Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The only writing managed today has been to rewrite the section of Appearances that I wrote yesterday.  The manuscript is unfolding very slowly--one step forward and then back.


Very hot and humid.  Picked 6 raspberries.  A bunch more on the horizon.  Can't wait to get scratched up in the bushes.


I've been a "published poet" for 40 years--from the time of college and local magazines until now.  It's been a ragged progress (of sorts).  I'm a late bloomer who's needed to find out for myself, and have made a lot of mistakes along the way.

For 34 point something years I worked as a Public Health Sanitarian in the Kent City Health Department.  A small department in which everybody did everything.  I inspected restaurants, housing, followed up on nuisance complaints, dog bites, worked in a mosquito control program, dealt with rats, communicable diseases and a host of other things.

I wanted to be a poet.  I didn't want to be a professor or a business man (like my father), or a Health Inspector for that matter.  I was (as I still am) enthralled by poetry and ideas.

At the same time, I love philosophy.  My B.A. is in Political Science, my focus was political philosophy.

 Additionally I had an undeclared major in Italian.  I took every course offered in Italian at Kent State and was offered a graduate assistantship--which I turned down because I didn't see myself as a teacher.  & I certainly didn't feel competent to teach Italian (the language, the culture, which I idealized--but that's another story, for another day).  I had no confidence.  Period.

Anyhoo.   Poetry writing as a vocation or avocation in this culture is a suspect one.

During my wage earning days I learned not to talk about poetry, my magazine, my artistic activities (the only things  really keeping me going) because I would either be perceived as  snob or an airhead.

Early on in my so-called poetic career Ken Irby advised me not to think of myself as a local poet.  That was the permission I needed and it was one of the spurrings on that led to the creation of The Difficulties.

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