Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Feeling Sick and being male and writing

Men, as legend has it, are big babies when ill. I am ill, sick, under the weather, and altogether discombobulated. I am writing this to see if I can write while sick. I have a doozie of a cold - coughing, snotting, headache, achy in general but worst of all, a thick, cotton filled mind.

Part of me is different from the standard issue male. That different part has always stood aside from 'me' and observed 'me' - coolly and dispassionately inside my head watching and taking notes. Now that separate from me, me is assessing if I am indeed playing up my illness for sympathy - even self pity.

I'm not sure as I now feel the first small signs of healing, just as a few days ago I felt that first scratchiness in my throat that I ignored. I don't get much sympathy anyway and I live pretty much alone here in my head and for the past few weeks physically also.

I suppose men do like sympathy in illness, and just as the other side of the legendary coin has it, women soldier on, needing no sympathy and able to function as normal even when sick.

Mostly I am annoyed as I have so much work to do, both writing and teaching and I resent the intrusion of illness.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Erica Ehrenberg is DANGEROUS

I was given a subscription to the Paris Review this year (or maybe last - I can't recall if it was for Christmas 2015 or my birthday in January....when you get old years zip by and leave you trying hard to remember what year it is, let along the month or day of the week. Everything is rushing to an unknown conclusion).
I dip into the two issues I have now, mostly the digital versions on my iPhone as I can pick that up and put it down (virtually anyway) when ever. I just read a short bit of prose poetry by Erica Ehrenberg. Because I had no idea who she was, I read it...
I could taste and feel every word image there.
I then googled her (I misspelled her name, but Google  that ever-helpful cyber thing corrected me) - no Wikipedia article sadly, but a very short bio in the Harvard Review - then I clicked on the poem published there.
She writes as I wish I could. When I began writing poetry again about seven years ago, I knew I could not read any other poetry as I have this terrible flaw that causes me to write in the same style as the person whose words I just read......as I wrote more and more I became more confident and allowed myself to read snippets of Cohen and of Catullus. But her work is too close to mine..... and I am addicted after only two...... they say that's all it takes with dangerous drugs!