Monday, November 24, 2008

Such Long Silence

First to the happy news. Grist, a new annual journal from the U of Tennessee Knoxville, accepted the poem "For the One Pulled North." My thanks to the editors.

Now, I have to admit that November got the better of me. I can already feel the New Year's Resolutions beginning to form regarding posting to this blog. I am grateful to those of you who still frequent the link, and I hope you'll hang in there.

I've been going through the mood swings that accompany completing a manuscript; however, I wasn't aware this was happening until a good friend pointed it out a few weeks ago. Working with Blood Almanac was a long and drawn out affair, perhaps because there was only a loosely defined core to the book. I wrote whatever poems arrived in whatever space I created for them. Three-quarters of the book was written in the super-charged/condensed air of graduate school. Glacial Elegies is a different animal all together. It took about six months of flopping about after BA came out, but eventually, I discovered that I did have a central idea controlling the most successful poems I was writing. Then, I began to write to that theme more purposefully. In the end, the manuscript feels more whole than the first. And, as most of you know, I've begun sending the manuscript out, but I don't have a good feel for whether this different approach will lead to success.

Over the last month, I've been feeling distant from writing, not even wanting to pick up my pen/journal even when I did have an hour or two to do so. I began to think I might have lost it...whatever that elusive "it" is. Finally, after an email confession on my part, aforementioned good friend pointed out that I was probably just feeling drained from "finishing" this second book. Most likely, that's exactly what is happening. As frequent readers will know, the individual poems are making their way into journals, and that's the first step for the book itself, but it is also reaffirming to me that the poems I make mean something to someone somewhere.

To end on a positive note, there is a certain clarity in the sunlight today, slanting through the remaining leaves, falling crisp across my desk, my papers, my fingers.

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