Sunday, August 20, 2006

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This is an evil meme to play when a girl has all her books in boxes

The Books which

changed my life?

Okay there have been more than one: Holy The Firm by Annie Dillard, Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden, Jane Eyre, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ring of Endless Light by Madeline L’Engle.

I've read more than once?

All of the above plus all of Celan’s Selected, Sexton’s Selected and Anna Akhmatova Collection. I have these books memorized.

I'd want on a desert island?

I don’t want a book. I want an endless ream of paper and lots of pens.made me laugh?

Made me laugh?
I hate books that make me laugh---maybe b/c my real life is so funny!

Made me cry?
Once my x husband had to pull over the car b/c I was sobbing so hard while reading Elizabeth Berg’s Talk Before Sleep. He begged me to give him the book and I refused. He said he would not drive the cars unless I gave him the book. I got out to walk. I can walk while reading---it’s a gift.

I wish had been written?
Geek Love, Stones From A River—any book that has an original story from a voice not often heard from, like in Stones From A River this is the main character. I think I have a thing for dwarfs and circus acts. Yes, and to To Kill A Mocking Bird no dwarfs or tigers were killed in the making of this novel.

I wish had never been written?

The New Genre of Women’s Fiction and those sad children chapter books which treat kids like idiots. Oh and those self help parent books When to Speak when your child does not give a pluck to hear what your saying

I'm currently reading? Door In The Mountain by Jean Valentine, Late Wife by Claudia Emerson.

I've been meaning to read? Moby Dick!!!! Yes I know it seems impossible and even though I have discussed it at length and with some intelligence I’ve never actually read the damn whale. I also promise myself several times a year, I wont buy another book till all the ones on my shelves are read.

People I tag: Lee, Allison and Rebecca (b/c she will never do it and it bothers her;)

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I’ve decided to delete all my archives—it is a horrible thing to read your self a year later. I was far more interesting then or at least I discussed poetry. I discussed poetry five times in one month….IMAGINE.

Carolyn taught me that every word counts, for example if you have truck in a poem do you mean Ford? Do you mean green Ford? Do you mean green Ford with a flat tire? I have taught myself that sometimes I mean truck.

One of the things which really troubles me about modern poetry is the need to use words which do not appear in every day language. If I write a poem with a dictionary well then bravo, but the fact is what makes great poet great (in my opinion) poets like Celan and Sexton is that everyday language is their home.

If I wanted to tell you I love you, I would make sure you could understand the note. In art school you learn to reinvent every day images, that the most powerful tool to the eye are things recognized yet undistinguishable. Here is my poem. Would Dickson’s poem be so powerful if we did not all know the fly, how it buzzed? Have we not all watched a fly at some time in life flutter and fail? Have we not all tied ourselves somehow to that said fly? I heard a fly buzz before I died I did, I heard a fly buzz and it told me I was all and nothing at the same time.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dial up is crazy. I’m at a friend’s house and I honestly feel like someone has given me a string and two cans. How do you people live?

My camera was stolen or our/her/my camera was stolen and I mourn it b/c it had the best lens and held my history. Cameras do things words can never do. Words can hope but cameras see.

In the mailbox I received the contact from BEST NEW POETS which makes me think I should be young and shiny like a new penny; most days this summer I have felt like the Susan B. Anthony dollar—spendable yes, popular no.

I also feel like this summer I’ve had the word dialectictattooed on my ass.

I want a button in my head to shut off. I want to stop wondering and just be. Tell me do safe happy people write books?

I bought organic peaches yesterday. I thought of Brigit Pegeen Kelly all fish and eyes and I want to write a poem like that. I want to hold it in my mouth.

The Leaving

by Brigit Pegeen Kelly

My father said I could not do it,
but all night I picked the peaches.
The orchard was still, the canals ran steadily.
I was a girl then, my chest its own walled garden.
How many ladders to gather an orchard?
I had only one and a long patience with lit hands
and the looking of the stars which moved right through me
the way the water moved through the canals with a voice
that seemed to speak of this moonless gathering
and those who had gathered before me.
I put the peaches in the pond's cold water,
all night up the ladder and down, all night my hands
twisting fruit as if I were entering a thousand doors,
all night my back a straight road to the sky.
And then out of its own goodness, out
of the far fields of the stars, the morning came,
and inside me was the stillness a bell possesses
just after it has been rung, before the metal
begins to long again for the clapper's stroke.
The light came over the orchard.
The canals were silver and then were not.
and the pond was--I could see as I laid
the last peach in the water--full of fish and eyes.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sadly do you know how long it takes a group of ten elementary students to tie-dye? Not very long and I have a three hour class of nothing but tie dye this week and they’ve already ruin my shirt and shoes by aiming the dye bottles directly at ME!!!! On the exiting side we are right next to the cardboard city class and Elliot built me a boat. I always wanted a boat of paper. I will ride it home.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Philip Levine Prize for Poetry

My neighbors are on vacation in Maine for a month. They told my children they will wave to their grandfather when they cross his bridge. It is one of the few drawbridges left in the country—my father makes it go up and down.

It is raining. My neighbors want me to water their garden two hours a week even if it is raining b/c they have lost two trees in the front. It is the acid in the land not the water. I have told them this but you can only tell pp. so much and then they must plant their trees and watch them die and then plant them again. We are an animal which learns by doing not by hearing---not so different from the other animals I suppose.

I read in the Sunday paper this morning that non-fiction is the big literary seller in our decade which means the collection of short stories could do well. Maybe I could invent a new genre, not that I believe there any new genres, or art forms for that matter left to be invented but if I can’t write a damn fine book at least I could invent something essential like scotch tape or a doggie door.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

This has been the summer of no blog or maybe I should just call it the summer I moved. It has been one week since the truck left everything in cardboard piles in the new old/house…one week and there are barely dents. The summer I took chances, was messy, became a foundation—lived well. Deliberately well.

The summer I took too long.

The act of deliberate living is no easy act to perform at 38. Oh and then I turned 39—still not an easy act. Fire eating at 37 was a walk in the park;)

A summer of no writing and yet the summer where the ONE THING I sent in, landed me in Best New Poets. It is impossible sometimes to write and live---maybe it is not fair or just but there are times when living is too much to write about. I never thought I’d be there but I have and I’ve survived.

It has been the summer of this which everybody waits to hear/read about, to see if it floats or sinks, some are cheering one way or another and maybe b/c of that I haven’t recorded any of it. Maybe b/c the most private thing we can do is love.

Here is the truth: we are traveling. We are happy and sometimes we are not. The last year has taught me you can always look in at something, someone and believe you understand yet in fact, you know nothing. With all the things I write about, imagine, days I live, I will never know what it is like to be you—in your skin.

What a wonderful, horrible thing.

It is the summer I learned to judge less.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

tonight my best friend lost something incredibly important, vital and it should be named somehow. It should have grown to be named. We control so very little in this life. So tonight I am sad, I mark it for you and with you. And I am sorry. Blessings on your head my darling.