Poem a Day and South Bend
Today I’m on the 50th day of a poem-a-day project, and I’m finding it’s overcome my imagination. My goal was to get to 60 next Saturday in New York City, but right now I can’t imagine ever stopping. It’s a kind of mania I’m finding I love feeding.
Eleven days ago, two others here in Maryville, Carling Futvoye and Jason Pratt, began a poem-a-day project as well (without knowing I was also doing it), and they are also finding it quite, what’s the word? Fun? Or something? I don’t know, they haven’t said much to me about it.
Also, I remember Matthew Torburn once wrote something about doing a poem-a-day project a few months back? Do all poets do this a some point? I did the same thing a year-and-a-half ago and went for 60 days then, as well. Do you have a poem-a-day story? I’m curious. Tell me.
Last night I looked over my document, and it felt like looking at sediment in drill ice. I can feel the way my daily project went into and out of what I was reading and experiencing, through little groups of poems. Like looking at studies for paintings. What a pleasant way to be crazy, I thought.
I was worried this last weekend that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it, as I was visiting South Bend, and I’ve begun to lean very heavily on my workspace here. I actually found, though, that the trip made me even more productive. I was able to steep in their hospitality and positive energy, everything from putting me up in the Bronte room of a local Bed & Breakfast, to one of those kitchen conversations I so enjoy (you know the kind, where we talk about writers we admire, and jobs and experiences, and where I get to work in a Neil Young reference).
While there, I picked up the university journal, Analecta, which was impressive. As were the editors. Special thanks to Neil Kelly for hosting the party after the reading.
And then on Sunday, I had the opportunity to spend several hours kicking around South Bend with David Dodd Lee. If you ever get the chance to kick around South Bend with David Dodd Lee, I suggest you go for it.
I got bumped off my flight that night, but it ended up just fine, as I got to spend more time in a hotel and further airports, both of which I rather adore. I made it quite a bit of the way through the new Ashbery book, as well as David Berman’s Actual Air, which David Dodd Lee suggested I get, and I’m glad he did.
So now I’m back in Maryville, much the richer for it. “It” meaning a generalized, referring to the whole thing kind of it.
What next? Oberlin, then Cleveland again, and then off to New York City with C. Dale Young. I’m greatly looking forward.