I keep forgetting that it was probably halfway through my second year, but really at the start of my third year, when I actually wrote a decent poem (or draft, maybe) at VCU, something I felt good about reading at workshop, something I felt good about writing.
That really hasn't happened yet in the Binghamton workshop setting. No matter how the poems are received, I really don't like what I'm writing at all.
That said, we're not even halfway through the first semester. I need to chill out, and I think that's one of the problems.
I was inspired by this recent post from Oliver, who always seems to write wise blog posts. I guess I put myself in a weird position right now, because I feel like if what I'm writing isn't furthering this second manuscript, or going onto a third project, then there's no point in writing it. Clearly I shouldn't be thinking like that, but if you know what it's like to put much time into big projects, then you know how hard it is to break away from that mode. And that's what I've spent the last three years of my poetic life doing (though you also have to include all the PhD applications I suppose).
Or not necessarily that certain mode, as much as feeling like I need to move on, and since I don't have a new project, and all these workshop poems seem to be rehashing former, better poems, or they're this nebulous mess of words that I would never want anyone to see. If I don't like the poem, I don't care who does. And if I really like a poem that I write, I usually don't care who doesn't, because that's always another step in the hopeful ladder-climb of building something better. That sounded horribly clichéd. Oh well.
I guess what I'm telling myself is that I don't need to rush right now, and hopefully for good reason. I have to write poems for workshop, and so they're getting written. Even poems I don't like hopefully and eventually get me writing poems that I do like. And though I feel like all my energy right now (aside from course work of course) is best spent in trying to get this second book out into the world, there's no harm in letting the new project, whatever it may be, come to fruition as it presents itself, instead of trying to force something that just isn't there right now.