Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Back in the Swing...

     I haven't been writing much lately, and crocheting a LOT. It's non-verbal, it's creative and I end up with some nice handmade items to keep or give as gifts. It's safe, too. I don't write my own patterns, after all. Just a lot of following directions.

     On Saturday, July 26, I read along with other Hudson Valley poets at the Half Moon Bookstore in Kingston, and I felt good about it. I'll be the first to admit that I'm pretty burned out on most of the open mics around the Hudson Valley. I am living a different life than I was a few years ago. I have a full-time boyfriend living under my roof, my "roommate," as I often refer to him. It's much less scary to use that term than some others I've applied to other men in my life. I am happy in my home, and have worked hard for the peacefulness among the clutter I feel there. The days of me spending five nights a week out at some reading or another, mainly for the sake of not being home alone, are over for now.

     Even when I say I'm not writing much, truth be told, I'm always writing. It is still the only thing I do that makes me feel like that smart kid back at the Hills School. Do I have any illusions about becoming Poet Laureate? Not really. I have no desire to pursue the degrees and teaching gigs that would require. I am happy printing up my own chapbooks, and selling them here and there.

     I have taken enough time off to be able to begin sending a few pieces out for consideration by the outside world. I have even set aside my prejudice against online journals, something I held tightly to for far too long. One of the poets I respect most, for his cool eye and longevity, is Alan Catlin, and he's just started an online journal called misfitmagazine.com (http://misfitmagazine.net/index.html). I will definitely be sending him something soon.

     My newest laptop has crapped out. It seems to have freed me. It took up a lot of space on my desk, and it made it too easy for me to piss time away on Facebook or YouTube. I have a little Netbook that can handle most of what I need to do. I have most of my work on a flashdrive. I have actual books now piled on my desk, all in the name of research for a longer poem I hope to tackle. In the meantime, I'll be pulling a few things together for chapbook contests (sunnyoutside press and Tupelo Press, at least). I have a human size keyboard that plugs into the Netbook. When all else fails, I still have my yellow legal pads and pens. Heavens, what a dinosaur!

Here's a link to a recording of my portion of the Half Moon reading, thanks to Thom Francis


     I haven't written off open mics completely, but I am more thoughtful about those I choose to attend. I want to support my friends. I want to support the venues that open their doors to poetry readings, the lowliest of the performance arts (correct me if I'm wrong, but that's how Society has portrayed us these days). But I work a full-time 9 to 5er nowadays. I like to go home, have some dinner, watch a little Netflix. It is what I have wanted all along, really. How to balance art and life will take some thought. But I'm not the first to deal with this. In fact, I am glad I've got the problem.

(photo by Martz Szabo)