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an update and october’s first “official” poem

October 7, 2010

Where I have been

I have been feeling too exposed and vulnerable out in the world.

It can happen that you get caught up in all the energy that’s around you and chase it and crave it — but suddenly realize it has replaced your own energy. This can make you scattered. This can make you lose track of important projects. This can make you deaf to your own needs because you are hearing so many others expressed.

I am pleased I recognized it before I crashed and burned. Usually, I am not so astute. But this time, I seemed to know exactly the right thing: cancel all social engagements during the day (and many in the evenings, too) including obsessive play on Facebook and in gmail and force myself to spend some time alone in my art/writing studio.

I have two spaces that I have failed to use, and it’s a shame because they are inviting and wonderful. I am very lucky to have them. So secluding myself in them for a while kills two birds with one stone: the guilt over not using my spaces and the noise of too much socializing.

So far, friends have been terrific in taking none of this personally. They understand the need for solitude, and if any of you are still speaking to me (heh heh), know that I miss you and will re-emerge at some point.

What I have been doing

Except for one writing date with Jill and a lunch date with my husband, I have been in my studio since I returned from a retreat in Maine on Sunday. I am thinking about staying in hiding through my next trip to Oregon in four weeks.

So far, I have done little “productive” writing and made no “art.” Great start, huh? I have been making notes about poem ideas, pasting images into a journal, drawing idea maps, doodling and reading. I certainly hope it’s a start.

One of the things I started reading is the new anthology (2010) of the Poets Laureate of the United States. When I found the book, I couldn’t *not* buy it. It seems to me something I needed.

I decided that in my studio each day, I would read a poet laureate and write a poem inspired somehow by that poet. Such a daily goal is far too regimented for me right now, however, and so I decided to work with a poet until I wanted to move onto something else. I can always come back to it.

The first poet in the anthology, which starts with the most recent laureate and goes back in time, is W. S. Merwin. I had never read Merwin. I didn’t even seek out his work when he was announced as laureate. And I don’t know why. I am entranced. I might write more specifically about it soon, but for now, here’s is the only word I have: WOW.

Something from my writing date

Jill and I were very ambitious in our writing date. We attempted two very complicated prompts. I spent some time last night working with the lines I generated from the first exercise, and I couldn’t make them work as one poem. But I was able to take one of the images and one of the lines in a new direction. Here’s a short piece that I thought was the first section of something but may end up standing on its own:


  1. October 7, 2010 12:40 pm

    That we do 🙂

    Hooray for solitude and taking time!

  2. October 7, 2010 1:14 pm

    sweet poem beginning! you are an inspiration, missy!

  3. October 8, 2010 12:21 am

    Yes to solitude and time. And I *love* this poem, no matter if it remains as it is. Fabulous imagery.

    • October 8, 2010 12:26 am

      PS — read his Merwin’s last book earlier this year and adored it. Flat out fell in love.

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