Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hooray for Hams

Plastered Hams. The name came from one of the poems we were looking at one evening (I think it was a Beatrix Potter reference (oh those two bad mice!)), and it stuck because it's wonderful.

As are The Hams. For the past year, the four of us have met once a monthish to share and talk poetry. We get together on perfect-early-summer-green-evening porches and in gorgeous grown-uppy living rooms (and sometimes at my house). We sip tea and wine and sometimes there's pie (never pork) and always it's lovely.

For me, it's like being surrounded by a dream team of poets. (I keep hoping they won't notice I don't belong among them. But, in addition to being superb writers, they're also kind and generous people, which is probably why they let me stay.)

It's so heartening to have three people in the world who are eager to think about poetry, who invest  time in reading and caring about my work. Who push and poke and prod and pep-talk. Who can turn a poem on its head or help find its feet.

And who trust me with their work -- it's a huge honour.

(Of course, I can't think of Plastered Hams without this plastered ham coming to mind. OK, I think it was papier mache. Still.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Home (in) body

Yep, it was wah, wah, wah (not whee! whee! whee!) that I cried all the way home from Spain.

It's been a tough transition after three months away. Not going home, per se, but returning to a world ruled by an alarm clock. It's a losing battle; I'm grudgingly getting used to it.

On the plus side, there's my new creative project: the garden (the beans are already up!), which I've combined with my ongoing creative project: the MS, and I've had a few little stretches of time out in the yard tinkering with the MS, soil still under my fingernails. (Though it's killing me to think those days are probably already done for the season. If the rain ever stops, the mosquitoes will be vicious.)

I'm just getting reacquainted with the MS after putting it away for a month while J and I gallivanted around Europe on our pizza, wine and stair-climbing tour. After the huge mistake of looking at the poems while blearily jet-lagged and tearily out-of-sorts (when nothing could ever, possibly seem acceptable), I've been sanding and sanding and sanding them down.

It kind of coincides with how I've felt about re-encountering our house. I was immediately struck by how much stuff we have and how little of it we really need. After living a pretty simple life for the last little while, I'm now also editing our house: tossing, sending to Goodwill and amassing boxes in the basement for the next giveaway weekend. Sure, there are some sentimental attachments that survive my ruthless mood -- both in terms of knick knacks and poems.

Which brings me back around to the garden, which I'm also editing: weeding (even plants that aren't technically weeds, just in the way), moving existing plants to spots where they might work better, and finally accepting the fact that we just don't get enough sun for peonies and digging out the duds.

Makes me think that all of life is writing. Or revising, anyway.