On the fifth floor of Hodges Library, looking out over fog beginning to dissipate, vapor billowing from various pipes and chimneys across campus, the early sun lighting the trees.  I missed my bus to campus this morning, necessitating a frenzied drive, park, and walk up toward the library at 8:00.  Banks of fog were still rolling through the streets, everyone’s faces pink with the chill.  I have another full day, in which I’m going to get half of the stuff on my list done, in front of me.  It’s so early … at this moment, all possibilities are tumbling with all certainties in the fog, anything could happen.  Sobering.  I prefer to imagine

that history pushes me on into the future, both the same material, both flexible as intention, memory.  Today, I withhold thoughts of either doom or triumph from myself: I am walking on the arm of an arrow, whose pointed head is lost in the distance.

And here I am, in the library, researching the Dutch and British domination of South Africa over the past 300 (three hundred) (three hundred) (three hundred) years.

We’re nearing the end of the semester, the point at which I start writing my seminar paper.  Having just finished Black Skin White Masks, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Waiting for the Barbarians, I have almost decided that given the option, I would have declined entrance into this world.  Questions of theodicy are only discussion points until the torture of political prisoners, for example, is recorded.  Remembered.  Imagined.  Waiting for the Barbarians, written by a South African during Apartheid, is stirred, profoundly disturbed, by questions of political violence, the strangeness of considering one’s race (country, family, self) “superior” to the race (country, families, selves) of all others.  Worthy of preemptive measures.  Preemptive.  It’s all too strange to understand.

So I’ll keep working.

In Poetry news, being in a workshop (and running out of old poems to submit) has forced me to come up with new material.  Duh.  But by “new material,” I mean intentionally-formed works, not the dashed-off fragments I’ve been writing for a year or two.  I’ve been trying to write about this series of events that happened a few years ago, for example.  After several frustrating aborts and false starts, I’ve strangely, easily, been writing them out.  Things are coming out obliquely, slyly.  In dreams as well as memories, buried and yet hooked to other memories that are just poking out of the mental soil.  I’m so thrilled by this.  It makes me feel like a real poet.

That’s all for now.

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