This morning I awoke in my own bed, as if on cue, at precisely the moment that that small cube-calling boy might have materialized beside my sleep-smothered eyes. It was perhaps the fourth time I've awakened in my own bed in a month. When I sat up and looked out the window, I realized that I had forgotten what my neighbor's landscaping looked like--forgotten it so irrevocably that simply staring at it roused no memory of where its features had been before I absented myself so severally from my own dwelling.
Strangely, this experience was not melancholy.
I wrapped up my afternoon and gave it to my job like a present, like the tub of mail that awaited me at the post office. The afternoon opened each hour, one by one, and the contents of several ended up in the recycling bin, but the contents of more ended up strewn into my near future: two syllabi are nearly done, a third is finally coming into being, and I can see the surface of my office desk for the first time in months. More books arrived in my absence, as did more catalogs, more magazines, more LRB personals. And more people: the officehouse is starting to hum, and students are starting to shimmer into being off in the peripheries of my vision. The countdown to the academic year is quickening, but so is my eagerness.
And do you know what? The dragon has disappeared again, after having stayed put for a very long time. I take this as a strange sign of the year's renewal.
Today's poem at Poetry Daily is worth checking out. (I'm talking about Eliot Khalil Wilson's "White Slip on the Paris Metro," in case the link has changed overnight--but I think it's actually Wednesday's poem.) I thought I was in the process of writing a subway poem, in the aftermath of my trip, but now I'm not so sure; I'm a little stopped short by this one (not to mention a crisis of confidence that I can only hope will be swift to pass).