memorial for a brilliant woman

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just read an article sited on Silliman's blog about culling your books.

I have the WORST time getting rid of books, and I try to always at least GIVE them away-

The author, Scott McLemee has this to say at the end (one of my favorite quotes):

This might be the right time to adopt the outlook of Mae West. A friend asked her what she wanted for her birthday. “Just don’t get me a book,” she replied. “I’ve already got a book.”

Friday, July 27, 2007

More to the story-

chicago poetry bust

and I got my check and certificate for winning the Free verse First prize from the Alabama Writer's Conclave- it was very humbling to note I beat out, among others, Allison Joseph, esteemed editor of Crab Orchard Review and professor at Southern Illinois Univ at Carbondale.
She did win first prize in traditional forms, however (I didn't enter that).

It's good to get a check. Particularly for poetry.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wow! In Chicago the annual Printer's Ball festivities were shut down mid-party

It might have been a "poetry paradise", as Laity described it in his story. But the real reason given for the raid, as told to us by editors from MAKE and Another Chicago Magazine who were also at the Ball, was that there were "multiple liquor license violations." From what we were told - and again, all of this is conjecture - there was booze being served on all three floors, when only the main level was licensed for liquor. There were also rumblings of underage drinking at the Ball. The combination is probably what led to the cops shutting it down. Everyone we talked to expressed surprise that the cops came so quickly, as though someone had tipped them to the happenings. When the cops are called to clear the place, they aren't asked to do so nicely. Only to do their job.

Read the entire article HERE-

This is why I'm so paranoid (and compliant to ABC laws) at art6 events.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Playing improvisation on the piano gives me almost as much pleasure as writing a great poem- though it's usually easier to tell immediately with the piano- sometimes a poem has to grow, stretch, figure out what it wants to be when it grows up.

My fingers make contact with the keys and everything falls into place- for both poetry and music.

magic, or something mighty like it.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

SlamRichmond held it's 'civil slam' tonight at Artspace- great crowd, great show- I can't believe they go to Austin for nationals in two weeks! Tom Prunier Sanchez took his dream* and made it happen! Good for you, friend!

Or maybe you can be my biographer, if all else fails- hehheh.

The team has a CD available to raise funds- $10- go to see Lyric Ave next Saturday night at the Empire Theater, there will be much poetry there (and more) or

Come tomorrow to Shockoe Espresso in the slip for our open mike (2nd & 4th Sundays 2-4pm) next door to the Martin Agency and buy one from Tom.

and hear some poetry from some others, too. Like me.

Shann tired now- going to bed.

* fine print- like most dreams, you don't always get exactly what you want- but sometimes another door opens, then another, then another until you find something even better waits down the road.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Struggling along after so long, I can see where having a poem (and not really even a poem, after all) being thought of as Maya Angelou's greatest wouldn't be so bad.

I think my daughter would have said, hell no, that's my momma's, but who really knows?

in the meantime- rejection in the mail from Runes- nice note from the editor that it's so hard to say no and liked particularly "Expectations."

sigh and thanks

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A poet named Todd Boss has a poem over at Poetry Daily today, recently published in Poetry Magazine (the one to be in, seriously).

Here's a link to Poetry Daily today. At first I wasn't impressed, but the words grew on me as I read. Enjoy.

Here's one I like even better: Things, Like Dogs

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

For the Common Good

Everybody has at least one in them, unfortunately
they don’t get to it until a birthday or anniversary,
college roommate’s wedding or loved ones’ funeral
when words that’ve been bottled up for years pop their seal
and pour sticky sentiment all over the nearest guests.

These untrained souls don’t recall whether an anapest
is one or how the sonnet turns, school having taught only
lessons on the torture of phrases, the way to hoist a hose.

Better if poetry was easily accomplished like text messaging,
simple, attractive and available as soft drinks instead of booze
at church functions. That way, craft would be a matter of pride
as folks jostle and nudge inspiration into pleasing shapes.

Imagine the topless dancer writing an aubade on her thigh,
a serial killer sending crown sonnet clues to the detectives,
pizza delivery boys bringing a villanelle (on special this week)
to the fraternity house hosting a couples couplet fund raiser.

Doubtless we would all benefit, fingers counting syllables
don’t hold guns, scientists formulating Fibonacci rhymes
won’t built better bombs. All could be with the world, you know,
when even dog walkers are busy dreaming up haiku’s.

inspired by James Reiss and his poem The Bureau of Missing Persons"
You like the haiku??

You like the emu??

Spread some hot emu luv!

thanks, Reb

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Time for some reading, some poem gathering, some submitting (got that VA Commisision for the Arts grant deadline coming up), and house cleaning (notice what's last).

Son gone to Ocrakoke with girlfriend and family, daughter moved out (mostly) and me with a new CD from Souvenir's Young America. They played at art 6 last night and were really great- (along with a guy in a tent playing guitar and Erin Tobey).

Cool stuff- I liked it all but particularly SYA- reminiscent of Tortoise with a hint of Calexico (without vocals) - my kind of music.

In the immediate, must get to Ukrops for the Saturday specials! Duke's mayonnaise 2 for $3!!!

I can make tuna salad for DAYS!!!

TOMORROW at art 6- the monthly Bend An Ear reading! 3-5 pm please come!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Body in motion

from the top of the head to the calloused soles of the feet,
the heart pumps blood to all the places it needs to be
in constant movement beneath the skin: sartorius, ilium,
ischium, transverse abdominis, latissimus dorsi, trapezius,
blood like water seeping up only to seek its own level
before a spectacular fall: Niagra, Tagbaladougou, Gocta,
Mutyalamaduvu, Papalaua, Hagoromo-no-taki, names
that tumble off the tongue as spun sugar confections,
slung carelessly down jagged cliffs, over green valleys,
under bridges, water flowing deep to rise, rise,
rise again in unexpected places as springs, springs,
springs that bubble and perk, mystical healing shrines:
Calimanesti, Lourdes, Daius Church, Bethsaida, where
just one toe, one fingertip dipped in the troubled waters
will gain blessed relief from an eternity of pain- but
you must be the first, first, first or be left to crawl back
to your cot and wrap up in sorrow to wait, wait,
wait another year, another holy day, until a stranger says
you can do it if you want to, you can do it on your own,
you can find a healing, it's already within you to take
the gift, float away on a sea of salty tears, buoyant,
expansive as furled sails in tropical harbors, blinding white
against the nacreous panoply of colors: vermillion.
pomegranate, viridian, malachite, gamboge, amaranth,
an impressive array somewhere between red and rose
love stands simple capturing the breath, heart beat, memory
of a fragrant flower: ansinthium, verbena, moonflower, lilac,
gardenia, jasmine, sweet and fragrant as musk, to stand
against the world and its gravitas, one body of many parts,
single-minded, foot to hand to mouth to heart, the beat, beat,
beat pumping blood to all the places it needs to go,
like water rising then falling to seek its own level,
again, again, again, again, again, again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Here's a petition to sign to Repeal the Virginia Traffic Fees. I got this link from writer Laura Heidy in Alexandria, VA.

This whole mess was quietly put into action by lawyers, for lawyers (see Laura's other posts and links). It's ridiculous. I've heard people say "let the people who break the law pay for the roads" because they know they are safe. I don't speed and I don't drink and drive (hardly drink) but these fees are outrageous and provide far more money to the firms who collect these fees than to the state.

It sure isn't poetry.

Monday, July 09, 2007

I wonder if I'm trying to juggle too much.

I have this blog, my 25 words blog, and now the art 6 blog.

Money needs to be raised to get to New York for AWP- can I hold a personal fund raiser?? I certainly am a non-profit organization!

My house is a mess, I'm trying to submit poetry all over and get a packet ready for the Virginia Commision for the Arts Poetry Fellowship deadline (August 1st). There are only four, as I understand it- the competition will be hot and heavy (and most likely the recipients will be MFA students of graduates who know the panel SINCE IT ISN'T JUDGED BLIND).

Being a fool- I'm applying anyway.

God help the working class poet.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

She’s gone- her first night in her own place- her first place, chosen, painted, arranged. I’m awake with feelings I can’t sort out yet. Love, fear, anger, envy- she’s close enough I could be there in ten minutes, close enough I feel her heartbeat as if it was my own. It is my own in so many ways, she’s like my double, only better. But without the fear and self-doubt I carry still. I am so excited for her. So proud.

I can’t remember what is was like. I went from home to college to marriage. I wasn’t on my own until I was twenty-seven. Even then the first year I stayed in the house my ex-husband and I bought. I didn’t have to sign a lease or set up utilities or change the mail. And I had a steady job, I was a teacher. Each move was predictable, like checkers or Monopoly. I can’t remember what it was like, even then. It seems as if someone has always depended on me.

This is new territory. I like it. I’m afraid for us both, I think- but I like it.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Egad! I haven't updated FlashPaperPoetry for this month!

Off to type and post- whoops!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

First Friday rolls around again....

cheapest date in town, a chance to see and be seen. Come see me at art 6

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My 4th of July poem

The Nature of Curiosity

Some folks will always be trouble-
either they beg it or bring it, back
bent under the weight, they come
bearing wretched curses and injuries,
sport red paper carnations, symbols
of long-forgotten warriors who stood
proud from when war was something.

Besides the dead, there are the quick
to remember, the broken soldiers,
limbs buried far from home, wounded
in some new Pharsalia. A bitter sigh,
the more things change, the more
they change, and we are lost luggage,
owners moved on to new belongings.

How could it not be so? Humanity begets
an eternal struggle, the yin and yang,
good vs evil to celebrate this diversity
balanced over eternity's emptiness
we weep hard, rend our garments,
clutch the absurdity of hope, gallows
humor the thing that gives us gravity.

When a child asks "Why? reply
"because", it keeps the ball in play,
a new generation who'll seek the peace
they cannot own, embracing trouble
as we did, so will our progeny display
themselves, curious to find some truth,
defend some creed and carry on, carry on.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Who will love the bionic woman?

poem removed, accepted for publication