memorial for a brilliant woman

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Collision, Coarse

There once was a woman who loved a certain man
more than life; more than her own, in any case.

She was known to boast “I’d take a bullet for him”
but the opportunity was unlikely, and she remained
untried, left to let her brazen words lie unproven.

What might happen in the face of such devotion?
The question speculative and moot, at best- truth
less interesting than might be hoped; she lived,
he lived, there is no more. Nothing passed between.

They love in some alternative universe, a place
where they do not is somewhere else, perhaps
in this space, their love is unfulfilled, unreal.

Irony stays bitter only briefly, on the tongue
hope is alive, still thriving, better love concrete.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Collusion Course

We are so far apart and so close
together we become better irony
to spite the price of fuel and food,
tooled in disturbed habitats, we are
luculent dandelions, everywhere.

Another choice each hour episodic:
epistolary whispers, hoarse blankets,
video killed the radical star, who
never bothered to bank a nickel bag
leaving the fans broke and prayerless.

They've got a wall in China, a whale
of a wall, even Jonah knew to turn
back, fall out of time, save daylight
himself, by Jove, Jehovah, the dark
knows when to be patient, patiently.

Only male poets are fat, old women
get more respect but not much longer,
better to show cleavage than cleave
in mid-air, the ground below looks
up and waits, like a clock, for us all.

after, somewhat, jacques brel
An interesting event review by Daniel Nester- toward the end is this paragraph

I’m not saying the audience is rude, but if I were a book reviewer from, say, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, I might chat over the poetry segment too, especially given the relative unfamiliarity of the nominees this year. Even Jack Gilbert, a “poet’s poet,” older than the other nominees by an average 35 years, is a relative recluse. How would a general audience recognize any of these names?

I read a lot of poetry and all the names were familiar to me- I even have books by three of them- does he mean 'general public' audience or 'poetry-reading' audience?


I 'met' (over the phone) Daniel Nester when a certain zine owner dumped me from his roster because (I believe) he wanted a younger, hipper editor- (I did 2 very good issues which are not archived on the site) Nester has since left the fold- or was also forced out because he didn't kowtow properly (either).

He seemed very nice- a regular guy, I suppose.

Back to local events- the Just Poetry Slam was last night- loooooooooooong poems- I really like the official designation of three minutes for read poems. Like a good sermon, a good poem can be honed to perfect in that amount of time IMO. After that, it becomes more of a dramatic monologue than a poem- a story, a narrative.

I attended the DC Slam on Sunday night- a refreshing sip of poetry, I wish more locals would go and hear a different viewpoint.

2nd SlamRichmond on April 3rd (and come out for the April 2nd Tenth National Poetry Month Open Reading at Artspace at 4pm.

Monday, March 27, 2006

from my high school listserve- I didn't actually graduate from La Porte High School because my parents took off for Arizona over Thanksgiving break in 1967- so I walked the walk at Tucson High in Arizona, but I'm a Texan all the way through-

some little known Texas facts:

El Paso is as close California as it is to Dallas

World's first rodeo was in Pecos... July 4, 1883.

The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built
over water.

The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first
full time coach for Rice University in Houston.

Brazoria County has more species of birds than any other area in North

Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America's only remaining
flock of whooping cranes.

Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.

The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900 caused by a hurricane
in which over 8000 lives were lost on Galveston Island.

The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was " Houston.."

King Ranch is larger than Rhode Island.

Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43" in 24 hours
in and around Alvin in July 1979.

Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, instead of by
annexation. (This allows the Texas flag to fly at the same height as the US

A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in the state.

Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period after Dr in Dr

Texas has had six capital cities:.
1. Washington-on-the-Brazos
2. Harrisburg
3. Galveston
4. Velasco
5. West Columbia
6. Austin

The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than
the Capitol Building in Washington D.C (by 7 feet).

The name Texas comes from the Hasini Indian word "tejas" meaning friends.

Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.

The State animal is the Armadillo. (An interesting bit of trivia about the
armadillo is they always have four babies! They have one egg which splits
Into four and they either have four males or four females. (Well. I thought
it was interesting anyway!)

The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.


People here in Texas have trouble with all those shalls and shall nots in
the Ten Commandments. Folks here just aren't used to talking in those terms.
So, some folks out in west Texas got together and translated the "King
James" version into "King Ranch" version: Ten Commandments, cowboy style.
Cowboy's Ten Commandments posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in
Fairlie, Texas .

(1) Just one God.
(2) Honor yer Ma & Pa.
(3) No telling tales or gossipin'.
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
(5) Put nothin' before God.
(6) No foolin' around with another fellow's gal.
(7) No killin'.
(8) Watch yer mouth.
(9) Don't take what ain't yers.
(10) Don't be hankerin' for yer buddy's stuff.

forgive me, please- I couldn't help myself-

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How time passes when you're playing piano ten hours a day!

Another showcase at the high school for the arts!

however- Saturday, I went to the Poetry Society of Virginia meeting in Leesburg, VA (another highly overrated historical town- "fun for all rich white people" I mean, c'mon- they all look alike, don't they? though the food was pretty nice at the Eiffle Tower Cafe)where I met the purveyor of Orchises Press, Roger Lathbury- who seems to love books, printing presses, and all that wonderful stuff- I purchased a copy of Kinky by denise duhamel

I'm pretty sure that helped us raise $30 at the raffle at the

VERY FIRST qualifying round of the SlamRichmond, which was a raging hit- read all about it on the link! And come on April 3rd- be a part of this historical event! (It's Virginia- if it ain't historical, it ain't worth shit!)

and in the meantime- I'm reading and loving Riverfall by Simmons Buntin, editor of one of my favorite zines-

Write on, y'all!

Friday, March 17, 2006

how about a poem for a change- maybe a poem rewrite-

Dreaming Freddie Mercury

Don't worry trouble into an envelope
he said I cut my tongue on whispers
licking too much of what was, in love

before I knew the tang of words like
wily, coyote, white-line, rule of thumb
out waiting for a ride to Harrisburg, PA.

All the King's ranches, and all of Ming's kin
can't fix a lyric sung so wrong so long
when you're party wise and panty foolish

I said no one knows how to hum or
harmonize anymore, the hourglass is empty,
grab your purse, say blackbird bye.

By all means take a look around before
sunset changes everything, it will change
everything, if you're ready to listen

to what's said on the last day of your life
under your breath the sweetest sounds,
the ones only you are meant to understand.
Another curse on the common folk in poetry, the League of American Poets Beware!

but good news on the TV front- Canadian Poets

It's always a balance, isn't it?

First day without the regular job- I walked off yesterday at about 4pm. We did the usual "Come back and visit us" bullshit- and I may go back for the graduation ceremony (I worked with kids with mental disabilities, some of them would really be thrilled to see me there, but none of them would remember I wasn't).

Of course- my calendar is already full- it's mid April before I get a totally free day, and like today it will fill up. I have to drive the daughter to school, drive closer to town to hear the radio program on WRIR with T.S. and Kelly advertising the new SlamRichmond events that start Monday night- then at 1:30 pick up my son, then my daughter's boyfriend at the university, take the son to work, the boyfriend to a job interview at ComedySportz (where the Slam will take place, coincidentally), pick up the daughter at school, pick up the boyfriend, take them both (I hope) back to work at Comedy Sportz, somehow in the middle of all this cook my corned beef and cabbage, and maybe get to the gym to swim around 6pm.

Oh yeah- and wash clothes. Thank goodness I quit my day job.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It's crazy what you find on google at 2am- I found a link to one of my poems in Eclectica referenced on a site about bottlecutters-

My google horizon has expanded, thanks to blogs, blogging, and bloggers. It's been years since I've found a poem of mine on the net used by someone who doesn't give me credit for it. The worst was around 9-11, when three web pages posted my poem without permission.

Once, I had a zine acceptance that I never knew about until I googled.

I even found the reference to one of my first publications, in 1996, in a wonderful magazine called Echoes-

It was a terrible poem, but heartfelt. I remember the editor took it after submissions were closed, Jerry H. Jenkins- a frequent contributor, encouraged me to send it after I had posted it on the Compuserve Forum.

nothing like nostalgia, is there?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

posted here

by Diane K. Martin- down in the thread- it's pretty damn good IMO

If I could teach my students only four things during the semester, I would teach them to read as if their lives depended on it, that they cannot know everything, but can learn how to find what they need to know, that writing is a way of thinking, and that the right word matters.

To read as if one’s life depends on it would be my first real lesson because I think it is key to everything. Unlike some teachers, I don't think that reading need be instructional, politically correct, or of high quality to have the desired effect — to open up the world for the student to its full 360°. I think the beginning student should read everything he or she can get their hands on, that, like panning for gold, the good stuff will sort itself out, and that as the student continues to read, she or he will be drawn to exactly what she or he needs. (However, I have very strong opinions about what I think is good literature, and I can tailor a reading list to the individual, to help a student find books that will stimulate and make him or her want more.)

The quantity of information that exists in this Information Age is daunting. Sophocles didn’t have this problem, nor did Shakespeare. Beginning students in the 21st century need to learn how to use the Internet and libraries (both!) to discern for themselves what is information and what is opinion, what is fact and what is fiction, what they need and what they don’t.

Writing is thinking. It requires sorting and ordering information. It isn’t easy. To get from the beginning of a sentence to its end requires using gray matter that for most American students is flabby and slack. But writing does not have to be intimidating, with word processors as allies. Getting something (anything) down on the page is the best way to start. And then you edit.

My fourth lesson, that the right word matters, is a lesson in precision. Whether writing an essay or a technical paper, I want my students to learn to focus their writing like a lens on what they are trying to persuade or explain or illustrate. If they are writing a poem, it should be equally important to get the precise word in the precise place. Don’t say nails when you mean screws, pants when you mean jeans. I think that it is important to care to get it right, that it matters that it matters.

The above are my four lessons. But I would also teach my students that life doesn’t have an undo button, that one person can make a difference, that they must love themselves before another can love them, and that a paragraph does not have to have five sentences. These last four lessons would only be to equalize the effect of high school and Hollywood and give us a good place to start.
I am erasing myself from my job- I redid all the form letters on the computer and took my name off all of them.

I burned a CD of my personal files and 'poof' I am gone.

My work email has no mail; saved, sent, or trashed.

Anything personal there will be removed and taken home by Wednesday afternoon. Thursday is supposed to be my last day (just shy of four years). If I get done tomorrow with all I plan to do, I will not go in on Thursday.

It's a strange sensation, to disappear.

In the meantime, there are too many poets on the planet right now- or maybe there aren't enough. I can barely keep up with the books I have and yet keep getting more- I devour them like a gluttonous dog, in big wet bites, all at once, too much for my mouth to hold so the words dribble down my chin, sloppy and wet.

There's a pretty picture.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

We're almost at Mid-march and the temperature here yesterday was 81. A record.

It will be in the 70's again today. That means tonight at the gallery when Rattlemouth plays, they will consume massive amounts of beer and soft drinks.

So, again, I have to make a trip to Costco- oh well, I need gas, and that, like the temperature is high again.

When will I have time for poetry??

answer: three more days work at the college-

THEN I get my life back. sort of- I've already contracted for time the last two weeks in March at the high school- but at least it's not downtown.

The construction in downtown Richmond has made it a dreadful place to be right now- but oh my- in about two years it should be a great place for conventions and stuff like that.

No Olympics, though- we're way too laid back for that-

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Possible titles for my new chapbook

Uttering and Publishing see definition

Because I Have a Song Chinese proverb

More Than This Day Goethe

Another Chapbook Already?

Drinking with Harlan Ellison

The Bubble Where There Is No Time from a poem by Barbara Jane Reyes

I highly favor the first or the last-

If I use Ms Reyes quote, do I have to ask her permission to print a small excerpt that contains the line? It is a small self-published book, no ISBN

Monday, March 06, 2006

My 96-year-old aunt is right- the end of the world is nigh....

Jessica Simpson also tells W magazine that she is set to publish a volume of poetry, which she has been writing since she was 11.

She adds: "It's a piece of my heart I want to share with my fans."

I have nothing to say.

Actually I do, but none of it is coherent (no doubt similar to her poetry)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

so much time has gone by!

I have eight days left at the college- I can't wait- but I need to get some things in order and get 3 more paychecks (one next Monday, then the next two after I'm gone)

I want to start doing things right now, but it's tough-

In a very short time I'll have days to myself to clean, work, write (not necessarily in that order) and try to figure out ny next move. It's all good, all good-

The most difficulty I find is focusing on right now and the tasks I must complete- buying ABC licenses for the gallery, getting the slam going, not missing meetings, i feel like the Robin Williams character in that Woody Allen movie- I'm unfocused-

There are no smooth transitions, are there? Just one bumpy road to the next-

My husband was worried about what we'll do when chicken gets expensive- the absolute farthest thing from my mind. I mean, we'll eat what there is to eat, right? Do you think that was his passive agressive way of saying "I wish you wouldn't quit your job in these tough times?"

I want to slough off some of my anger. Anger at being tired, being sucked dry by other people's problems, anger at not being able to write, at having chaos in the house, at being the only one who does ANYTHING around here.

Please, no advice- what is, I'm mad as hell and I'm quitting my job so at least I won't be mad about THAT.

Go out to Bootsie's Chocolate Obsession, buy some great dark chocolate and relax.

It'll all be better soon.