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TALES OF AN ORANGEPEELER

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04.13.04, tuesday morning

Bah. More than geography or culture, money (or rather, my lack of it) has become a determining factor in some of my relationships. I cannot do more than be okay with it; because to do more would mean becoming professional.

Can poets become professional? Is professionalism an inclination written into the personality codes of some but not others? The careerization of one's creative tendencies? A resignation to the exigency of surviving? (and I write this as a poet living in the first world, who must think about health insurance, rent, etc., necessities that are luxuries to the poor, necessities that are fast becoming luxuries for the dwindling middle-class.) To become professional, it seems, you must sacrifice so much time and invest in things like suits and briefcases and savings for vacations to places where you can take pictures and point at buildings like a good tourist or retirement packages for when you are old and living in a retirement condo surrounded by other old people wondering what happened to the thirty years prior to when you became old. And I have always believed that a poet should not be a tourist to life; she cannot take a tour of it, save for it, wait on it.

Can a poet be happy living life like this? Can a poet live a double-life? Is it erroneous of me to call that kind of life a double-life? Should I look at it as multi-tasking, make the necessary adjustments to my outlook on life and get on with it? Am I just a young woman who, as she approaches her 27th year, is foolishly and profoundly afraid of adulthood? It looks like such an awful place, where you cannot live as a poet or a waiter or a seamstress . . . well, you can, but only if you want to risk the respect of others (parents!), security of health and home, and a viable future faith.

. . .

Saint-Exupery lands at last.

. . .

From NYT article "A Jumping Fish in the Bronx Lands Its Creator in Criminal Court": "Mr. De La Vega's mother, Elsie Matos, said that when she heard of her son's arrest she immediately bought him 30 boxes of colored chalk. "Keep with your passion," she said when she gave them to him. Ms. Matos has organized a protest that will take place tomorrow at Mr. De La Vega's store and gallery in East Harlem."




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