Friday, June 13, 2008

Grab Bag

Word Count: 12,853

I'm getting myself ready to go to Kenyon!

Okay, the going is much more exciting than the list making and the packing ... or is it? I've always enjoyed getting ready to go places, I think it's part of building anticipation, but I don't enjoy how much of my "normal" time it eats up. Right now it's hurting my generation of new words. *grumbles*

I've made the list of things I'll need to take but haven't really thought about clothing yet. I'll get down to that once the laundry is clean and dry. Speaking of which, laundry, hair cut and an oil change are all on the list for the next 24 hours.

24 hours and I'll be on the road!

Which brings me to the fact that my odometer rolled over to 60,000 miles not long ago. Not bad considering it's an almost eight year old car, but still I don't like it that my baby's growing up and getting older.

I've been in to the poetry of Pablo Neruda lately. I love how simple and forceful it is. He really does write for the common person and says as much in his "Ode to Criticism" which is among his Odes to Simple Things (which are awesome). That his words are but simple material that you can eat or do the wash with, build a roof out of, until they're taken up by the critic and "trapped and tricked/ ... drowned in ink/ ... spit on it with the suave benignity of a cat" and though the critics nearly killed it, it was not yet dead and the simple people ...

men and women
came to live
with my poetry,
once again
they lighted fires,
built houses,
broke bread,
they shared the light
and in love joined
the lightning flash and the ring.
And now,
if you will excuse me
for interrupting this story
I'm telling,
I'm leaving to live
with simple people.

I'm also a big fan of the "Ode to the Artichoke" which reminds me a great deal of James Tate's "Young Man with a Ham" in that they have a sort of absurdity of heightened conflict centered around food. (You can find a full copy of the prose poem Young Man with a Ham at the above link, as it appeared in the American Poetry Review.)

Found the lengthy article about division of labor in the American family interesting. It's not the usual cramming of numbers down your throat, instead this article focuses on couples that have actually achieved balanced schedules and the reasons why others don't achieve it even when they think they want it. Parts of it reminded me of the novel I Don't Know How She Does It where the protagonist is the mother of two with the high profile job, earns more than her husband and still feels like society expects her to bake for little Susie's class potluck, which is why in the opening scenes the protagonist is awake at 3:00am taking a rolling pin to two store bought pies to make them look homemade. Of course, there's a lot more cooking in that story than just a handful of social expectations but you don't know that when she's bashing the pies. Other parts of the article spoke specifically to bargaining for alternative work schedules and different negotiating strategies parents have taken to help balance out work and time with their kids.

I think that's all for now, I will be blogging from the Kenyon Review Writer's Workshop once it starts, and once I've broken into their computer system. ... Not really break in, but they don't let strange laptops link up with their system so I'll have to get computer lab access to post, which I guess is a much milder form of breaking in, one that really doesn't involve much breaking.

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