Saturday, April 30, 2005

happy mayday!!!!!! Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Please pass the mop

One of the bonding moments I remember having with my mother during my early adolescence (they were few) is watching Leo Buscaglia lectures on T.V. I remember that he always said that sometimes he went for days without taking a shower so he could remember what he smelt like. And that as a culture we have forgotten the primal desire for smell. I love that.

My friend Emily who writes for New Yorker (this is what she says, I say she has been in the New Yorker twice) also claims that when she is writing well she will look like shit. She says when we knock on the door and she looks like this, to go away b/c these are her “inspired” times.

So if cleanliness is next to Godliness, it is possible that filth is in direct contact with the muse?

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

This photo is titled "My boobs in New Mexico" and was taken on a road trip from Calfornia to Minnesota. It was taken by a six year old girl who wanted to play with my camera.  Posted by Hello

I Made Three Wishes Today

1.the clothes would come out of the dryer folded
2.someday I would be as famous as Robert Bly and Poetry would obviously not read my poems and take them anyway
3.that this version of the book is THE version.

I have begun my stint with the Minneapolis Institute of Art so my time for the next few weeks will be minimal. If anyone catches C.D. trying to throw me off his roll, please form a maddening crowd. I promise to be back in full form in two weeks.

I also made the decision that I will apply for more writing grants. Okay so I decided that I will actually DO this and not just think I might. My thought is: my feminist writing which tends to piss off a few judges in the world of poetry might actually serve me well in the places that support feminist writers. *big slap on the head*

Yeah for those people, when I am old and rich I will make a grant for authors who have to write a book while P.B.S plays in the background, it will be called “The Barney Kick Your Ass Grant” and will be open to all writers with small children. Okay my kids have moved on to Arthur but the premise is the same.

Today I facilitated my support group for girls, which is a great mix this time around. We talked about having a support system, choosing and making good friends. I told them that it’s guaranteed that someone will miss understand something they say, that sometimes people try to talk around the subject and not through it. We did roll play about communication so they would how to handle it when it happens.

I realized I need this in poetry life. I need someone to tell me,

“This poem is going to be rejected 20 times even though you know it is the best poem you have ever written.”

“You need to realize Teresa, the book is what you WANT to say, not the stuff you think you should say to be heard”

“And you are a writer, even if no one reads you, you are.”

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Here is my new job

I had breakfast this morning at my favorite Colombian restaurant where they make the best corn pancakes. I read my horoscope and I have to say, I am pretty much there…

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Actress Lara Flynn Boyle was recently accused of acting oddly on a British Airways flight from Los Angeles to London. Witnesses have said nudity and extreme lack of inhibition were involved. When Boyle was confronted by reporters with the rumors, she refused to elaborate, noting simply, "My job is to entertain, and not to explain." I hereby declare that to be both your motto and mantra in the coming week, Leo.

,,, Posted by Hello

notes from my morning

My writing life is changing which I suppose would be okay if it was not so drastic. I use to work at night after the children had to gone to bed and then edit in the morning when my mind was clear but now my mind wants the day. And the selfish thing wants the whole day. My poetic mind does not understand things like we all need to eat.

Some days I feel like I would only understand this language if I went somewhere deeper inside myself. If I allowed myself to become utterly lost but I never do. I dive down with the one rope tied around my waist and write, all the while a voice is saying cut the rope. Of course, there is another voice that says this is how writers go mad. I have no desire for madness.

This morning I am thinking about art and sex. Why those two things are so much alike. How if you allow yourself to think about what you’re doing it’s never as good as when you just let go, trust your body knows what to do. And that, to be honest even when you are having great sex, there comes a point where you must come back to yourself or something will snap inside, you’ll never find your way out. You will become lost.

I believe in those two things, exists my language. How I communicate to whatever is holy inside or outside of who I am. Not to say there is not bad writing or bad sex. The worst in both areas is when it is not working but you have to finish the “poem” anyway.

In both those things I am the better “Teresa”, in word I become more than the sum of my parts. I accede who I believe myself to be. And that is why, to be honest I love writing so much. I am for one brief second above my own humanity.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I am glad I did not live it but I wish I wrote it Posted by Hello
My Unofficial Review

Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced

Is the best book I’ve read in awhile. Damn fine.
Happy Birtday Mr. Lolita

Thursday, April 21, 2005

... Posted by Hello
*the following post contains strong language and brief bouts of nudity*

It was a beautiful day in Minneapolis and my love is coming back to town tonight and because of this, I headed off to wash my car. After several years in a relationship these things become romantic. Anyway right in front of the car wash a cop pulls me over and thus

cop: Did you go right back there?
me: yes, ummmm I think so.
cop: I have mirrors and I saw you weren’t wearing your seatbelt
me: well actually I was I just had it pull down
cop: why???
me: because (I have no clue what to say now and I had just read Suzanne’s blog before I left so....) ummmm b/c I am pregnant.
cop: well if you are going to lie about it…
me: (PISSED EVEN THOUGH I AM LYING AND THUS MORE PISSED) are you telling me I’m not pregnant? [note: I am a girl I could BE knocked up]
cop: (confused) did you know you had a break light out?
me: (obviously we had moved on) No, which one?
cop: I don’t know.
me: well could you check???? (thinking I had to act pregnant and that involves telling men what to do)
cop: (yells something to a man named Larry &^%$* )
cop: I need your license and insurance card
I fumble around and for some reason, can only find my ten page insurance policy…WTF…and for some other reason, besides the fact I am type A, this is not good enough for him
cop: I am sighting you with four violations.
me: FOUR!!!
me: you are six foot three and standing half way in my car… Yes
cop: what you need to do, is go down to city hall and plead not guilty, then they will let the fines go so you are just out your time.

He actually said that….to which it took all my control not to say, if I am so NOT guilty, why are you give me a fucking ticket? But by this time every single male employee from the car wash has come out to watch him give me a ticket. I had the great need to flash them all but I thought that would involve more tickets.

Did I mention he pulled me over in one of those car wash stalls? And to top it all off, after he drives away, the guy cleaning out my car decides this would be a good time to ask me out. I mean because of course, at this moment I am thinking about getting laid….hell, the things non-pregnant women have to put up with.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Well for Miss Violet who made my day by being the kind of girl who lets her mother know exactly who she is, well for her I dug out this poem and I mean I really dug. Yeah for girl babies!!!!!


In the moment before
when the screen held your flesh, you were nothing
except gray, fading images
and the intern checked organs like a grocery list:
heart, liver. I never did understand the meaning of seed
how a thin line of cord could connect or destroy.
You were nothing to me
except the slight shudder below a rib
and then the buzz of a machine became your name
while this woman drew a line with her hand
and said, this is where a penis should be
yet here you will see the flat land,
the black of ovary. She named you girl
marked the small box with a pen.

**** Posted by Hello
You know it is going to be a good day

• when you are taking a shower and you see a pregnant raccoon climb by your window

• when you do not have to share the pot of coffee with anyone

• you teach a room full of tween girls all the lyrics to the Annie Lennox CD

• and Alice James sends you a box of beautiful books to review.

and yes, two days and counting to front row ticket to Carmen. Where I will dress up, drink beautiful things and be loved well. It is a good day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Today You Told Me You Loved Her Because Your Sadness Is the Same

I wonder what bridge that builds
if the girders are locked in place, painted steel
green like the bridge my father built when he was twenty.

And I wonder if you love her the way, rivers change
move closer, farther from the shore.

Men died, my father would say
and it seemed like love to hang them there.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Damn will someone show me AGAIN how to post a hyper link? The review is out. It is okay. I was proud of it and now well it is okay. It is very cool however to see my name next to Lucille Clifton. and it is not even Teresa Ballard the stalker was arrested.

Peter post’s about Patti Smith made me go and look at all our old Florida photos…now I am depressed. The funny thing is, before I knew Patti her poetry was more powerful to me and now I don’t know, it feels different and I wonder if it is like that for everyone. Maybe it’s just me but I wonder if getting to know a poet as person makes the reader lose essential distance. Hmmm

I also am afraid to read poetry books of people I know. I have three books by my bed of bloggers I really like that I am afraid to open. Maybe I am just whacked.

There She Be

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I once believe there were writers and then there were editors and never the two shall meet. Or if they did it was very rare and not necessarily a good thing. But I think I am growing up in my ideas. I see how reading other people’s poetry has changed me, developed my eye and now I believe that one of the best things you can do as a writer is serve as an editor for a bit.

I mean at least then you will realize when reading 300 submissions 250 of them are going to be about someone mother/father/lover. I kid you not. But it also shows you how universal poetry is, and how a good poet seeks to write not only the common but the uncommon.

Anyway, I am happy I took the job at The Cortland Review. I still want to write any spare moment I get but I can read a little poetry in between.
Saturday you painted your mother flying
over a house, her bulbous body holding you firm.
It was easier then to ask you who you hated
instead of who you loved
because your mother’s hair was red
mixed with clouds. It was easier then
to take you to the bed lick away all the color
with my tongue. But I did not.
I merely traced your mother with my thumb
then the small outline of your body beneath hers.
Oh my skeletal bird, if I only understood
poison in the blood how it travels down, spreads
like water on a cloth. Would I have loved you then?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

After I sell my first novel I will buy a nanny named Lola and she will feed me children mangos and strawberries. They will walk to school by the river. She will read to them from old leather books and she will look like me so they do not grow up to be serial killers.
Last night I dreamt I grew a full beard. I do not believe this is a good thing and I have no idea what it means? I have been so tired lately I’ve not remember my dreams at all. Usually I teach in them, sometimes I’m in one of my poems like it is a sculpture and I get to walk around it, move the words with my hands. My favorite dream is the naked hang glider dream but I’m not going to go into much detail about that.;)

The art museum is suppose to call in an hour and give me the dates, please let it be a huge grant that pays the artist lots of money.Sometimes I think I have early Alzheimer’s or brain tumor. I cannot remember anything and my whole body hurts. Do you think it is possible all my energy was in my wisdom teeth?

My love is coming home in ten days then we will dress up, go to the opera and eat beautiful food and drink things that are color of parrots.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

this says it all Posted by Hello

things which came in the mail

The galleys for the new review, hurray! I will provide a link once it is up.
Calendars by annie finch which has a wonderful book cover.
please dear lord make my book cover pretty
please dear lord give me a book cover

Yesterday was a wonderful writing day. I had forgotten how absolutely
terrifying it is when you can do nothing but write.

Today I had my first art therapy session with a new group of girls.We talked about the strength of the feminine, stereotypes and what it means to be a powerful.

I teach my kids to write daily, paint. I tell them art will save them again and again if they only listen to it. We also talked about shaved heads and the different ways of looking like a girl. I always wanted to shave my head. These classes take on lives of their own, it will be interesting to see what happens.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

my day today Posted by Hello
Darling I have fed the cat
slipped to the side of the bed
which is yours, smelling slightly of lime.
I have resisted, repented,
renamed the bed’s corner. Carry on
for I’ve left four times
still you’re the only one gone.
This is madness unraveling slowly
a string hitting the floor
and the cat does not move
there is no hunger. Darling
I have fed the cat.

Monday, April 11, 2005

touch me Posted by Hello

the almost dead

While writing an article tonight about writing and depression I googled famous writer’s suicides and low and behold poor Margaret Atwood (who is not even dead) came up on a list of writers who killed themselves. That is a hell of a list to be on when you are still breathing.


So my thought for the day which I keep trying to write down here is that I do not believe accessibility equals understanding. If a poem is accessible does it mean it is completely understood? I don’t think so. Rebecca stated in her comment that her mother’s friends do not understand some of her poems and I have had that same comment from my father, that is wonderful dear but I do not know what the hell you are talking about. And yet he will go on later to have a twenty minute conversation of what the poem reminded him of and in turn give me ideas for about twenty other poems. I don’t believe a poet should write for a reader but I do believe the writer needs to be aware.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

the cutest kid I know Posted by Hello

Arrogance and accessibility

Emily has wonderful posts about accessibility up at her blog which makes me think about Kaminsky’s review of Wrights work where he talks about arrogance. How a poet needs to believe that they have the authority to say exactly what they are saying. The few poems I get that warm fuzzy feeling for in my own work are the few I believe no one else could ever write except me. So what does that have to with accessibility?

Well the human spirit is a conundrum of individuality verses unity. We have all loved but no one has loved the same way. Side note: my daughter wanted me to explain to her how gay sex was different than straight sex and I said that I thought everyone made love differently and no two people do it exactly the same way though the principles are the same. I told her each two people have their own language.

I don’t know if I answered her question and I am not even sure where I am going here except to say, poetry is a hell of a lot like sex. When it is good I don’t doubt myself at all, I believe the other person will get it without much explanation and I also hand down think I am the best person for the job. So there you go arrogance, accessibility. Oh and the less I think about it, when I shut my mind off and just ummm write, the better it is.

Friday, April 08, 2005

up, up and away

I spent the morning reading submissions. I figured the drugs had worn off to make everything comprehensible but were still in my system enough to make lines like “horny snow” bearable. I never understood that being an editor could be painful.

I have another meeting with the editors of graywolf and this time I will give them a updated finished manuscript. I swear I will. I tried Rebecca’s idea of telling myself I can’t write a poem to in fact make my body write a poem and unfortunately my mind does not accept reverse psychology.

I should of known this, in junior high our school psychologist use to have me picture hot air balloons and put all my troubles on them. The trouble was my problems were always baby grand pianos and fell on her head. To this day I can’t get through a visualizing exercise without giggling. Not good if you are an art therapist on the side.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Best Lines From The Movie Sideways

I can’t believe they didn’t take the book manuscript. I want to die.

Maybe that's the angle. It worked well for Sexton, Howard and Woolf.

But they were published writers.

What about that guy from Confederacy of the Dunces, he wasn’t famous or published when he killed himself and they took HIS book.

You're not helping

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tonight I watched a wrinkle in time with my daughters. It is the first book I have ever loved. I met Madeline L’Engle when I was 16 and she is the first person who ever told me I would be a writer or maybe she was the first person I believed.

On Allison’s blog she has a post about “remember who you are doing this for.” The fact is I am doing this for me. I have always been. It is just sometimes I forget.

Wisdom teeth and the women who love them

I don’t know why I find that photo so funny. A) why would you stand up AGAINST a fence post naked B)why would you wear a hat and C) I am having my wisdom teeth out tomorrow and I am not making wise posting decisions.

I am freaked out about the whole thing. I am worried I’ll have a bad reaction to the medicine and children will find me three days later when they need milk money. And it feels wrong to leave this world without all my body parts.

Maybe I will ask for them in a jar. What do they do with the extra teeth?

On a side note what I never understood about Christian Science is that it’s not okay to go to a doctor if you’re bleeding to death but you should always go in for your 6 month cleaning. If Jesus could close up an open wound don’t you think he could get your teeth on the way.

Anyway I promise that in some post soon I will mention writing/poetry. I will say something wise and insightful unless of course, all of my mojo is in my teeth then well, this is hell.

I'm the one with the gun;) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I sometimes goggle my own poems. A good poem has a way of traveling, well I suppose bad poems can do this too but I’d like to think it just happens to the work I actually want people to see.

Anyway the funniest thing is that one of my love poems is now posted at which is as far as I can figure out, is about finding Mexican love and I have no idea how these people got my work.

Plus I have no idea what Mexican love is. Does it differ in some way from Swedish love? Pigmy? Is there Poet love? How about blocked poet love because to be honest I think we deserve it more. But hey if I can have that cover photo for my bio page I think I would get published a hell of a lot more. It sure beats one free copy of a poetry journal.
I am cheating horribly at this poem a day, sometimes it is just a stanza, sometimes it a stanza from an old poem that will not leave my head but I need to find a better house for it. And it is only the beginning of the month; I am going to be posting cereal ingredients by the end of the week.

Poetry right now feels like diving. I need to dive into a deeper level of myself, hold my breath and go but that always equals change for me. I hate change.

One of greatest gift we can give ourselves as poets is the ability to not censor. That is what makes Dobbins wonderful, Celan. The ability to put everything down on paper without value, I am also horrible at this.
C.D. Wright, Adrienne Rich and Donald Justice all slept in my bed last night and only Donald was there when I woke up this morning.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

my day Posted by Hello

singing dolls and sylvia

I decided for about 15 minutes today that I would not blog anymore. I also made a list of the reasons I don’t think I am writing very much lately. Sadly it was titled why T.E. Ballard is writing shit and had reasons like owning too many books and getting laid on a regular basis. My mother says ladies are not supposed to use the word laid but it is a wonderful word. I also have singing dolls on the list—if you don’t have children you have no idea how many poems singing dolls can suck out of your head.

On the quest to find something to blow my socks off I bought Adrienne Rich’s new book and the wonderful C.D. Wright that the very tall Charlie introduced me to. I also ordered Eating in the Underworld and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Hopefully my mind will be stirred.

And because it is the first day of “Teresa’s alone writing time” I rented Sylvia and bought of a bottle of Goats Do Rome. The Sylvia movie was okay. I hate Paltrow and I wish ppl would stop giving her literary roles but at least she did not play Sexton.

Oh and my alone time ended by 8 because my baby wanted to come home and sleep in my bed instead of staying at her friend's house. She is now in her bedroom with her dolls and yes, they are singing....
I want to be blown away with a poetry book today. I want to read something that takes my breath away. I can honestly say that within the last year or so only two books have done that for me, Dancing in Odessa and Her Soul Out of Nothing. I have read good books in between, The Clerks Tale and Mercy was an excellent but it not make me weep with the beauty of it. I want to weep today. I want to be blown away.

Friday, April 01, 2005

..... Posted by Hello

How Big Are You?????

A University of Alberta study finds that measuring a man's index finger length relative to his ring finger length predicts his predisposition to being physically aggressive.

The shorter the index finger relative to the ring finger, the higher the amount of prenatal testosterone and the more likely the man will be physically aggressive, they researchers say.