Category Archives: Procrastination

College Daze

College Daze

I should have been cramming for English—­reading Macbeth or Candide­
and finishing off all my papers on Shakespeare or Becket or Bede.
But I always put off all assignments until the last possible minute,
lugging around every textbook without really looking within it.

When final week came, I was panicked. I studied all day and all night.
Living on No Doz and coffee, my eyes were a terrible sight.
Bloodshot and ringed with dark circles, they read on and read on nonetheless—
Chaucer and Dickens and Somerset Maugham (and Cliff’s Notes, I have to confess.)

My very worst procrastination was ten papers in just seven days—
my mind racing onward and onward as I searched for each insightful phrase.
Biology, German and history, psychology and all the rest
battled to come to the front and be heard when they came to be put to the test.

By the end I was crazed and exhausted, craving only closed eyes and my bed—
putting authors and symbols and figures and facts right out of my overstuffed head.
I could have avoided this torment, the pressure, exhaustion and dread
If only I’d started three months in advance to prepare for each “big day ahead.”

In college I fear I was guilty. I put all things off just a smidge.
I majored in procrastination and minored in marathon bridge!

( This poem is dedicated to Marti, Yvonne, Patty, Ramjet, Karen Rea and all the house hashers, with whom I wasted many a long college afternoon and evening expanding my mind by playing bridge. I must admit that I haven’t played it since, which is why I have the time to write a poem a day and post it on my blog. Sometimes we learn more after college than during!)

The Prompt: Big Day Ahead—It’s the night before an important event: a big exam, a major presentation, your wedding. How do you calm your nerves in preparation for the big day?

How I (Don’t) Lay Me Down to Sleep

Spider Solitaire

How I (Don’t) Lay Me Down to Sleep

At 2 AM, when others sleep,
computer solitaire I keep
in front of me on lap or chest,
for part of me decrees it best
to put off sleep an hour or so.
That precious time I often blow
on playing Spider Solitaire.
At my computer screen I stare,
moving little clubs or hearts
here and there in fits and starts,
trying to beat my own best time,
this silly game becomes sublime.
I know not why I love it well—
and so I cannot really tell
why I prefer it over all.
Deluxe Free Cell can be a ball,
In fact, I play it hours on hours
trying to deplete those towers
of mismatched cards, quickly I bring
them from below, from Ace to King.
Card by card, I pile them high—
my laptop balanced on my thigh—
until the cards become hypnotic,
my moving of them now Quixotic.
Too sleepy to beat my own time,
my need for rest becomes sublime.
Then sleep fills up my empty cup
till seven or eight, when I wake up
to spill night’s cards clear of my screen
so this day’s daily prompt is seen.
And this is how I start my day.
This time, it’s words I choose to play!

The Prompt: Now? Later!—We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?

DSC07132
This big fella appeared on my steps last night—perhaps a harbinger of what I was going to write about today.  He’s the first tarantula I’ve ever seen at my house—four inches across, he is a formidable addition to my garden menagerie!

I just have to add a postscript.  This reply to my today’s post was just sent to me by my three- months-a-year housemate. I feel a bit like Jeanette MacDonald to his Nelson Eddy!  Ha. I absolutely love it, by the way. This is what he posted on his blog this morning:

To your addictions I can attest.
You’re clicking, clicking. You need your rest!
“Sleepy time,” I do proclaim,
And you reply, “Just one more game.”
And so I roll upon my side
and let your clicking, clicking guide
me off to sleep, to dream, to waken
to morning to find that you’re makin’
words to poems to fill your blog.
Keep writing, Dear. I’ll feed the dog.