Where I’m Calling From

School starts tomorrow and I have been in a frenzy of cleaning out old folders, reorganizing my syllabi and semester plans, and putting my Philosopy of Teaching on paper for the job application. I also have been reading Byron in Love by Edna O’Brien. Then of course I had to pull out my ancient text of Byron’s poetry. Read some Keats, too, in anticipation of this movie. 

So not just work, but poetry was on my mind this past week. Even wrote a poem yesterday. It was horrible, so I went back to morning pages today as a way to keep the writing oar in. Then later, cleaning out files, I found a poem I wrote twenty years ago stuck in amid all the lecture notes. It’s called “See Nick Overlook” a pun on the roadside scenic overlook. I remember how I got the idea for the poem. I was in class and the prof said “scenic overlook” and I heard “See Nick overlook.”

My mind traveled at light speed down a path light years from the classroom discussion. Who was NIck? What or who had he overlooked? Why were we talking about him instead of “Ode to a Grecian Urn”? Eventually I realized what the prof had actually said.

But that idea of a guy named Nick overlooking something stuck and I went home and wrote a poem about it. Which I have to admit I still really like all these years later. Also in the file box, a folder labeled “My Poems.” I didn’t open it, but I moved it to the front of the box. I think I might look through my poetry and maybe make a little book of it on Scribd. That might be my next project.


Another notebook finished! And I got through all the emotional fun stuff in the story too. Time to focus again on the murder mystery part of things, which I already have outlined, so it should be no problem.

Well, except the semester is ending and I am soooo busy reading papers and manuscripts and adding up grades. 

Wish I was still a poet, but that’s another ending, one that happened a long time ago. When I indulge in regrets, that’s one that comes up now and then, that I didn’t just stay a poet. I might be good by now, you never know! Plus Poetry magazine got that $100 million bequest a couple of years ago…and they are looking to publish unknown poets. “We actually favor new writers,” editor Christian Wiman says. “We love to publish people who have published very little or sometimes nothing at all.”

Hmmm. I did write that poem last week…

Age of Aquarius

Today I wrote a test. It was fun! Maybe because it’s a poetry exam and the end of poetry means we’re 3/4 through the curriculum, but I don’t think so. I think it’s because I love poetry, steeped myself in it for a month and got paid for doing it.

 And on the unpaid writing front, also progressed a bit more on the WIP, three or four pages. Came to the conclusion that I can’t go any further without a research day. Which is going to be so fun. My story is set in the second half of the twentieth century (or so I fondly believe at this early point in the novel) and I am having a blast remembering the 60s.

Or re-remembering them. Hard to believe it was so long ago. In some ways, that era feels so fresh. I see echoes of Eckhart Tolle in everything I read. In other ways, it’s hilariously, alarmingly retro. I’d forgotten all about our then supposed enemies until an author who shall not be named used the term commie seriously.