When I originally applied for MFA programs, I applied in fiction. Fiction seemed more practical; there are at least a few fiction writers who can survive off book sales or the occasional movie adaptation. There are no poets for whom that can be said. This was a downside. Anyway, I rushed the applications, didn’t get in anywhere, and by the time the next application cycle rolled around, I realized I was writing a lot more poetry than stories. Stories seemed like work; poetry was something I was going to do anyway, so I may as well get good at it. I finally decided to stop fighting it, and here I am.
Break provided confirmation for that decision, as I managed to spend quite a bit of time working on new poems and wished I could have done even more. It was (and is) a lot of fun and felt very free. I’m excited about where my work ended up last semester and have continued on in a similar vein in the intervening weeks. It will be interesting to get back in a classroom environment again to see how people respond.
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It was also interesting to be with my parents in light of all the identity talk I’ve been posting here the past few months. I was at their house for almost a full month (they love me), and by the time I got back to Chicago it kind of felt strange. This was aided by the fact that I left a relatively balmy winter and came back to a snow storm. The boots pictured are the first boots I’ve worn in something like five years, even living in Michigan. I was an idiot to not have boots for so long. Thanks mom!
I also turned 25. My birthday celebration was fairly subdued; at dinner that night my mother said to me that my year of being 24 was pretty good. I had to agree, Getting into graduate school and then starting was a good year. It reminds me of my first time at my local bar when I was talking to the bartender, who was celebrating her birthday. In what I thought was a charming comment, I asked her if she was set up to have a good year. For once I may have said something interesting because she smiled and said she found herself in a good place in her life and she really thought it would be a good year. I wonder if I should think of my life more in those terms: a succession of good years.