Poetry Taxes, Thundersnowstorms, Out in the World, and a new review for Field Guide to the End of the World,
First of all, thanks to The Nervous Poodle’s Noor Hindi for posting this new review of Field Guide to the End of the World. It’s very thoughtful and well-written, which I always appreciate as a fellow reviewer! I just received a review copy of Marie Howe’s Magdalene, and I’m trying to figure out how to write a good enough review that honors Howe’s work. I also appreciate the new Amazon review for Field Guide to the End of the World – in case you don’t know this, writers, especially poets, could really use more Amazon reviews, but it is excruciating to ask for them, so do us a favor, and if you ever like a book of poetry, note it somewhere – your blog, Goodreads, Amazon, a literary magazine, The New York Times Review of Books, whatever. The poet will be grateful!
So, it’s been snowy – check that, thundersnowy – here in Seattle. We’re supposed to have more snow later this week. I for one am sick of having super-crappy weather when we’re supposed to be having flowers and songbirds and at least the happiness of a few sunny days. Here’s a picture of the Space Needle being struck by lightning during a blizzard and my back porch if you don’t believe me. April can not come soon enough.
We took advantage of our lingering bad weather to work on taxes. And here’s what I discovered – I am NOT in poetry for the money. I spent more on poetry last year than I made. By a lot. To be fair, I thought I was dying for the majority of the year (see previous blog posts about my metastasized cancer diagnosis in February of last year), AND I went to AWP AND had a book launch, so there were more than average expenses and I wasn’t exactly out there hustling for every dollar. But sigh. It was discouraging to look at the numbers. Also, I feel a little bitter about the fact that Trump probably paid less taxes than I did last year, despite the fact that he brags about how rich he is. #poetspayingmoretaxesthanTrump – do you think that hashtag will take off?
To cheer myself up, I went out to see Ellen Bass read at SAL last night after a somewhat positive meeting with my new neurologist (this one encourages physical therapy – my two previous neurologists basically told me I was wasting my time.) (If you’re new to the blog, I have a mysterious neural lesion issue that’s affected things like my balance and motor skills – they just show up and they’re not sure why, although now they’re pretty sure it’s not MS or strokes.) I showed her the progress I’ve made and she seemed really impressed. So that was good. Seeing a lot of poetry people at the SAL event really did cheer me up – it’s really nice to be around other writers and poetry-lovers. I feel like forcing ourselves to go out even in bad weather, even when we’re not feeling great or cheerful, is good medicine for the writer soul.
I also did a class visit earlier this week via Skype, which went well and was blessedly free of technical problems, and Friday I’m going to do a reading and Q&A in Mississippi via Skype. These things make me feel cheerful too. I love interacting with students, and with readers and audiences that I might not otherwise get to see because of health issues or whatever, with technology. I like getting out there in the world, even if it’s just virtually.