Take Me to the River

Early this morning, a beautiful thunderstorm roared through Iowa City, and I watched the display of wind and lightning through my hotel window like a movie. (I understand the storm at home was bad – I hope no one took on too much damage.) Then I had the luxury of going back to sleep and resting out the kinks of yesterday’s driving and staying up late to write.

My week of words had already begun on Saturday after getting the news of two poems now live and ready for your reading pleasure on the web: my poem “Hollowed” (part of the manuscript I am workshopping this week) is in the new issue of Right Hand Pointing, along with two poems by the wonderful Kathleen Kirk, and my perverted Friar Laurence poem is live at Borderline, a journal of persona poetry.

Also, Kristin LaTour, one of the Reflex project collaborators, posted her process notes for the second piece in the book. It was fascinating to me to see the progression of her ideas from single words to phrases to research to drafting. Go see for yourself here and read around if you are not sure what I am talking about!

My first two days here have been productive, indeed. I have completed my series of 38 poems inspired by the letters of Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. They tell a story all their own about a doomed and strange relationship, kind of like a piece of fragmented fiction, and I am excited about the drafts. I believe they all have strength and merit, and the revision process will begin after a brief respite from being engaged so deeply in them for the past few weeks.

We workshopped one manuscript today (mine is scheduled for tomorrow…) and the conversation already has caused me to think about things I could do differently with mine or things I might consider when putting together another collection. Good disagreement, respectful and thoughtful questions. I am looking forward to hearing several perspectives about mine, which I have been looking at much too long with just my eyes.

Tonight, I am working on drafting some new work from notes I took a few weeks ago at the Art Institute. And watching Kill Bill movies on AMC. And drinking Diet Coke. And eating a small bag of fresh caramel corn. All at the same time. Life is good here on the river.

***********

Today’s Soundtrack: (as I will be trying to post here daily while in Iowa, I thought I would share my music for reading and writing each day.)

Poetry of the Deed – Frank Turner; Simple Math – Manchester Orchestra; Little Hell – City and Colour; Spa Setting on my iPad’s Sleep Pillow app.

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