I have made so much progress on the novel I’m writing (“the novel I’m writing”! what are you like!). I’ve written a poem every day with an alphabetical and formal constraint. I’ve written poems to add to sequences in progress. I’ve written notes for two essays, and an entire essay that will probably end up being three or four thousand words. I’ve made much less developed notes for further essays. I’ve taken photos. I’ve made amazing friends and contacts, met people whose work I adore and can’t wait to publish if they’ll let me. I’ve swum in the river and slept very well and gotten up early almost every day. I’ve begun four chapbook manuscripts: one is finished (resting), one is half-done, one is five poems and a plan, and one is an idea I hope to flesh out tomorrow. I’ve had my work read and read others’ work, I’ve read to an audience and listened to readings and slide talks. I’ve walked in the humid air and watched the rain choke the window. I’m excited for a train to another small town and two lovely friends, on Friday. I’ll miss the people here, and even the ugly room that almost made me cry at first (the floor was so dirty), I’ll miss that too.
Merci to J for understanding and supporting my need to travel alone and to spend the time doing this. (He wrote me an email after G.G. Márquez died that said “if you want to write your book, sit down and do it. [Márquez] just started writing one day and kept going for 18 months. You can do that too; even if you feel stuck and not going anywhere, just keep on going, your idea will pop at some point and then you will have something good.”)