Saturday, July 30, 2005
I used to love this time, after bedtime,
when children were safe and dreaming
and the dryer had finally stopped
for the last time of the day.
Tonight it's just quiet and lonely,
yet if there were people here,
anyone at all
to expect anything from me,
it would be too much.
I miss the solitude
found in quiet intimacy -
thighs that were comfortable
with the other's brush,
head and chest on familiar terms,
hands that fit so perfectly,
mine inside yours
like some wonderfully cliched puzzle.
Where contentedness once reigned,
grows only unrest,
and it seems that to touch
only serves to remind one another of sadness.
I begin this journey through hell,
clench my jaw, gnaw on the intangible.
Lucid fires lick my lips
burn the words from my mouth
and I, I must reconstitute them
from my ashen tongue, with blood
and wishful thinking.
I scribe them then in scrawled lines
from the jagged tips of my
battered teeth - forged, as steel,
with desolate flame and
frigid liquid realization.
It is my daily death and resurrection,
immortalized in ink, indelible,
unforgotten in the scars upon my palms.
Concentrically jagged are your thoughts,
like forgotten strands of forgotten webs where
flies die, and for no reason -
in your dearth.
You are beautiful and broken,
and the beautiful are found
in corners crumpled
Mona Lisa Dances
The rain promises to fall,
to wash away her nudity
and clothe her in his fog -
but she has danced naked
outside my window
for weeks. Guileless
and unashamed, she revels
in this slippery rise
of mercury in mid January.
Her only privacy is found
(unsought) in twisted shadows
cast by her own limbs,
held proud and gnarled
She is Mona Lisa,
stripped of matronly garb
and inhibitions. Her head
is not bowed by the weight
of expectation, nor does she dwell
on her wealth of imperfections.
I envy her freedom, her inspiration,
and thank her for again being mine.
Martini on the Platform
His eyes fell from her, and his tongue curled
from his lips to clutch the things he'd never say,
to trace them as golden etchings of a hoarded treasure.
His hands craved to carry cup-fulls of her scent,
collected by intimate crawls across her parchment scroll
belly as she rolled it against him.
But the unforgiving swirl of dust at his feet,
where truth and infidelity met
for a clandestine midnight departure
filled his fists instead
with the stench of vermouth and leather.
Tonight I found Flickr - on flickr I found romanlily, who writes poetry, and posts it with a photo. in her gallery I found "Fishing Seahorse Reef"
I'd like to have seen it with longer line breaks, but as is, it's absolutely gorgeous - beautiful beautiful beautiful.
Friday, July 29, 2005
after the storm
The wind swayed telephone poles
and reduced torrents to mist --
oyster-shell powder that floated
across cars and into itself again.
They laughed together
at the fury of windshield wipers
and lightning that couldn't keep up --
leaves panicked in puddles, swelling.
When the lights went out,
she bathed in cool darkness
craved the taste of summer
on his chest, but sea-salt burns.
He's been gone a thousand years
and this tepid tub was run
by wise old women generations ago.
Splash Hall and Rollin Thunder, if you haven't heard of them are hellacious places to go for poetry. They're blogs, both run by Rg - but anyone can sign in and post their poetry and poetry news. You can find a wealth of poetry links, poetry, articles, reviews and interviews - It's a great place to find other poetry bloggers, and great poetry. They recently worked up a radio show called BZOO Poetry Radio - RG sent me a link via email last night and I thought I'd pass it along. He welcomes submissions of your own poetry and poetry related announcements - so have a listen, and feel free to send him your own audio files!
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Morning glories shrivel, crushed under an August sun,
beaten to a fetal curl by the anger of afternoon thunder -
battered wives demur in submission to the pain of their days
for there's no shelter in the sunflower's thin-arm shadow.
The preying jaws of the beetle offer no sanctuary -
but lightning shines in the smooth skin of wet things,
and in the ebony shimmer of damselfly wings.
Another rejection - another that wasn't seething or horrible, which is good because I couldn't have taken it at the time if it had been. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hop up and celebrate the rejection, but it could have been much worse!
You know, I've gotten so many rejections lately, I should start evaluating the tone of all the rejections on a scale of one to ten - one being "made me want to drown my self-loathing in mass quantities of opiates" and ten being, "Wow, this was so nice I invited the guy out for dinner and drinks tomorrow night!"
Yeah, probably not, but if I were going to do that, TMR would get at least a 6, maybe more, since the receiving mood was pretty shot to hell after the day that was yesterday. Very professional, gentle but not friendly. Invited me to submit again next reading period. Sounded pretty much like a form letter, which is par for the course for a busy editor.
God knows how they survive reading the volumes of poetry that, for whatever reason, doesn't make it into each issue.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Had an 8 o'clock appointment this morning. Didn't wake up till 7:15. Ever get yourself, a 14 yr old, and a 2 yr old ready to go in 20 minutes? Yeah, it wasn't pretty.
Said appointment was predicted to last an hour (or more) so I had my mother just drop me off. I was done and out of there 15 minutes later. We sat outside hoping she'd show up early for the next 40 minutes. It was 85 degrees when I got up - well into the 90's before 9. Yuck.
Did grocery sopping - no further explanation needed.
Came home, did some laundry and last minute inventory and check-listing of needed school supplies, since school starts in the morning. This was followed by the making of "The List." Many kids = large List. 3 pairs of new shoes yet to be bought, 3 bookbags, new socks for all. . . Thankfully the middle school requires a uniform, and we've been shopping towards outfitting the 2 middle schoolers for months, so there were not a LOT of clothes left to buy.
Insert email check here, with news from my sister, who has been having some problems with her hip. She's been on pain killers, had many doctor appointments, CAT scans etc... was sent to an orthopedic specialist today, who says in short that he's sending her to an oncologist, because it looks like it might be cancer
Then of course, we receive the actual supply lists from each child's grade level in the mail. You know, how many of what the kids each need. Total them up, I actual had to buy 8 3ring binders of various sizes, 45 clear page protectors, 6 pack of pencils... It blows me away every year what we have to buy! There's SO MUCH STUFF!
So we hit the store and spent over $100 that we didn't have. But, the expense was easier to take than the crowd, the kids wanting the 1000 things that weren't on the list, the teenager strutting around and acting like a pompous ass in order to impress all the girls he was seeing from school...
Of course none of this could start until Scott got home from work, at 7:30, after a 12 hour day of working in 90+ heat.
One hour spent in Wal-Mart hell, $100 spent that we didn't really have, and we've reached new heights of "grumpy" and acquired MOST, but definitely not ALL of the required supplies. By now, it's 10pm - the kids are late for bed, and we still have to divide these 8 bags of supplies up between the kids, making sure that the right things go into the right bookbags.
Come home, I start dividing stuff, Scott hops online to check his email. One email he received was from his older brother letting him know that their youngest brother was diagnosed with Leukemia - chemo starts tomorrow. Scott's family I all in New York, by now it's like 10:30pm, way too late to call anyone...
Another new blog aggregator
My daughter starts fifth grade this year, middle school, so soon. And it's my 14 yr olds last year as a middle schooler. Poor lil Bren is left in Elementary by himself - he's the shy scared one, and isn't liking that idea much.
his school didn't meet all of the NCLB quotas for the second year in a row (no offense, but how can they expect little Mexican kids who barely speak English to read with the same proficiency as American kids anyway?) so we have the option of sending him to a different school - but he's shy and easily overwhelmed in social situations anyway, and being his first year 'going it alone' I felt like he would be more traumatized by the move than benefits could outweigh. The only complaint I ever had with that school was the attitude of the (reverse prejudice) principal anyway, and thank you god, she retired after last year!wooo hooo!!!
My oldest is the one I worry about. He turned 16 over the summer, hates every minute of school, has a lot of interpersonal problems and feels as though the system isn't fair (it hasn't been in several situations with him - and it's snowballed) so he's considering his options. One of which, he feels, is quitting. But, he received a letter in the mail yesterday that offered him the possibility of a scholarship to go to Valley Forge. He's military minded anyway, has always wanted to join the Army, and is very interested.
He sent off for more information, and we've talked a lot about it. I'm not thrilled by the idea of him being in Pa, but I'm less thrilled about him quitting, so if he gets the scholarship and it poses no financial problems for us (if it ain't free, we can't afford it) then I'll have a son in Military School. That's more ironic than most realize. I've threatened him with military school for ages, and now, he's making the choice to go. . . It's a strange world. I'm just glad to see that he isn't turning it down based on the whole "I don't wanna go" argument - it isn't that he is anti-school, it's that he's anti-PUBLIC school, and honestly, I can't blame him.
Now we keep our fingers and toes crossed that we can make it work.
I'm proud of him, not everyone gets the offer, not everyone would be interested. Please please please let this work out for him!
Ever have one of those days? Or, more precisely one of those conversations? I expect to have them with my kids - some days even with my husband because we're both insanely hard headed - but why in hell do I let myself get into them with strangers?
Because I get too damned emotional about stuff that's why.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
The Coming of Summer
This strip-tease - a hundred and one degrees,
heat falls in languid waves from her fingers,
only to rise and hover in a shimmer above the dirt.
This is: too hot to press your palm to,
a baked-earth insult to the soles of your feet.
Search for a moment of respite
at the bottom of an ice-filled glass -
but even that will sweat.
The only relief is in a cold shower,
an air conditioned breeze on tender skin
and a sigh of self-satisfied wilt.
I abhor killing. Lose someone in your life - lose one of your children - and find any other way to think and feel, and I will call you insane. I would love to tell you gently, so that you might accept, that death is a part of life, but to do so would make me a hypocrite - another thing I abhor. Death is always ugly and cruel, if not to those it takes, always to those it leaves behind, dead in their own way, but not quite. Unmercifully un-dead, left only with pain.
You see when I lost my daughter on August 29th 2001, it was not to the violent slashing knife of a killer, not to a bullet, stray or otherwise. It was under the finely honed antiseptic blade of a surgeon's scalpel, and that fact only worked to make it more unthinkable. That my child died at the hands of someone who professed an oath to save her meant that there was no one to blame, no rationale; there was no one to properly be mad at, no one to assign responsibility to.
Two weeks later, the terrorists attacked.
I watched those towers flame and smoke, I watched the people at the windows screaming to be saved, I watched them hurl themselves out in flaming cartwheels, and I thought to myself,
"So what, my daughter is dead, so fucking what."
And I watched the towers collapse and hundreds of people on camera racing at the edge of that white cloud of dust and smoke and human remains - all overcome with some un-nameable terror, and I imagined the pain and fear of those people, the not-yet-dead, entombed under millions of tons of concrete and steel, and I thought to myself,
"So what, my daughter is dead, so fucking what?"
At some later time when my senses came out of the insanity of grief, I watched the replays, read the articles and the poems, saw the pictures and the endless newsreel loops; over and over again - those planes torpedoed the towers, those bodies, now enhanced by computers so that we could see little screaming faces attached to those spiraling arms and legs - and I was ashamed of my selfishness, ashamed that in the moment of actuality, I had been so callous.
And I cried: for having used my daughter's death as my shield to excuse my unfeeling reaction. I cried for the dead, for the families of the dead, for the families who would bury nothing more than a tooth or a hand.
But more than anything I cried for humanity - for all that it would come to accept, even to embrace after these attacks. I cried for the those whose names would be offered up as justification for the retaliation we would seek, and call justice, freedom, peace. I cried for the muslim people in their homelands for the loss of their sons and daughters and mothers and fathers that they would experience during our retaliation.
I cried for innocent who would die at the finely honed antiseptic edge of the military's surgical blade, proffered by those who would profess an oath to save us.
I do, however, go out of my way to avoid certain conversations as a whole. I rarely bring up politics or religion, because when it comes to religion, I agree with very few people. And politics, well - that's just a fight waiting to happen. I'm generally a pacifist I think - trusting, value life, and yes, I'm optimistic enough to wish that war wasn't necessary. Now that's not to say I'm ignorant enough to believe it isn't. War, unfortunately, is in some twisted way, a necessary product of human nature.
Of course, I do think that there are times that it's a necessary evil. Do I believe that we were justified in 'retaliating' for the 9/11 attacks? Of course I do. Thousands of innocent people were killed for no reason other than the religious fanatacism of a small group of (crazy ass mother fuckers) Muslims. However, in my opinion, the answer was - as we originally did - find that group of people, the ones who believe the way those people do. Find Osama bin Laden and fry him and his followers. Amen. I wouldn't have a problem with finding them, taking them to the top of the Empire State Building, setting their little robes and turbins on fire and tossing them off the roof. Hell, let's cheer as their flaming bodies cartwheel through space and dance around their charred and splattered bodies after they land.
But do I hate all Muslims? Hell no. Do I think they all deserve to die? No. Do I believe that we should, as recently suggested, bomb Mecca? no. Hell no. There are hundreds of thousands of peace loving Muslims who disagree with the extremist terrorist Muslims, and you'll find them en mass in Mecca, praying and living a peaceful life and meaning no harm to anyone. To target Mecca would be no better than what the suicide bombers did on 9/11. Equally as extreme and violent. Equally wrong, because we, with the belief that our religions are more right than theirs, would kill any and all who disagreed - rather than targeting the guilty parties.
It's revenge, not justice. It's no different than the KKK or the Nazi's. It's small minded and ignorant to believe it would accomplish anything other than to perpetuate more violence, to make the crazy extremists feel justified in further attacks.
Now I'm not living behind rose colored glasses. I'm not saying "can't we all just get along" I'm saying that we're a proud country with a world wide reputation to uphold, and I sincerely hope that the reputation isn't one of bigotry. I sincerely hope that being fair minded and fair in our practices is a part of what we hope to show the world. Yes, strength and pride too, of course - but not hatred and fear, which are the only ideas that can truthfully be attributed as the reasons behind feeling justified in knowingly killing innocent civilians.
Tonight I stumbled into a site, another blog - simply intrigued by its name. How could I possibly resist a name like "Anti-Idiotarian" anything?! I mean, I hate fucking idiots, that's no big secret. Stupid people piss me off. But when I got there and realized that this was the discussion there - the support of bombing Mecca as a military tactic against terrorism... I was floored. Amazed by the amount of support the post was getting, blown away by the pure vehemence of the support. These were people seething with hatred - not well thought out intelligent arguments as to why it should or should not be considered a successful military move...
So, at the (finally!) end of this I have a few last comments to make. To say we should bomb Mecca - or any other religious center because "they do it" doesn't accomplish anything at all. The terrorist Muslims don't give a damn about the peace loving Muslims any more than they care about us. The fact that the peaceful Muslims don't follow their insane beliefs makes them jusy as disposable as they consider us. The only thing that bombing Mecca will do is give them a supposed excuse to retaliate.
And let's be honest "Mom, they started it!!!" just doesn't sound like sound military planning to me.
We are not at war with Islam - we're at war with terrorists.
Monday, July 25, 2005
Leave Me Not
In the crab-grass tangles beneath the bloomless azalea,
crickets play graveled violins. Rasping concertos weave
through strings of a gibbous moon, pale - and wind turns
in conch shell pirouettes. But tip-toed seduction
is for the love-struck. I am not aroused by the waifish
clouds or midnight dust devils dancing on point.
Tangle me instead in kudzu, bold and twisted, gnaw me
with relentless vines and sunshine. Wrap me in thunder,
drown me in lightning - as storm soaked wisteria climbs.
Lay me on the raw earth; roll me in mud and puddles.
And when you go, leave me - not with starlight,
but with grass-stains to remember you by.
This one needs a new title.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
Today is Karaoke Sunday at The Tarheel Tavern and the sign up sheet is surprisingly full! Eighteen performers, offering up quite an eclectic mix of styles and voices, it ought to be well worth the cover charge. Hey, you DID drop your five-spot in the hat at the door, right? Then by all means, grab a drink and take a seat, and hark the sound of Carolina bloggers and their songs!
Before we get started, I'd like to introduce Mandie from It's a Pixilated Life, and her friend's daughter. She'll be playing the music for us tonight. Not only is she a beauty, but talented too! I think I'd even call her a prodigy!
First up is Laurie over at Slowly She Turned. She's singing a fresh rendition of a song by a band called Nazareth called Preservation. It's an ode to going natural, returning to the doing things the way they used to be done... I think she changed the lyrics a bit, I don't remember that song having anything to do with canned okra! - someone must have spiked my tea!)
Lance McCord from Perpwalk feeling ambitious and signed up for two songs today, from two vastly different genres - but that's ok, because if nothing else, I encourage diversity! He's starting out with a mellow historical tune by a little known band called Nazz, called Christopher Columbus. But once he gets over a bit of stage fright, he cranks out Power of Equality by The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Billy, our resident Blogging Poet, has decided he wants to sing a little something about Revolution. As far as I see it, the Beatles are always welcome, and I sit back and hum along as I listen to his poetic rendition.
Realizing, vaguely, that this tea is actually a Long Island Iced tea, and being inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I decided it's my turn. As I climb on stage and the music starts, I warble out an untalented rendition of Bitch by Meredith Brooks that she'd be ashamed of, and quite frankly so am I!
Poor Pratie from Pratie's Place, embarrassed for me, shakes her head as we pass on the stage and she gets geared up for a soulful version of Home of the Blues, inspired by her daughter Melina's recent Delta Safari and her pass through the intersection of highways 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Ron, from 2sides2ron, dropped in from Nimes, France where he visited Aigues Mortes. While he was there, he decided which song he'd sing us, and decided to dedicate the song Resist by Melissa Etheridge to the memory of Marie Durand. I think she'd approve!
Now, truly getting into the spirit of the festivities, and with a few drinks each under our belts, things start to turn strange, and Bora from Science and Politics heads for the stage, feeling either light of heart (or of head) and launches into Harry in the Sky with Bludgers from the Harry Potter Soundtrack. Sung to the tune of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, but with more amusing lyrics, this is a real crowd pleaser! Since Bora hit every note with perfection, we deemed the performance Harry Potter, no spoilers.
Next we enjoyed a lullabye of sorts, piped in from The Nearest Distant Shore. It was a beautiful performance from her - for her son - she made joyful noises while singing I Will by the Beatles, as she did during her pregnancy, and he knows it to this day.
Michael from Robust McManlyPants, who had reservations about singing in public at first, saw the mood lighten a bit and siezed the opportunity to sing his planned The Dukes of Hazzard theme song. I think everyone in the crowd sang along, I mean who didn't love Bo and Luke(yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw!) Daisy, (Aww c'mon y'all!) and good ole Uncle Jessie!? How many of us can't laugh like Roscoe P. Coletrain, (can't ya just hear that laugh?!) or picture Boss Hogg's white suit, bald head and cigar?
The next performance was a strong one - Jennifer from Open Book sang to tell us things we already knew. I didn't exactly recognize the lyrics, but it was a Sublime song, and I sure was feeling it!
Now on stage is Screwy Hoolie singing a politically inspired tune by Bush, called Cold Contagious. He sings with heart, conviction and vehemence - and gets a sincere round of applause. That one's got a strong voice I tell ya!
By this point in the evening we would have considered taking a breather, except Joe from Guarino. Joe's entry followed well with the political tone Screwy started and wild horses couldn't have held him off the stage! Now I won't call him 'angry' per se, but let's just say he was feeling far from 'democrat-ic' as he sang, and the song Stolen by Ministry tells us what really does matter to him. He was another strong voice for us all to listen to.
Seeing a trend forming, George of Dirty Greek fame, followed with his performance. Feeling inspired to speak out about the arrogance of certain views and ideas in the political forum lately, and particularly motivated by ignorant suggestions concerning Bombing the Mecca, he chooses to sing Metallica's Holier Than Thou. A rousing performance to say the least - and a message more people should listen to!
When Nina rose and headed to the front, with Some Kind of Notebook in her hand (presumably her sheet music) the smile on her face piqued my curiosity. I had to wonder just what she was smiling about - what did she know that we didn't? She knew that she was going to have us all celebrating Christmas-in-July in tandem with a birthday celebration for hymn writer Isaac Watts by singing Joy to the World
Not to be outdone was Max from Words Fitly Spoken, who decided to follow the festive theme, in his own way. I won't even begin to describe his expression (or anyone else's) when he started singing a whole new set of lyrics to another Christmas carole: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
With just a few entries left, -d- decided there was plenty of time left to sing a few songs, a collection of sorts. We all sat back and listened to a wonderful variety. Everything from Lauren Hill to 50 Cent. With that - d - covered 6 months of personal favorites, and finished with a bow.
Jon Lowder impatient for his 5 minutes of glory, hit the spotlight next. He took a minute to smooth his shirt, his slacks, his hair. . . After a moment of what some may mistake for vanity, he shared his vision of Center of Attention by Guster. Though how he found that song, I'll never know!
And bringing up the rear, last, but certainly not least, was AE, in from Arse Poetica, to instill a sense of remniscence with a tune by The Smiths, which left many of us wishing for more days when we could take the time to remember when music, like oxygen, made us feel alive. What a great way to finish off the night, leaving us all in high spirits, smiling with memories from yesterday.
So that's it for tonight folks. I want to thank you all for participating in my little musical interlude. The money in the hat at the door will now be used to pay for the cab ride home, for those of us who had a few too many! Anyone know the number for Yellow Cab off the top of their head? Damn, where did I leave my phone!?
Friday, July 22, 2005
You are Form 1, Goddess: The Creator.
"And The Goddess planted the acorn of life.
She cried a single tear and shed a single drop
of blood upon the earth where she buried it.
From her blood and tear, the acorn grew into
Some examples of the Goddess Form are Gaia (Greek),
Jehova (Christian), and Brahma (Indian).
The Goddess is associated with the concept of
creation, the number 1, and the element of
Her sign is the dawn sun.
As a member of Form 1, you are a charismatic
individual and people are drawn to you.
Although sometimes you may seem emotionally
distant, you are deeply in tune with other
people's feelings and have tremendous empathy.
Sometimes you have a tendency to neglect your
own self. Goddesses are the best friends to
have because they're always willing to help.
Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Written by M. Brooks, S. Peiken
I hate the world today
You're so good to me
I know but I can't change
Tried to tell you
But you look at me like maybe
I'm an angel underneath
Innocent and sweet
Yesterday I cried
Must have been relieved to see
The softer side
I can understand how you'd be so confused
I don't envy you
I'm a little bit of everything
All rolled into one
I'm a bitch, I'm a lover
I'm a child, I'm a mother
I'm a sinner, I'm a saint
I do not feel ashamed
I'm your hell, I'm your dream
I'm nothing in between
You know you wouldn't want it any other way
So take me as I am
This may mean
You'll have to be a stronger man
Rest assured that
When I start to make you nervous
And I'm going to extremes
Tomorrow I will change
And today won't mean a thing
Just when you think, you got me figured out
The season's already changing
I think it's cool, you do what you do
And don't try to save me
I'm a bitch, I'm a tease
I'm a goddess on my knees
When you hurt, when you suffer
I'm your angel undercover
I've been numb, I'm revived
Can't say I'm not alive
You know I wouldn't want it any other way
He took second place for June's IBPC, and I wanted to share that poem with those who might stop by here who aren't familiar with the IBPC:
Last Minute Chore
by Jim Fowler
We were embarrassed by what
you wanted to do. You made us
promise, strong hands now weak,
wringing the deed out of us.
We drank, laughed self-consciously
that summer afternoon, hot as the red
peppers you considered fertilizing,
your mad fit of immortality.
Instead, your ashes, sifted fine
to feel, were nervously placed
and stirred in two gallons of paint,
bone white that matched no chip.
You on the old shed. Two coats
cover the tears of our craziness.
Admittedly it was a small magazine, and the man is outrageously busy, and dealing with some health issues, but if he could contact the mutual friend and have them ask me to resubmit, twice, then he could have found time to email me. It was all very unprofessional. Truthfully, it began to make me uncomfortable that he wouldn't deal with me personally - and I think it probably came off as unprofessional to him too.
Editors and publishers tend to be picky about how you handle dealing with them, and whether or not you get into their publication sometimes depends just as much on decorum as the quality of your work. I figured this particular situation had been blown as far as decorum is concerned, and after 4 months it was just time to cut my losses and stop wasting his time, and mine.
Then last night I was rejected by 2RV. Very sweet, polite rejection letter. "I enjoyed your poetry, but I'm unable to use it in the upcoming issue. . ." It isn't the first rejection I've gotten lately, but it is the nicest :).
I've been submitting much more recently than I ever used to, which means more acceptances of course, but it also means more rejections, and I'll be honest, I expected them to hurt more than they have. I've heard people say they've been turned off from writing altogether based on the tone of rejection letters they've received. I guess I haven't submitted to anyone heartless enough to have that effect on me yet!
I'm still waiting for several responses from different places, but in all honesty, I'm concentrating more on what print publications to submit to. I would like to expand my hard-copy portfolio. I've already mentioned that I intend to submit to Ploughshares. No, not that I'm expecting to get into Ploughshares, but let's face it, if I'm going to get one of those career-ending angst-causing rejections, it'll be from them, and I'd like to get that behind me :) And wouldn't my world stop turning for just a minute if I did get in? Either way, it'll be a good thing.
That's the thing with most poets, we're thin skinned and overly sensitive. We expect the world to embrace our work and love each poem like we do (as if it were one of our children) and we tend to react badly when we get rejected, because we take it as a personal affront. I tend to be the opposite.
Every rejection is a learning experience, another opportunity to be motivated to improve.
Asphalt crosses gravel
where the honeysuckle's sweetest
and she traces the pasture,
barefoot at the fencerow.
Here is where dirty rugs aren't,
drunk bottles don't break,
and liquor forgets to come back
in pinto bean sludge on a battered T.
This where the bus stops,
even when the storm won't -
one-eighteen every Wednesday.
She aches to press her back
against the knees of another
and watch animals and barbed wire
be washed away.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Virginia in a Box
Shadows fret on her face
like the pigeon-wing mosaic
at her feet, and she's forgotten
the sound of her name.
What she remembers is elegance,
pearls at her collarbone
and the smell of jasmine, cupped
in the palm of the calla lily's curl.
She recalls dew
on the weeping lantana's leaves
and how dawn trailed through his hair
that summer morning.
But daylight's last stroke
has left her dissected - Virginia
in a box with her wishes
and the song of the ocean,
lost to an abandoned lover's chest.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Contentedness grows here
like poetry and night blooming jasmine --
sweet in the silence after dark.
Hidden in the roll top,
between pages of scratches
and volumes of age,
there are words with no memory,
but a soft drift of lilac instead.
They are safely forgetful
preferring sentiment over details
which settle on the years
with the stench of dust.
Erin Monahan is not a morning person. Erin Monahan wakes up 99 mornings out of a hundred with anything but a song in her heart. She greets the world with one eye open, and that only halfway, and quite frankly, only out of the necessity of seeing which walls to bounce off of as she stumbles to the coffee pot.
But some mornings are different, because some mornings are just good mornings. You know, the ones when you wake up to someone smiling down at you, or the days when the first thing someone says to you just makes you smile.
This morning I woke to some wonderful email from Martin Locock (a well published author in the world of architecture and such, have a look at his [google results!]) , who recently ordered a copy of Poetic Acceptance. He, like Vickie [link], wrote a review based on his reaction to the collection. It's well thought out, and c'mon, it made me smile before my first cup of coffee! Please have a look at the review [link] on Martin's site [A Few Words]
Thank you Martin, for taking the time to write this review, I'll add it to my site with Vickie's. But thank you most of all for the support - for ordering the book at all, and enjoying it!
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Actually, it isn't quite done, I've only loaded one poem, because frankly, I dislike frames, and I dread the idea of building a new page for each poem. I'm considering some cute little pop-up java script boxes and a plain white (or blue?) background.
Anyway, feel free to hop over there and give me your opinion if you feel like it - I'd welcome the input!
In other news, I finally decided to throw caution to the wind and contact a privately owned bookstore to see if they'd carry my chapbook. I kept telling myself I was going to, but honestly, I'm a chicken, and I backed out every time. But, today I emailed one bookstore, and they said yes! Now realistically speaking, they agreed to add one copy to their 'local authors' shelf, and if it sells, they'll reorder. Not exactly a money maker of a deal, but it was enough to give me the nerve to contact more bookstores.
I've contacted 6 by email today - only that one response so far lol - but I also have a huge list of bookstores that didn't have an email contact that I'll be contacting in the next few days. Wish me luck!
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
You kneel, the fold of your knees pressing in,
the wail of a midnight train that parts my dreams.
There is no peace in the march of a tulip, fiery
orange into the blue sheen of snow. Steady
shorelines have no desire to defend themselves
from the crush of incoming tides. Yet you are
the face of the moon hung high on my thighs,
my secret shining. Your hands on my belly
tell me you no longer fear the invasion
promised by the smile of the Sunday sun.
Monday, July 11, 2005
It sounds pitiful, but it's the truth. Luckily, I don't forget things often, not in a working situation anyway. Perhaps that was a beneficial side effect of the dreams?
Now, I am unemployed, and not totally unhappily so, and I don't dream, or at least, I rarely remember it if I do. But when I do remember them, they are beautiful, and often bits of them find their way here, woven into my poetry. And if you're wondering what, if any, point there is to this entry, I suppose I'd have to say that it must be that I miss my work, or that I enjoy my new-found pleasant dreams - or maybe just that I wish I was sleeping more.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Losing Art to Lies
I have forgotten
how to find inspiration
in the lines of a man's chest.
I can no longer remember
the whispered epic of his breath
mingled with mine.
Instead I am blinded
by false reflections
and the painted invitation
of imaginary arms.
in the shadow of paper towers
and cardboard tubes,
that we can't withstand the wind
blown from the fanning of the clock's turn,
and the failure of our folded airplanes
makes me wish we'd practice to perfect
Saturday, July 9, 2005
Being the complete beach addict that I am, it kills me every time I hear of yet another of my neighbors or friends that has packed up the raft and a beach towel and run off to Myrtle Beach, or Carolina Beach, or Calabash, or whichever patch of sand is their particular choice. That's true basically because I'm broke, and my husband never gets a weekend off for us to head out for a few days.
So here's what I've decided to do. I'm running away from home, donning an eye patch and becoming a pirate. I figure they don't have any shortage of money, I mean, they have gold coins by the chestfull, and rum to boot - and hey, who doesn't want a nifty parrot on their shoulder spouting nasty words, right? If I do that, I'll get all the sand and sun I can handle, coconuts by the boatload, and a completely carefree lifestyle. Doesn't sound like a bad idea does it?
OK, so I'm taking volunteers for my crew... Anyone?
Friday, July 8, 2005
Leaning on a Fencepost
I bend myself, fetal, against you,
bare spine grinding
on the rough of your back
and realize that eternity died
in the wilt of your smile.
The kitchen reeks of peaches,
the bathroom like pine,
and I wonder at the wealth of scents
in a dying forest.
That there was no great blaze,
no apocalyptic flames,
is yet another disappointment -
I had hoped we would merit more
than a leaf-litter burial
and wordless quietude.
(chuckle of the day, I almost titled this "Mourning Wood")
Thursday, July 7, 2005
A Bushel of Summer (a work in progress)
After-storm earth, baked and rising,
is a whisper in comparison
to a bushel of sunwarm peaches
hefted from the back of a pickup truck.
Ninety degrees and there's no need
to hold one in cupped hands
nose nestled in fuzz -
and yet I can't resist this
sweet inhalation of Carolina summer.
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Hi everyone. If you are in North Carolina or have an interest in Jack the Ripper or in musicals, you might like to come and see my musical "Jack--The Musical" in Charlotte in September. If you follow the URL linked to the title above, you can hear samples of the music from our show. The website also has the complete prices and other information for the weekend.
It will be great to see the U.S. premiere of my musical as well as to hear the talks by Dan Norder, Stan Russo, Joe Chetcuti, and Dr. Jim Bailey on various aspects of the case.
Friday, September 16, 2005 (Dunhill Hotel) & Saturday, September 17, 2005 (Booth Playhouse)
For a full schedule see this post by Chris
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
The forest has become a graveyard
and I've lost myself
in the umber eyes of a hungry doe.
Her timid nibble at my hostas
makes me envy their bells against her lips.
I spread my skirt,
white on the ground around my knees -
a new-moon picnic in ivory
at your grave side.
Dew-silvered spider strands dance
across your name
where wasted dandelion seeds sway,
stuck like an unwanted melody
in the mind of the maker.
in the darkness I reach for you
and sing you to sleep.
Sunday, July 3, 2005
The picture I display here to sort of illustrate this poem is called Wild Woman,
painted by Willow Arlenea. View, or order a print of this painting at The Lightworks Visionary Art Gallery. See more paintings by Willow Arlenea at Designs by Willow
Posted with Permission
Painting a Wild Woman
He painted a portrait last night, drew lazy strokes
through hues of me. Rendered beautiful
beneath his brush, I posed where midnight
and indigo shone through dragonflies' wings.
He curved my lines against the bend of a willow -
slick knife swipes, pale to contrast a springtime sky
and reflected beyond the shoreline, rose
the swollen wet scent of my birth.
Saturday, July 2, 2005
Erin "E" Momagain was the addressee. How's that for cute?! and guess what was inside said envelope?
Oh come on, take 3 guesses...
nope, try again.
Nuh uh that's not it either, you're never gonna guess this...
HAHAH! Nope not that either.
Want me to tell ya?
OK OK, it was a pickle, a pickle plus apologies for the lack of chocolate ice cream to accompany it.
Now are they some funny sunsaguns or what!?
*smooch* guys, thanks for the thoughts and wishes and love and stuff! I've never gotten a pickle in the mail before - where do you two even FIND these cards?!
She was at the time reading another Tom Robbins book, I believe it was called Skinny Legs and All, which she sent me a sample of, which convinced me that this guy was a must read.
I'm normally an extremely fast reader, and devour a King or Koontz novel in a day, but this one well, I've had it a couple of weeks, and I'm just now half way through. It's the first book in ages that has made me want to read slowly enough to ensure I'm getting every word, every innuendo, every detail. It's an amazing book which is broken into 3 story lines, which is fun, jumping from one set of characters to another. Alobar, and his story line is my favorite of the 3, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the three lines will soon intersect.
She was, by the way, very right about our religious and spiritual beliefs - very similar indeed. I love the way he challenges protocol, disbelieves, rebels - and weaves it all in throughout his stories. It's a wonderful book, just based on that alone, but his style in general is very engaging, his characters and plots are great, and he has a knack with imagery as well. I think I'll be fighting Tom Robbins' images out of my poetry for quite a while.
Anyway thanks for the awesome birthday present Erin! I'm loving it, just at a slower pace than usual, because I'm afraid I'm going to miss something.
Friday, July 1, 2005
The law enacted today covers pornographic content in the US. It states basically that people who produce or distribute pornographic content must have documentation on the models and actors depicted, whether it be in print, video, or internet type settings. There is and will continue to be much debate on this issue, brought on by people who cry censorship, or government oppression of our rights.
Here's what today's law does and why/how.
Now "legitimate" pay sites require the use of a credit card, which also constitutes age verification, thus preventing minors from seeing all those parts and pieces they shouldn't be seeing. The pay sites already, for the most part, have the needed legal documentation on their models and actors, which costs money to get, which is why they charge a membership charge, which ensures that the viewer is not a minor. You all see how this cycle works?
It's as much about child safety as it is about profit, which is not to say they aren't making money, because they are, by the fist full (haha no pun intended.)
But, you see, by doing things the right way in the first place, they've pretty well remained in a position to be unscathed by this change.
This actually effects the free porn sites moreso than the pay sites, because free sites, by way of being free, do not use credit cards for payment or age verification. Instead they rely on the honor system to keep the kids out. Now come on people, what horny 16 yr old do you know who's going to click the "I'm not 18" button on a free porn site?
The 'free sites' tend to use undocumented and often pirated/stolen images, because said documentation can be expensive, and if they had to get it, wouldn't be able to offer their services free of charge, right? Now again, they're free - no charge to view pictures, but the owners DO make money, by way of sponsors and advertising clicks, which is why these folks are the ones raising cane about the change. They're losing money.
Also, by requiring documentation on the models/actors, this law prevents illegal content, by which I mean images of child porn, beastiality, etc. Know any actors that are willing to have their names, addresses and social seurity numbers associated with photographs or movies that depict them involved in federal offenses like those? Yeah, I didn't think so.
So, by following the new law, people of legal age are still more than welcome to express themselves by viewing legal porn. I don't see much of an infringement there - what I see is the government trying to keep kids out of porn, both as viewers and forced/abused participants, (finally!) and I see people who want to make a quick buck off the illegal porn industry raising hell over a financial loss.
So, American people have lost something great and wonderful today, and it has nothing to do with porn or the first amendment rights. Today, we lost Luther Vandross, and by THAT, I am indeed upset.