Past the halfway point…

I’ve gotten about 19 poems transcribed for Set List. And I’m pleased–though a bit upset, too; I’ve been going at a slower pace the past couple of days. I’ve been debating whether to expand, but I think it best to concentrate on the poems I’ve already designated for this volume. If there is an “Encore,” it will happen after I’ve gotten all the work onto flash drive.

I’ve also–finally, finally–gotten an interview. It’s a seasonal position at Williams-Sonoma, but still…now I want to redouble my efforts at FYE, Anthoropologie, and elsewhere.
And speaking of the holiday season, let me confess: I am not looking forward to the hype, the frenzy, the overall push to produce the glossy, perfect, shiny-happy tableaux touted by Norman Rockwell, Frank Capra, and Martha Stewart. Oh, I do look forward to seeing the trees lit in and around Coral Gables (and it is lovely to see decorated houses on foot), watching A Christmas Carol and It’s A Wonderful Life, listening to Vince Guaraldi’s music…and I like the idea of a little DIY decorating–how to keep the cat out of evergreen arrangements, there’s a sticky one…!

I just don’t like the feeling of compulsory merriment, forced togetherness, and false jolliness. That’s all. And that dislike has gotten stronger over time.

Gentle readers, I ask: how do you get through the period between now and New Year’s? Please. Do tell. I’m curious.


A new book…?

I finally got my hands on Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. A thick, weighty volume, and, I hope, a worthwhile read for November. Alas, he will not be making an appearance at the Miami Book Fair this coming week–I do, however, hope that Books & Books will host him.

Murakami aside, I would love to see a panel at the Book Fair (or at a seminar) on dystopian fiction. Here is a rich genre, worth reading. writing, and discussion.

Last year, when the playwright (a good musician who was angling for a Hollywood deal–pity the dramas were so dreadful) was at my old apartment, I showed him a copy of Yevgeny Zamyatin’s novel, We. He recoiled on discovering that I had handed him a dystopia, calling it “Satanic.” (A rich irony, considering that he deemed himself a feminist–so long as the “feminism” in question was heteronormative!)

I could have told him that dystopian fiction served as a foil for utopian works–a counterbalance to the sometimes feverish optimism that progress, progress, progress would bring about an earthly paradise, free from pain, disease, suffering…I could have said that, while it’s good to want freedom, justice, happiness and the like, it’s easy to get blindsided, that in the pursuit of heaven lay the danger of serving hell.

Actually, I did try telling him this.

He didn’t want to hear me.

The latest issue of Poets & Writers┬áis worth the look-see. From the cover interview of Joan Didion, to great advice, and contests galore; there’s an abundance of riches!

What gorgeous vistas!

Mondays and sunny days

I’m writing a short entry today. Need to spend some time transcribing on Set List, and also pestering for interviews.
Saturday night, I got really depressed. You’d think that, with the gorgeousness of Gallery Night, I’d be brimming over. Not quite. Oh, it was wonderful, and the weather was sublime (breezy, cool, and clear). I just felt frustrated–time but no paid employ, and difficulties getting dosh together for rent, cell, groceries…I honestly did not want to do anything at all this weekend. Heading to St George to prep parsley for the church picnic (it went into their potato salad), and then going to the picnic felt, well, Herculean.
Yes, in the end, a good time was had, and I wrote four poems in the bargain–but I still didn’t feel like singing “Shiny Happy People.”

Still: it’s Monday, and whether I feel wonderful or not, the day–and my life–go on. Please: bear with me as I stumble along.

Working on the Set List…

Since I decided to work on Set List, I’ve transcribed 13 poems, thus far. Frankly, it’s shocking to realize that I’ve gotten this far on the manuscript.
But breaking it down into small pieces has made it easier, and since I am still using Library computers, less frustrating. (I don’t have access to the Library on Sundays or holidays, so the time I do have is crucial!)

And whether I get an honorarium or not, I am determined to publish this collection, even if only locally.

In the meantime: the “lost book” incident ended happily. They were, after all, at home. (Feel free to laugh. I did!) And the gallery opening, plus the reading, were wonderful.

Tonight is First Friday in the Gables, meaning the galleries (and other establishments) will be open and brimming with life. I’m looking forward to the art, the beauty, and the ligging. (Starving artist meme be damned; even artists need a little sustenance!)

I finished rereading The Same Solitude and Death of A Poet: The Last Days of Marina Tsvetaeva. Am halfway through Against Happiness by Eric G. Wilson.

Since time is brief, and things are getting noisy (the children’s room is overrun with teens and it gets raucous), let me sign out now!