2.069 meeting, FOPAL!, meeting

Tuesday 02/09/2021

Did Veronica’s aerobics. Then plonked around until 11am and time for the Writers’ group.

Yesterday I included the poem “Relief” by Kay Ryan that was supposed to inspire something today. The more I looked at it, the less I liked it. Some evocative phrases, but some that looked like they were meant to be evocative and did nothing for me, like “the quick humility/of witnessing a birth [terrible rhythm there, wit ness ing a birth, it just slides into a ditch] “how love seeps up [from where?] and retakes the earth [what? how?]”

During the night, around 2am, I was half awake and trying to compose a poem that would basically say, just throwing some words together with arbitrary line breaks does not make a poem. I got the first two lines composed in my half-dream state, and was thinking I should get up and write them down, but couldn’t quite do it. Fortunately I did remember them and between 9am and 11am, finished this, about the relief that (I assume) a writer feels when they give up poetry and just let free verse happen:

Poetry’s no fun; rhyme and meter, hard as hell
when your brain’s an empty attic and you’ve got lines to fill.
The fix is easy: discard rhyme and beat.
Disperse three thoughts across a block of prose
of lilac hue; insert line breaks at lengths discrete;
Voila, a poem! And there’s relief, disclosed.

Got some laughs from the crowd, was asked to read it a second time. Yay!

As soon as lunch was down my throat I left for FOPAL. The official work time for the Computer section (and several others) was 1:15 to 4:30. So with my KN95 mask on I walked into that untidy little building for the first time in nearly a year. They are taking a lot of pains to keep it safe. Donated books go into a week of quarantine before they are sorted. Volunteers have to swear they have none of the familiar symptoms. Only a few (I think there were 4) people in the building at a time, and everyone has put down their name, email, entry and exit time in a “contact tracing log”.

Just the same I am not 100% sure that Channing House would approve, so don’t rat me out. It could be called a “gathering” although nobody got within 6 feet (rarely less than 20 feet), the doors were open, all were masked.

Anyway I culled a couple of boxes of books, priced and shelved a dozen, in 90 minutes, and then left. Went into Piazza’s next door to buy a couple of things.

And home in plenty of time for the next meeting, our 6th floor meeting. That was just an hour of pleasant chit-chat mostly.

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