McMurdo Station

I’ve been horrible about blogging while I’ve been here, but to be fair I’ve been insanely busy with work. But in the sound-bite nature of our Facebook/Twitter world, I’ve been biting words off in small chunks. Today is our Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ve just eaten a big plate of food, shared with friends and colleagues, and I’ve either got to sit in a coma or take a walk out to Hut Point. But I figured I’d catch up with my blog for a few minutes while the food settles in, and then I won’t resemble so much of a seal when I walk out to the peninsula.

The best part of this trip has been knowing that Little Oblivion, which was a dream the first time I was here in 1999, a desperate old friend the last time I was here in 2009, and a reality at the printer this year. The best part of my trip in 2009 was that I intended to say goodbye to the Ice, to write it off, so to speak, to insist on “no more ice poems.” What ended up happening on top of Observation Hill was my realization that somehow my compass shifted, and that the Ice will always be here for me, just like the desert, just like the urban streets of Boston. And I’m ok with that. This trip, I have written three poems that don’t focus on the Ice, but most certainly echo my surroundings.

I’m also thrilled that I’ll be reading poetry, along with a prose writer who’s here on a grant, on Tuesday. To be able to read the poems that have loved and haunted me for the last twelve years here, with the people who made this place what it is for me, will be such a rewarding experience. Only one, most important absence will be noted: Marc, you’re the key to all of this for me, and while I sometimes get turned around, I will always find my way home to you.

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