I did it. I went to Paragraph yesterday for the first time in months, and I wrote. After dropping Bobby off at Tae Kwon Do camp I found myself on the subway going to an appointment that was actually for today. so I headed to 14th Street. My key still worked, I remembered my combination for the inside lock. I went into the "quiet space" and found one of my favorite desks empty. I checked my locker and found some books I had been missing, and a brand-new Mead composition book. Then I settled in.
It was like magic: I did my "morning pages" first, then browsed through some of the books for inspiration--The Mind and the Brain by Schwartz and Begley, Page After Page by Heather Sellers, The Poet's Companion by Addonizio and Laux. I had also brought with me Joy Katz's fabulous first collection, Fabulae.
First I did some serious revision of one of the Saint Nobody poems, "Venus of the Interstate." It's in my chapbook Fine Motor, but I'm just not happy with it. I had sent it to several poet friends for their feedback, and somehow yesterday was able to really give it a thorough working over. I don't think it's "finished," but maybe I am ready to "abandon" it (pace Valery and Leonardo).
Then I went into the "cafe space" for a snack, and was inspired by a China Green Tips bag, of all things, to draft a completely new poem.
All told, I was there about three hours before I had to head home for Stella's bus. In that short time I was reminded that I can do this. I was able to feel that full-of-words, full-of-images, full-of-infinite-connections that means poems are in progress.
Thanks, Paragraph! I think I will be continuing my membership.