I spent a good part of the weekend, when I wasn’t working, organizing file folders that contain all my writing meticulously organized by each year. I sadly realized that I have absolutely no clue when some poems were written since I stopped posting them on the blog. I'd gotten sort of slack in the past three or four years about keeping track of what was written when right around the time I became more project oriented as a poet. I have them grouped in manuscripts, but most of them span a couple of years of work. girl show for instance, was mostly written in 2006, but the earliest pieces I wrote in 2005, and there were a couple off add-ins when I was assembling it as my thesis in 2007. The Cornell project was completed in 2007, but I started it in 2004. I guess I'm not sure it matters, but systems make my inner control freak very happy.
There are so also many pieces that were abandoned along the way, written and orphaned before they really became anything. Again, I look at some of them and do not know the girl who wrote alot of them anymore. The stuff from about 1999 onward is less horrible than I remember, but still boring as hell--alot of persona poems, alot of mythological/historical figures, poems about paintings and figures in paintings. (some of these later showed up in The Archaeologist's Daughter). I suppose it's easy for young writers to write about these sort of things when you are convinced that ordinary life is just not interesting enough to write about and you haven't yet learned to either find the art-worthy in real life or to just make shit up. I saw a panel a few years back at AWP, something about, Novelists Reading Poets and Poets Reading Novels, and one of the novelists said that he always assumed that poets were telling the truth, and that every poem was autobiographical. I always tell audiences that if everything I wrote was true, I would be in serious trouble.
Cate Marvin wrote a good essay on this, which by grace of google, I found again:
However, I find it obvious that the "I" of my poems, when I employ first-person, could never be me. The speaker of my poems couldn’t live in my world: she wouldn’t wake for work, she’d tell the neighbors to shut up, she’d be arrested for public indecency, she’d no doubt be locked up eventually.
Of course, there are things that are true within the untruths, and perhaps the newest poems in book #4 (former KD which now has a sexy new title I am still rolling around in my head) are closest to the real me, but even then not so much. She is like me, but probably drinks more and does far more reckless things (though sometimes I think I'm giving her a run for her money). She is also much less lucky than me, perhaps the me I would be if I had had a harder sort of life.
In other news, this will be another one of those endless 6 day weeks of which I am already, thankfully halfway into. There is always, much to do in terms of getting author copies out to poets of the new chaps, filling orders, and a few cute pendants I am waiting for my bulk chain on. I find myself making odd lengthy analogies in conversation lately..boys as breakfast foods, aspects of my life as compartments in a purse, all of which make the sort of sense that is frighteningly apt. I am sleeping entirely too much again. I have also been eating a lot of eggs lately—scrambled, fried, omletted. I may go hunt down a hardboiled one for my dinner, or perhaps an egg salad sandwich from the 7-11. When I was falling asleep last night, I was convinced I successfully levitated my arm from the pillow by shear force of mind, mind over matter, and it worked for about an inch. Things are weird and just getting weirder...