To the extent that a mother of three whose writing desk is within reach of the kitchen counter (to the left) and the kitchen table (to the right) can be holed up, I have been holed up.
I’ve been reading — Roethke. Roethke is so good to hole up with, with all his muck and soil, his roots and clumps, stems and tendrils, loam and tamping. His “moonless black.” His “kingdom of stinks and sighs.”
And I’ve been revising my manuscript, trying to make every word in every line of every poem sing. Trying to make the order sing. Trying to make the book a poem in and of itself, and singing.
It sits now in a sturdy little pile on the corner of my desk. I can’t say there won’t be more revisions over time. But I can say that I believe in this sturdy little pile of poems.
And also that I am tired of them.
And that I may have forgotten how to write any more poems, but I’m not going to worry about that right now.
I’m going to leave the sturdy pile alone for a bit. I’m going to read more Roethke (“Love, love, a lily’s my care”). I’m going to send some poems off into the world and remember that there are many seasons of a writer’s life: the muck and the lily, the holing up and the letting go.
May all your seasons bear their fruit at one time or another.