Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I am reading a book about bats. A serious book about bats which explains how they hold their young, how one wing wraps around another when they are cold; the males and females switch roles at random and the bats have to be a certain temperature to reproduce.

To hunt, the bat listens to the rhythm of its prey; it hears the moth’s flutter, the grasshopper’s song and to adapt the prey changes it’s music to confuse the hunter.

I understand this.

Mating occurs by listening, to the one who bears the beats closest to your own and this is how they find each other when there is nothing else. But how do they know the difference, of what to eat or what to love?

This I’m not sure I understand. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 25, 2006

It is Christmas. Em is downstairs making Christmas noises and the girls are sleeping late b/c Santa already came once EARLY so there is just us human beings left to receive gifts from and we not all that exciting.

The holidays have come in pieces for us this year which is a wonderful way to digest them. All of Em’s family will be here in a few minutes. We all laugh readily and quickly and get along exceptionally well. We spent several hours playing “would you rather” which asks such questions as “would you rather eat a brain or lick a man’s sweaty armpit completely….”

The questions are gross but offer deep insight into the psyche.

Two days ago we went to a hanger which stores all the Boeing Airplanes through out history; some had teeth, some were bright yellow like bees. It was a Rebecca Loudon wet dream and unfortunately I said those words out loud when I first entered the building. Many heads turned!

Did you ever feel like you were seeing things others were meant to see? And if you gathered them up like stones they would truly understand your gift.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

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What more could you want??????

I bought this today in a little store out side of D.C. and I am tempted to go back and buy more for all my blogger friends. It is the snot of angels and it's suppose to protect you from all the world's evils--and there's a hell of a lot of evils out there.

Oh and it smells like jasmine. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 23, 2006

We are in D.C. for the holidays. Yesterday we went to the air and space museum and purchased enough astronaut ice cream to last us at least one trip around the moon.

I have seen beautiful art.

Bella’s quote for the day “I wish these places (the museum) would only tell me about things I don’t know—the rest is boring.”

We haven’t seen the president. I haven’t been alone for more than five minutes at a time but we are here and my girls are happy.

Wishing you all peace or at least help in the pursuit of it—happy holiday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Yesterday I was on a board which awarded $20,000 to writers. It was the first time I’ve ever been in a place to make those decisions. I think I learnt more in those eight hours then I have in a long time.

First off, I will never ever write a query letter the same again and that $15.00 I begrudgingly send off with my manuscript I will now send off with a new attitude. It’s a fluck of a lot of work.


Okay this is a boring post but I don’t want it to be.

Today Olivia taped me (without my knowledge) lying in the bed with my new pink nano singing “Halleluiah” with Katie Lang. Saying I am singing is giving me more credit than I deserve ;) it’s more like Helllllllllaaaaaaaluuuuuuuyaaaaa and then I mumble, then for some reason say “BARGE” really, really loud.

Olivia is threatening to send it to home funniest videos or post it on my blog.

I own her world---none of those things are going to happen. This is one of the reasons I never taught her to download.
What do you think of this ????

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

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I should be folding laundry---why doesn’t it come out of the dryer that way. We waste so much money on stupid inventions when that one would be useful. The laundry is in the middle of the bed right now and the cat is making tunnels. Hell if I could get away with sleeping on warm, crumpled clothes I would.

Tomorrow is a BIG day. We are having our family night at work where all the students showcase their art and perform. It is my favorite night of the semester but I will probably get to work at 8 am and leave at 8 p.m. which sucks. Yet I love it!!!!

Children will be stilting, playing African drums, putting on a show with puppets they have made, felting, painting chairs, doing Spoken Word and I will look over and it will be a good thing. A very good thing indeed.

I realized tonight, I teach and write for exactly the same reasons. I want something that is more than who I am to out live me. I want something to exist of me that doesn’t have flesh or bone.

Today Cody told me he was a great writer even though he didn’t spell every word correctly. “Because,” he said “I am excellent at content. I say interesting things.”

I hope I taught him that or at least encouraged it.

I tell them, artists are born out of deep listening. I can teach anyone to paint but only you can teach yourself how to listen. I believe that with all that I have. I believe in these kids.

Monday, December 11, 2006

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Bella and her skateboard. Dont you wish you went to my school? Posted by Picasa
Tonight I went to buy a nativity set from this wonderful store which sells original art work from all around world. The woman who owns the store says she stopped carrying them b/c ppl kept stealing the baby Jesus!!! For some reason this makes me incredibly happy.

I am going to share that information at my art school tomorrow with my kids. I think it will also make my students happy. Maybe we will make her hundreds of little baby jesuses to fill her shelves. Tis the season.

And b/c it is the season I am posting some photos of all the glorious art I’ve making with my kids while I haven’t been blogging. It is a good life and a good job. Posted by Picasa

E and T's first tree

It may be a little crooked but it's ours!!!! Posted by Picasa
E and I have been playing the title game for the last two days. You get extra points if you use a unique image from the book corresponding with that famous poet’s name. For example:

“I Wish I Had a Crimson Snatch Like Yours Jean Nordhaus.”

Jean gets fifty points for actually using SNATCH in a poem and making it work. You may doubt me now but READ her new book—it is brilliant.

I wonder if we could market it as a board game????

In other news, we are off to D.C. in nine days. I am insanely busy and giving up showering just to write this. But I’m an artist so no one notices. The great thing about being an artist is that truly lazy behavior can be chalked up to creativity.

Mid American is having their annual James Wright Contest. Go enter.

I love that journal. It is one of the few small journals that prints amazing poems each and every issue, almost cover to cover. It is my standard wine—the one I can pick up and read each time and it doesn’t leave a funny taste in my mouth. I’m not even in it and they are not paying me.

Happy 11 days into advent!!!! It is my magic number and I have chocolate.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

this is the dog I want for christmas Posted by Picasa
I have become boring. I have become boring and old and I think it has something to do with Olivia almost surpassing me in height but I’m not sure.

Next week I am on a panel to decide grant money for writers, which is always fun; it is Santa like, and hell there’s a catered lunch. Problem is I have read all the proposals and there are some poetry book titles I know I won’t be able to keep a straight face through.

(Em says I CANT post them here.)

But for example:
I Wish I Had Eyes Like Yours Van Gogh

Would you keep a straight face?

I’m not being vain or mean but I dont think the general public understands what horrible things you can call both children and books. I once had a kid in my class named Mister. Imagine that poor boy’s life.

Side note: I thought “Asleep Inside an Old Guitar” was a brilliant title and if Eduardo doesn’t take it back I might be tempted to give it to the Van Gogh dude.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Well at least in my head I’ve been blogging ;)

Today Jean Nordhaus’s new book Innocence came and I’m very excited!!! Last week I found her title poem in the pushcart award anthology while listening to an incredibly annoying woman train people at Starbucks. I was at the mall. I was a chain book store at the mall. I was trapped—the only wonderful thing was the poem.

Side note: don’t take me to the mall.

Another side note: If you do I will hide in the nearest book store.

I am wondering about the order of progression, if it is better to go with a smaller press that treats you well, to build up your audience. Is there ideal growth as a poet? An ideal place?

Or do we spend too much time talking about this crap when we should be writing?

The Innocent

Alone and together, we stand on the platform
a mob of strangers awaiting the train. There may be
among us a wife-beater; surely, a thief. That man
in the blue dolphin tie; that frazzled woman,
gathering in her scattered girls; each of us caught
in the swill of our being; none of us blameless,
not one of us pure. Greedy, covetous,
selfish, vain, we have trafficked in lies; we
have practiced small cruelties. Even the baby
asleep in a sling on his mother’s breast,
has been willful, has shaken with rage.

Yet, if fate arrives, as a wind, in a bullet,
a bomb, at the instant of shock, in the silent
heart of conflagration, we will all
be transformed into innocents, cleansed
in the fires of violence, punished not for any sins
committed—but for standing where we stand,
together in the soft, vulnerable flesh.

Jean Nordhaus