School's clipping along. Nonfiction is going better. I finished both of my presentations for the class, and they went well, plus I'm gaining more confidence to speak out in class. Sometimes the readings and the essays I have to write are really stimulating and even fun. I loved (for the most part) reading and presenting on Ben Franklin's autobiography--he is hilarious and super fascinating and has an honest, down-to-earth voice. And by the way, he's my great-great-great-great-great uncle on my paternal grandpa's side ;) My claim to fame.
The most fulfilling things are writing poetry (I actually like all my homework, but it's a treat to have a couple hours just to write) and my internship with Get Lit!--which is busy and very writing-intensive...blog posts (btw, the blog is http://getlitprograms.blogspot.com, in case you want to check out some literary news!), newsletters, author bios, website pages, and pages for the festival program guide.
I had a wonderful birthday--laid-back, just the way I like it. Isaac took me to a nice dinner and to see The Social Network, and the Wescombes--plus Meghan and Nate and Meghan's roommate, visiting from Colorado--had a sweet birthday dinner for me.
Ken and Maile made a trip out here from Seattle last weekend. It was a surprise for Isaac, and it was fun planning it and seeing how totally stunned and overjoyed he was to see them. It rained all weekend (actually, it's been gray and gross for a couple weeks now) and Isaac worked for one of his classmates for most of Saturday, but I took them around downtown and to the waterfall, and we had a great time at a Fall party at Erica and Aaron's place.
I think I've mentioned Erica and Aaron (a couple from our church), but I should talk about them again. We've been hanging out with them quite a bit, and I feel like Erica has been the first friend I've really connected with here (though I also really enjoy some of the girls from school). The other day she and I went to the humane society and squealed over the adorable doggies :) I WANT ONE!
Isaac is crazy into cooking, and when I have time and inspiration, I get into it, too; we've been eating well and learning a lot. He's mastering bread baking and making mayo from scratch, and I get bored and want to find delicious healthy meals that only take like 5 minutes to make. Ha.
I don't usually do this, but here's the most recent poem I wrote. It's a first draft and I'm sure in a couple weeks I'll be ashamed I posted it as is, but I'm still in the honeymoon phase with it and want to share it. It's pretty different than anything I've ever written:
Mtongwe Ferry Disaster, 272 Dead
Cresting the hill like a dam’s been released,
a crowd floods from Mombasa town
to the lip of the harbor, daily
commute back to the villages
under an ebbing orange sun.
Women wear crowns of rag-wrapped
charcoal, skinny boys flap
in paper-thin sandals.
She arrives lumbering, eases her ramp
to the ground, voicing the groans
the people are silencing in throbbing bones.
At the touch of steel to concrete, the crowd
swirls on board like a wind,
pressing into corners, swelling
to fill imaginary space.
There’s an echoing shuffle of feet
on rust, bodies aligned, balanced
and rigid, the umber scent of tropics
thick in the silvering air. Children strain
their faces to catch a breath above
the forest of legs. Still the crowd leans in
and in toward the sea. Pupils blacken
in black eyes the sudden moment
they know it’s too much—
the coxswain on his loudspeaker
spitting metallic words into the air:
Ferry inondoka! Ferry inondoka!
The ferry is leaving. Stop boarding!
The ferry is overloaded!
The gangplank is up; she
cuts loose from port,
travels 40 meters before
she starts to list.
the crowd staggers
as a solitary drunk sailor,
side to side,
lunging for higher ground.
People begin to peel away
screaming, groping, hurtling
one by one
to the black surface
and icy slash
of the propeller.
Seawater slaps the ferry’s hull,
bending to pull her angle