"What part are you on now?"
“How about now?”
“What’s happening now?”
“Now? Now? Now?”

— What happens when my husband is reading a book I’ve already read and I’ve already finished my own book.

And this is why I married him: Because instead of being frustrated by it, he laughs and tells me in detail, sometimes even reads a few lines out loud. And then I’ll read over his shoulder for a while, until the next night when I have my own shiny new book and am silent/”away” again for that hour or two every night for another week or so.

kfedup:

penamerican:

"As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown more convinced there’s nothing that shouldn’t be talked about. If we think we’re protecting each other, we’re not." - Jonathan Safran Foer

Huh. My dash is full of ideas that perfectly reflect what I have been saying the past few days. 


NOTHING.

kfedup:

penamerican:

"As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown more convinced there’s nothing that shouldn’t be talked about. If we think we’re protecting each other, we’re not." - Jonathan Safran Foer

Huh. My dash is full of ideas that perfectly reflect what I have been saying the past few days. 

NOTHING.

It’s hot. Yesterday we broke an almost 50-year record at 103 degrees, and today it’s supposed to get just as hot, possibly hotter. Right now I’m extra grateful for so many shade trees around the house and the small swamp cooler in the main living area that at least keeps it hovering around 80 out there. But here in the back of the house, in the alcove where I usually pitch camp to write, there’s nothing but an old, loud fan that loses the battle against that kind of heat by mid-morning.

It’s hard to trade spaces. My husband’s office is out there, and we’re too much like children together to get any work done in the same room. My 19-year-old daughter on her days off wanders the house, and wants to talk each time she passes, and then there’s the dog, who at 11 years old has taken to coming in and out the door several times an hour, which I admit is better than the incontinence I’ve been bracing myself for the last year or so, but is a constant distraction anyway. And then there are the cats and their constant need for love and laps. So this whole summer so far has been an exercise in the psychedelics of thinking that hard under the heaviness of sweat and heat and stale air, and of sitting still in it long enough for things to move any distance on the page. But I’ll say this: it’s a different kind of writing that happens this way. You can wring more from yourself during discomfort, I’m convinced.

Everything is something.