memorial for a brilliant woman

Monday, May 29, 2006

Interesting place to visit-

daily 5-minute writing exercises

courtesy of Virginia writer C. M. Mayo
Support Your Local Poets!

How hard is this? Why do people insist upon cross-scheduling events when all they have to do is check around a few calendars here and there?

In the next two weeks there are two groups in Richmond that have scheduled events on the same night- two had been scheduled since at least April 1st, and the other two slipped in just this week (one yesterday morning) and plopped on top of the others.

These are events that involve the same set of poets, and are not distinct enough to seek different audiences (for instance- if the University MFA's had a reading and the Slam poets had a reading the crossover is inconsequential- a couple of poets and myself might have to choose).

SUPPORT your local poets- your friends, your colleagues, your fellow toilers in the field of words.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Thursday Poem


Shoving full paper bags into the trunk,
she pauses only to rub eye to sleeve
nose to wrist, she has wept enough.

A pillar,a cellar,a shaker,a lick,
cracked with disappointment,
she leaves hard, eaten away.

Their final argument stands,
there is No, there is Yes, there is
a staircase going down and up

tipped on its side, every step
becomes a corner, every move lateral,
que sera, she whispers, que sera.

Whatever fits will go, one carload.
The rest is his and welcome to it-
skillets hold memories, pillows too.

For now, to be alone suits just fine,
the dust she leaves tells the story,
she shakes it off her feet, drives away.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

George Garrett is the 2006 winner of the Weinstein Poetry Prize for Central Virginia.

It's a $10,000 annual prize BTW. He's a wonderful choice. A great man.

I would be too, someday.

I do a lot for poetry in Central Virginia, but there's that academic bias and the lack of a published book. I suspect there is an unwritten list somewhere of all the people that have to get it before anyone 'out of the club' can be considered. I should live so long.

I've got issues, don't I?
The Poetry festival was fun, sort of, sort of not. I always enjoy the people.

Two speakers on Friday were subs (Claudia Emerson's brother died so she was not with us, the other scheduled speaker also had a death in the family) but Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda and Sophia Starnes, both Virginia poets, did a great job of filling in- the third speaker, a poetry professor (I will not name) and frequent speaker was strangely aloof and gave a 'free' lecture (his words) and read hardly any poetry. He was kind of full of attitude.

The last event was a dreadful horrible 'poetry play' about Jamestown and the 400th year celebration. I'm not even sure- it was painful, except for one part in the middle where a woman (well-known around here) did her thing poetry-wise. Guitar, clarinet, drum, and 3 speakers. HORRIBLE!!!! I only hope people in Virginia don't see this thing and think that's what poetry is supposed to be. My teeth still hurt.

Friday night party in my room was GREAT! Saturday, with readings and meetings, and a few more tedious sessions before the Slam was bearable. the slam was hot.

Was it worth $140 bucks??? (meals, hotel, registration) Not so much, but then again, I'm low on cash this year because of the job thing.

They would have talked about me if I hadn't gone.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thursday poem (if I haven't gone to bed yet, it's still Thursday, right?)


with a nod to Bertolt Brecht

She will grovel and fetch,
stay below stairs, behind doors
that she might swot power
from understanding this:
she wants everything
they have, Pirate Jenny reborn.

As she wipes their leavings
from tables, floors, walls,
under toilet seats; she lists
each grind behind her lids
in a second set of books,
where accounting lies

for opportunity to sail in
when she will number hours,
convict by actuation,
cull, prepared to be quick
or dead, there is no middle,
ground underfoot too long

she will rise hard, refined
in fury’s fire, made from
the slop of men, squeezed
into the bucket knowing
her rightful place awaits
she takes to mop again, soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

poetry vacation, I suppose-

I didn't get on the computer at all yesterday. Rehearsal all day, mostly, then the regular poetry meet at Libbie Place Barnes & Noble. There were THREE of us there.

I'm tired. Just tired.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Thursday poem

Piano Interlude

Thursday afternoon
births static tension
turning to thunder,
louder, harder when
five fingers know,
then ten, what action
the progression intends.

Lean in to play staccato,
hunch, hover low,
move slow, recreate,
instigate a melody,
bind the tune, there
in the crook of your arm,
let the cadence wind out
as sound fades into rumble
from a far off place.

Hold the pedal down,
stay still hands on ivory,
listen, wait, listen.

Monday, May 08, 2006

reading today-

links to articles about plagarists from harvard, funa facts, and the crazy book world

listening to (while reading- I AM a multitasker)

Mobylives, my favorite place- listen to the last interview- should be people who use cell phnes in libraries be shot? I think so-

The more I read about publishing, the less I want to, even if I ever finish my book and fix all my short stories for the world to see- I think I'll stick with my little chapbooks for now- see below to order-

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Available now-

new chapbook (Staples)

30 poems by Shann Palmer

available by mail for $6

I'll get the daughter to scan the cover (which she did)

email me your address and number of copies needed
What a day!

My daughter's 18th birthday-

First Friday at the gallery (art6)

Slow crowds (1007) okay- it's Cinco de Mayo and Nascar weekend but
geez- the gallery needed to make a little cash-


I managed to lose $100 of what we did make- whenever the cash box gets five $20's- I take them out and put them elsewhere- just a precautionary thing-

but somehow tonight I managed to lose $100.

Yes, I've looked everywhere- I think it slipped out of my bra (yes, my bra) and someone picked it up.

I have no idea where I will get the money to replace it- twenty months (plus extra performances) I have been doing this and I have never lost a dime, and in fact have MADE money for the gallery.

This is crazy.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A respite from constant writing- I'm now revising like crazy, getting ready for a reading in Williamsburg on Saturday, washing bedclothes (first of the month), and going back to the high school to play piano for the senior showcase.

Some thoughts- That Harvard kid accused of plagarizing? I think there's more to it than dirty dealings and 'absorption' of other books.

I think a lot of the problem is: all the books she's accused of lifting from are cookie cutter anyway, as are many of the adult feel good trade paperbacks you find at the front tables at bookstores and big stacks at Costco.

Have you looked at the passages they cite as copied? It's all vapid- young girl-speak to common shared cultural experiences (Indian, my ass- it's the same everywhere- certain dishes on special days, the way a place smells in your memory).

She's simply not a good enough writer to be able to write more complex prose- it's juvenile fiction basically- meant to be read by young girls. Give her twenty years and some real issues, then we'll see.

And shame on the people who raised her up for their own gain- shame, shame, shame!