in quiet preparation for that i nearly forgot, i sit and stew with half-formed phrases in my brain, nursing the baby to sleep. tomorrow is february. i promised myself that i would try to become a real writer by writing every day, beginning in the second month of the year with poetry. i chose february because it is short, which is something like cheating, except that i also chose it because it is soon, the better to hurry along this notion of becoming a real writer. will i then print these poems out and send them in manila envelopes, like once i did, off to literary magazines? will i try then to become pedestaled by publishing? to be a really real writer? i don't know. i likely won't have the time with all the other things i squeeze into my life like a mad collector, collecting things to do, places to go, people to see. i squeeze in doing yoga with my husband and folding the diapers, sitting on the couch and drinking tea. i write it down in my planner in my to-do list. i refuse to cross things off until they are completely finished, lest i jinx myself, lest i move the universe to move against me in all my optimism. i love to cross things off. today i crossed off two things: updating the photos of my children in the growth section of my website and cleaning out the silverware drawer. insanely and pathetically, i am quite proud of the silverware drawer. it is bizarre that i take to this life so well, despite my shouting and the moments where i'd prefer to throw the nursling across the room than take both breasts out of my shirt so he can suck on one while twiddling the nipple of the other. it is bizarre that i choose such a life. wasn't i born in the seventies? shouldn't i have gathered from my intensely feminist mother (she who showed the slide show of my homebirth at her radical women united meeting) that the last thing any woman ought to be is in servitude to children and men? i have been over this and over this of late, reading the bitch in the house and discussing it online, as well as engaging, or, perhaps more aptly, cornering my husband in discussions over dinner (vegan dinners that he cooked) about just how feminist are we and what exactly does our setup imply politically? i don't know that i've come up with any good answers. it is as messy as our life, this arrangement. it is what it is and we chose it for the reasons we chose it. so i am trying to buck the system further, to follow my dream, to understand everything and spew it all in word, in twenty-eight poems crafted at the dining room table after breakfast, once my children have run from their half-empty bowls of cereal or flax and blueberry toaster waffles off to their toys, returning briefly to me in form and perhaps also in written word, carrying some thing they wish to show me or dragging me off to see the lego construction or demanding both my breasts from out my shirt yet again, and i relating it all onto paper, loving them as i do, extracting meaning from their cries, pulling metaphor from their urging. or maybe i do not. maybe i merely run off with them to the lego starship with its interstellar weaponry or pull my shirt open and lean over my paper awkwardly, ultimately unable to continue with the poem, forced to participate in the subject of my life and work, against or with my ever-changing will. it is terribly terribly difficult, i know from even blogging, to form a thought with all this life going on about me. kai ryssdal speaks like a ken doll in the radio, my husband cooks an amazing south indian kale dish in the kitchen, and sebastian shouts at me from over his beans and rice beside me. i can't even begin to hold the thought that started this all. this is my life and this is what i write.