What I do on baby-sitter days

October 25th, 2011

Draft a poem.
Read a dozen.
Eat chips straight from the bag.
Look at my watch.
Hurry, hurry.
Gobble down lunch.
Look at my watch.
Hurry, hurry.
Work, work, work.

Just what I needed to hear

October 20th, 2011

After last week’s pity party, I read this today. (Go read it; I’ll wait. It’s short.) So I’m hanging in there. Because yeah, I’ve got killer taste and hell yeah I’ve got potential. So I’m hanging in there. You hang in there too.

Most of the time

October 13th, 2011

Most of the time, I feel like giving up. Most of the time, the rejection email makes me want to stop submitting. Most of the time, the latest blindingly good book of poetry I’ve been reading makes me want to stop writing. Most of the time, I feel like it’s too late, that I missed my chance, made all the wrong decisions in my 20s, will never write the kind of poetry I want to write. Most of the time, I can’t see the way forward. I recognize good poetry when I see it, but I don’t know how to get there from here. I don’t know if I can get there from here, or if I’ve already reached the far limit of my modest ability. Most of the time, I am consumed by ifs: if I had followed through in college, when more than one teacher thought I had talent; if I had taken chances when I had them; if I hadn’t opted for the practical path; if I had been braver. Most of the time, I think about the classes I could take if we lived in the US. Most of the time, I know I need teachers if I’m to have a hope of getting any better and most of the time I think I could get better. Most of the time, it kills me that this is not really possible. Most of the time, I do not have enough time to work. Most of the time, I do not work well enough, the work is not good enough nor is there enough of it in terms of sheer output. Most of the time I am wracking my brains trying to figure out how to claw more minutes out of the day. Most of the time, I read some new poet’s first book and despair. Most of the time, I wonder why I bother. Most of the time, I feel like giving up.


October 10th, 2011

Well that was lovely. We went on an extremely uncharacteristic beach resort family vacation and a wonderful time was had by all. Technically, we were in Jerba, Tunisia, but because we were in an all-inclusive resort we could have been nearly anywhere with palm trees and bougainvillea; had we wanted to, we could have gone the entire week without a dinar passing through our hands. Five years ago I would not have imagined myself taking this sort of a trip, let alone enjoying it so very much and contemplating returning next autumn, but at this stage of family life it was just right. The boys went to the kids’ club two hours each morning while R and I lounged at the poolside and then we collected the boys for lunch and┬áspent every afternoon together on the beach.

The boys, particularly the Boychen, loved the beach – it was their first time on a shore of any kind – and spent happy hours building sandcastles and jumping over waves. R and I lounged on beach chairs, helped with sandcastles, took the boys into the water and made sure they didn’t drown. It was pretty perfect.

We did leave the resort bubble one day for a trip to Houmet Souk; even so it’s hardly honest to say I’ve been to Tunisia.

Now we’re back and it’s 10 degrees celcius and raining and Small Boy has hockey training “Intensive Week” – on- and off-ice training every day this week – and the hockey school opens on Saturday. Summer is well and truly over.


October 1st, 2011

We’re off for a much needed family vacation to someplace warm with a beach. I’ll be back in a week. See you then and have a good week!

In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, check out this amazing poem by Traci Brimhall in Passages North: “The Women are Ordered to Clear the Bodies of Suitors Slain by Ulysses.” Then go back to the table of contents and read the other three she’s got in that issue as well. Wow, huh?