Friday, October 06, 2006


I have none. Okay, a little. It's the challenge of the Libras. Today I spent hours reworking a couple of old poems. I got 'em. I mean, finally, the right last lines came. I think of a line from Annie Dillard. "I tap it into place with a jeweller's hammer." I've nearly made myself blind staring at this screen. A whole day on 3 poems--not even new work. It isn't that I write slowly--in fact, I write pretty fast, in the moment. But it sometimes takes years before I can see a poem I've revised to within an inch of its life, and remember what I was actually trying to say.

Finally at 3:30 I went over to the gym and had a good long hard swim. Now all my muscles are deliciously tired, and I can feel the endorphin drowse beginning to creep over my eyelids. Time to go over G's house and watch a movie.

This is the time of year when I can feel the ancient melancholy creeping up. I'm trying to be pre-emptive: medication? Check. Gym membership? Check. High protein diet? Check. How about some ballroom dancing lessons? A getaway to Harbin with girlfriends?

G. kindly points out that it's environmental--not as in The Environment, but as in m room. I suck at the Martha Stewart thing. I moved into this room nine months ago and pictures are still not hung on the wall.

"I can't do it by myself," I whined, hoping to guilt-trip him into spending a spare afternoon babysitting me at IKEA. (He said he would.) I feel embarrassed that I still can't do this on my own. I think a liberated woman should be able to pound a nail and hang her own damn pictures. To say nothing of find new floor lamps, or sort through the piles of papers and books on the floor.

(By my bedside: There is No Me Without You, by Melissa Fay Greene, Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, Best American Poetry 2005, edited by Paul Muldoon, How Proust Can Change Your Life, by Alain de Botton, Breath by Phillip Levine, Fuel by Naomi Shihab Nye, and last but not least, Exploring the Tarot by Carl Japiske. Oh, and some "clothing porn" to pore over.)

Okay, I made the bed and stacked the books neatly. Now I'm going to go watch The Sopranos.


Theresa Williams said...

No balance, eh? LOL! I talk and talk about balance, write about it even, but I don't think I have any, either! I enjoyed knowing about your bedside books.

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