05 November 2003

Oh, most miraculous of mornings! After staying awake far too late last night, I awoke fully an hour before my alarm went off, convinced I'd overslept. I couldn't believe that I could possibly feel this rested on only five hours of sleep -- and yet I felt great! Moreover, once I'd triple-checked my clock, I burrowed deep into my fluffy bed, curled up next to the dog sleeping warm in the patch of sunlight, and slept for another 45 minutes. Oh heaven.

Yesterday, before class, I sat out by the voc/ag building intending to scribble some notes to later paste in my journal. Instead, I wrote a poem:


Moriarty you are flat like Iowa
browner and more dusty, like the moon
holding a footprint in your earth
for hours, days, while grasshoppers
flip across your pebbled face
Moriarty your horizons are voluptuous
and you gaze longingly west, north,
like a young girl, south, east
surrounded by women
You are grass-stained and dirty Moriarty
You have just fallen out of a tree
and stop to take a breath
before bounding away through the desert
bourne aloft on your longing

All the Frank O'Hara I've been reading lately comes through quite clearly. My latest indulgence is Joe LeSueur's Digressions on Some Poems by Frank O'Hara which is more of an auto/biography than a work of literary criticism. It's campy and bitchy and fun, and I'm happy to return to the old circle of familar names: Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, Grace Hartigan, Franz Kline, Elaine de Kooning, Bob Rauschenberg, Kenneth Koch, Mike Goldberg....


As you may know, November is National Novel Writing Month, and for the last five years, thousands of people across the world have taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge, in which they try to write a 50,000 word novel between midnight on Halloween and midnight on November 30.

50,000 words in a month! It's taken me 18 months to write my 29,000....

This year, Miss Heather James has thrown herself into the fray, and I am ever so proud of her. You do realize that in order to successfully complete this marathon, this amazing girl will need to write 1,666 words EVERY DAY for the entire month? As someone who has written a great many papers in the last ten years, I can tell you that 1,666 words is about 6 pages, double-spaced. Amazing! Heather and everyone else crazy enough to take part in this all deserve lots of praise and encouragement.


If you've lots of extra time on your hands, fill the hours with this link, which is pretty much a long (and strangely addictive) list of things a man and his girlfriend have argued about. Hence the title of the page, Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About.


Every night as I drive home, I plan in my head all the things I'll write about: long descriptions of the suddenly wintery moon rising above the cold dark of the mountains against the pale indigo sky, the crisp chill in the air (at last!!), the vibrant golds of a row of aspens down in a little valley along 1-40, the silver of jets taking off each night at dusk, glinting like stars, the warm camraderie of Messiah choir rehearsals (and the odd comfort of returning to the Lutherans -- so many midwesterners!)....

And then I get home, I get distracted, or I try to write and end up waxing poetic about Moriarty instead.

Nevertheless, it's gratifying to know so many of you read this regularly, even if some people believe it's "terribly pedestrian" and "beneath [me]" to keep an online journal. Not to name names, of course....

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