Chimera Song Mosaic
Friday, August 04, 2006
I'm welcoming three new blogs to the list, none of which have anything to do with poetry nor (I hope) anything to do with each other. First is South Oxford, which is Caeli's man Kristoffer's blog. Next is Virtual Citizens, fueled in part by a former colleague of mine over at my old job. That one's for you radicals. Last is Belle du Jour because I just had to.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Hmm . . . maintenance. No fun. I never seem to get that when I start something up, it must be dealt with on a regular basis. When I started gardening, it took me forever to realize that I needed to keep doing it or the plants would die. I avoided annuals.

Now that I finally have unpacked more of my books, I can actually finish my reading list. Since then I have been of course reading more stuff, which I've added to the list. I have truly indulged in summer reading with the Gabaldon books. It's the kind of reading that lasts for hours, is totally indulgent, and makes you daydream rather than think critically. When I started reading these books, I did do a little bit of critical reading in the way of criticizing. I thought I detected a strain of homophobia (not unexpected in the romance novel), and I was puzzled why events happened so fast. I keep thinking, I could spend an entire chapter on that two-paragraph incident! But now I'm thinking that I could learn a lot from this page-turning strategy. I'm narrative-challenged, and for that reason I'm in awe of the storytelling aspect of the books. I also think the marketing is clever; you can find these in the fiction section rather than the romance one. The only difference I can find is no lurid illustration on the cover.

Poetic thought for the day: I started reading Barbara Guest's Forces of Imagination today. In most sections, I have no idea what she's saying. Strangely, that doesn't seem to bother me. I wonder if poets have a higher than average tolerance for abstraction, a lower than average threshold for meaning. I notice that a lot of prose written by poets seems to have this quality of vagueness, but it is aesthetically pleasing obliqueness, so maybe it's that poets favor beauty over coherence. Probably some more so than others. I don't mind it when things don't make sense; I especially avoid attempting to make sense out of poetry. However, I'm sure that there are some extremes that even I couldn't tolerate. For example, when my students wrote in such nonstandard English that no meaning could be teased from their text, it just frustrated me (largely because I felt the burden of trying to mold them into legibility). And there was little beauty there. The same thing when I see a bizarre, nonsensical poem with little musicality. But if it's the same degree of nonsense but beautifully or intriguingly tuned, I listen up.

I was going to post a little person information here, but the post was partially lost. I should probably plainly say that I'm surprised at the many things from my life that I've been hiding from my blog this past year, starting with my Lucy dog's sudden death last October and also including the overexposure of AWP. And many other things that I probably won't say. I hate to be coy (truly hate coyness), but I have so little control over my life as of late that I seem to want to control at least a few people's perspective of it. I feel like this blog is representing something (or someone) other than me and that I should be more aware of its contents. This is a fractured and unsettling feeling, and I suppose it is clearest to say that I feel little intimacy with this blog right now.

In other news, it turns out that Lance and I aren't moving to the Middle East after all. Instead, we will be living in Argentina at the northern stretch of Patagonia. Lance is working there beginning this month. I may have announced this news before, but the thing with excluding information is that it's basically the same thing as lying in the sense that you never remember the details. So if this blog survives the year, I shall be blogging from the Southern Hemisphere come January. I have to wait out this year in Houston because I've just been hired to teach part time at a local college. I know I whinge incessantly about teaching, but the campus is gorgeous--with tall, pale grasses and pine trees and little creeks and ponds--and besides, I am broke.

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