Saturday, August 30, 2008


I've had a lot of blog posts planned out in my mind recently. Most notably, I was going to write a measured and informative tirade about how to drive on highways without being unsafe or inconsiderate. I composed most of this piece on my way from Pittsburgh to Charlottesville, a trip that involves the I-76, I-70 and I-81, three of my least favorite roads.

I just put so much pressure on myself to Say Something in every one of my blog posts, and I think it's squelching my creativity. The pressure to Say Something is predicated on the theory that I have Readers, which I don't think is actually true. Some friends and family members who like to check up on me from time to time, sure, and the occasional wanderer from one of the few places I'm linked. But capital-R Readers, no. If I'm wrong, forgive me. This blog is about to descend into self-referential minutiae, which is sort of what the blog genre started out being, and, while plenty of people find navel-gazing to be worthy of mockery, I actually think it has some value.

I'm trying to write more, see, and I'm trying to care less about the quality of what I write. Isn't that strange? It's the opposite of what I think a lot of people ought to do. For the past few years, I've been writing a very small number of poems, and most of them have been turning out pretty well (with the occasional serious clunker). But now I'm starting to see that writing bad poetry is okay. Some of the bad stuff gets revised into something pretty good. And sometimes a verbal wandering I think is going nowhere takes a surprising turn into the striking and useful.

I went to the farmer's market today and bought another quart of nectarines. I bought one last week at the Falls Church market for $7, and most of them turned out squooshed and overripe. I cut out the bad parts and pureed the rest, then used the puree in a cake. These I hope to eat out of hand. They're my favorite fruit—so perfumey, sticky-sweet yet with a bitter tang of skin and pit. A nectarine to me is like a summer day just as a morning thunderstorm is clearing. Their sharpness is even more exhilarating because their season is so short.

This quart was $3.

3L year so far is lonely. I'm not complaining, it's just strange. I've set myself apart from people in my mind, created a space around me that I feel reluctant to breach, even as I feel the separation acutely. I wonder if it's the temporariness of being here now that's making us tentative. Separation anxiety kicking in early. I do dread the feeling of being scattered.


Blogger common_sense said...

Some people read, at least. ;)

9/5/08, 10:46 AM  

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