I like lists. Reductionist and over-used? Yes. But for me, they’re about crystallizing moments, a way to catch the small good things and recognize the abundance in my life. Think of Wallace Stevens and bear with me.
1. Drink sangria. Pomegranate berry sangria. Citrus rosemary sangria. Strawberry lemon sangria. Hoping to find a bottle of Tinto de Verano at the Latino festival tonight. Prodigal sangria consumption 100% justified in any case because it’s the end of summer.
2. Take a two hour nap. Wake up feeling groggy, muttering, “I am Lazarus, come from the dead, / Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all,” because that’s just how deep the sleep felt and I’ve been immersed in Modernist poetry for the last eight months, after all.
3. Clean up sad messy desk. I have looked forward to this day for so long, you guys. It’s been this material expression and reminder of all my mental clutter.
I don’t know who you are, Andrew Hill, but you were a fool to sell your copy of The Making of a Poem.
All the library books are going back, and random notes about Fredric Jameson are discarded, and the binder with a map of Ireland on the front and ALL THE NOTES has been put away on the Norton Anthologies bookshelf.
A clean desk is my version of a zen water garden.
4. Attack jungle garden with scissors. No before and after pictures because my mom was Garden Club president and we have a family reputation to maintain, but trust me — it was sickly and overgrown and terrible.
5. GET A PIANO. More on this later because it deserves its own post.
6. Plan writing retreat. This is the best of all. After the bliss of last weekend alone, I realized that I need solitude more often. So I’ve booked myself a trip to Richmond (I blame this on my friend/academic guru Leah for making Richmond look awesome. Also, New England is too far away for a 4 day trip). I’m staying in a super cute Airbnb, taking good books, and giving myself the time to think and write and rest. And also maybe go to Monticello.