Day 1 (Friday):
Day 2 (drizzly, drizzly Saturday):
Day 3 (Sunday):
Some may remember last year's retreat. Some may find that year a huge blur.
Some may find this year's a blur as well.
Because of current medication, I cannot drink, which means I become designated--I've been the designated boater, even. This weekend I was simply the designated-leaves-the-bonfire-first, which really meant I caught a whiff of the strangeness that can occur on these retreats--a splashing of five naked MFAs as they plunged into the freezing Lake Benedict, stories of too-much-alcohol and stump-tipping, late night fire songs, a sestina about Wahida and a Sasquatch, and the inevitable sickness that follows the passing of bourbon and rum.
Somehow, I did get a bit done--some writing at the picture window and some reading (Another Beauty by Adam Zagajewski, who is visiting our campus this coming week), but what else is one to do when the day is full of cold and drizzle? Certainly not the boating adventure we planned, nor a long hike, nor a sprawling on the lawn with writing notebook and pen. Not even last year's football game surfaced.
But still, this last of MDB's retreats was a good one. Good food and plenty of it--soups and chili and eggplant and so much more. Fires were made, despite the cold, the skies cast in gray. We were up north, at the lake, content, filling ourselves up on Minnesota culture.
Oh, and the antlers? Those were lining the roof and rafters of "Fort Benedict," the local gas station and bait shop, and I took those for you, Shawn.
Some good news upon my return: two poems, "Breaching" and "Axis" now have homes at an online literary journal called The 13th Warrior Review.