Saturday, April 30, 2022

thoughts on the close of another april

As we come to the end of another National Poetry Month and another NAPOWRIMO (albeit one I did not finish) I've been thinking about how we, of course, are still poets all months of the year and how one month does not nearly contain the vastness of the poetic endeavor nor its products (which I have now thrown one more on the pile of new poetry books, and almost weekly, at least one new dancing girl chapbook in the mix.)  As I sat here today on a rainy Saturday afternoon, making reels to support the new book, printing and folding chaps, sipping tea and watching author branding videos on YT (these are usually geared more toward fiction, but there is useful info nonetheless for other genres.) I still felt a little sad that more people out there in the world--people who do seem to enjoy books and reading a lot, shy away from poetry as a genre. People who would probably like it, were it not wielded at them by scary English teachers making them read dead white guys who have absolutely nothing to do with their lives as they know them.

Last night. I finished another re-watch of Bridgerton and looked up the books (to get an inkling on future season fodder) Judging from samples, they aren't exactly literary masterpieces, but I do appreciate how the author has created an entire world and just kept building it, something that translates really well to the small screen. Worldbuilding is one of my favorite things about being a writer, which sounds strange coming from a poet, I know. I'd like to think my own books take place in a world I somehow created in small bits and pieces..that the sisters in the fever almanac share space with the women in girl show. That the narratives of something like taurus and beautiful, sinister exist with more supernatural tales like the summer house. These worlds are sometimes my world (like major characters in minor films) and sometimes not even close (automagic, whose publication I will be turning my wheels toward this summer. for fall release) Sometimes, it's a a mix of both, as in the new book. 

The past couple months, I've been dipping my toes in writing more fiction. . Every time I think I've finished something, however, I look at it and think it pales so in comparison to the poems I've written.  My genre work  (in horror and erotica, sometimes both at once) is serviceable, but ultimately feels like a waste of good writing time. I think, "this would be so much better as a poem" and maybe it would. Or maybe I have written too much poetry and now there is no way back out. Poetry allows so much more and so much less.  More fragmentation and wander, less wordiness and ramble. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

the monsters we make

While I have published traditionally published poetry collections and self-published them, there is always the pleasure of making a book from beginning to end.  For sure, its more work.from the editing and proofing to the design. All the costs, all the marketing and promotion falls on you (though some would argue this is the case with poetry in general.)  There always the uncertainty that maybe it's all crap without someone else's stamp of approval on it--for the potential audience and maybe sometimes the poet themselves.  I've actually felt more confident about these last several self-issued titles than I did with my first traditionally published book, but that was probably to be expected.  It's not easy, and there is a lot trial and error.  It's also considerably more complicated than chapbooks.  But there is something very rewarding about birthing a book from the every first poem to unboxing the very first copies. 

I've been lucky that most publishers I have worked with allowed me to be pretty hands on in terms of design, often designing my own covers or having considerable say.  I know this is not always the case, and definitely less so when it comes to marketing fiction.  This cover began as a set of postcards I created for Halloween patreon subscribers a couple years back that are floating around out there.  As I started to put the final version of the book together, they seemed a perfect way to tie them together, given it's wealth of taxidermy and natural history-laden themes.  In the book, you will find my artist statement pieces, the Walter Potter poems, the strangerie portraits, the poems about Lavinia Fontana and the Renaissance dog-girl, Antoinette Gonzalez. You will also find extinction event, the poems I wrote about climate change for the Field Museum reading a few years back, that is about birds, but also dinosaurs and museum dioramas. The earliest pieces were written in 2018, the latest, last spring. (initially, the manuscript did not include the Walter Potter stuff, but then, once I wrote them, how could I not include them?)

Together, it's a book about art and monsters, the ones we create and how art can itself make us monstrous. About our need, as humans to catalog and define and make sense of things.  You can get your very own copy, here....

notes & things | 4/29/2022

The week began with tiny celebrations in the form of lemon cake and new vintage procurements of lovely sea glass colored glassware. With afternoon naps, italian feasts,  and new books in the form of animal, vegetable, monster. It was a less raucous birthday than some in the past, but covid is still very much a thing and it was a Monday to boot. I did give myself permission for a couple days to do nothing much productive, which has led to doubling down the past couple of days on money-making things. The weather is still uninspiring after a single favorable Saturday, but I am hoping this weekend looks a little more like the cusp of May than March. I did swap out my spring clothes on Sunday, so hopefully they will be wearable (though I may have to wear my winter coat even still)  Every day, despite the clouds, there is a little more green on the trees I can see near the street, so its something...

There is a day of lit events mid May at the American Writer's Museum I may take in if things are not too contagious out there.  It's free, and though the poetry seems a little spare compared to fiction, it might be worthwhile.  I am hoping to get to take advantage of a lot of things I missed out on while working (or laying prone in bed exhausted from working on weekends.)  Leaving home now is a treat and less of a daily obligation and even a mid-week movie (last week, we went to see this and it was so good.)is a thing I really enjoyed and want to do more.  Plus things like plays and more museum visits. So much of the last two decades has been working constantly and strange schedules and just a lot going on I kind of forget why I like living in a city. 

Over the weekend, I hit pause on the NAPOWRIMO poems, mostly becuaue I wanted a break and no work-related obligations over the weekend.  I intend to pick them up this coming month and maybe edit and finish them off, however long that series winds up being.  I am not too hard on myself about not finishing, since I did make it about as far in as I usually do the last couple years. In the past, I've completed whatever I started in April over the summer anyway (this was the case in 2020 with overlook.) I would like to get back to weekday daily writing anyway, since it always is super fruitful, even if I toss a lot of it out. 


Monday, April 25, 2022

animal, vegetable, monster

 This little monster offspring is now available for order!

Get it here:

What does it mean to be an artist in a world full of monsters?  What does it mean to be the monster?  This collection rifles through dusty museum halls and neglected cabinet drawers to get at the nature of art and creation in the face of danger--to the body, the heart, to the earth---and how art can both save us and destroy us at the same time.  

Sunday, April 24, 2022

notes & things | | 4/24/2022

My birthday, which lands tomorrow, strangely on a Monday, is always a time for reflection, perhaps moreso than even New Years, a time when I become even more introspective than usual.  The boost is that I will also be releasing animal,vegetable, monster so its also a book birthday, and its looking like my copies will be in my hot little hands as early as Tuesday. In other news, I spotted the first bursts of green in the trees after a warm Saturday (though Friday it stormed and then howled like a wintry banshee all evening outside my windows.) Such is weather inconsistency in the midwest I suppose, though this spring has felt longer, cloudier, and colder than others. I've been happy to not have to be out in it much, but I still long for those longer, better lit days even inside.  I can finally have the windows open, which is my favorite things after so many months, and enjoy that longer wander into evening.  After years inside in a library cubicle-land with no windows, I learned, during the lockdowns a couple years ago, to appreciate testing how long I can go before having to turn on lights. A little later everyday starting in late March, then through September, not til after 8pm most nights.

In all my taking stock efforts, I sat down this morning with my favorite scones and tea and thought about what I want to accomplish in the coming year, which are mostly creative and press-related goals, but also bulking up my content writing to be able to put more away for rainy days or things like travel or bigger purchases and not just surviving, which is how I feel I've spent my entirety of the past 20 years. One of the the things that spurred me out into the freelance world was the feeling that I should be much less in survival mode and more stable in my late 40's than I was, but maybe that is a lie the world tells us and no one really is--least of all creatives. The nice thing, is have much more time and mental energy to work harder and smarter (and not simply more..) 

In creative goals, I'd like to continue to release a couple larger projects each year (self-issued or traditionally published, either way), a few smallish zine projects here and there. I'd like to send more out for submission in general (hell at this point at all, the only work I've published in the last year or so has been solicited.) I've been building a list of possibilities, but I haven't really had time to sit down and do the work of preparing submissions and reading guidelines. Paid would be nice, but I realize how rare a bird those are. I'd also, if and when things are less covid-ey, like to do (and just go to) more readings They were always harder to manage working nights, but now I have a bit kinder schedule and more impetus to leave my house.  Even having done a handful via zoom, which I appreciated for not having to go on long public transportation journeys to get to them, in the end, I like the performance aspect of face to face.

As I put the final touches on my trailer for the new book this week, I also realized how much I need to get back to making more video poems.  I 've done trailers for other releases, and some small reels for instagram, but since I finished up swallow, the video chapbook, I haven't done as much as I'd like.  That was a mammoth undertaking, but small random videos here and there for individual poems would be more feasible and allow me to jump around more where my interest takes me with newer work. 

As for newer work, there are lots of things sitting on the back burner--the blue swallow project, ideas for my female Greek epic, some flower poems that will accompany artwork, a more epistolary-driven project.  Right now, I am knee deep in the memoir in bone and ink poems, which may wind up being a larger or shorter series--we'll see how I'm feeling at the end of this month (which I do realize means next week.) I've been writing a lot of prose things late at night that I have not yet decided the intent of. I like them, but when I am writing stories, I always feel like I should be channeling those similar narrative energies into poems. That maybe I am an okay fiction writer, but so much better at poems. But I do feel the efforts are making me better at writing and finishing longer things, which is good either way. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022



This little book progeny will be available for order on Monday, but here's a sneak peak of what's inside...

underwater breathing

The further I move into NAPOWRIMO, a time when it feels like, more than any other, being a poet should not feel quite so isolated or lonely, somehow it miraculously does.   I tried to write it off as my own personal isolation, or maybe just more time to dwell on that isolation now freed from a lot of the job-related clatter that used to occupy my brain, but I've felt this way before in bits and spurts and in the last three of years, always in April. I think it might be that while I tend to write daily during various times of the year, I am only showing off those efforts during Aprils, when it feels like no one is reading (though that's probably untrue since obviously if you are here, you, dear reader, are obv. reading.)  Maybe more so outside this safe space, in the actual world and in the internet world, or the "community" however you define it, I guess.  

Not that there are aren't more important things happening in the world than poems, not that there isn't a clamor of voices all at a high pitch. But it feels lonely. Weirdly lonely.  It also could just be the isolation from other poets physically that the pandemic has wrought, but I am not that social of a poet to begin with. Perhaps it's just the world (the larger or the writing specific that pretty much ignore poetry (or at least a certain kind of poetry not embodied by two line aphorism and posted hastily on instagram.)The bookstores that don't carry poetry unless its ED or the vast sea of white male dead guys every April..  How in an increasingly aliterate world, people rarely read anything, let alone poetry. 

At the same time, I feel more strong as a poet than I ever have, more sure footed and proud of my work, but it's sort of like being proud you learned how to hold your breath and scream beneath the sea. No one is interested, except the fish, who don't understand a word of it.  So everyday I break from freelance work and get more coffee and open up my file of daily poems and add another one. I post it, and after a few days delete it.  I keep writing and publishing and maybe it all just ocean noise. But maybe every once a while it rises like a bubble to the surface and someone hears you. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

notes & things | 4/16/2022

This week has been steadily working on a couple trial assignments to add a couple more content writing exploits and getting promo materials ready for animal, vegetable, monster's impending release, plus the usual proofing and layout on new chaps as I close the gap on late releases. Despite all my studies of schedules and routines since I have forged out on my own, I find I am actually best when I don't get too specific.  Sometimes one of the other tasks are optimal in the first couple hours of the day. Sometimes I finish my freelance work in the morning.  Sometimes I draft it, then edit and proof later.  Sometimes I take naps in the middle of day on days I get up earlier.  Maybe the key to a routine is the simple absence of one and not imposing structure when really, it's a productive sort of unstructure. There are still things I want to do more of, including getting out more for walks now that the weather is better (well WHEN the weather is better.) 

I spent the week writing about some very cool things for paid jobs--Duchamp's weird machines, Queen Anne homes, Tintoretto's paintings, I also had a trial assignment about vintage movie star arcade cards for another venue I hope makes the grade and lands me some occasional work (it's writing about vintage and antiques, which is like sending me to write about the mothership.).  I am thankfully still full of writer energy and ideas for working on the fiction stuff I've been dipping my toes into. Also,  still fitting in my daily poems for NAPOWRIMO.  Today would normally be when I would switch projects, but I think I'm going to keep going on this one. mostly since the next thing I want to work on is actually a little more research intensive and I don't want to rush it (more on that soon..)

I also still feel like there is more to cover in memoir in ink and bone. I've been sort of between longer books since finishing the automagic manuscript in the fall, so I have some loose bits that may go together in a longer book, but may not at all. I kind of never know until I am either able to come up with a concept idea for it, or the work it self comes up with that idea all on it's own and begins to form some sort of constellation. And of course, there are other manuscripts I need to decide what to do with before I consider anything new with any kind of intensity.  

Meanwhile, the weather has been lending me a couple sunny days on occasion, though mostly still cloudy and cool.  I have yet to put away my winter coats, nor switch out my clothes for spring, partially since I go out altogether less and it hasn't really been warm enough to wear most of the jackets still tucked away. While April has seemed longish, and I think it's totally because of the slog of NAPOWRIMO, somehow it is strange to realize we are midway through and nearly a mere nine days from my birthday. Tomorrow is Easter, and though my celebrations (not being a christian and having no real festivities afoot even in a secular way) and that too seems strange.  Though getting to May (my favorite month) takes time, it's coming nonethless....

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

readings and bleedings

I was reading aloud some of my poems in the new book as part of the proofreading process (it's amazing how many drafts and galleys you can burn through and still find that one duplicated "the" or wayward extra period at the end of the line) and it occurred to me that it has been exactly twenty years ago this month that I did my very first reading.  We always talk about important YESes, and that spring was probably a big one.  Though I had had my first published poem in print by then, and had several online publications under my belt, I was still very much a fledgling baby poet. I was in the process of putting together what would be my first chapbook, The Archaeologist's Daughter (which would soon by accepted by a small local feminist press who had accepted my very first poem.), I had been in Chicago for about a year and a half when I entered and was named a finalist in a local contest sponsored by The Poetry Center of Chicago. The perks were that all (six?) finalists would read their work based on a sheaf of six poems we'd sent chosen by a fancy pants poet (that year it was James Tate.). Once at the Evanston Public Library. Then again at the big downtown Harold Washington Library branch, during their annual Chicago Poetry Festival, where the winners would be announced.  

Taking the train up to Evanston with my sister in tow, I was terrified.  I had a little bit of theater background, had taken a whole class devoted to oral interpretation of lit and had read stories to squirming children, hour after hour,  book after book, in my previous job. But I don't think anything had prepared me for the terrifying specter of my own words coming out of my mouth in public. Though I knew the poems well, I had no idea  how well I could read them (ie if I would stumble or flub, if I would be boring..) I also had no idea if the poems were actually any good at all, despite James Tate and the reading committee having liked them somehow.  I was also, in those days, even more anxious about going new places, doing new things, so even getting there intact was a nervous experience and I was still at that stage where I didn't really know anyone at all. I almost bailed, but I made it.  And read with maybe one stumble or losing my place.   And I, of course, probably read way too fast.  But I did it.  It was a little easier on go #2, a week or so later.  Same poems, but this time, not in a small library multi-purpose event room, but the huge auditorium in the basement of Harold Washington. Because it was a fairly well attended day of festivities (workshops, book fairs, other readings) I'd guess the auditorium was maybe a little less than half full. But it was still terrifying and a huge sea of seats. I can't say it was the largest audience I would read for (that would happen a couple years later at the Guild Complex's Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic) but it was sizeable. 

So I read, and somehow, James Tate had liked my poems enough to award them 3rd Place, which carried a tidy little $75 prize. Those readings, and that nod, were definitely something that pushed me more--to want more--to do more. Two years later, I would stand on that same stage and be awarded 1st Prize (and a heftier cash prize, this time judged by Campbell McGrath.) In the interim, a lot more had happened, including publishing considerably more, finishing a first draft my first book (the earliest versions of the fever almanac), starting my MFA studies. And more importantly taking advantage of pretty much every reading opportunity I could to hone those skills. Open mics in dingy bars, gallery readings, outdoor festivals, bookstores (in 2003, my 3rd official reading,  I read to exactly two people at Myopic Books.  A few years later, I could at least pull 20 to the same After that second Poetry Center win, I was invited to read quite frequently, including the swanky SAIC ballroom in the fall of 2004, where I showed up with my handful of handmade copies of Bloody Mary, which I was dumbfounded people actually wanted to buy and for me to sign them. I think I was still so shocked anyone wanted me to read at all, or even so much as listen to what I had to say. 

What's crazy is that as I thumbed through the galley for animal, vegetable, monster, however many decades, how ever many books and publications and readings later, I still feel uncertain at readings when I have to take the stage.  Call it social anxiety.  Call it imposter system.  No matter what work it is or how I feel about it going in.  If it's personal material, especially it's a little like bleeding out on stage. It was a couple years before I felt comfortable reading in front of my parents. Or, even still, people I know outside the poetry world.   My last three or so readings have been zooms, which are a different sort of beast in which you can't really see your audience. Usually, I am so nervous before I take the stage.  And then, inevitably,  kind of socially awkward after.  But there is a few minutes there, when I've adjusted to the stage and the eyes on me and the words on the page and coming out my mouth and I am really enjoying it.  When my heart isn't fluttering and I've regulated my breathing and I can connect with the audience. Hopefully, as the world opens and things get back to normal, if they ever will, I'll be up there again. 

It also got me thinking of my most enjoyable (or memorable) reading experiences, which have happened all over the place, not just in Chicago. The ACM release reading at the Hideaway where I'd had too much beer fighting my anxiety and nearly tumbled off  trying to leave the stage. The very high energy, enthusiastic crowd at the Guild Complex. A reading at WomanMade Gallery where I read all of my "shipwreck of lake michigan" poems and felt like everyone in the audience was rapt with attention and they were maybe th best thing I'd ever written (and may still be.). AWP 2014 in Seattle  where I was too busy flirting with the bartender who kind of looked like an ex trying to get extra cherries for my jack &coke and almost missed my name called during an anthology reading. I still get nervous and still read to fast sometimes, so maybe in another 20 years I'll have this thing figured out. 

Monday, April 11, 2022

tales from the city

Every spring, I watch the nest that rests on the ledge of one of the townhouses across the courtyard. Each year, at least for a decade or so, the birds return.  I am a bad avian identifier from this distance.  It's a mid-size gray/black bird of indeterminate species  Last spring, they were displaced by pigeons, who I don't think actually hatched anything, but did succeed in smashing down the nest until it was barely anything with their fat little bodies. They would sit on the roof of the building, and too large to share the nest, would watch from the eaves.  Sometimes there were three of them, which caused me to start calling them the kinky poly pigeons.  By summer, they were gone, probably back to the group I always see over near the catholic school a block away. Once the tree grows in, later than all the others each year, I can't really see the ledge. 

The people who live in that apartment with the ledge may be dead by now.  An old polish couple who I watched for 20 odd years come and go, already pretty elderly when I moved in.  Their plants, which live in their living room down on the ground floor, are kept watered and thriving by someone, but their windows have been dark upstairs.  I have probably not seen either of them in over a year, but did listen one morning last summer as an ambulance collected the man.  The woman, I last saw 2-3 years ago, stumbling up the steps with a police officer's help.  I thought of my mother's late sudden madness or suspected maybe the woman had dementia or wandered away and/or caused a ruckus somewhere. There's a walker that has been parked at the bottom of the steps, and each summer the past couple of years, the plants of the little patch of garden twine themselves around it unmoved. For months, everywhere but the living room and the plants was dark. More recently,  there was a light on the second floor for awhile that was always on in another room.  Now, the past few weeks, only darkness upstairs. The plants continue to thrive, but everything else looks untouched.

There were times when the messiness of that front room convinced me they were kind of hoarders, and more than once, I spotted them going through the dumpsters in the alley as if hunting for treasures. Their bedroom had an unusually large number of floor lamps in one location.  For years, there was a stray cat that the woman would call out nightly for. I would catch one or the other of them looking out the bedroom window toward the street or spot them through the open curtains in their old people bedtime routines, sometimes in pajamas or underwear.  I would also seem them strolling side by side on the street, slower and slower as the years passed. 

The city, is of course, a strange place.  I only officially met my across the hall neighbor last summer when we wound up in the elevator together, after living across from each other for two decades. I know one other denizen of the building from a higher floor.  The rest are mostly a slew of ever- changing Loyola students or super-introverts. I did know sorta know the girls who used to live on the other side of my kitchen--well I knew their cat, who would regularly escape and leave them calling after it. One day, I stepped out my door and  there she was, curious at my door about my cats no doubt, before she was quickly scooped up by a blonde girl in her pajamas.  The cat's name was Amy.  I never knew the girl's.  Now the boys there shout at sportsball games and someone occasionally plays guitar. I often wonder if they can hear the rattle of my printer through the wall in the middle of the night or my renditions of Taylor Swift as I work...

Saturday, April 09, 2022

notes & things | 4/9/2022

As opposed to other months that seem to fly by, April always seems a little long.  On one hand, we still have snow in the forecast and rather gray, uninspiring days afoot.  On the other, I I keep looking at the day's NAPOWRIMO poem and thinking, that's it?  it's only the 9th? Already April feels long and cumbersome with things like taxes this week and other random things that must be tended to.  We are a 3rd of the way in and it feels like it's been April forever, that I've been writing these daily poems forever. The strange thing is daily writing is not new to me, so I think it's just the imperative to produce rather than the option to. It somehow makes a difference. 

I am still doing minor tweaks on animal, vegetable, monster and will be finalzing that and ordering some copies before the end of the week, as well as beginning to drop promo breadcrumbs I've been working on, postcards and trailers and reels. I also have some new shop goods coming as soon as the supplies arrive and a bunch of chapbooks as I catch up on late 2021 releases, plus a couple new titles from this season. I am still working backwards through the backlog of orders for some titles and shortening my shipping window on new things now that I am much less in a state of overwhelm. It feels good to move intentionally in these things and not just flailing about.  Some good news also arrived this week with the publication of a short interview in TALKING ABOUT STRAWBERRIES ALL THE TIME, wherein I talk about how a poem happens and an early love of Mother Goose rhymes.  you can read it here.

I still have moments of panic, no doubt, over whether or not I should batten my hatches financially even more, or whether I should take on more freelance stuff in addition to what I have. I feel like I am still a little in a period of adjustment that will all shake out.  I try to spend money more deliberately and less impulsively, so that helps considerably. 

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

shadow and light

This afternoon, I spent some time with the Pointillists for one of my freelance assignments and was thinking of the first time I saw Sunday on La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute. When I was a senior in high school, my French teacher took us on a field trip..first to the museum to see the Impressionists, then to a French restaurant in Lincoln Park. What we ate, I don't remember, but I do remember walking into that sunlit central gallery at the top of the stairs and seeing for the first time, how huge the painting was in dimension. Even more impressive considering the tiny dots that make it up and absolute precision required in its construction (of course, at the time, my biggest reference was that scene in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.)  

Though I have definitely spent much more time in that museum since amongst the modern wing's denizens, I still would occasionally visit the Impressionists in my visits, usually on dates or with my parents on longer visits. On a sunny days, the colors are even more vivid than cloudy ones. The eyes of Renoirs women, the shades in a Monet landscape. Seurat's giant painting seems to glow from within, something I learned today as chromoluminarism, the amount of white peaking through the dots of color. In my research, I stumbled upon some of his less colorful, more black and white pieces I hadn't seen before in reference to Seurat and these two seem to glow, though without as much color, they remind me of bees or the static of a television. In these, colorless, it all depends on light and shadow to make sense of itself. 

Sometimes poetry seems like this, the effort to shine light on certain parts of things, to create meaning, to create substance by casting light in certain ways. 

napoowrimo #5

from memoir in bone and ink

The author grew up in the midwest. Festered beneath sunlight like a blister. Cartwheeled through summers thigh high with lake grass.  Couldn't keep her fingers out of her mouth, the butterflies out of her hair. The author built a church out books and hid inside it for years. Fumbled with light switches and lawn ornaments, and still, the holes in her body slacked and grew larger til she contained so much. BBQ grills and record albums, tackleboxes and bottles of pills.  The author would crack open every so often and out would fly a river of fish the size of her palm. The author would go slack with all that wanting, would fold and list in the wind. 

Sunday, April 03, 2022

priming the well

I was thinking this morning of how I spend so much time amongst words now.  I guess I always did, my own poems and others. I guess, since a large part of my world was out there, in the outer world doing other things, I noticed it less. And in fact, the words felt like what I was always trying to get back to. The things you went off to do to make money and a living to be able to play with words the rest of the time. A good portion of my day is writing content and SEO now, and the rest, editing and designing, mostly things with or about words or language in some way.

I worried at the prospect of freelance work for years.  Could I possibly spend so much tome--too much time--in the muck and have anything left for my own words?  The answer is apparently less dire than I expected. Actually, I have time to write things I never may have been able to before. Or maybe less time, but mental energies. this may entirely be an introvert or isolation thing. I do not hit the end of my day or the end of my week quite as exhausted and frazzled as I used to, so writing at night, in the midnight hour--currently some attempts at genre fiction--is actually going surprisingly well. Weirdly well. I am not sure if any of it is any good, but we shall see. And there are other things in the mix--essays and articles I will be working on in the coming months. 

And maybe its just some sort of honeymoon period, but really, I have always found that wading more words leads to more, which was true both as I did things like start lit mags and presses, but also just writing poems everyday. Initially, this was the first thing I did everyday, now it usually happens in the afternoon, usually when I break for lunch from press & shop related tasks. I had taken a short break since finishing unreal city in February, but have now started in to a new project courtesy of NAPOWRIMO so we shall see how that goes. The key might also be that they are decidedly different sorts of writing--mornings the more academic/research oriented work, afternoons for poetry, fiction for night. (and fiction still feels new and strange and sort of like dreaming through my fingers.)