I'm still plugging away at my novel, The Books of Babel. Writing a novel is sort of like swimming out from the shore into the open ocean. When you start, it's shallow and warm and easy to kick your feet. You're eager and full of energy. You experiment with your strokes. You swim in zigzags. Maybe you float for a while and let the current carry you. The romping goes on for a hundred pages or so.
Suddenly, you realize you're exhausted and the water is deep, and the shore is so receded, it's become invisible. But you have no choice: you have to swim back to the shore. And so you begin writing the second half of the novel.
I'm still at a loss for a good seasonal poem, but for those of you who don't live in a hermetically sealed suburban mansion, I offer the following poem:
The katydids are the first to shut up and go.
Soon, the flies get tired of window-shopping;
the spiders take down their tents. It is winter.
I unpack our slippers and bleed the radiators.
The wind moves in and riffles through our things.
We make fog in our empty Coney Island of quilts.
But in April, when the first fly taps the walls
of our kitchen, attentive as a fire marshal,
and a new spider opens a deli in the skylight,
I remember that our drafty window sills
are an Ocean City to young ladybugs, our pantry
is the Niagara Falls of honeymooning mice.