A (Mental) Real Estate Crisis

Lately everyone I know is busy.

Lately everyone I know is rushing among various jobs and obligations; family members, lovers, would-be lovers, former lovers, friends; arts events and political events; Metro trains and Metrobus rides; cabs and ferries.

I’m struggling to make time to clear off my TiVo. Sorry, Fringe; Top Model and The Hills come first. But mostly that’s all I can take right now.

I am working a lot, I am trying to clean my house a lot (and failing), I am calling my boyfriend as often as I can, and in between I’m playing with Arden and laying in bed, going to the gym, making half-hearted attempts to cook a meal, etc.

All across America, lenders are folding. Homeowners are defaulting on astronomical payments and people I love are looking into the black eyes of foreclosure, homelessness, ruin.

But here, in my head, there is no room for sale. Every square inch has been occupied by squatters that include income statements and balance sheets; brand identities and core values; fundraising appeals and fundraising returns; the burden of proof and the spectre of assumption; task, task, task.

I wonder, was Wallace Stevens so overburdened? (He is my touchstone for the “working poet,” as in, not the poet who writes, but the poet who works in an office for 40+ hours a week.)

Conversely, was Emily Dickinson?

And do our burdens become us or define us, and if they take us away from poetry, are they to be reviled? I am not writing poems right now, or even recent past. I do not want to try. Partly this is because I want to sit in my dark apartment while there is rain or clouds (and what are rain and clouds, by the way?) and clutter things up even further. It’s not a reluctance to create, it’s a reluctance to participate.

I feel overcommitted. Mentally, that is.

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