On August 21, the city and I hit our five-year anniversary. I know we're really married because I sort of let the milestone pass me by. Don't think the honeymoon phase is done: I am still fervent, crazy, hopeless, head-over-heels in love with New York. I adore it, I do, but I didn't get around to writing a sentimental Facebook post on August 21 because I was getting ready to leave. I'm writing about (to?) New York from Knoxville, where I'm finishing my first full week at my first-ever writer's residency. I'm sitting at a wooden table in soft lighting in a farmhouse kitchen, where I have been getting the majority of my writing done this week. The porch swing and the living room recliner are for reading. The desk in my bedroom is for emails. The chicken coop and the sheep pen are for staring into the eyes of animals who do not care if I live or die, as long as I have a rich array of grains in a bucket. There is no Dunkin' Donuts down the block, so when I g
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in which I simply complain about needing sleep at all!!! Lately, I have been having difficulty wanting to sleep. I don't have trouble falling asleep. When I struggle with that, and need to fall asleep, I fantasize about elaborate rescue situations. How would I save myself and my loved ones if I were on a ride at Disney World that was hijacked mid-operation and turned into a horror-franchise-style murder trap? And I don't have trouble staying asleep. I purchased a white noise machine/nightlight for $11 online. It came with stickers that allowed me to put a sad, happy, angry, or bashful face on it. I chose happy, but I entertained the idea of my nightlight glaring at me and bullying me into sleep. When the white noise machine is on, I can sleep uninterrupted until Dottie wakes me. The box said it is appropriate for all ages, and "great for nursing." I have trouble wanting to sleep. There are endlessly better uses of my time than sleeping, but it's more than that.
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Recently I wrote a guest post for my friend Elizabeth’s blog , where I described the way I organize and submit my writing. Assembling that instructional post made me start thinking of my poetry practice, and the many, many steps I take before a poem is published on a website or printed in a journal. Having an index of all my writing helps me to edit my work and see it grow over time, which includes revisions. This is the last day of National Poetry Writing Month. Throughout April, I write one poem each day, and I don’t revise any of them until the month is up. Some of my poems, I revise in workshops, while others see adjustments based on friends’ feedback. Then there are some I revise completely alone, that most of my friends never see until they’re published somewhere. Poetry is often regarded as an especially opaque form of writing. A lot of people around me have said that they’re mystified by poetry or are never quite sure what to make of it. That extends to poets, too; in one poet