Friday, June 09, 2006

see for yourself you have been sitting on a time bomb

Since someone actually found this site by searching about viruses and the theory of regressive evolution, I am reminded to point out that there is an excellent review of the AIDS timeline that is worth perusing if you have any interest in understanding the course of this illness in the last 25 years. When I really stop to think about it, HIV is equal parts success story and bumbling failure. On the one hand, great strides have been made in understanding HIV and how it develops into AIDS, in developing therapies that can effectively combat HIV in dramatic ways. On the other hand, it is a terrible depiction of the divides between class and economics, from the people who are at most risk of contracting the virus to how many people cannot get access to anti-retroviral therapies.

I am also reminded that I once used to write about such things as HIV and regressive evolution. And I wrote about it because I was so excited that I could not help myself. But again, I have had to temper myself recently. It is far too easy to wade into a stack of journals and drown in leisure reading, when I need to be focused about finishing a major task. Mimosa wrote in the comments to yesterday's post:
Writing is a craft and can't be honed in one day, must be done again and again and again.

And actually, if you read through those comments, you get a nice taste of why I miss all these people's presence so. But Mimosa's remark, characteristically, burrowed into me. It's a statement I have been telling myself repeatedly of late. I've taken to giving myself little pep talks. And I swear I am not begging for compliments here, but I have come to terms with some severe limitations that come with my writing. Some ages ago, one of my writing instructors had picked it up herself, with a comment on a sestina that read:
While the restrictions of a formalist poem have generally been beneficial to most students, I think they have been for you, well, restrictions.

I still remember that comment because it stung a bit at that young age, especially coming from her. Even though she was a graduate student at the time, I was somehow in awe of her. She was one of my favorite instructors. There was something always a little inaccessible about her, but somehow I imagined that to be exactly how a poet ought to carry herself, slightly self-contained. She wrote poems about grey New York winters, poems that could have been so slight but instead had big impact.

Anyway, it has only taken me all of this time to accept her criticism. And I have only accepted it because I am trying, swimming upstream, to observe form. I am observing form only because I have to, because The Goal demands it. But I am failing miserably, repeatedly. And as many pep talks as I give myself, in the end, I know whatever the finished product will be will fail to meet the mark I set for it.

Of course, when I am banging my head against a brick wall, what do I like to do best? That's right- take it out on other people. To wit, here is some general commentary that has been running through my head:
  • When reviewing my work, it is not helpful to write somehow, brimful is missing from this. At this point, that is akin to writing, this needs more cowbell as a comment. Plus, look, it's a little bit of a gay remark, okay?

  • It is also not a great revelation to read the comment I don't like this sentence or I don't like how this sentence is worded. Hey, guess what?!? Neither do I. That's why I sent it you, jacka$$.

  • Lord, it's not that I do not lurve all the offers of people reading my unworthy words, but holy sh*t, the reason I'm not sharing with everyone is that there is only so much abuse one person can take. Also, when you get one reviewer tell you I really like that sentence, definitely keep it followed by another reviewer saying That sentence is absolutely terrible, self-aggrandizing, and is a landmine of trouble- this is a recipe for my impending brain implosion.

It's a shame really. I so wanted to be finished with all of this, because I have been feeling the effects of not having a weekend of calm for some time in recent memory. Atlanta relented on the weather end, but wound up being so jam-packed with work-related activities that I feel foggy and frazzled even still. And a little embittered, because I did not get to meet Chick Pea as a result. Remember that part where I explained that I suck? Exhibit Z, right there.

Now it is time to get my a$$ in gear, get out of this joint, and get a little done before SJM's birthday dinner. Let's see if I can stay awake past my first Grey Goose & tonic.

p.s. Whatever, I am a fossil, but you know what still rocks all these years later? Tears for Fears. Yes, they do. No, you cannot convince me otherwise. What? Sowing the seeds of love? I'm sorry, I can't hear you, because I have Break It Down Again on blast.

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