friday roundup on thursday: being the tortoise, lists, and ‘the faithful work of drowning’

... I'm a little jealous of that napping hare... (image from wikimedia)

… I’m a little jealous of that napping hare… (image from wikimedia)

Reader, it’s not Friday. But by the time Friday rolls around I will have made granola and blueberry muffins for 40, and attended parent orientation for middle school (!?!?), and attempted to put up a tent sans Husband. In other words, it may get ugly so let’s do the roundup today.

being the tortoise  I feel this week should’ve come with a disclaimer. Something like this: DISCLAIMER: This week will require all of your money and even more of your time. You will wake up every morning and be out of milk or juice or both. Also, T.P. You will do what you hate most — go to the store — every day. You will forget many things and buy the wrong school supplies and then go back to the store. In another shopping genre, your eldest will not like *any* of the clothes at the first store, so there will be another store. You will goof up on the timing of the orthodontist appointments. You will try hard to forgive yourself, and you will fail. There will be two sets of braces in your parenting future (if you hold out hope, there may be a third — too soon to tell). Your computer will be inexplicably slow. You will find out that middle school orientation (!?!?) is on the day you were supposed to go camping. Your car will start acting funny. Everyone will grow out of their shoes. You will actually stack laundry on your writing desk (!sacre bleu!).

And yet, you will be the tortoise. You will wake early and plug away at small writing projects. Very small writing projects. You will sometimes wish you were the hare, dashing ahead, napping. You will remind yourself that — and this is important — the only sustainable writing practice is one that takes into account the reality of your life.

You will remember one of your favorite poems, “The Tortoise Survives the Fire” (which I know I’ve linked to before, but which keeps), and be happy to be the tortoise.

“I have lots of time.” Amen.

lists  There was a little dust-up in po-world this week. Something about lists. Lists of poets who will set the world on fire, or who matter, or something or another. In case you’re feeling down about not being on a list — po-world or otherwise — let me tell you that I’m so far off the lists, I didn’t even know about the lists until people started posting about the lists on Facebook. Also, I’m so far off the lists I still don’t even know what lists people are talking about, only that they are talking about them.

Reader, there is only one list and its title is: “What I am going to do with my one wild and precious life:.”

Also, if you just really, really want to be on a list, Kelli Russell Agodon has made a list and — great news — you are on it.

Ever onward.

‘the faithful work of drowning’  I’m very happy to have two poems in the current issue of Beloit Poetry Journal. They took two of the Demeter & Persephone poems which I wrote about here. But the real reason to read this issue of BPJ is Ocean Vuong’s poem, “Telemachus.” In case you’ve never heard of Telemachus, he’s Odysseus’ and Penelope’s son. And in case you want to read Ocean Vuong’s poem and be completely blown away right now, the good people at BPJ have put it on their website here. And. Wow. Yay, poetry.

Okay, it’s back to the list for me. Happy not-Friday and thanks for reading.

2 thoughts on “friday roundup on thursday: being the tortoise, lists, and ‘the faithful work of drowning’

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