Friday, March 31, 2006

Courtesy of Sarah Salway

A random thought....

It was part of the game she played, my mother. She was always running to or away from love.

I like weird things. This is one of them.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Don't forget...

Tomorrow is the postmark deadline for the Ploughshares reading period, as well as the Winning Writers short story contest.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Things seen/heard/observed on my walk this morning:

1. The dogwoods are in bloom. And the gladiolas, the azaleas, the roses, all in different shades of pink and red and white. This can only mean that the hydrangeas are not far behind with their bruised blues and purples and baby powder scent.

2. If you listen closely enough, you'll notice that all birds, everywhere, are engaged in one long, ongoing conversation that we can never hope to understand.

3. There is nothing like the smell of fresh-cut grass.

4. There is beauty in the simplest and strangest things: a bumblebee hovering over a fading lilac bush; a basketball stuck in the limbs of a tree; white clouds against a blue sky.

5. It's easier to appreciate beauty when you don't possess it.

6. Friendliness begets friendliness. If you smile and wave at people, they will inevitably return the favor.

7. The sound of a garbage truck backing up will give you a tremendous headache.

8. When you come home, no one will be happier to see you than your dog. All the barking, tail-wagging, and nervous wiggling is because you are the center of their universe. That and the box of treats in the cabinet.


I seem to have committed a blogging faux pas, in that I inadvertently deleted someone's link and they have, rightfully, called me on it. So to make it up, I'm going to tell all you kids to head over to Henry's blog and see what he's up to.

Here's the link: Ash Tree

P.S. He writes books, real ones that get published. This is the newest one.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lately, I've developed a bit of a blog addiction. I like to read them, write them, create them, mess around with the templates and such. I like to see what Michele and Rebecca and Mella are up to. I like to read other people's words, live in their worlds for a tiny part of the day. So much so that it's begun to affect my own writing. I've realized that I've done a lot of posting lately but haven't said much. Funny how that works.

Following Neil's advice, I've decided to mash everything from my other two blogs into this one and sort of stir it around like a big word soup. Scroll back through the posts to see what I mean.

So, for the five of you who might actually read this, expect some good writing, some really crap writing, unfinished thoughts, half-sentences, accidental poetry, odd notes, story starts, and whatever else wanders into my mind at the moment. I'm going to go "balls-out" so to speak and just write. Enjoy.

Better than a Magic 8 Ball

(Link via NancyKay Shapiro)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Not To-Do List

I think the people at 52 Projects must have installed surveillance cameras in my house. Seriously. It's almost as if they've taken a hint from these people.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."

~T. S. Eliot

Monday, March 20, 2006

It started with the dreams. She would wake up in the middle of the night, a scream caught in her throat.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

What in the sweet hell is wrong with Blogger? Seriously, am I the only one having problems?

Anyway, Michèle posted this on her blog yesterday. Reading it helped put my recent rejection (see previous post) in perspective so I thought I'd share it. It was a much needed pick-me-up, as was this.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

A poet is an unhappy being whose heart is torn by secret sufferings, but whose lips are so strangely formed that when the sighs and the cries escape them, they sound like beautiful music... and then people crowd about the poet and say to him: "Sing for us soon again;" that is as much as to say, "May new sufferings torment your soul."

~Soren Kierkegaard
"Everyone has the right to fail. You fail, and from your failure you go up one more step, if you've got the courage to get yourself up." -Martha Graham

Just heard back from Eclectica, who decided not to take some stories I'd sent them. I can't say I was entirely surprised but still. Back to work, I guess.


This did make me feel a little better though.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

"Grapefruit?" he says, holding it out to her like a gift.

The Creative Mind Adventure

"The Creative Mind Adventure is a FREE 27-day course for creative thinkers and people who want to be more creative. The group includes, and is not limited to, writers, painters, poets, architects, designers, fiction writers, musicians, composers, dancers, singers and other artists and people who love creativity."

32poems is hosting the workshop and you just have to register with Yahoo. Click here to sign up.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

In the end, her mother had married herself to a man she didn't love and a life she didn't want.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

"I'm a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't and then tries the short story which is the most demanding form after poetry. And failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing." ~ William Faulkner
April is National Poetry Month which means that it's also NaPoWriMo, a poetic version of NaNoWriMo. The rules are simple: write a poem a day for 30 days. While there is no official site, there is a forum for NaPoWriMoers here, as well as links to some of last year's poems here and here.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Cartographies of Silence

A conversation begins
with a lie. and each

speaker of the so-called common language feels
the ice-floe split, the drift apart

as if powerless, as if up against
a force of nature

A poem can begin
with a lie. And be torn up.

A conversation has other laws
recharges itself with its own

false energy, Cannot be torn
up. Infiltrates our blood. Repeats itself.

Inscribes with its unreturning stylus
the isolation it denies.

The classical music station
playing hour upon hour in the apartment

the picking up and picking up
and again picking up the telephone

The syllables uttering
the old script over and over

The loneliness of the liar
living in the formal network of the lie

twisting the dials to drown the terror
beneath the unsaid word

The technology of silence
The rituals, etiquette

the blurring of terms
silence not absence

of words or music or even
raw sounds

Silence can be a plan
rigorously executed

the blueprint of a life

It is a presence
it has a history a form

Do not confuse it
with any kind of absence

How calm, how inoffensive these words
begin to seem to me

though begun in grief and anger
Can I break through this film of the abstract

without wounding myself or you
there is enough pain here

This is why the classical of the jazz music station plays?
to give a ground of meaning to our pain?

The silence strips bare:
In Dreyer's Passion of Joan

Falconetti's face, hair shorn, a great geography
mutely surveyed by the camera

If there were a poetry where this could happen
not as blank space or as words

stretched like skin over meanings
but as silence falls at the end

of a night through which two people
have talked till dawn.

The scream
of an illegitimate voice

It has ceased to hear itself, therefore
it asks itself

How do I exist?

This was the silence I wanted to break in you
I had questions but you would not answer

I had answers but you could not use them
This is useless to you and perhaps to others

It was an old theme even for me:
Language cannot do everything-

chalk it on the walls where the dead poets
lie in their mausoleums

If at the will of the poet the poem
could turn into a thing

a granite flank laid bare, a lifted head
alight with dew

If it could simply look you in the face
with naked eyeballs, not letting you turn

till you, and I who long to make this thing,
were finally clarified together in its stare

No. Let me have this dust,
these pale clouds dourly lingering, these words

moving with ferocious accuracy
like the blind child's fingers

or the newborn infant's mouth
violent with hunger

No one can give me, I have long ago
taken this method

whether of bran pouring from the loose-woven sack
or of the bunsen-flame turned low and blue

If from time to time I envy
the pure annunciation to the eye

the visio beatifica
if from time to time I long to turn

like the Eleusinian hierophant
holding up a single ear of grain

for the return to the concrete and everlasting world
what in fact I keep choosing

are these words, these whispers, conversations
from which time after time the truth breaks moist and green.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I never knew that Slate posted a poem every week read by the author but thanks to the Poetry Hut Blog I now consider myself enlightened. Check it out here.
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web." -Pablo Picasso

Not going to AWP?

Me neither. But here's some good stuff we can read to tide us over until everyone else gets back.

Voix de Michele
Untalented Writer
Citizen of the Month

Nin Andrews on.....

"Painting is just another way of keeping a diary." ~ Pablo Picasso

Since it turned out to be such a nice day today, I decided to go out and paint before I came in to write. While I was out there, it occurred to me that painting and writing are very similar. In both, you are expected to turn a blank canvas (or page) into something beautiful, using the most basic of tools: your own imagination. The process often takes you to surprising places and the end result may not always turn out the way you thought it would.

When I paint, there is an ease and fluidity to it that isn't always there with writing. I can let my mind disengage and the picture paints itself. With writing, it doesn't always come as easily. On the one hand, this discourages me somewhat. Certain things you expect to come naturally, and when they don't, there is often a sense that you have failed somehow.

When I paint something I don't like, I have no qualms about painting over it and starting again. When I write a story that I'm not happy with or I can't find the just-so phrase that I want, it sends me into a tailspin of anxiety. What does this mean? Am I not meant to be a writer? I'm always wondering what the great test of my life will be and maybe this is it.

Sorry for being so philosophical/confessional. It must be the paint fumes.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My name is _______ and I'm a blogaholic

Her body was like an invitation,
an answer to a question.
April is National Poetry Month and the Academy of American Poets has a free poem-a-day email service all month. Free poetry, in your email. Everyday. For a month. A nice change from the usual glut of Viagra/penis enlargement/porno spam.

Sign up here.
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

~Mark Strand, "Eating Poetry," Reasons for Moving, 1968

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

"Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and thinking something different." -Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"What’s a writer? Someone who writes. Planning to write is not writing. Outlining a book is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing." -E.L. Doctorow

Monday, March 06, 2006

Reason #147 why I wish I lived in New York City

New links

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Nora Jameson could pinpoint the exact moment her life began to unravel. It was as if someone had picked up the thread of her life and tugged, slowly unworking the careful pattern of her existence.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

And always, when he does this, he is thinking of her.