11.17.2004

Two Weeks To Defense

With two solid weeks until my defense, I've finally gotten my thesis into a condition I'm pretty happy with.

1. Format
Oliver, I passed the format review with flying colors and will only need to double space my title on my approval page! This was the result of four + hours of work this past Sunday, but it was worth it.

2. Revision
I spent a long time on Sunday confronting those poems that weren't working. "Dress-up" always made my stomach turn for some reason, so I cut the entire first stanza, and suddenly it became a surreal wonder—exactly what it needed to be at that point in the book.

There's one poem left that's still sort of bugging me: "My Episode of Straight Lie for the Queer Guy." It's actually a cross-pollenated poem hybrid--the head of one poem, the torso and legs of another—and I think it's still a tad uneven. Needs some ironing.

Today a fellow MFAer told me, "Cool title." I needed that.

Beckian told her cw students to come—some of them were students in my cw class last spring, so it will be interesting.

Explaining my book's aesthetic to a colleague today, I called it "confrontationally diverse." I think that pretty much sums up what I was doing. These poems look you in the eye when you read them.

* * * * * * * *

And I started working on some very tight, compressed lyrics—like sketches really—encouraged and inspired by the work of Joseph Massey, who's friended on my LiveJournal page. He's linked via Anthony Robinson on this side of things, if you're interested. Good stuff.

I like compression. My thesis is all about spinning yarns, about saying so much and barely getting anywhere. Now, I want to keep secrets.

Beckain recommended I read Jean Valentine's The Door in the Mountain, some Jean Follain, and Paul Celan. Any suggestions?

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