People used to tell me how lucky I was to live on a farm. They had this romantic idea about farm life.
I'd smile. Yep. But the truth is, it was really boring. And it was lonesome. And dull. And hard work. A lot shoveling manure, no matter what the weather, no matter how I felt.
These days people tell me how lucky I am to be able to write. And they have this romantic idea about a writer's life.
And I think oh yeah, romantic. But the truth is, it's lonesome and tedious. Not that I'd trade it. But I think about how many times I go over and over the same sentence. I never, ever get it right. It's like going back into a stall I thought I'd cleaned a thousand times, and finding fresh, steaming shit.
There is just no end to the manure you have to shovel in this world. I swear, this is the one and only truth.
I sometimes imagine there are invisible critters I never see, but the minute I turn my back or shut my eyes, they enter my rooms, stories, or poems, or any other place I thought I'd polished, cleaned, perfected, and they start crapping. Some are subtle, and leave only tiny marks, maybe little teeth punctures. I don't notice at first. (Even editors let me get by with a few mouse turds in between my better lines.) Other's I don't even want to think about. I mean, they let loose. It's just what happens. The evidence is everywhere. And what can I do about it?
AWP in Minneapolis, and recommended reading
1 month ago