Thursday, July 28, 2011

late bloom

So it’s the end of July and I finally put a 2011 calendar up in my room. It’s been a big help already. You can see the month hanging there like a mouth gone slack. Gack!, it says, what day is it? It took you this long? Or maybe that wide-openness is an enormous yawn. In Wednesday’s box I wrote “overslept,” so you decide.

My room is so small and stuffed with books and furniture I had to put the calendar behind the door, so most of the time you can’t see it anyway. Still, I know it’s there, ticking like a square clock, spinning around when I’m not looking like Linda Blair’s head.

But really, what a great invention. The calendar is so tidy, each day allotted its own little box, all separated by thin black lines. I never stay up past midnight anymore, so I don’t know if these lines actually exist. Lord knows I want to believe.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I read a lot on vacation, but was for the most part disappointed. The best (non-poetry) book I finished was surely Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz. I’ve read many holocaust books so there wasn’t anything particularly mind-blowing in there, but I do appreciate his story, and his ideas on “the drowned and the saved,” which is also in his book of that name, which I read years ago. “Survival” is more personal, but also somewhat coolly observed.

Fiction was more disappointing. Crime and Punishment, I hate to say, was not my bag. I did like the structure – Dostoevsky was good at punctuating the narrative with episodes and creating interesting characters. Still, talk about pages and pages of repetitive inner turmoil. If it wasn’t Rodya, it was the insufferable Katerina Ivanovna (whose turmoil was more external and just as tedious). I thought it might be better to read a book about C&P, say a Freudian interpretation, rather than the novel itself. Apologies to the Russian lovers, whom I count myself among.

I was also disappointed by The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, and Wide Sargasso Sea! Then the long-awaited The Sheltering Sky, which pushed my feminist button so hard it hasn’t popped back out yet. Around that point my daughter got tired of asking me how was the book I was reading. And to think that last year around this time I was swooning over David Copperfield and Cloud Atlas.

I’m now reading Then We Came to the End, an entertaining pop culture novel. Still, at page 150 I’m wondering how a full 400 pages of office politics and intrigue is going to be sustained without any true anchor in the plot.

So that’s all on my reading downer. I do hope things improve, whether via better books or a better mood, which indeed could be the true source of my discontent.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The marvelous thing about the acronym WTF, aside from the miracle of its mere existence and the pleasure it brings mankind as a spot-on means of expression, is the nuance you can infuse by using bold to emphasize one of the three letters.

For example, when you highlight the W in bold, as in WTF, to represent laying stress on the word WHAT when you ask WHAT the fuck, it is like a seeker begging for clarity, for something to be identified by name, and escorted into court.

Alongside crippling bewilderment, when you bold the F as in what the FUCK (WTF), it expresses severe moral, philosophical, religious or narcissistic outrage, depending on the context. It is also a means of warning any and all readers that you may be about to go at least temporarily insane. In days of yore, this ground was covered by “I’m very confused.”

Lastly, highlighting the T as in what THE fuck (WTF) is like throwing the whole of the universe into question, as WTF becomes the deepest of all existential questions, as the word THE is the most existential of words, and the acronym now asks who or what has presumed to claim a title or designation, and whether this town is big enough for it and us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Hotel Su Sergenti, a little oasis of relax, is certainly an ideal place for holidays, with the main factors like sun, the crystal clear water and the incredible beaches of fine white sand. The nature particularly generous with this dream island bursts in millions of colors and sensations which will remain in your minds like precious and unique remembrances. Relax in the mess of our inner structure, which is reserved only for you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

thank you for leaving

Two more days and we will escape the mosquitoes and heat of Sardinia. It is really gorgeous here, but one has to wonder about the lack of window screens. I don't really buy "we're used to it." I did pretty well with my Italian this year although the other night after we had a big dinner for Carlo's relatives I thanked them all for going rather than for coming.

My new chapbook should come out late this month and I'm excited to say that the artist who provided the art for the cover of "In the Voice of a Minor Saint," Emmanuel Polanco, is also donating a collage for "Excuse me while I wring this long swim out of my hair." I looked around and considered other options but I kept thinking there's really no artist who appeals to me quite as much as he does, so I got on my knees and begged. With success.

In other good news, Barn Owl Review just accpeted my "Ghazal with Broken Birds" for issue 5. And Phantom Kangaroo accepted "Smashed Ghazal" for their August issue. I'm of course really happy about this. Prick of the Spindle took four poems for their September issue just before I left, so the dry period of rejections has come to an end.

Otherwise, I have indeed done a lot of reading on this vacation. The choice has pretty much been swim or read. They both take a lot of energy. More on my reading adventures next week.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

on the patio over the sea

With my heel slung across the opposite knee, the skin and un-muscle of my calf hang like a slack hammock filled loosely with sand. How, with all the stairs there are to climb in life, can it droop so resolutely? Well, I say, you are lucky it is stuffed with sand. Imagine if it were filled with plums or nickels - and you in your brown bathing suit. Then there would be something to moan about.
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