Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Attended an evening garden party commemorating the launch of the Spring/Summer issue of at the university's literary magazine today. The event was held in the historic Mission Gardens.

For a few hours, the area was transformed into a magical literary landscape, completed with poetry readings, fiction readings, live music, barefooted, lithe, nubile nymphs reclining on the fragrant grass, worshipping the tender Spring sun... And, yes! Good food! Someone managed to tweak the budget to make allowance for generous portions of delectable hors d'oeuvres. It was a struggle not to return for seconds. A very big kudos to the editor, who drove 500+ miles the night before (roundtrip), to Bakersfield to pick up 7 boxes of the magazines because the shipper screwed up. That's dedication for you.

There is just something so special to be in the company of literary artists. The ferment of ideas as thoughts flow to and fro is sublime. We talked about the struggles of our craft; the blessing and curse of our gifts; our peccadilloes and writing rituals; and our "cigar moments."

A "cigar moment" is a moment when you craft a line, whether be it prose or poetry, that is done so well, it bears no revision; it is, for all purposes, perfect. That, is a cigar moment. I had one such moment while struggling over a poem this Monday afternoon. I had been struggling--and failing--with this poem, this idea, since 2001, when, on a beach in Santa Cruz, a close friend told me the story of her childhood in Vietnam, of how she would often go down to the beach, alone, and sit there, and focus her eyes real hard, believing that if she looked hard enough, she could see across the ocean, to her mother in San Francisco. The story's poignancy haunted me ever since. If I kept track of the amount of scribbled sheets of paper I have tossed away, and revealed it, the ELF would put a hit on me, and Pentel would star me in their commercials. On Monday 23rd of May 2005, after lunch, and over coffee, I tried my hand at the poem again, and in three drafts, the poem was born.

I am happy. Only a poet would understand me when I say it is like having exorcised an old ghost. The idea, the concept, has been finally transmuted to text on paper. It exists now, apart from me. It will finally leave me alone. It will no longer nag at me at all hours of my waking moments, floating like cobwebs through my mind, "Write me! Write me! Pen me! Pen me! Bring me to life! Create me!"

You have been created!
Now leave me alone!


Anonymous tara said...

sounds like a lark!

3:45 PM  

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