Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the one where the revving engine distracts me from reality

Across the street from my house,
a small black pickup truck idles.
I can't remember what I want to write
or do next
or if I've finished revising any
of the poems I pulled up this morning.

A man in silky red running shorts
and black T-shirt
peers under the open hood, fiddles with


I'd be more specific,
give you a "telling detail,"
but I know nothing about pickup truck engines
or men in silky red running shorts.

I need to run errands this afternoon:

- return books to the library
- pay my water bill
- gas up the car
- wash the car

By tomorrow morning
or maybe afternoon,
I hope I have 10 to 15 pages
of not horrible poetry
to schlepp to the MFA office
for the upcoming residency,
poems that aren't quite finished
but won't make the other poets barf.

I'm getting there.

I can't think why
I didn't revise some of these poems
right after I wrote them.
If I had, I wonder
if I would have sent them out
to journals or contests.

Next step.

My daughter is at her dad's for a while
except for Saturday
when she'll spend the night here
to make access to her friend who leaves Monday
for basic training
Good enough reason to finish
the manuscript before Friday.

Once I'm done with hard focus
on unfinished poems,
I will climb all the stacks
in my house
and chisel them down
into manageable mounds.

(I can't think of a word to go with cleaning
so I will let it sit there

In the next few weeks,
I must organize house
find people to look in on my cat during the MFA residency
find financial files
borrow money from myself
confirm that I am teaching those poetry workshops in September
decide if I will take another improv class though two of the six sessions fall during the residency
maybe find time to work on some fiction before poetry consumes me
make sure the girl gets her drivers license
try to talk her dad into splitting the cost of a "piece of junk but safe" car for her
(I'd cover the insurance)
buy mulch
lose five pounds (or 10 if I fast and move)
renew drivers license

I will be busy.

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