Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the sad thing

The sad thing eats an orange.
The sad thing takes a phone call.
The sad thing swears by long sleeps.
The sad thing is all lit up for Christmas.
The sad thing wears new underpants.
The sad thing knows the melancholy of dogs.
The sad thing knows no help for it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


according to Siren, mine was a notable poetry blog of 2006. (which strikes me funny considering how many folks click in here looking for lipstick colors.) Definitely worth looking into the book and poetry recommendations in Siren's listings, too.

do you believe this

Lucille Clifton believes if you "have poetry in your heart," you'll be better at your chosen vocation. Read it here (thanks to Poetry Hut for the link). Nice idea, if idealized. I don't think being a lover of poetry is going to make you better at anything beyond being a better poet or reader (maybe). You're going to fall as hard on your nose as everyone else. Not that poetry won't enrich your life - it rivals being loved! But loving poetry won't keep students from flunking classes. It didn't make Sylvia Plath a better mother, or Bukowski a better postman, and plenty of poetry-breathing professors don't seem to care about their jobs. But I do think Lucille Clifton kicks ass.

Friday, January 26, 2007

yea, and ye shall go forth and grease the palms of the green baboon

It turned out Margin pays $10 per poem.
I was given the option of accepting the $10 or donating it to the site.
Funny how many days it took me to think about that $10.
It wasn’t just any $10.
It wasn’t $10 dollars withdrawn from my bank account.
It wasn’t $10 I got for participating in a marketing survey.
It wasn’t one of the $10 bundles in my monthly paycheck.
It was $10 for a poem.
So I took it.
Not that I didn’t want to donate it to Margin.
But I spent hundred of dollars on poetry books and journals last year.
And subscribed during the last year to three journals.
To say nothing of writing the poem, which Margin nominated for a Pushcart.
It’s not like I’m not greasing poetry’s palms.
So I took it.
And put it where my mouth is.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

4 things about today

1. received rejection from Pebble Lake Review. A kind rejection, taken without alarm or prolonged moaning.
2. read 5-6 more pages of The Gulag Archipelago. can i finish this before february?
3. found a hair - my hair - in my chicken dinner.
4. going to hear a pianist at the alte oper with my husband.

Monday, January 22, 2007

waiting for the ubahn

Global. Local. Glocal. Lobal.
Leggings. Afghan. Legghan. Afgings.
Slowburn. Bespoke. Besburn. Slowpoke.
Krishna. Normal. Norna. Krishmal.
Bhopal. Payload. Bhoload. Paypal.
Vesper. Tonal. Tosper. Venal.
Ghazal. Haiga. Haizal. Ghaga.
Slumber. Warlord. Warber. Slumlord.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

vagina monologues II

Got a sec
Buy OEM software
Penis Enlargement Breakthrough
75% Discount
Separate yourself from other men
Hows it going
It is a rare opportunity to save so much on generic meds
Re: See4 yourself
Amen. Thou shalt thou make a wise, king of their sakes saying, the
Tired with huge expenses?
Just save a pot of money
Penis Enlargement Breakthrough: 3
Lets go
16 ladies are online now
Thy bed ranks, by the wind driveth away.
No liability
Jearim, a serpent, said, unto the place. Why have no man which is

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

i am right

I featured this votive on my blog when I did the christmas gift thing. Still, I can't get over how much Edgar Allen resembles Bill Murray. I mean, don't you think? Bill with better skin and a mustache?

the post in which all my dreams come true

right. but at least one.
I've been thinking for weeks how great it would be if a journal would do an issue of rant poems. I just want to hear some hollering sometimes. So coincidentally I ran into this journal called pemmican today which features a bunch of rants. Some of them are, let's say, of questionable literary value, but hey, they're sincere. Try Tom Holmes' "Americaca" and "Notes on Why Everything has Gone Wrong," and "The Vice with the Money Vice: Go To Fucking Hell" by Angela Perry. Then go try writing your own.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Considering the lack of books under my Christmas tree I ordered two new ones yesterday. Acutally I ordered four and then got all neurotic and went back and cancelled two of them, one at a time. I don't know, last year I ended up with a couple dud books that I ordered on a whim. I would expect the two I cancelled, one by Bruce Smith and the other by Catherine Wing, to be good but I'm going to read more of both poets first.

Anyway, I did order Elaine Equi's Surface Tension and Marin Sorescu's Hands Behind my Back. I am a big Sorescu fan and look forward to having a whole book of just his poetry. Our friend Howard Miller reviewed his poetry in the Avatar Review last summer. I'm also a big Equi fan. This morning I was astonished to find there is no page for her over at the Academy of American Poets. What is that about? They've got all kinds of doodleschnackers over there and no Elaine Equi! I am going to be writing a letter to them. Here's an interview with her from 2004 in MiPo, which I understand is preparing to close shop.

try this at home

In reading The Gulag Archipelago I get the sense Solzhenitsyn is one of those who feels himself slapped with the duty to write it all down. It comes from how he refers to other prisoners and recounts their experiences. It’s as if he thinks it will all slip away. In a way it has - astounding to think 15-30 million people died in the Soviet prison camps! Isn’t that the biggest “engineered” mass killing ever?

“A district Party conference was under way in Moscow Province, presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the end, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name.) The hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming silly even to those who really adored Stalin. But who’d dare be the first to stop? The secretary of the District Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who’d called the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, men were in the hall applauding and watching to see who quit first! And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on – six, seven, eight minutes! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks. At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly – but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them? The director of the local paper factory, an independent, strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and impossibility of the situation, he still kept applauding! 9 minutes! 10! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! With make-believe enthusiasm, looking at each other with faint hope, the leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter … then after 11 minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

But that was how they discovered who the independent people were. And how they went about eliminating them. That night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted 10 years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he signed his form, his interrogator reminded him: “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding!”

This writer, Anne Applebaum, has an interesting site on the camps. Her book is also widely referenced. This is another interesting online site about the Gulag.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


I ordered the Iowa Review by phone. I had to spell the name of my street five times. After the second time, the operator was still reading it back wrong. I was going to let it go by, I do love approximations, but wouldn’t that be like ripping 28 dollar bills in half in front of your rich uncle Henry minus the holier-than-thou of it? I made a little joke to show the operator I understood the trouble spelling, that I was not a stuck-up European, and she seemed reassured. Both of us laughed, ha, and began again. Again began and, ha, laughed us of both. I was growing unsure of my pronunciation of the letter K, the most comic letter in English, but entirely straight in German. I spared her the umlaut of the second syllable, but the extra E that created kept slipping back in line behind the D. And “Z as in zebra,” I said, “Z as in zebra, zebra, zig-zagged, stripey horselike mammal,” until soon I was googling above earth, over my street where I own a small patch of property, my street that slopes towards town but has to end somewhere.

Friday, January 12, 2007

all about my dainty wallet

I sent a submission to a US journal this week. The 7 pieces of paper (6 poems + cover letter) together with the SASE cost 4 euros to mail, or $5.20. Including the 83 US-cent stamp on the SASE, we’re over $6. I decided that was ridiculous. I could be using that for a subscription.

I like switching journals when my subscriptions run out. I’m not receiving any journals now, my subscriptions to 32 Poems and American Poetry Journal having recently expired. I would go for Ploughshares if it weren’t for the annoying “all fiction” issue once a year. I’m thinking Iowa Review this year, and/or Barrow Street.

Poetry Journal Subscription Prices on Amazon (to the US of course):
Tar River Poetry $12 ($6/issue)
Barrow Street $15 ($7.50/issue)
Beloit Poetry Journal $18 ($4.50/issue)
Spoon River Poetry Review $15 ($7.50/issue)
Poetry $35 ($2.92/issue)
Meridian $10 ($5/issue)
American Poetry Review $19 ($3.17/issue)
The Sow’s Ear $25 ($6.25/issue)
Iowa Review $24 ($8/issue)
Ploughshares $24 ($8/issue)
Asheville Poetry Review $32.50 ($16.25/issue)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

From good to evil is one quaver

Frankfurt Jewish Cemetary

In the German trials an astonishing phe- nomenon takes place from time to time. The defendant clasps his head in his hands, refuses to make any defense, and from then on asks no concessions from the court. He says that the presentation of his crimes, revived and once again confronting him, had filled him with revulsion and he no longer wishes to live. That is the ultimate height a trial can attain.
--From a section of The Gulag Archipelago where Solzhenitsyn bemoans the Russians’ inability to purge themselves of the past. At the time it all went down, like the Russians, the normal Germans also did nothing. We all know that. I don’t think they did nothing because they didn’t care, or because they were rank anti-semites as Goldhagen says, but because they were afraid, and hoped to make it out alive.
Left, a German woman who died with her 2-year old son when a bomb hit their shelter in the Bornheim quarter of Frankfurt.

"Where did this wolf tribe appear from among our people? Does it really stem from our own roots? Our own blood? It is our own. And just so we don't go around flaunting too proudly the white mantle of the just, let everyone ask himself..." p. 73.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

If you speak for the wolf

If you speak for the wolf, speak against him as well.

This proverb is cited by Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago. Anyone know what it means exactly?

Great book, by the way. Not only because it so horrible that it challenges the imagination, but also because it is wise. And very well written.

we still fritzing?

i'm listening to music and husband asks "is that your chinese music?" actually it's joanna newsom.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


I don't make resolutions but I hope to read more this year. I have all these at home, so the 1st obstacle is cleared. In no particular order, a tidy ten:

1. Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson (Bought this fall in massachusetts)
2. John Henry Days by Colson Whitehead (Present from brother couple years ago; he’s still waiting for my review)
3. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (My mother just left this at my house & loved it)
4. Cotton Mather by Kenneth Silverman (Began this biography last summer and liked it. Don’t know why I stopped. Written by the father of an ex-boyfriend)
5. Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (Bought this 3-4 yrs ago during my all-about-Lincoln phase)
6. London Fields by Martin Amis (Left by my dad at the house. Started once, and ...?)
7. Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel (gift from my mother some yrs ago, has the potential to stink but will try)
8. The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary (Bought ages ago 2nd hand. Was the favorite book of my religion professor)
9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (began & abandoned but will try again)
10. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Ok, I may be completely unrealistic but I have long wanted to read this)

Saturday, January 06, 2007

what's in my snowglobe

flying fish
pine needles
alphabet soup noodles
mexican bees

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

twice stirred

my poem "Do Tell" is in January's Stirring.

Monday, January 01, 2007

From a Worker Ant's Book of Hours

Happy New Year Bolivia!
Happy New Year Still Broken Stapler!
Happy New Year Top Hits of the 80’s!
Happy New Year Idiot Mittens!
Happy New Year Last Year’s Garbage!
Happy New Year Book of Job!
Happy New Year Continuing Victory!
Happy New Year Polyurethane!
Happy New Year Nic, Michi & Hollywood!
Happy New Year Victims of Domestic Violence!
Happy New Year Mondays & Wednesdays!
Happy New Year Stray Dog on Bergerstrasse!
Happy New Year Joyless Rejection!
Happy New Year Howard & Carl!
Happy New Year Cholesterol Level!
Happy New Year Meister Eckhart & Walt Whitman!
Happy New Year Words on p. 387 of the Dictionary!
Happy New Year Egomaniac I Met at the Party!
Happy New Year Frankfurt Fire Dept Hacking Branches off that Tree that Took a Chunk off the Neighbor's Roof this Morning!
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