I wouldn’t call the last month a total writing slump; it may have felt that way initially but it was classical Sean, the Poet: write something, ignore it, and return to it and blast it to hell in one night. The work in question are two poems: “The Late Greats,” and “The Moon Is the Truth of the Night.” Both deal with my lackluster motivation, but in two settings: the career choices of “The Late Greats,” and my struggles with myself as a capable lover in “The Moon Is the Truth of the Night.”
As usual, Jen was very helpful with this process and she cleaned up “The Late Greats” into the state it’s in now. When she suggested that I not use “DJ” in the poem (er, she deleted them), I first thought it was a rude pull – that’s what the poem’s about! But part of this process, the “ignoring,” is key in forgetting what isn’t important, and when I read her revised edition I found my true work. However, “The Moon Is the Truth of the Night” is a piece I had unfinished at the time I went to Jen with the other, and it may still need work, but when I punched out that second section – I found my true work there, too.
While this was supposed to be my year where I evoked George Oppen with the completion of “This City Anew,” it feels that I’m going more towards Anne Sexton in my honesty and Charles Bukowski in my dreary and anger – which I’m not sure I feel consistently, if not just at that moment. The next poem, “Casanova,” is even further Bukowski. As long as I not yell at cars driving too fast, and hopefully return to “This City Anew” the umpteenth time, I should be okay. Or maybe I could write a bitter poem about how I never finished my one “masterpiece” and bring it full circle. (Joking.)
Even outside of work, this month has been busy. Erica and I threw a party the day before she left for Los Angeles to start her internship at MGM. While the distance and the stress of her job has been taxing on us, we’re both handling it pretty well. I’ve visited her twice now (took her to the Wiltern Theater this last weekend), and it’s evident that we are using both the distance and the reunions wisely. This summer is our run up to moving to LA – how close and when is still in the works. Also, my friends Kim and Andrew are getting hitched in Hawai’i and we’re going on an almost all comped flight and staying at an incredibly reduced Marriott (it’s good to have United Airlines muff up Erica’s flight last year/friends that work at Marriott).
Lately I’ve revisited my atheism and existentialism. Rather than treating it as something that is just understood about me, I’m viewing it as something to consider daily. This doesn’t mean just arguing with believers and laughing with other non-believers (both as a jerk), but instead I’ve gotten my head back into the writings of John Perry and Richard Dawkins, I’m writing argument/response pieces to typical questions (the problems of evil, free will, Pascal’s Wager, etc.). My raising, equally Catholic and critical, has lent me the tools to approach the Universe and who we are my way. Oh, I need to reread the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy too. (Seriously.)
Again, the play. I need to treat this season alone as a grand opportunity to research and develop the Bill Evans project. This last week I’ve added a stronger comedic element, hopefully something that will take the play to deeper dramatic levels by suckering the audience in and sucker punching them. It’ll only work if both the comedy and the dramatic climax are equally genuine. I’m thinking of the success of Lars and the Real Girl.
I finished Thomas E. Ricks’ Fiasco and it’s hard to say it was “good” to go over the details of the first three years of the botched Iraq War, but it was. On my plate: Richard Dawkins, John Perry, Charles Bukowski; Uzodinma Iweala’s novel Beasts of No Nation; The Chirs Farley Show (an oral history collected by his brother and a Jim Belushi biographer); Al Tony Gilmore’s Bad Nigger!: The National Impact of Jack Johnson. “What to read?” all before getting to Ricks’ follow-up, The Gamble, about the past three years of the war. But, I’m sure there’s a Bill Evans biography out there waiting for me – or is that my and Kelly’s play?