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Under Siege

Every spring, the Big Apple Circus comes to Boston and sprawls itself all over City Hall Plaza for six excruciating weeks.

I don’t actually remember a damn thing about it, but I know my aunt and her boyfriend once took me to see a circus—the tuff one cringes every time we have to walk by it, and since that’s the T stop that connects us Eastie girls to the rest of the Hub, we go by it a lot.

I haven’t been in any kind of a mood to write. I’ve been out of job since July. As of December, I’ve been enduring the adventure of being a newly-diagnosed diabetic. And by the time the misbegotten elephants pack up their peanuts and leave us in peace for another year, I’ll have turned forty.

It’s been a couple of years since I’ve established détente with the idea that I wasn’t going to be a mom after all, but somehow this birthday makes it real.

This is all vastly unamusing and, truly, there’s no need to foist it on anybody.

Except it’s also April.

And with what all else is going on, it occurred to me that no way in hell am I making it through National Poetry Month in my usual cranky fashion, trying to dodge it as much as possible, grumbling about bookstore displays and PBS specials.

(The inadequacy of this approach really became clear to me the other day, when I found myself trying to explain why I was refusing a very sweet offer from a new and dear friend to forward me the The New Yorker poem of the day.)

Two years ago, when I put up everyapril, I included a link for a syllabus, intending to post one I’d come up with in response to J asking me to show her what I loved about poetry. The project itself had been fun and intimate and wonderful, and I didn’t think that writing about it would be hard.

Maybe it shouldn’t have been surprising, but one of my biggest discoveries about how hard I’m finding it to be writing again is the lack of consensus. The tuff one is dubious at best--she’s got a lot of good reasons to distrust the world at large and putting stuff out there might mean getting dangerously noticed. And the reckless one would prefer if we would all just leave her the fuck alone, thanks. (Which is doubly hard, since I suspect that, on this subject, she is really the one with something to say.)

But since our evasive maneuvers haven’t ever proven that effective anyway, we’re going to try something else. We’re going to revisit that project, post the poems here, and revel in them, even when it hurts. Because that’s what poetry, the best poetry--by which I mean, the kind that speaks to me--is for.

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