Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

delight, felicity, upness, joy, gratification, pleasure, transport abroad, happiness, rapture, doublemint

I was very happy to learn that Pebble Lake Review and Margin nominated my poems this year for the Pushcart Prize. PLR nominated "Humidity," and Margin nominated "Grassland," which they reprinted early this year. Tomorrow is my birthday, & I think this is all I need.

the start of the letter from PLR:

Dear Sarah,

Congratulations! Pebble Lake Review has nominated your poem,
Humidity” (PLR Summer 2006) for the Pushcart Prize.

The Pushcart Prize was named among the most influential projects in the history of American publishing by Publishers Weekly. Little magazine and small book press editors may make up to six nominations from their year’s publications by The Pushcart Prize’s December 1 deadline. Work from Pebble Lake Review was selected for inclusion in this year’s Pushcart Prize anthology.

Miles pays attention

I think I’m all unpacked: the kids’ new sweaters are in the closet, my books are on the nightstand, and Carlo got the bottle of vanilla extract he asked for. So with the bedroom floor clear of suitcases, Miles is playing with his Spiderman figure while I change for bed and talk to Carlo. Maybe I’m telling Carlo about “Borat,” or my aunt’s four terriers. Or maybe he’s telling me about his tofu omelette or visiting Trier. I don’t know. Everything is going in slow motion, and I sit down on the bed to take off my pants and pull on my pyjamas and, turning around on the floor, Miles says, “you got new underwear.”

And indeed I had.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Wayfaring Stranger

Worse than Contintental, Delta.
Worse than the turbulence, the 5 extra pounds.
Worse than the coffee, claustrophobia.
Worse than the rambunctious toddler, his mother.
Worse than the falling, the rising.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

why don't we do it in the road

Driving around the mid-Atlantic region has kept me from blogging. This is America after all. Our presence is requested in the car. Drive from one end of the parking lot to the other. Drive to the store at the end of the street. Drive forfuckingever to every surrounding state. Drive at top speed. Slow to a crawl with your mom blasting the heat even though it's not cold and your eyeballs are getting dry as old raisins. Drive faster than everyone. Drive in the rain, drive in the smog, drive over hillock and dale, drive in the four directions, and then drive back.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This New Man

Here’s a witness quote from a article called “Man Severely Hurt in Police Shooting” in the NYTimes online.

“Some guys came running out screaming, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’” Karo said, adding that the officers tried to keep those men away from the injured man. “One cop was tending the injured guy, and the other cop was trying to deal with the screaming guys.”

I guess it’s not new that guy is the new man. When guy is combined with “this” and “some,” it takes on all kinds of wonderful nuances. Maybe we should just adopt it.

Guy Severely Hurt In Police Shooting

Police shot and seriously wounded this guy who had been firing a .45-caliber machine pistol in the air yesterday, police said. The guy, who was with at least two other guys, was firing a weapon near 179th st.
“I looked out the window and I saw two cops shooting some guy,” said Ron Karo, who watched from the office where he works. After that guy was shot, Karo saw three other guys in the alley. “Some guys came running out screaming, ‘What are you doing? What are you doing?’” Karo said, adding that the officers tried to keep those guys away from the injured guy. “One cop was tending the injured guy, and the other cop was trying to deal with the screaming guys.”

I’m going change all the headlines:

Manhattan: Four Guys Struck By Car
Guy Cleared of Murder Files Suit Against City
Some Guy Found Dead in Bronx Apartment

Monday, November 20, 2006

Last 3 Poetry Purchases

Picking up Rob's idea, here are the last three poetry books I bought.

Kay Ryan’s The Niagra River – I first read Kay Ryan in Atlantic Monthly, when it published her “Hailstorm.” Being a fan of short poems, I wanted to love this book. It does have a couple good moments (“Pitcher” and the title poem, z.B.), but it didn’t catch fire for me. After I bought this, I browsed through “Elephant Rocks” in a bookshop, which looks like a better book.

Nick Flynn’s Some Ether – This one I bought under peer pressure to be honest. But indeed, chiefly focused on a mother’s suicide, the poems are harrowing and beautiful. Expert language and real gravity.

Jim Moore’s Lightning at Dinner – I had never heard of Moore when I picked this up in a shop and read a few of the poems. But maybe because I had seven or so other books in my hand and it wasn’t on my list, I didn’t buy it. Still the pleasure of a couple of the poems I read lingered, so I said if the next bookstore I visited had the book, I would buy it. This book is also largely concerned with a mother’s death, in this case her dying, but it’s more a meditation on mortality than tragedy. No pyrotechnics or lexical acrobatics, but some satisfying poetry.

My favorite image:

I remember my mother toward the end,
folding the tablecloth after dinner
so carefully,
as if it were the flag
of a country that no longer existed,
but once had ruled the world.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


my poem from the last Yemassee -

Summer’s End

Noon wounds me with its bees, its burning.
I weary of the season, whitewash
and blind arrows.

The sun has come to steal my outline,
come to sort me,
stretch me along its javelin.

It says, succumb, when
already the heat is lurching south
in one long exhalation.

Every night I’m more in love
with sleep. Closing my eyes

I let each blue dram
trickle back into my iris.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

i have to say

I wish there were not so many ladies dying their hair blonde. It is just ugly. It is just unnecessary. It's been bugging the shit out of me for years. I can live with a highlight or two, or an older (read: grey) woman dying her hair blonde, but mostly it's just sad. Sad like floods are sad. Sad like mold is sad. Sad, and mean as bleach.

I am off to the states again on Wednesday. For a six-day visit. I am feeling very jetset. Or I would be feeling very jetset, except I am going to Scranton, PA! And Bound Brook, NJ! I have not been home for thanksgiving in about 15 years, and I always loved thanksgiving. And it's my 25th year high school class reunion. So why the hell not.

Friday, November 17, 2006

cool reception

radio reception which is very good (as in accurate)
giving the president the cold shoulder (as in precisely)

All the Time in the World

making small talk

standing on the escalator steps

not deciding

Monday, November 13, 2006

disquieting muses

I have two poems in the new issue of DMQ Review.

My favorite poem in the issue is Christopher Salerno's "These Dutch Doors."

I am also wild about the artwork by Ira Joel Haber. This drawing of his is "Singer."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Beautiful Nude Lesbians Embrace on the Cover of an Illicit Paperback at my Supermarket

I’ll be hogdrawn.
I’ll be bogswallowed.
Yes, I’ll be Weltschmelz.
I’ll be fogwracked.
I’ll be hornrimmed.
I’ll be oozing lazuli.
I’ll be cornfed and homebloomed.
I’ll be newly marooned.
I’ll be dogsledded.
Blue snooded.
I’ll be barebottomed.
Forktongued and thongtied.
Well, I’ll be damned.
I’ll be goddamned.

Friday, November 10, 2006

dear little ferocity of mother love

The husband rented Poseidon for this evening. I insisted on seeing this movie. I remember watching the original as a kid and it being a defining moment in my film experience. There was that waifish little singer of "a morning after." I think she survives. Only thing missing is my sister. We saw the first one together. Aww!

Miles seems fine. Doctor told us as on the last day in the hospital that his problem was blood poisoning, not meningitis. Huh? We're going to our own pediatrician now, and watching him close.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Well, i got three rejections in as many days.
But my poem is fixed at Wicked Alice.
And I'm up at Juked today.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

a situation that could casualize your mind

Miles: doing fine and coming home tomorrow. Thanks to all who sent their good wishes here and by email. His meningitis was viral, which I understand is less dangerous than bacterial. The doctor thinks it was not tick-borne.
Carlo is spending tonight in the hospital with Miles. Of course now I’m freaking out about every little bodily complaint Miles makes. The headache, the charlie horse. Miles is 2nd from right in the photo.

Wicked Alice: I have a poem up in Wicked Alice, but I’m not linking because there is an error in it. The first line, which should end with a dash, ends instead with a question mark. That just kinda fucks up the poem. A formatting error I’m sure but I’m antsy for the fix.

Finished reading: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy. Liked it. Felt Ann Patchett’s article in the New Yorker, conjured up with google, added a lot to her sense of despair. I have never read a Lucy Grealy poem. That is the weird thing. Anyone got one for me?

which returns me to a related note that often occurs to me in life: when we were kids, my little brother said his favorite song was Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. He had never heard the song, but he was pretty sure anyway.

Reading: White Fang (Wolfsblut) by Jack London. Actually I’ve been reading it aloud to Miles in hospital, and even in German it’s better than the “grown-up” book I was reading and may not resume reading (The Old Men at the Zoo by Angus Wilson).

Added to ipod: Mellow my Mind, Come On Baby Let's Go Downtown (1975)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

goodbye b&w world

packing up for a couple days at the hospital with miles. talk about boring. master miles is bouncing off the walls. mixing up the ipod. looking for my kenneth koch book to take along. not finding it. also among the lost: a pearl earring and a striped silk scarf. and where did the last 8 years go? must get luisa’s hair washed before I leave. but the house is cold and the water is sure to shred the skin from my tired hands.

added to ipod
John Wayne Gacy, Jr.
Solid Air
Stupid Thing
Hey Bulldog

deleted from ipod
Driver 8
Jockey Full of Bourbon
Black and White World
Pop Life

Friday, November 03, 2006


He had a fever for three days, a headache, a stomach ache and no appetite. I chocked it up to normal kid life, especially after a long trip. The symptoms improved over three days but then he couldn’t turn his head or look down or up. His back hurt. His shoulders started draping forwards and he couldn’t pull them back. Maybe he slept in a bad position? I tried that idea on but after two and half days I took him to the emergency room (dr.s’ offices close Wednesday afternoons in Germany). And bang he was checked into the hospital. I never thought of meningitis. I didn’t know what to think. I figured I was pretty much overreacting but thank god I did. He’s going to be fine, but has to stay in the hospital into next week. They let a parent stay with him so we’re taking turns. They think he got meningitis from a tick in NY state. He was bitten by at least two ticks. I mentioned Lyme disease to the doctors and asked them to keep it in mind while doing tests, since there is no Lyme disease in Germany.
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