Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In the 100s

I find it odd that poets sometimes boast in bios that they've had "hundreds of poems in hundreds of publications." I counted the other day and I've had something like 70 poems published, and of course looking back some of them weren't very good. Even now, looking at my "finito" file, there are poems I could publish somewhere, but I'm not sending them out because they're rickety. But there are a lot of crap journals, just like there are crap poets. Not that people who have had "100s of poems in 100s of publications" are crap poets - I just don't think it's a bragging point. When I read a bio, I find it more memorable when someone says "I stick a garlic clove in each meatball before cooking" than when they get to journal #8 in the pubs list.

Anyway, had some good/bad news. A magazine accepted "For Luisa, Waiting to be Fetched." Had to tell them it was already taken. Kind of a bummer, though the journal that took it is a good one. And I had actually sent a note withdrawing the poem. They weren't irritated, and said, yes, they'd overlooked my withdrawl note.

Anyway, cool and wet here. I'm making tomato sauce. I let five or six fat garlic cloves soften in warm oil with onions, bay leaf and carrot before adding the tomatoes.

Monday, March 27, 2006


To have a dog is to hurry, swish, dunk and hipsway.
To have a dog is to dally on hillsides.
To have a dog is to boogie the sparrows.
It is to inhabit the wooden house of barking.
It is slippers, mud and slobber.
To have a dog is to pull rank with the animals.
It is to be an intimate of the rain.
To have a dog is the cave, wolf and campfire.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

literary triumph

There are scads of books I've never finished, not just Ulysses. It's my right as a reader to give up. A couple weeks ago, a colleague pushed Bret Easton Ellis's Lunar Park into my hand. I was not very enthusiastic but he said I would be amazed. I was never interested in Ellis and know I know why. So what? I'm counting it among my literary triumphs to have tossed it aside.

Sorry to all his mesmerized fans.

I am reading The Twilight of American Culture, though, and nearly finished. It's interesting and insightful and depressing, though at points the writer, Morris Bermann, does start to sound a little like the self-help book writers he denigrates. How to save yourself from becoming part of the moronic herd. If you weren't already trying, it's too late now.

In other literary triumph news, these books I've managed to read all the way through two or more times:

Les Miserables
The Catcher in the Rye
Of Human Bondage
In Cold Blood
The Doors of Perception

I'd have to go through my old journals to see if there are more. But I think that's it.


In a poetic slump. Just too tired, I think, with work, kids, dog, appointments, making dinner, cleaning up dinner, paying bills, insomnia, sick kids, and now the husband says he needs a small operation and will in the hospital for a few days, then out of commission for 2-3 weeks. I did my best to be sympathetic, but mostly innerly panicked about when I'd find the time to pencil in my nervous c'llaps.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I have two poems in the new DMQ Review: Postcards from Paris and Year in Milan.

One of those, Postcards, was accepted over a year and a half ago by Poet's Canvas, which then disappeared into the ether before publishing. Never heard back from the editor. A friend of mine was accepted for the same issue and also never heard a word back on why/what happened. It's another one of those cases where you can only assume something terrible has happened, when actually all you'd like to do is get pissed off.

So, be careful which ezines you submit to. Are they fly-by-nights? Do the editors stick to the publishing schedule?

My poem Stovetop won the IBPC competition this month, which was a complete surprise. Once it's up at the Web del Sol site, I'll post the link.

Otherwise, Third Coast wrote back to say they'd also take For Luisa, Waiting to be Fetched along with The Problem with Everything. So that was good news. Not sure if they'll be in the next issue or the following one.

Bellingham Review apparently rejected my poems. I got them back in an envelope last week. No rejection slip, no nothing. Just the poems in my SASE.

let me tell you how it will be

So we've had the dog for a month and the other day we get a notice from the government about the dog tax. Seems the dog owes 82 euros in dog tax for 2006. What I want to know where is the dog going to get this money. It is good to know, though, that my dog is going to receive some benefits from paying taxes, nicht wahr? I'm sure some of that money is going to go for her pension and old-age health care costs. I'm sure this isn't just some idea the innovative German government had to let them continue taxing everything in sight. Wait, to tax even the intangible. In fact the intangible more than the tangible. I'm sure that if there's a war, the German army is going to descend on Kurzroederstrasse to defend my good tax-paying dog. Because she's cute, and is all paid up for this year. So everything's good. No worries.
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