Monday night

Tired tired puppy. All day was orientation stuff — forms, parking permits, student IDs (discounts for theatre and museums, here I come!). Then dinner — cafeteria food is cafeteria food is….. Then a faculty colloquium, each of the eight members reading and discussing one poem they love. In my notes, I seem to have described this as a “composium,” which is definitely a word I’ll use sometime soon. Would you like to come to a composium on a winter’s afternoon?

Opening the writer’s notebook I swore I’d carry everywhere, I found drafts of four poems of which I had no memory whatsoever. I’ll put them up soon, once I build a working-drafts space for myself on here.

Jean Valentine read two poems by Mahmoud Darwish, “They Didn’t Ask What’s After Death” and “And We Love Life.” Given the disaster unfolding in Gaza right now, this line is echoing around my chest: “How does blood flow from a ghost?” While she was describing Darwish and his work, I began to really think about the fact that he died last August right before Tisha B’Av. I have scribbled notes of what may be a poem about that — check back soon.

Alicia Ostriker read a poem by Jane Mead called “Concerning the Prayer That I Cannot Make.” One line there summed up so much of this experience for me, especially the fear that my writing is not strong enough to convey everything bursting to be said out of the complexity that I experience as a four dimensional web woven tight around the world: “I am not equal to my longing.”

Time to sleep, pondering on that one. Tomorrow starts early, orientation stuff for we student poets while the faculty meets to decide on who mentors who. Oy.

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