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catching monkey mind in a lie

July 8, 2009

So monkey mind* says to me, “Big deal! So you’ve got a notebook full of ideas? Everyone has ideas. You’ll never be able to do anything with them.” And as soon as it comes out of his mouth, I think: “Gotcha!” Not long ago, monkey mind told me I couldn’t write because I didn’t have any ideas. Well, well. It’s much easier to write on those days when you’ve seen through monkey mind’s tricks.

And so today, after two weeks without a full poem, I have a first draft of something! It’s got a long title, as my poems sometimes do — “Cantina: Poetry and fiction in Saratoga the evening Carolyn Forché reads from a manuscript in progress” — and it’s posted at “i am maureen” (leave a comment here if you need the password).

Posts are forthcoming about the readings (Robert Pinsky from Monday night, Carolyn Forché last night and Louise Gluck tomorrow night).

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*Monkey mind is what Natalie Goldberg calls our inner critic, the thing that tries to keep us from writing.

  1. July 8, 2009 12:04 pm

    are you there now? Did you go already? Or are you just getting lucky on the reading front. My monkey’s been a real pita lately but the other day I stuffed a rag in his mouth and threw him in the cupboard…….I can still hear the odd thump but on the whole I ignore him.

  2. July 8, 2009 1:14 pm

    i’m leaving for oregon/tin house on saturday. these readings have been at skidmore college in saratoga, about 45 minutes north of where i live.

  3. July 8, 2009 5:51 pm

    Hi, carolee.

    I just started following your blog and would love to read your work, if you’re still in the mood to send the password.

    This is the second time this week I’ve heard the phrase “monkey mind.” Guess I’d better start paying attention. 🙂


  4. July 8, 2009 10:45 pm

    thanks for commenting, pamela. i sent you an email with the password.

  5. July 8, 2009 11:10 pm

    and yes, learn about monkey mind. keep your friends close and your enemies closer! 🙂

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