How Fatherhood Changes Everything

Meredith and I made the decision to co-sleep with our first son. Slowly, over time, it's become Meredith co-sleeping with our son. Now, I'll be back to co-sleeping with him, and we started the long process of switching places last night.

It started out fine, but he woke up in the middle of the night howling for his mother. I couldn't console him for about an hour (this all took place around 1:30AM). Finally, my son cried himself to sleep in my arms.

So there you have it. I'm extremely tired and have very little time for minutiae.


And so, my writing has changed. I've reverted to a type of survival mode which involves coming to terms with long and vast periods of not writing. But that doesn't mean that I'm not thinking of writing. I still get cranky when I don't write, so I've taken up heading to the gym for hours as well as mindless video games.

Even when I'm trying to distract myself, poems happen. When they do, I hang on to them for a long time, puzzling over their shape and their content until I can finally get to them in the summer.

The end result of all this is a process that works for me but that I don't recommend to everybody, particularly my students. I edit very little on the page because I've already edited the poems in my brain for awhile. I read the pieces as I type them aloud. Then I file the poems away for a day. The following day, I come back to the poem written from the previous day, reflect on it; I may edit it, then I start on a new poem.


Fatherhood's also changed my reading habits. Novels. Pfft. No time. I can only stand to read a handful of poems a night, or maybe a magazine article.


I did, however, just finish (FINALLY) Nicholson Baker's The Anthologist. The whole while I read the book, I gave knowing nods. Yes, I've done that. Yes, yes, that resembles many poets. Yes, I've moved that plastic chair a dozen times in order to jump-start my writing. It was a satisfying book that took me months to read, when it should've only taken me a day or two. Ah well.


I'll be hitting the road the month of April: Denver, Bainbridge Island, Los Angeles. It breaks my heart to leave the family so much, especially now that Meredith's expecting our second.


Current Spin:


Really, I just wanted to share the video.

Oliver de la Paz