According to the encyclopedia of the people, the phrase "as the crow flies" means the "shortest route between two points." This is because crows are the smartest birds and they cut a lot of corners. They don't stop off for a Roast Beef sandwich on the way, and they may forget a few things. I often lie awake at night and think "how will I get there?" There is, of course, the place we all want to arrive at, the place of happiness--whether we have the hubris to believe we can be famous, or simply define happiness as Aristotle did in the Nichmachean Ethics, which for the life of me I couldn't remember what it is. But before we can get there which is finding happiness, we have to start someplace, somewhere. It's Sunday morning, and I am in the parental womb for the weekend as it rains and the clocks rewind (YES IT'S DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME! CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS YOU LAZY POETS!), in Roslindale, a neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the home of Jim and Carol Lawless, those crazy cats who brought me into the world and in whose house I always return to the emotional age of eleven. "Mama! I have a headache!" -Me, last night. "Amy, you left your sock on the floor" -Jim Lawless, five minutes ago.
So yes, dear children, neighbors, cohorts, forefathers, respected elders, friends, frenemies, publishers, BFFs, and Fs, lovers, ex-lovers, family members, and future family members, here is my letter to you about American Poetry. It's an odd mix of forgetting (this is your second reminder to change your clocks), bullshit, humor, and sympathy. Because that's me and we wouldn't have me any other way. (Ha ha ha).
As I hear the dulcet tones of my mother making my oatmeal raisin breakfast in the kitchen (she likes to make sure I have enough fiber when I'm home), I'd like to say that this week is about redemption. It's about getting there. We were joyously reminded not to kill ourselves on this very blog a couple months ago. Let's fly by the seats of our pants for just a week! PLEASE! I'm not saying ignore your crippling student debt, or to not regret some random day you murdered someone three years ago. But have fun. And I am talking not about this, which certainly helps, but there's just so much to live for! When I was a kid I wanted my parents to bring me to Water Country. But now that I'm 33, I am glad they never brought me to Water Country. Think of all the e. coli bacteria that runs rampant from baby diapers and kids picking their noses, then picking their butts, and then picking their noses again, and then jumping into the cool pool, which is slowly turning yellow, and then back to blue. So yes, what I'm trying to say is that caution IS necessary but we're going to have fun here this week and do it my way. P.S., I heart poetry, just in case I never mentioned that....
Here are a few recommendations to get you through this gloomy Sunday:
1. The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker. Buy it today because we're going to be discussing it in great detail later in the week in a discussion about what it means to be a poet.
2. Please take this quiz to find out what your Spirit Animal is. I am, obviously, a crow. It's great fun for small dinner parties, large wild parties, and private tête à têtes. What does your spirit animal mean? It means absolutely nothing, just like horoscopes, but like horoscopes, they give us a sense of meaning about the universe, like reading Nietzsche only with less hair and brain heat.
Ok I will see you tomorrow! Please leave as many comments as you see fit.
Amy Lawless, your guest blogger for the week.
PS: There are tons of hyper links in this post and your experience reading this will vastly improve if you actually click on them, you lazybones!