The grad school bug is waning. This because I remembered viscerally rather than intellectually that Evernost needs all the time I can give it and then some (it is a long, potentially extremely long, poem with bits of prose that are almost prose poetry, and I want to illustrate it copiously, so….), and I want to write kids’ books on top of it. I hold out some hope that I could do all three things (is this absurd?), or do grad school (ideally, funded) and then go back to Retail & Writing (which really is pretty awesome).
Which is to say I’ve fallen behind on my reading, and I haven’t added citations to my essay yet either. Sadness. Still, Stephanie Burt’s The Poem Is You is exciting, illuminating, and well put together, though I like a limited amount of the poetry it highlights so far, and I haven’t given it the time it deserves yet. Milosz’s “Incantation” and Liam Rector’s “Saxophone” may be my (disparate) favorites so far.
In the mean time, I had a brief desire to continue a novel attempt involving gray aliens who abduct people and a bunch of eighth graders who have to deal with them.
The aliens are trying to get humanity to take “the next step.” Most people (pretty much people in the military) who officially know about them think this is bullshit that they feed to abductees, concealing selfish and often sinister motives. Most people are wrong. (The aliens like their abductees and try to make up for giving them PTSD by also giving them happy, interesting, true perspectives on the world). This doesn’t mean that the aliens’ idea of “the next step” isn’t shaped by an alien and disturbing culture. And that doesn’t mean that the aliens aren’t more right than wrong all the same.
Finally, today I wrote three million (okay, four, including one six-pager) Evernostian poems in a sudden burst of creativity, energy, and flow. They are rough around the edges, but they exist, and so, I hope, will the super-rough draft of the material corresponding to the month of February in the near future
Here is one February sonnet, which I especially like but also imagine might be a little too archaic and “inside-the-lines” to be an easy sell on its own, so that I feel comfortable publishing it on my blog (important note: these poems are in the voices of imaginary characters, not me):
They chant supernal peace into night’s face—
peace was never further from my mind.
They call night holy paradox, a trace
of God, a void. They do not hear the wind.
The wind, that flying, crying, spying why,
ruins the roots. Dark holds no consolation, no.
It echoes, echoes dreamers’ chanted lie;
It echoes, echoes all my railing woe.
It echoes, echoes, echoes, and I strum
the strings, I sing. Dead symphonies arise.
My voice twines with lost ghosts’, and devils hum
beneath the screech of birds with yellow eyes—
but no. There is no choir, though I confess
I’d rather sing with hell than emptiness.