I got home late because I was out carousing with other faculty members after my reading with Ariana Reines, which was pretty great. We definitely matched each other well. Hunger, food, memory. Curly hair.
I never hang out with poets, and now I’m surrounded by them! I got to talk to Eileen Myles for a really long time, and, as promised by Meg Wolitzer, she was riveting and special and kind. Rebecca Wolff is the other poet of interest in my life in this foreign city. I would pay for her to go to school to be a therapist if I had the money.
Poets aren’t gossipy like fiction writers, or maybe they just gossip about different things. They dig deep into your life and their lives and talk about astrological signs and are big-eyed and dreamy and sexy. All of the fiction writers I know seem to be firmly entrenched in the harsh realities of life, even ones that don’t actually exist.
Everyone keeps telling me I’m Type A, but everyone I know in my regular life is Type A so it doesn’t feel like a big deal usually until I meet people who aren’t. Like why would you want to be anything but Type A? Type A’s the best! You get so much shit done! Etc.
I want to create a universe for myself where I can make anything I want happen, but specifically on behalf of other people. This seems like a valid goal.
There’s a lovely young Lithuanian woman who works at the program named Skirmante who I would like to put in my suitcase and take her home with me and then get her at job at a wonderful Brooklyn bookstore for a year.
Yesterday in class I made everyone tell me what their three best qualities were as a writer, and the three things they need to work on the most. It’s harder than you think. Own your shit, I said.
In a teaching environment, everything seems so obvious already, but also I guess it’s helpful to be reminded of obvious things.
My students are nice people. Emotionally generous and enthusiastic.
There are so many bookstores here, and it is so clean it feels like a movie set, an imitation of a pretty European city. I feel extremely safe. People are tall and thin and young. The cool girls wear blazers and cut off jean shorts and Converse hi-tops. The men are fair and masculine and distant. I think it was Menachem who said the women put up with a lot of shit here. I haven’t seen it but then again I’ve just been talking to female American poets.
Every night I drink but don’t get drunk.
Gay pride is this weekend. Last year Neo-Nazis threw meat at the marchers. I’m having fun, but I didn’t want to pretend there wasn’t a Nazi scene here, because there is one. I haven’t seen that yet either.
I can’t wait to write my fucking book when I get back home again.