Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The poetry books I am dreaming about:
1. Dhaka Dust by Dilruba Ahmed
2. In the Bus With Rosa Parks by Rita Dove
3. Black Mesa Poems by Jimmy Santiago Baca
4. Wild Iris by Louis Gluck
5. Rooms Are Never Finished by Agha Shahid Ali
6.Burnings by Ocean Vuoung
These are the books I want to read during this semester (fall 2011) while I also try to finish ze diss and survive teaching.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
I often get jittery around my failures or rather my lack of success. For example, for the last two months I have been submitting to journals almost every day. I have had only one acceptance so far. While I am grateful for that, I also feel anxious that I haven't had better luck. And then I begin to think, maybe it's just that I am not good enough. Maybe. But I also keep telling myself, I have a bad habit of starting projects and not finishing them. I have wasted a big part of my 20s that way. There were other reasons why I could not be "creative" in that way during my twenties, but this is also one of it. I have had the patience or persistence to see through things. Grad school has changed that a little bit. It has made me see how sometimes you just have to show up day after day without expecting results. And then one day, you really begin to see the difference in your own work. At least that's what has happened to me.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
It is not like me to perform my "happyhappyhappy" self on blog and/or Facebook. That's why, I have mostly refrained from posting status messages on my fb page. I don't want to sound "happy" to the world, neither do I want to perform depressed. But right now, I am feeling pretty low. As I said, in one of the previous posts, I know the reasons. Some, I do have control over. But those are not things that can be taken care of right away. They need painstaking labor. Others, are beyond my control. Like the mental state of my childhood friend, whom I love deeply. Or the London riots. Or the war. So, this is an exercise I will indulge in for the next three months. I will list three things that made me happy during a particular week. This the first installment:
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Writing in forms brings out the alienationist in me. Especially when I attempt sestina. Why? Because my grasp over forms is still not that strong. So, it's hard for me to exercise control over both the form and the material. So, the material begins to act more and more like a fill-in-the-gap, while I try to stay faithful to the formal constraints as much as possible. It's easier to rant about my despair than anything else in forms, especially the ones where repetition is the key structural cement. Here's a sestina I finished yesterday, for my Writing In Forms class. According to the prompt, we needed to write a sestina including a beverage, a tool, a color, a language, an animal, and an artist or an author as the end words.
Monday, August 8, 2011
I am in that place again. I feel a listlessness creeping in, I am finding it hard to work on new poems, or revise old ones. I know the reasons behind my feeling like this—but I don't know the cures. Most of them don't depend on me. I am not sure what to do—so I keep on doing what I know best: I work on my dissertation every day, although I don't always find it easy. I keep submitting poems to journals. I am trying to read, although honestly, I am finding it hard to read too. I am typing these few lines, because I don't want this space to die.