Friday, June 29, 2007

friday confession

sometimes if a poem has an unusual layout, i am at first afraid of it.
i voted today, for example, in Andrew's daily poem finalé,
and when I plugged into Inside the Maze, my initial reaction
was the silent groan my face made without my consent.
But Inside the Maze was a wonderful read;
i almost voted for it...

two more days to vote, by the way

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

haunts and wishes

Sam tagged me with "Reveal 8 Things About Yourself." Here they are - one recycled from a similar tag some months ago.

1. I recently began buying my shirts at children’s clothes stores. The sizes for 14 and/or 16-year old girls fit well. You can find nice things that cost less than at most grown-up shops. Also boys t-shirts from the US are roomy - my son's Old Navy size 8s fit me, and they're nice cotton. I am not a big person, nor am I a dwarf. I suspect some weird thing is going on with sizes to accommodate the obese.

2. When I go past the cellar pantry, I involuntarily do a quick calculation on how long we could survive on our supplies.

3. When I interview someone young for a job, I sometimes suppress motherly feelings for them, especially if they express themselves in clichés like "my dream job."

4. The most I ever spent on a piece of jewellery was about $490 for a necklace. With the exception of my wedding ring, no other jewellery I ever bought came close to that, even by half. I’m wearing it today, which is why it occurs to me.

5. As a kid I assigned values to letters, thus giving words certain scores. The small “l” was a valuable letter because it could be spliced into many ls, and most any other letter with an l-shaped post was similarly valuable, though it could lose points for rickety extra and unwieldy equipment that could not be bent into other letters, like the top of the T.

6. I starred in a Chinese television commercial for a hotel in Dalian, where I lived for a year nearly 20 years ago.

7. I have driven drunk, and it is a mistake. (Now this was long ago, and nothing happened, but really, do not go here.)

8. I have wishes.

I tag Andrew, Valerie, Liz, Michi , Rachel and Jalina, who just came back to blogging. If y'all do not want to play, I promise I will not put one of those chain-letter curses on you.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

mule & deer

After reading some of Anne Boyer’s poems on Amy King’s blog, I ordered The Good Apocalypse from effing press. Since I was going to the trouble (and I hate paypal like the dental plaque, and it hates me back), I asked the editor to recommend two other books, which he did, and he threw in a freebie for good measure, which was kind, but was also because he seems genuinely excited about poetry and was doing what editors should do, ie spreading the word.

So I ended up with –
Anne Boyer’s The Good Apocalypse
Hoa Nguyen’s Red Juice
Clayton Couch’s Artificial Lure
Farid Matuk’s Is it the King?

That last one is my favorite. Unless the poet or effing press comes along to kvetch, here’s the first poem from Is it the King? Those dots at the end shouldn't be there, but i suck so they are.

Of Mule and Deer

Out of a tin-cold, murmuring black wood
Lightly you lope, pale deer, lifting
A story from pages of snow

Nothing turns in your eye they say

Toward the tin-cold and murmuring black wood
I bear a display case of blue light
Say it was the sky

Say all you want . . . . . . it was the sky

Friday, June 22, 2007

friday confession

talked to my dog on the phone.

*footnote: either I started a trend, or I'm riding one. surfing around, i found two other folks making friday confesssions...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

slosh

It is raining sheetcakes here. I got to the Hauptbahnhof and headed toward the stairs to find a small crowd starting up the stairwell. I thought maybe someone had od’ed or upchucked or something but no, it was just that no one dared walk up into the downpour. Apparently some people have the option of being late for work. There is much rain in my purse this morning, and also in the pages of my book, my shoes and the pockets of my jacket. The peanut m&ms I threw in my tote bag before leaving the house have disintegrated, and I love the word “lightninging.”

Resumed the 30:30 poem-a-day forum this morning with a poem called “With All Due Respect.” It begins… “Someone felt sorry for a half-eaten apple.” I am sorry I will only finish half the forum, since I’ll be leaving for vacation in a couple weeks.

Weirdly beautiful idea for today: Although I swore off running long ago (after having been a dedicated runner), I think I will stop walking my dog after work and start running her. No more sniffsniff here sniffsniff there, just zoom. Inspiration here (subscription may be necessary!).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

this headline niggles me

"Tiger woods’ wife gives birth to healthy baby"

Why include the "healthy" unless it wasn't expected to be healthy? And why not say boy or girl instead of baby? I mean, what else would it be?! An afro? A five-faced maggot?

To healthy tiger baby, wife gives woods birth
Baby tiger gives healthy birth wife to woods
Healthy birth baby gives woods to tiger wife
Tiger Woods gives birth to healthy wife baby
Woods wife gives birth to healthy tiger, baby!

Monday, June 18, 2007

i am in competition with my colleague

my colleague comes in
he is wearing a nice suit and dark tie
i am not wearing a suit or tie
i am not even wearing a shirt with buttons
the editor asks if i remember a candidate comes today
is he asking me because of my shirt, have i worn the wrong shirt
my colleague has new glasses
i wear glasses, too, but they are not silver
they do not make me look like a spaceman
i will put my glasses on now
i win

i am in competition with myself

I was up at 5.22 last Monday it was 5.26.
I took the dog out at 5.45 last Monday I was back about then.
I ironed a shirt last week I couldn’t be bothered.
It’s raining this morning it was raining last Monday too I know because it rained all week.
I’m tired I’m calling this even.
It’s going to be 24C today where I’m from it’ll be 91F which is more but how much.
I still hate nutrition and helping with homework and I can’t end poems properly.
I am not ambitious enough am I less ambitious?
My victories increasingly seem accidental I don’t know if I’m going to win by a landslide

Friday, June 15, 2007

vidalia

This week, which was otherwise determined by hormones, I got a nice acceptance from Barn Owl Review for my poem Newly Wed. That was a bright spot, after watching news all week about militancy, and politically or religiously motivated killings!

Sorry. Newly Wed is indeed a poem about someone newly wed, but it is also about vidalia onions.

I also received my contributor's copies of Barrelhouse 4, which is terrific. Those very funny editors even slipped in a CD of music they enjoy. (And I enjoyed.) Which was very nice and interesting and in its way a trusting gesture. Thank you.

friday confession

my confession is this -
i had an anger attack.
i found out all the funtime
goodold wholesome crap activities
i'd spent ages signing the kids up for
in the summer were not going to run!
i was piping mad. piss mad.
mad as all goddamn.
mad as a hothouse flowah!














you will be glad to know
no one was injurious.
& i am no one if not a man
of action who spent what
would have been a dull day
phoning museums to sign
those children up for film class,
architecture class and general
i-know-where-you-are and what-
you-are-doing-not-watching-
sponge-bob activities.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

mushmouth

I don’t know exactly when but at some point about twenty years ago, fruit began scaring the hell out of me. That is, it stopped tasting like fruit but became some kind of polyurethane, styrofoamy fake slobber that was mostly water and texture. Bad texture. Mealy apples. Rough and porous peaches. Cantaloupes like rubber. And dry oranges that fell apart in my mouth. Like most people, I always loved fruit – real fruit. Flavorful, in-season fruit. Now, anticipating some horrible surprise. I’m afraid to even buy it. You really can’t tell by looking anymore. Everything looks perfect. This applies to vegetables, too, for example, hothouse tomatoes, which exist just to give your greens some red contrast. If I were a photographer who ate cardboard, things would be fine. The only vegetable that seems to have fallen off agri-science’s radar screen is the lowly and unsexy radish. They’re still crunchy, and now inconsolably lonely.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

generosity

no emotional gushing
nothing evoking despair
no sing-song
no work in the style of Ogden Nash
length can be a problem
no last bastions of rhyme
nothing didactic
no egotistical rantings
no sage brush
accpets poetry from children
if they are subscribers

word polyamory

I was reading about undoubtedly/undoubtably at Rob's blog, and it made me wonder what kind of words are making it into dictionaries these days. I found a number of them from a couple dictionaries. Some entries were predictable, like agritourism, google (v), dot-com, and biodiesel; others were humorous, like lamestream and tanorexic; and some you might not want to think about, like camel toe and cankle. (Those must be a joke. Article here.)

I enjoyed a bunch of other new entries, too, like qigong, fashionista, bling, and supersize. Some I'd never heard before, for example, himbo, unibrow and soul patch.

The online "fringe" dictionary Double Tongued has a thread of vogue words that seems to grow every day. Yesterday's was le sigh.

And here are the words that were new in 1806.

Friday, June 08, 2007

#10 finito

"All poetry is experimental poetry."
Wallace Stevens

friday confession

sometimes i am having a tiny crisis at my desk.
sometimes i am doodling at my desk.
mostly i am working at my desk.
i steer the whole hulking rig.
i haul. i summon and heave.
sometimes i am reading newspapers at my desk
(which is part of my job).
sometimes suddenly i laugh at my desk.
i try to hide it
by pretending
i am gasping for air.

unctuous


If you enjoy words, check the link added at the side called “Beauties.” It’s a site that asks people for their favorite words, which the folks there are going to compile as a book. What’s interesting about it is people give the reasons they like their chosen word. You can send your word in, too. James Joyce's favorite, they say, was cuspidor, which indeed is nice to my ear. It means spitoon, by the way (another wonderful-sounding word, actually).

I’ve also been thinking more about words people hate. I found a person who hates cake. My sympathies there. I also don’t particularly like cake. And it does sound like it was designed to make you choke. I also don’t like wedge, probably due to association. Still, don’t wedge shoes sound unattractive? And don’t ever offer me a wedge of cake.

Another word that came up was weepy, as in weepy sore. Ugh. That wouldn’t usually occur to me, but here it’s the idea and not the word that disturbs.

And moist comes up over and over. I found another one close to moist in both sense and sound: ointment! I have to laugh when I hear it. People really dislike words suggesting anything slightly wet, and the /oi/ diphthong appears to heighten their distaste.

As for me, I like both moist and ointment, and that diphthong has never offended me. I’m neutral on lubricant, but dislike lube like the devil. Jiffy lube makes me laugh and scream at the same time.

After I graduated from college I lived for a brief spell in Philadelphia near my sister. She worked in a bar/restaurant in the art museum neighbourhood, and the bartender had a crush on me. He was a nice guy, and a painter, but also an alcoholic (non-practising), and 20 years older than me. In any case, I remember telling my sister’s boyfriend about how I always got free drinks at the bar and him saying, “Oh, Mitch is only trying to lube you up.” And that was the end of that.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

I got a rejection today from Crab Creek - nicely worded in its way. At the bottom, however, there was quote from Saul Bellow, which read,

"I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, 'To hell with you.'"

I enjoyed that.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

#9: brinkmanship

"if you are not risking sentimentality, you are not close to your inner self." -Richard Hugo

As in swooning, expecting, dancing and dead center.

Monday, June 04, 2007

#8: magnify

"Imagination applied to the whole world is vapid in comparison with imagination applied to a detail." - Wallace Stevens

Consider the fork, and the teeth.

miles primo


Happy birthday to Miles,
who turns 9 today.
He neither smokes nor
plays guitar, and I hope
he'll skip the former.

Before he was born I considered naming him Jack, but Carlo didn't like Jack and it turned out that half the boys born in 1998 were named Jack. I also liked Dexter, but the Italian in-laws said that sounded like a robot name. I liked Quinn, too, but the Italian in-laws could only pronounce "queen," so that was out. Fletcher was briefly considered, but my brother Thatcher said he'd never survive the playground (I still like Fletcher). Morgan was a last-minute contender, but it disturbed my father as a preppy name for a beauty-pageant-type girl. I don't live in the US so some of this cultural nuance was lost on me. My father even called the night before Miles was born to "discuss" it, which I found rather touching, to be honest, that he cared that much. But it didn't matter because we'd already decided on Miles, middle name Primo after his paternal grandfather. Of course Miles would way rather be named Jack. What can I reply except "if only my parents had named me Maybelline!" Whatever, he is such a crazy wonderful boy that I always say I wish he'd been twins.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

#7 Experience Preferred

This is what you shall do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body. - Walt Whitman

Friday, June 01, 2007

3-5 Wash Rinse Repeat

I'm in charge of a slumber party, so I'll let these explain themselves.

#3 The most corrected copies are commonly the least correct.
- Francis Bacon

#4 The waste basket is the writer's best friend.
- Issac Bashevis Singer

#5 Braid your hair, my boys, with greener leaves.
- Adonis
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