Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Random Flights of Monkey Mind

55º ~ oh dear weather gods & goddesses, they say it might reach 71º today (with rain for good measure), the last day of January? 

I am suffering from great fits of monkey mind today and wish I had some cohesive post to offer up to the loyal readers of the kangaroo.  (See, now I've got a monkey and a kangaroo...there's a lot of hopping and screeching going on in there.)

Forester Kangaroos, click for link

Red Howler Monkey, click for link
I knew this shift to teaching on MWF was going to be hard on my poetry mind, and that is bearing out.  So far, Thursdays have been okay for drafting and spending dedicated time in with my "butt-in-chair" for poetry, but Tuesdays are more of a struggle.  I'm in the thick of things with students, the journal I edit on campus, and the reading series I run.  All of these things make me happy and fulfilled, so I'm not complaining, just observing.  That's all you can really do with monkey mind.  Observe and try to re-center, re-focus.  (No, I don't meditate regularly, but I've been to a few classes, so I know the lingo.)

Flitting around in my self-talk is the fact that yesterday while browsing the blogs, I read, out of the corner of my eye, so to speak, a blogger who stated that he was going to try to focus more on the poetry world and less on himself because readers were sick of bloggers talking about themselves.  Uhm, yikes!  That's what I do, talk about my own process, my own successes and failures.  Oh no!  Readers are sick of me!  I should give more and take less! 

What I am reminded of in times like this is the need to be gentle with myself.  To accept that every one of us has a different process, different interests, and a different time line.  Here I am.  This is me, imperfect, but whole.

On a happy note, I'm in the midst of reading Blood Dazzler and eagerly looking forward to Patricia Smith's reading at the University of Arkansas Little Rock next week.

On another happy note, my creative writing students are stunning me with their raw literary energies. I've just read over their first two weeks of free-writes & exercise prompt responses.  Holy buckets!  I cannot wait to read their workshop pieces.  Wahoo!  


Tawnysha Greene said...

Holy Buckets! Haha, I've only heard one other persaon use that, but I love the phrase :)

So glad that your students are turning in such amazing work! I love those moments in teaching!

Sandy Longhorn said...

I suppose it's supposed to be a play on hole-y buckets, and I have no memory of where I picked it up, but I'm glad it made you smile. :)

Kristin Berkey-Abbott said...

In terms of the person you read who feels too many bloggers talk too much about their lives and not enough about poetry--your blog does not strike me that way.

I go to blogs precisely because people talk about their lives alongside the viewpoints on the poetry world or their own writing lives. I am most fascinated by how people do or do not balance other aspects of their lives with their creative parts of life.

How to live an integrated, authentic life: that's the subject that appeals to me. And blogs like yours are ones that I go to again and again for the delight of how you explore that topic.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Kristin, thanks for the reminder. That's one of the reasons I read your blog as well, to find that sense of community and to find out how another poet like me finds the balance.

You are awesome!

Kathleen said...

Like Kristin, I enjoy learning about the lives, processes, thoughts, and struggles of the poets around me. I hope you will continue to tell us about the drafting process of poems and how you build a manuscript.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Thanks, Kathleen. Will do. :)

Linda said...

The fact that you share your life and your poem creating process is the main reason I was attracted to your blog. Please keep it up! Just reading about creating word banks, listening to certain characters that start leading you to a series of poems, reading other poets to get started--all of those have given me methods to try when writing my own poems. I appreciate your sharing and love reading your posts.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Linda, thanks so much for your kind words! I'm happy to "meet" you here.