Sunday, August 31, 2008

tell me something good

I had two poems accepted today, which was startling since it seems a coon's age since I submitted anything. So I worked up the mental wherewithal to send a batch of poems out, too. I figured it was the end of August - I hadn't done anything all month and longer, and I do have a couple poems I like just slouching around the watercooler.

Sometimes I get so discouraged about submitting. Is anyone really going to read these poems, I think. I look at online journals and ask, do people really visit this site and read the poems, except for the poets who are in the issue? Or I go to a journal where I've been published and find they've got some real clunkers in their new issue, and I ask, why are they doing this? To meeeee? No, to themselves!

But there are journals I read frequently, a whole bunch of them ones I'd never submit to. Some of the online zines I bookmark are 2River, 42Opus, Blood Orange, Boxcar, Wicked Alice, Caffeine Destiny, Dirty Napkin, Fou, Green Hills, Juked, At Large, Linebreak, Opium, Swink, diode, Unsplendid, DMQ, Word for Word ... et cetera et cetera. I've linked randomly because I'm lazy.

Please do me a favor and add something good to my list.

Friday, August 29, 2008

three faces of eve ascending

stinking/filthy rich
rich as Croesus
money to burn
well heeled
well to do
well off
>middle class<
working class
making ends meet
down at the heels
down and out
church mice/not a bean to rub together
wolf at the door
dirt poor

Thursday, August 28, 2008

peaks and valleys

and Valleys and Valleys and Valleys

Monday, August 25, 2008

the dewiest decimals

I finished The Glass Castle the other day and since then my evenings have lacked luster. I come home and feel I'm mourning for a lost world. My mother said I’d like the book, which meant I needed to think it over carefully, but she was right. It was hugely entertaining. Even at the end when we weren’t toughing out some horrendous circumstances anymore it remained interesting, mostly because of the whacky parents. All those years of bad hygiene, squalor, pluck and borderline criminality had my imagination swirling. I like that.

Yesterday I finished The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. After the ubiquitous hoopla, I found it a bit of a let-down. Yes, it is amazing that this book got written, but what was written in the book didn’t seem that amazing. I have the feeling this is one of those cases where the movie, the dramatization, is better than the book.

So, at the moment I’m reading Mothers of Invention. I am also still reading Personal Memoirs by Ulysses S. Grant, which I expect to finish sometime in 2011. And not that I don’t have enough unread books around to besiege, but I ordered more from Amazon today, mostly used:

The Door in the Mountain by Jean Valentine
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Somebody
Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
The Body in Pain by Elaine Scarry
A Passion for Books by Harold Rabinowitz (?)
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson

The shipping costs add up, and I was going to cancel A Passion for Books, but a used hardcover cost $2.50, and I’ve seen many enthusiastic reviews. Ok, I’ve seen even more enthusiastic reviews of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. So who knows? If it’s a miss, my inner materialist says at least I’ll have a nice hardcover.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

landscape of cake

I’ve always disliked cake. It’s the sameness – every bite just like the last. Icing never alleviated this. Icing seemed only to be added for its moist otherness; it never actually tasted good. Sweet, yes, but not good. And when you start varying cake's textures by adding things (think fruitcake), the situation further deteriorates. Even the word “cake” is kind of gross – like “ache” with choking attached. Not to mention that a piece of cake is as filling as a meal, and twice as caloric. I guess I’m lucky I never liked cake. I feel that way now, especially after finding this blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

the joneses

Our new aupair is here. He came in on a bus from siberia. It took 5 days. I always worry we won't find the aupair at the station when s/he arrives. And if i get in the bus and yell "Dmitriy!," half the males answer. Anyway, he's really tall. So riding my bike is out. Also the bed in his room may have to be chopped for firewood. I don't even know how tall he is. But it's no problem because my husband is a gigantic talker. The good thing is he can help us spy on the neighbors' gardens. We've needed some help with that.

it is so easy not to write a libretto

it is easy not to be interested in German shepherds
it is so easy not to believe in palm reading
not to think about asphalt
not to see secret messages in the coke fizz
if you don't buy a house on Kaiserstrasse, that's not so hard
it is also easy not to buy a sketchbook
when you have a sketchbook

Friday, August 15, 2008

shrug and frump

I have three poems in the new issue of Whiskey Island: "God Have Pity on the Smell of Gasoline," "Curtains" and "Ingrid Wears Bangs." I’m looking forward to getting my copy – it’s a double issue. Follow this link, click on Current Issue, and you can read "Curtains" online. It seems my stanzas have been ignored, or maybe it’s just my browser. Ach, the troubles.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

emotional gold

It was just a moment, and I wasn't dressed for it.
That's not true - I was dressed. But not for it.
The thing was I had briefly forgotten my mission.
The thing was that left me at most seven minutes
to do something for which normal mortals need nine or 10.
Me being normal. Being mortal. Being hormonal.
I threw my coffee cup in the sink and was out the door running.
I was fast. Before a minute was up I knew
I'd have to set my whoop up to holler.

Monday, August 11, 2008

daughter of a norwegian oil tycoon, born again yesterday

I got an email from a zine that recently accepted some poems, asking if I would like to send along "a new bio." You know, change the little thumbnail of my life. Well, sure. Is that allowed? Can I call a do-over? Can I be from Detroit? Could I be a guy? Might I draw a very large salary, say, in the Cayman Islands? Perhaps I'll push rewind and be raised by wolves. Could I skip having gone out with Keith Wassil, against the advice of everyone? Maybe I could just have continued those clarinet lessons . . .

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

rochet embroidered with orphreys

Sometimes when I want to vegetate inconspicuously I browse the dictionary illustrations, the pages full of fish and obscure instruments and all the ducks that look much the same. I’m shown the oriel window and the lobate foot of the grebe. The reindeer looks tame and boxy on paper with its gigantic antlers. When domesticated, the text says it can be a good source of milk, meat and perhaps hides. Nostalgic illustrators like helmets and armor, like the pauldron, gauntlet and lamboy (from old French lambeau). Since they don't do verbs, for zip there’s a sampling of fencing positions. On opposite pages (1634-1635), the seahorse floats beyond the reach of the scythe. Here and there I’ve spotted the occasional marsupial, frozen and -with its offspring- immortalized. Pen-and-ink pictures break up the columns like little windows. They’re big on the shapes of leaves, which indeed can be hard to describe.

Monday, August 04, 2008

embedded in my name

Alas, Torahs
Has La Roast
As A Harlot’s
Aloha Tsars
Aha! Lass Rot

Your name here.

Friday, August 01, 2008

friday confession: sort-of shotgun

We watched No Country for Old Men last week and it was great. I swore off violent movies some time ago, but I make an exception sometimes, at least when renting. Anyway, it wasn't until a couple days ago that I realized a sawed-off shotgun really is sawed off. It never occurred to me to consider the phrase. Guess I move, thankfully, in the wrong circles.

Anyway, it was a great movie, insinuatingly quiet, long landscaped, slow and taciturn. When the violence happens, it's focused. There aren't big bust-em-ups, rains of bullets or car chases. But the overall quiet of the movie makes the violence that does happen all the more potent.

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