Sunday, April 20, 2008

Overcast Sunday

and today's dining has included strawberries, one pink lady apple, and some slabs of gefilte fish. I'm thinking of getting crazy for dinner and having some spinach, an apple, some gefilte fish, and strawberries...

In other stimulating news, I'm working on the dissertation which was due around yesterday. This will be the first degree that I "walk." I am still hunting for decent silver sandals for the wedding. Tea-length puts pressure on the beauty of the shoe. Ah, weddings...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shout Out to Alicia

whose email I just found and who I am writing pre-hitting-highway-for-one-day-of-cabining away... I will write you upon return. For now, all my blogger friends. Look up, watch for Alicia Holmes any and all of her writing rocks and rocks. And she is a chick for chicks in the best way.

Hitting the road and missing a certain leggy, strange bird... Happy Wednesday!

Sad Annie

If I were Anne Sexton, I'd spend my days reading and re-reading some of my most fabulous poems (and burying a few in the yard...) and today it makes me sad that Anne doesn't get to look over her own work and do a couple of cartwheels in this almost-spring grass of Ohio (for she'd be hanging out with me, of course we are the circle of the crazy ladies) just because she is she.

we are the circle of the crazy ladies
who sit in the lounge of the mental house
and smile at the smiling woman
who passes us each a bell

(Anne Sexton (1928-1974), U.S. poet. Ringing the Bells (l. 9-12). . . The Complete Poems [Anne Sexton]. (1981) Houghton Mifflin.)

"That Special Place in Hell" Madeleine

mentions "for women who don't help other women."

And it resonates, yes, even with my not-so-private endorsement of a man for president--but beyond that or in addition to that--and especially in the world of poetry where I have tried hard to help anyone I could (man or woman). Still, it was so often those like my friend L-Bo to write a complicated, ambitious review and to place it well and my friend Veace to shape the manuscript in a fashion (and market it and pay her hard-earned cash for my entry fee) that would inform the shape that made the ms. into a book, at long last. By shape, I mean hours of arranging, typing and re-typing, table of contents to acknowledgements. I mean hours of love and care that is hard to muster for anyone's work. And yes, my friend at I Should've Been a Locksmith with her amazon review, and boys, there were those: Steve Fellner (not even acknowledged in my book as we were having one of our famous "friend break-ups") reviewed me carefully, fairly, and who could forget Prabhakar who gave me entry fees (sometimes many) for every birthday, who hit with an amazon review and who cheered me on when I was about to stop bothering with "the book dream". Other friends have taught the book (I believe even Matt Guenette whose own book Sudden Anthem should already be in your hot, little hands or wishlist at very least.) Many more people--Simone Muench, Kristy Bowen, lots. And I've zeroed in here and focused on women (though acknowledged the men--men weirdly, whom I've helped not at all with their careers) because it's extra crucial in the arts that we continue to help one another, Girls. At the first book level, things are often pretty good for us. We have some exclusive contests, even whole lit mags and editors like Kristy Bowen who are Super Women and super women-promoting. But it does get skinnier as we climb. There's still an unspoken belief that making it in the big leagues of verse means being endorsed or accepted by the men in verse, not that only men are there, there are women (check out Paul Guest's blog for some of the star-girls of verse) and women like my own dear Eleanor Wilner are no slouches either, but when we think of really famous living American poets, I hear many more male names at the very top. Here's my meme: write a review for a woman writer today--if time is limited, jump on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If not, pick a journal that does reviews and publishes your writer and one that you want to get into. Query or write a review for her and score a little frosting for you. Another time: review choose one of the boys who do nice things for us (Steve Fellner, Matt Dube, Alan May, Matthew Guenette, Anthony Robinson, Ander Monson, I'm just getting started) and write a little something for one of them. Teach the books of emerging writers you like, esp. women, shore them up for the career ahead. Do this--be you a boy or a girl--because it should be done and because, most of the people I've done things for do not correlate with the ones that have been so (ridiculously) kind to me. That's karma, the gift of it all, not the keeping-score.

For Veace--in Honor of Every Lost Lyric

Elegy for Tim Buckley

In the street we walk as beggars
In the alley faithless kings.
—"The River"
Scat singing for the sleep deprived—
it's what the critics called his
final music, his ship that plowed

some great uncharted dissonance
as if that's where he was headed
all along, to the restless distance

between an ear and its pillow,
between the wind guard of the mike
and insomnia that whispered low

one moment, then rose, cried out
even, leaping five plus octaves,
he would say, though in truth about

two octaves less—still a journey
heavenward and back, a space that grew
wings on his feet, his voice. Joy

became the thread of mercury
in the mouth of a fevered man.
A lie then, the mythical cure

that aged him as he walked bent
high inside the city of angels,
a drop of midnight in his blood.

How he hated the confinement
of old tunes, of the small beach town
that was his bliss. These things he made,

they shadowed him inside the hidden
bungalow he painted black,
the morning nocturne of its curtains.

If no mythology would take him,
there would always be the starless
mandate of the unwritten hymn.

To sail off the edge of the world,
off the end of a spool of tape
where it fluttered on its needle—

tick, tick, tick. Picture a moon
deaf above the sirens of dogs.
It's here where the lost songs begin,

on the brink of a sleep that fears
no less, that closes its eyes to sing,
Here it comes, at last—no, here. Here.

Copyright © 2008 Bruce Bond All rights reserved
from Colorado Review

Friday, April 11, 2008

Off to Color

-ado that is, bear country and near home. Finally, some time away. I plan to station with laptop and some lunches and coffees with friend(s) and enjoy the mountains that feel, always will feel as if they belong to me alone. I plan to Ethiopian and Moroccan and just linger for awhile.

Monday, April 07, 2008

To spend our days betting on three-legged horses with beautiful names
Bohumil Hrabal

Friday, April 04, 2008

Let me tell you how goodbyes arrive: gray ships on gray water--enormous.
Taij Silverman

Rocky Mountain Highs

The Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), also known as the Andean Bear and locally as ukuko, jukumari or ucumari, is the last of the lineage of short-faced bears of the Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene age.[1][2]

The Spectacled Bear is a relatively small species of bear native to South America. It has black fur with a distinctive beige-coloured marking across its face and upper chest. Males are 33% larger than females.[3] Males can weigh 130 – 200 kilograms (286 – 440 lb), and females 35 – 60 kilograms (77 – 132 lb). They are found in several areas of northern and western South America, including western Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, and eastern Panama.[4] Spectacled bears are the only surviving species of bear native to South America, and the only surviving member of the subfamily Tremarctinae. Their survival has depended mostly on their ability to climb even the highest trees of the Andes.
* * *

Ever wonder at the see-through cities, their citizens scurried, sly but nothing-eyed and nowhere-bound? Ever wonder about that Carolinian beach, the forms cameos on the sand, the wind wishing them scattered, the scattered grains that braille words for the blind tyrrants and their teacup poodles--what little yippings! what messages slip out, slip by, slip inside other envelopes and how many must be hired to decipher them? A mountain cradles the valley and no hand-blindfolds, no amount of closed-eye chantings make the mass of it lessen.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

And Day Brought Back My Night
It was so simple: you came back to me
And I was happy. Nothing seemed to matter
But that. That you had gone away from me
And lived for days with him—it didn’t matter.
That I had been left to care for our old dog
And house alone—couldn’t have mattered less!
On all this, you and I and our happy dog
Agreed. We slept. The world was worriless.I woke in the morning, brimming with old joys
Till the fact-checker showed up, late, for work
And started in: Item: it’s years, not days.
Item: you had no dog. Item: she isn’t back,
In fact, she just remarried. And oh yes, item: you
Left her, remember? I did? I did. (I do.)
Geoffrey Brock

Half of It's You, Half is Me

Helloing again to my dear lost friend Princess Jellybean and it makes me happy. I am thinking of consistency and how trust is so much that and how my first boyfriend and his wife are attending my sister's wedding and how much good I have in my world and for that good, a standard has been set and sometimes, there's nothing to do but accept.

I am glad you are back, Dear Elizabeth.
I am sorry that You are under house-arrest Dear Homeboy.
Yes, Ander, you are to be birthdayed beyond--one track from George Harrison's own 33 1/3 for his own thirty-third year and because that's the length of an l.p. (But no 33 1/3 track exists--sorry, Spice Boy)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I've no plans to disappear.
--Eliot K. Wilson
(poet, true friend extraordinaire)

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood and I'm on the mend. So there.

Clouds in My Coffee

My peeps buy me the best presents. Even with so high a bar, some gifts transcend themselves--the thing you'd run back into a fire after. I have a silver gypsy pencil like that--one long winter's bear-sleep ago and it still moves me to see it--the gypsy dancing in the swirl of coffee steam, the boy who knew me that well and so early.

Last year it was a pink lunchbox full of Hello Kitty Pez dispensers and an I-Pod. The I-Pod sat all chrome and shiny for nearly a year--I couldn't bear to jeopardize it in any way. Then two weeks ago or so, I finally logged onto I-Tunes and now I am sitting in the dark, scarves over the lamps, tieing off my forearm and logging on...
Such questions arise as which version of Black Coffee to commit to? And which song that mentions coffee is your favorite? Do tell...

(Cafe poems are welcome, as well.)

I want to do mixes of key words like coffee or gypsy. I am all strung out and not at all sorry.