Thursday, May 12, 2005

Colder today than it should be.  The lake was churny and a muddy grey.   Another Art of the Library opening tonight, but I bypassed the beer and wine and only stayed long enough to get some cheese and fruit.  My anti-social tendencies are in full swing on days like this, cold outside, too warm and dry in the library, my hair dried out and in my eyes constantly.  The last thing I want to do is make forced conversation with my co-workers.  Sometimes, I'm fine and completely comfortable around people, other times I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than have to have a conversation.  I tend to be a listener, so loud and rambunctious people make me more comfortable, and I can just relax.  But put me in a room with another quiet person, and you could hear a pin drop.  I blame my mother, her being the talker in my family, which resulted in the rest of us being rather quiet. It's not that I don't like conversing, but more that the niceties and social small talk seriously bother me. unless I really have something to talk about, you're not going to hear much out me.

Spent the afternoon working on laying out the cover of the next dgp chapbook, finally, though I still have alot to do on the body before I can send the poets the proofs. This entire semester it seemed like I'm just trudging along week to week, trying to get through it, trying to get all the little assignments and readings done so it can start all over and that's likely why I keep getting sick.  The eight months of winter we've had doesn't seem to help.

I'm hoping to finish feign (aka girls reading novels) by the end of the month, though I think I may let it sit awhile before sending it out to contests.  Especially since who knows what will happen with the other manuscript...and then it's on to a couple smaller chapbook projects I want to work on over the summer, when I'm free to direct my focus wherever I like.  I did manage to choose what I want to take in the fall.  Since my schedule conflicts with the Neruda class I would have liked to have taken , and I can't stand the idea of devoting a whole semester to Shakespeare's Sonnets (the plays yes, but the sonnets, no), I'm bypassing a literature class offering, which will force me into a lit class while I'm working on my thesis in the Spring of 07, but that shouldn't be a problem. (And I need to take six credit hours at a time to get one class free anyway)  Instead I'm taking my last workshop (about fucking time) and a craft course on reading and writing Chicago poems.  Since I've been knocking around an idea for a series of city haunting poems for the last year, this might be a good opportunity, plus it simplifies my classes into a one day thing. 

I have no idea what the thesis will be.  In theory, it's a book length manuscript representing what you've been doing over the last two years.  Poems all nicely revised and tied together with a shiny bow.  And a 20 page accompanying paper. But I'm only part-time, with two years down and two to go,  and who know what sort of project I'll be in the midst of come next year.  And probably none of the poems will be workshopped poems, the ones from last year, some having been trashed, some having gone into the fever almanac (the first two manuscripts now spliced together) and now this years alot of them going into feign. The next full-length endeavor may be the carnivalesque book, I'm not sure, though who knows.  Most of my craft exersizes remain just that--exersizes- with the exception of the errata series, of which a few are included in the new book.  So basically I'm starting from scratch.  And the whole write-then workshop-then revise thing doesn't really work for me.  It's more like write--revise--revise again--write more--revise--workshop--submit----revise again.  I rarely revise based on suggestions.  I've heard enough "This is too easy..."  (wtf does that MEAN?) and "I don't buy this.."  

Revision is sort of an intuitive, private thing on my part.  Occasionally stuff comes out fully awesome and not in need of anything.  Most stuff needs to be knocked around a little.  By the time I take it to workshop, unless I just wrote it, it's already been taken to task multiple times.  I'm not sure I agree with the concept of workshop in general, writing such a solitary thing and not something you do with folks looking over your shoulder and correcting you.  And yet some of them take it so seriously, eagerly revising poems, seeking...what?...approval?.

I'm finding myself much more productive when I'm focused on one thing.  One chapbook, or one series of poems.  If I work on the shorter chapbooks over the next year, plus messing around with odd poems for another book, I might be able to stretch it out until the spring after next....

Of course, which is all I need, another book I'm trying to get published....

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