This is Eric looking happy in 2007. This is how he feels again.
I cannot express to you just how relieved I am that my thesis is completed. The picture to the right might help a little. A load has been lifted, full closure is only a month away, and everything Purdue is winding down for me. I gave my 20 minute thesis reading Friday and surprised myself with how emotional it was, how emotional I was. I’ve been so weary, sick and downtrodden with illness, migraines and thesis stress for so long that I had forgotten how to enjoy myself and everyone and everything around me. It was truly cathartic and wonderful to read and feel that others were supportive, moved, and proud of what I have worked so hard for. I really hope that all of the other readers last week felt the same, and I wish the readers this week as beautiful an experience as I had.
My mind feels free again to get excited, to try new things and ideas. I feel the energy returning, and I want to dedicate it to developing good health for myself, moral strength to deal positively with those around me and with the worsening national and world crises, and the furtherment of poetry, my adopted art.
So here’s what’s brewing now for my new writings:
- Chad Hardy and I are planning to work on a collaborative, 4-part, book length poem that is organized around the Buddhist taxonomy of the sufferings of human beings. (I’ll leave it just this vague for now until we are further along.) I have just started working on this project this weekend, and hopefully we will get most of it done this summer.
- I just had the idea to create a blog that documents both the poetics of this collaborative project (methodology, process, theoretical grounding) and some of the poems themselves as they are being composed.
- Speaking of blogging, I’ve made a stack of books and chapbooks to begin reading closely and reviewing on this blog. I’m not putting down a schedule because that never works. Let things come and go as they may!
- Finally, I plan to post several times a week on the Gnoetry Daily site. I may even continue writing The Child’s Day poems with Gnoetry after I “tokenize” the source text.
And here’s what’s happening with my thesis projects. The thesis was entitled (and composed of) Five Chapbooks, and my intention is to get each of them out for separate publication this year (cross my fingers). The first one, a light heart, it’s black thoughts, has already been published. Thanks again, Eric Elshtain and Beard of Bees Press, and thanks to Ron Silliman for linking my chapbook last week on his blog, even if he typoed my name. I forgive it and remain beyond flattered.
So, after I’ve taken a little vacation from my thesis, I plan to:
- Work on the last chapbook, It is by feeling is (aka The Child’s Day poems), until it has been pushed as far as it (and I) can go.
- Work on the series “His & Hers” (read it in its current form on the blog I made for it) until it is a chapbook of its own, if this is possible.
- Send out chapbooks to publishers and contests. Some possible avenues (Thank You Mary Leader): Sentence (Firewheel Editions) and Shearsman Press.
- Send out individual poems and sections of poems for publication in journals (print and online). This will be new for me. I’m not looking forward to the rejection letters.
Still no idea of where Ekeama and I are moving to this July. Things are up in the air. It might be out of the states. I can’t wait to get out of Purdue and into the “real world,” freaky as that might get soon. Let us all work towards and wish for the best in every aspect of life.