Going through my files in preparation for the return to Chicago, I came across a drawing book from the summer of 2001, which was a mixed period for me. I'd left two jobs I'd held for several years that February to take a wonderful visiting stint at the university where I later was hired full-time, and by June, I was back in Jersey City trying to reacclimate myself. I also spent my last year at Cave Canem, after not being able to attend in 2000, but I found it a struggle to write poems. (My workshop with poet Toi Derricotte had an uncanny aspect, in that she asked us to describe the sort of house we wanted to live in, and a few years later C and I ended up finding a house which, at the time, I didn't realize satisfied most of what I'd written down for Toi.) More than anything, I felt mildly unsettled, as I was trying to figure out what I would do when September rolled around. I ended up receiving an offer to serve as a visiting assistant professor at another university in easy commuting distance from New Jersey and New York, and it turned out that my first day of classes was September 11, 2001, but that's a story for another day. From the images in the book, it turns out that I'd drawn quite a bit that June, but when I looked at the drawings, I couldn't really remember doing them, except for the one below, and one of actor Jeffrey Wright, at a staged reading (with Don Cheadle) of Suzan-Lori Parks's Topdog/Underdog at the Public Theater. (I'll post that one tomorrow.) This one shows Menendez, then my Congressman, speaking at a workers' rally at Journal Square. His staunch anti-Castro stance had been enough for me not to vote for him in the past, and although he may have expressed a strong pro-labor position, at the rally, I don't recall it. I've come around as has he, though not on the Castro issue; nevertheless, I'll be voting for him this November.