The Brookline Poetry Series Weblog

January 23, 2008

Shame and the Writing Life

Filed under: Uncategorized — brooklinepoetry @ 7:39 pm

Oh boy, it’s mid-January and I haven’t posted anything in weeks. Ever have that problem? First final exams rolled in, then the holidays took their toll, then back to school and second-semester upramping. It’s only the second week of classes and I’m already tired.

The problem with all of this is the self-recrimination. That I’m somehow not holding up my end of things. Except that I’m the agent of this here blog–I’m not reporting to anybody, not accountable unless some lone reader weighs in (so far there’ve been three responses in six months, so I don’t think I’m burning down the house).

I’m an expert at emotional self-mutilation. Been practicing for four decades or so. Shame, as someone once said, is a soul-destroyer. Guilt, however, according to Woody Allen, is the most selfish emotion. So, which is it that I feel–shame or guilt? Hard to say. I felt the burden of posting lo these past weeks, but was it that gut-rending sense of perpetual inadequacy or the wearisome sense of should should should?

Well, I’m here now, so I’ll dispense with the naval gazing.

Since I’ve been in exile, several things have occurred: we had a fantabulous December reading with Freddy Frankel and Lesle Lewis, sterling writers and readers both. A memorable night–and our biggest crowd ever (my headcount was 85). In January, Ann Killough read from her new book, Beloved Idea, and it, too, was a grand evening. Sublime, really. It’s amazing how great our open mike continues to be month after month. Our community is dedicated, smart and funny. We rock!

Our reader(s?) of this modest blog should (might?) feel free to apprise me of events that would be of interest to and/or connected to our series regulars.

Okay, I’ve done my duty; now I can rest easy. Or not.

— SR


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