Tuesday, November 8, 2011
We've lived here long enough for poems from my second manuscript to find their way in print. The current issue of Missouri Review features several (three of which are set in Amman). What's more, the magazine recently posted "Test" as its poem-of-the-week.
Stone Cottage: Pound, Yeats, and Modernism (James Logenbach)
Our Secret Discipline: Yeats & Lyric Form (Helen Vendler)
Monday, November 7, 2011
I gained 50 pounds while pregnant. Fifty pounds to deliver a six-pound kid! Half of it's gone. The other half is clinging. Boy oh boy is it clinging!
As a dancer, I spent years around people with eating disorders, people for whom mild or more severe forms of dysmorphic disorder were a daily struggle. I knew professionals who took pills or smoked to stay thin, cast mates who starved or puked. I had friends with serious laxative habits, women who invented allergies as an excuse not to eat. I felt fortunate not to fall into this category. I never got held after rehearsal or called into the director's office to discuss matters of weight. I took care of myself, but occasionally ate french fries. At the same time, I relished when seamstresses confessed they needed to take in my costumes.
When I graduated from high school, I weighed 98 pounds. My waist was 19 inches. Why do I remember this so clearly?
A friend advises me not to think about working out until the baby is at least six months. Another emails a link to a company that sells postpartum shape-wear: This month only save 25% on slimming intimates and footless pantyhose! Truth told, I never thought of myself as someone who had difficulties with her body image. And yet, the fact of those figures -- 19, 50, 98, 25, 6 -- remains, their startling persistence.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
I'm not giving up sugar or salt, or reserving fish for Fridays. My plan doesn't include vitamin supplements, liquid meals, power bars or powders. I am, however, cutting back, making substitutions.
I've been out of the hospital forty-eight days. That's 1152 hours, give or take. One thousand one hundred fifty-two hours divided by what feels like two thousand diaper changes, endless feedings, a half dozen doctors' appointments, sixty minutes of sleep, ongoing sleeplessness, not to mention the time it's taken to dress and undress, cook, bathe, brush my teeth, say hello to my husband, feed the dog.
One thousand one hundred fifty-two hours. But where, really, has the time gone? I couldn't tell you.
Thus, the experiment. Until next Sunday, I plan to refrain from the following:
1. Watching television during daylight. (Goodbye Jeopardy. Adios Access Hollywood.)
2. Rolling the dice. (Au revoir bathroom scale. Come sunrise, you'll no longer determine my mood.)
3. Trolling for info. (Arrivederci online magazines and blogs all-but-this-one. Ciao for now Poetry Foundation and poems.com.)
4. Swapping letters and birthday wishes. (maʕ as-saláma Facebook. Words with Friends and Scrabble -- needless to say, I'll miss you the most.)
It's becoming clear that as a mother what time I have I'll have to make for myself. So sayounara to the above forms of mindless procrastination. During downtime, I hope to read, take notes for new work, take a nap. I plan to write a few good lines, or perhaps think about writing a few good lines. I plan not to procrastinate. I plan to go for a walk. Above all else, I promise to be as present as possible -- at least for the next 10, 080 or so minutes...