Day 243 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and I have been reading The Unswept Room, by Sharon Olds, because I had the opportunity and because I like her as a poet. I've learned a lot from her. I stand amazed at how she can write about sex, love, family dysfunction, spiritual matters.
I had heard that her marriage broke up, but I still don't know the circumstances. There are poems in this book that just break my heart. She is as astonished as I am. Here are 2 lines from "A Time of Passion":
It never crossed my mind that he no longer loved me, that we had left the realm of love. She's just stating it. It is so simple and so stunning all at once. It comes at the end of a sex poem, one of those she does so well, that, on its second read, contains all the ambivalence, threat, and evidence. All the stuff she doesn't see while it's going on but does see as a poet, later.
I find this frightening. It's the way the still-married couple is frightened in the playDinner With Friends, by Donald Margulies. It's also a movie with Andie MacDowell, Toni Collette (a favorite of mine), Dennis Quaid, and Greg Kinnear. It might be time for me to watch that again. I was in the play once.
In the cemetery walk, I am a woman who had an unhappy marriage. Maybe I am too sensitive to all that right now. Wooee.
OK, I cheered myself up. By finding that picture of me upside down.
"You must change your life," said Rilke. So that's what I keep doing. I worked as an actor and director in Chicago, wrote for an encyclopedia, edited two poetry journals, shelved and retrieved materials in several libraries, walked beans, and was an assistant professor of English. Now I serve as Poetry Editor and Editor at Large for Escape Into Life, an online arts magazine, write & edit as a freelancer, blog "eight days a week," study the random, tend perennials, and listen to birdsong.