I'm back from my various comings and goings. I had a wonderful reading at Willamette University. A big thank you to Scott Nadelson and the rest of the English Department. You were all wonderful hosts and your students were lovely!
Sabbatical feels weird. It feels like I'm forgetting something. Like I've left something on the roof of my car, driven into town, and realized that I had left a carton of milk from the grocery store miles after it was too late.
I feel strangely unsettled. I've been working. I've been working very hard. I've completed one project, I'm at the mid-way point of another, and I've been busily writing reviews. But still . . . I think I miss the face time with students. The comraderie in the hallways with my colleagues. I miss checking my mailbox. I miss the little things.
I've been getting department e-mails about this and that and I totally feel left out of the conversation. And you know what . . . school's only been in session for less than two weeks.
Speaking of finished projects, I "finished" my "Dear Empire" prose poems project . . . at least for now. I went ahead and sent it to my publisher to see what she thinks. Off the top of my head, it may be too long. It's 101 pages in length--and that's just the poetry content. The front matter, etc. adds another 7 pages.
Last week, I was working against a deadline. I wanted to finish working on the project before I left for Oregon because I didn't want to think about it anymore. I can't imagine what more I could do with it at this point. What I found was the work was coming too easy and therefore, my judgment of the work felt impaired. I couldn't figure out whether what I was writing was any good and therefore I ended up hating everything. So that's when I realized that my judgment of the work was drastically impaired and that I needed new eyes on it.
Now, what I'm excited about are the Labyrinth poems and the Nocturnes. I feel like I need to jettison the "Camera" poems that I currently have in the Nocturnes collection because of their abrupt stylistic shift. We'll see what comes of it.
Happy that some more "Labyrinth" poems got taken over the weekend. I need to be better about sending work out. I've been far more interested in generating work than disseminating it.
I'm in the process of reading Patrick Rosal's new book Boneshepherds for my next review on The Lit Pub. So far, it's fantastic. I'm really intrigued by its architecture, which is much different than the other stuff I've read of Patrick's.