Daughter still sleeps, though it's five pass noon. Cat lies curled on the edge of this bed where I sit reading poetry and essays about poetry, where I begin the process of
no, no, it will be fine, I promise, Elizabeth. You'll be fine. Take this self out of the equation, and follow the crumbs to the center, you know, labyrinth style (not "Hansel and Gretel" style). It will be fine.
I have poetry packets for both MFA residency sections. I see my own poems in the packets and cringe. Why is that?
Take this self out of the equation. Move aside. We have things to do and no time for the ego of self-loathing. It's time to work, now. You don't matter. The work matters.
My head aches a bit and I remember that I haven't eaten yet today. A bad habit. My girl and I didn't eat until 3 p.m. yesterday when we picked up a friend and had a late lunch at Cracker Barrel.
My daughter drove us to the restaurant and then drove us to the music store where she bought a set of sticks for her tenor toms and her friend bought slide oil for her trombone. My daughter drove us back to my house and dropped me off. My daughter is driving (like everyone's daughter eventually drives). She leaves me more and more, but when she returns after a day with her friend, returns at midnight, we talk as much as we can around texts that flood her phone. She is an amazing young woman and works to repair a snag in connection between two friends.
I read an essay by Mark Irwin on the nature or definition or philosophy of truth. Loved reading it. Fed my head. Belly filled with stone. No wonder I forget to eat. I worry that I am too stupid to be a graduate student.
I was too stupid the first time I tried it.
No, no, that's not true. You were too shy the first time. You didn't have an advocate. You wouldn't advocate for yourself. You lost your heart. You have no time and no room for this narcissistic self-deprecation. No room.
I don't know what this is. It doesn't matter. Does it?
No, no, don't question this. It's fingers on laptop keys and ceiling fan breathing cool air onto your face and cat purring and memory weaving. No need for definitions. Just let it be.