funny how time flies when you're having fun...
--Janet Jackson (as if I needed to tell you)
It's already Friday. It was just Wednesday, just Sunday, just the frantic week before. The last day and a half has been a beautiful blur. Last year, I referred to CC as "poetry camp." This year, I realize it's boot camp! That's the middle of the week for you. There was some really intense energy among the fellows yesterday. Intense, yet exhausted. We were all a little edgy and it came out in the work. Several fellows mentioned a somber, heavy tone to the work that was workshopped. After tapping our souls for three days straight, we need a collective nap. Or another cup of coffee, one.
I can't make this too long because I, too, have fallen behind, but I didn't want to leave y'all hanging. Some magnificent things have happened in the midst of this whirlwind schedule. We held an impromptu poetry jam in Village Hall at 2:30 in the morning. Rachel Eliza Griffiths has spirited a bunch of us up to her studio in Selene House where she has taken the most exquisite photos. That is a bad sista! We've had spades games, tarot readings, astrological conversations, religious discoveries, pizza parties, and sangria. We've swapped war stories from classrooms and MFA programs and traded techniques on every aspect of our lives. Each of us are students, each of us, teachers. We have pushed each others buttons, pushed our own limits, experimented with forms, techniques, attitudes.
Yet in the midst of it all, real life encroaches. Perhaps encroaches is too sinister a word. Life is. If life was not, what would we write about? And yet, life has a way of squeezing out reflection, if we let it, even here, at Cave Canem. There are children to check on, bills that need to be paid, work that needs to be done. Exhausted as I was, I managed to pump out an (overdue) article and advertisement this morning. That's one thing I've learned this week: if I push myself, I can lift mountains. But what a strain on the muscles!
It's time to s l o w d o w n. It's already Friday. I have done a lot, yet I've missed a lot. You can't do it all. I missed the fellows workshops (again). I also missed the remembrance ceremony for the fellows who have left this phase of life behind. (Ross Gay is going to help me fill you in soon.) I have made all the evening readings, which as you well know, are unbelievable. There is enough talent in these four dormitories to raise the dead. Last night, we went to Westmoreland Museum of American Art to witness the power of our three new fellows (it's hard to count Carl Phillips as new because he was last year's guest poet): Ed Roberson, Claudia Rankine and Collen McElroy.
I have the tremendous honor and pleasure of hosting tonight's fellows reading. It is the polyurethane coating on my CC experience. Well, it smells a lot better than polyurethane, lol. I hope Einstein is right. I hope time is relative, and I can stretch each second into an hour. Because otherwise I will blink and it will be Sunday morning, and I will be packing my bags for the last time. But there is not enough room in my luggage to carry all that I have gathered here. I guess that's why God blessed me with this all this body ;)