Guilty :-(

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.  It has been 5 days since I wrote a poetry postcard.  (And about 6 years since I went to Confession, while I’m at it.)

So I haven’t been writing in my blog because I feel like all I have to say is that I’m so busy with registration that I haven’t been up to writing my poetry postcards.  This is somewhat true–I have been crazy berserky busy and not feeling the whole writing thing.  And indeed, when I get home, I’ve just been playing Tetris to decompress.  Which is not the best use of my time, but there it is.

So mea culpa:  I am indeed 5 days behind which makes me very, very naughty.  Now I could point out that I have only received 10 postcards myself, so really, having sent out 16 full poems, and not “epigrams, quatrains, and American sentences” to quote Christine Swint, I’m doing better than some people.  But that’s just diversion from the truth.   Frankly, I should be flogged for disappointing all those people who are probably tweeting about what a terrible person I am.

Anyway, when I last left off, I was talking about the poem, “L’Artiste Dégénéré,” about the Egon Schiele picture, and I said that I only had one more line.  That didn’t wind up being true.  I rewrote the last couplet, and I have to say, I love this poem.  It’s not perfect, but somehow, to me, it captures the spirit of the painting.   It’s only 12 lines long but they’re really good lines.  I almost feel like I was embodying the spirit of Bob Wood when I wrote it–which is not easy to do.

For Day 15, I wrote “Prelude,” based on François-Xavier Fabre’s 1790 painting called The Death of Abel.  As all of these ekphrastic poems that I’m writing seem to be, it’s a direct address, in this case to Abel, about taking that fateful walk with Cain, which I imagine happens in a wheat field.  Now, I have no idea if Cain cultivated wheat, but considering domesticated wheat started in Turkey, and there’s speculation that Eden was in Turkey,  I thought, why not?  I don’t have great love for this poem, but it’s not terrible.  Probably with some good revision it could be decent.

The poem I wrote for the 16th was “The Moon Titan Falls in Love” (although I’m still hemming and hawing about the name. . .  I also kind of like “Nocturne” for a title), based on The Sleep of Endymion, by Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Troisnon (1793).  (I was very disappointed to discover that despite the first name being “Anne,” the artist is male.)  And so the poem is about the myth, that the Moon Titan Selene fell in love with Endymion and didn’t ever want his beauty to fade, so she asked Zeus to let him sleep immortally.  That wouldn’t be my first choice to ask as a gift from the gods, but at least they had the Menae for children.  The last two lines of the poem read awkwardly, though.  Not sure if it’s a matter of syntax or if it’s a grammar issue.   That will have to be worked on, at some point.

My hope is to write at least 3 poems this weekend–maybe even 4–so that I will only be 2 days behind.  Two is acceptable.  Five is pathetic.

Anyway. . . hope everyone is doing well, and writing, writing, writing!  I will get cracking on my own writing this weekend.

The Procrastinatrix

That would be me.

I have been crazy-busy at work the last several days with registration and panicky students who send 8 e-mails when 1 or 2 would suffice–so crazy, in fact, that when I came home yesterday I made friends with Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

Those of you who know me know I’m not much of a drinker.  And those of you who know booze know MHL isn’t much of a booze.   But I’m a lightweight (from a drinking perspective, at any rate), so after 3 I pretty much just went to bed.

All of this is by way of saying my Daily Poetry Postcards have been non-existent since the 11th, and I feel really bad about putting them off.  Even the motivation of not wanting to disappoint the people to whom they were to be sent couldn’t outweigh the fact that this past week is the week before school, and writing poems was low, low, low item on the totem pole.  

Worse, I mislaid the Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin postcard, so I didn’t even get that in the mail on the 10th.  So technically, I’m 5 days behind.  There are 5 people (6 really, if you count the Day 10 person) who probably cried for hours and hours when they opened their mailbox and found no poem from me.  I mean, they’re probably suicidal.  

However, today I was somewhat productive in making up for my procrastinating misdeeds, and wrote two poems.  One was on Michelangelo’s David (1504) (please don’t tell me I have to link to that–if you don’t know what that looks like, you’re even more  ignorant of art than I am, and there’s no hope for you EVER)–although to be fair, the poem is about the entire statue, and not just the crotch shot which the postcard depicts.  The other was about Two Girls Embracing (1915), by Egon Schiele, an Austrian artist accused of being lewd and pornographic and degenerate.  Here is a quote from Jonathan Jones’ article that discusses his work (from the April 19, 2003 issue of the Guardian):

His work has a specific presence, aggressive, unignorable, practical. They are pornographic. They insist that the erotic is as great and heroic a subject as wars or religion. And they question whether art has to confine itself to representing life second-hand. That’s what is extraordinary about Schiele’s art: it does not comment on life, it takes part in life. It is not like pornography. It is pornography. It is also high and serious art, a doubleness that may only have been possible in Vienna on the eve of the first world war.

Initially, I wasn’t fond of this picture–not because it was pornographic. Actually, I didn’t even think of it as porn until all the articles I read about Schiele kept labeling his work as porn.  Actually I still don’t think of it as porn.  (Some of the other paintings I’ve seen, maybe, like Nude with Green Stockings. . . which disturbs me more because of the missing foot than anything else.)

But I didn’t like this picture because I don’t understand the fire-dress-drape-blanket thing that the sub girl is wearing.  At first I thought she was wrapped in an afghan.  But then I saw the red garter attached to her stocking.  I still don’t know what she wearing, but I don’t mind it, so much, because the painting has grown on me.  

I think I like the pissed-off look the top girl is wearing, as if she’s wondering how much longer she has to hold this embrace, which, it must be said, doesn’t look particularly comfortable.  Some might argue that the heavy-lidded eye suggests passion, but I think it’s just the same look that every Victoria Secret model has, that sort of “F-you” look that they cultivate thinking it looks sexy.  (By the way, it doesn’t.)

Unfortunately, that poem about the Schiele picture is incomplete.  It needs one more line that no amount of tinkering tonight seems to be able to accomplish.  So I am putting that line off until tomorrow, and I don’t feel too upset about that.

Unfortunately, tomorrow I will again be three days behind, so my goal is to write 2 poems (in other words, a Day 14 and a Day 15 poem), maybe start a Day 16 poem, and somehow manage to finish that albatrossy syllabus which has been hanging around my neck for days.

And if I get all that done, I might have to drink another MHL.  We shall see.