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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,

It takes what it takes.

While my sister and I were children, my poet father managed to produce a prodigous body of work without ever having to depend upon color tv, sugar cereal, or plastic holding containers to keep us out of his hair. He was able to do so because he had a wife. I have none.

I do, however, have a poetry reading in Ireland on the calendar for February. And I was thinking, wouldn't it be nice to read something I wrote since I began having children seven years ago? Just to see if anyone is paying attention. I am not sure how I am going to accomplish this, but I am prepared to go to whatever lengths necessary. I am willing to negotiate with the terrorists. What are their demands?

One of the reasons I blog is because it is a mom-friendly genre, tolerant of interruptions and background noise. Poetry is not. Poetry requires many unbroken hours of pacing and teeth-gnashing and garment-rending during the composition phase, and days of lying under a blanket with the blinds down during the recovery phase. I refuse to buy into the tortured artist cliche, but there is no getting around the truth that making art is a process of delving deep, and there is a certain amount of compression that happens, depending on how long and to what depths you dive. It is jarring to have to resurface suddenly. I get the bends. I need a controlled, contained environment in which to gradually re-enter life. I need a wife.

Since I don't have one, bowls of froot loops scattered strategically about the house will have to do. My poor kids.

As if they didn't have to suffer enough for my art, my seven-year-old and I went head to head over the staging of the top photo. It wasn't a fake-out, I just needed him to get off the couch and move into the frame next to his brother. "No," he said, flatly, with an edge that suggested he's had it with enabling my narcissism. "Do it," I said, darkly, "or no more television for the rest of your life."

At least they will not lack for material should any of them go into the family business.

filed under: kids, poetrywriting
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Blogger Karen Rani said...

I can completely relate and wrote about your post on BlogHer. Thank you for alerting me to this wonderfully written post!

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8:10 AM  
Anonymous jenlemen said...

ah, another writer threatening eternal loss of screentime! i love it!

at my house, when they come within ten feet of my computer while i'm working on an essay, i scream, "come one more step and everyone has to CLEAN for two hours"

it works even better the threat of losing sugar cereal.

peace out, sistah, may you children be in sugar coma by 9am so you can write your heart away

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can totally relate to getting the bends after one of those creative dives. Maybe us adults should resort to the sugar cereal to facilitate recovery. I love fruit loops! Thanks for such a thoughtful and funny post. May you have hours and hours of uninterupted creative time.


8:16 AM  

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