Monday, March 31, 2008

At times it feels like the world is cracked, as if there’s hairline fracture running from top to bottom and when the world is rung like a bell, the sound scatters, empties out and is lost. I wonder if only I hear it because of the same crack which runs right through me or if, every being is a damaged container pretending to be whole.

Pain is a great listener. When I’m in pain I view the world more clearly. I experience every noise and I’m acutely aware of each second of my life. Is this painful? Awareness. No, but the futility of hearing---that is the most painful sound.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The best meeting EVER!!!!!

Today at 10 a.m., I had a meeting at a restaurant where I’m painting a sixty foot mural and I had to discuss the grid with the owner, several elected officials, my boss and the head of the neighborhood association. Everyone went to the open restaurant cooler to grab a diet coke and I too, grabbed a coke and headed to the table, opened it and began talking. My boss turned to me with this weird look on her face and said, “why on earth are you drinking beer???????”

Well the moral of this story is…once I opened I HAD TO DRINK IT and
Thank god Mexican beer comes in red cans!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Poetry Rocks

The Reading world in Minneapolis is amazing right now. The Easter Bunny decided that I get to hear Mary Oliver, Lucille Clifton, Mary Jo Bang, Matthea Harvey and Fanny Howe all read within the next few weeks.

Truth: I am going to a dinner with Ms. Clifton and it will take all my will power to not fall at her feet, ask her to touch my head and make me a poet.

Is greatness transferable?????

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Reasons why I am sitting here eating fresh figs in bed---

In one word Rafael Campo. He came to our house for dinner last night and I made this wonderful veggie curry with mango chutney, baklava, humus and there were fresh figs rolled in coconut and almonds which are now all mine;)

If you are in Minneapolis tonight at 7 come hear him read at The Loft with the famous and non-loving fig eater Emily Lloyd.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Screw you Will

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): According to the automaker Saab, this year's sedan has 2,157 features that are different from last year's, including snake-eye headlamps and a clamshell hood. Your assignment in the coming weeks, Leo, is to be roused by Saab's willingness to depart from tradition. Speaking on behalf of the cosmic powers-that-be, I'm asking you to commit to making 21.6 changes in your life, which is a mere one percent of Saab's total. If that's too much to handle, would you consider making 2.16 changes? A good place to start might be to add your own personal metaphorical version of snake-eye headlamps.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

my father as metaphor, my mother as a topical map

And they were beautiful, at times, the animals—
misshapen, torsos distorted, legs outnumbered.
On her belly, he let the beasts run wild with fever,
killing everything: grass, thistle, flowers .
Until the land was flat , emptied even of insects.
A land full of distance and clouds.
It was not until later, when the children came
to pitch their tents, run in the open fields. It was the children
who knew enough to look down,
to see nothing to live on. Everyone paid attention then
to the drought, and the earth which never filled
with water. Everyone forgot the animals
except for the father, he kept them close,
leaving the others behind to care for the land.

ii. my sister concave, and I convex

We called each other valley, mountain. We were not girls,
who braided hair, or stared at the moon
but using our hands as claws,we carved rivers
into each other’s palms so when the wild dogs came,
we were girls, prepared to fight.
The earth was not our mother
but a second skin we wore at night.
We did not care for the land but the dogs, the dogs
consumed our minds. We believed ourselves people
without scent, naked we walked into the den
of we what feared. What rose and fell
from us was not a god, nor a deity we knew to name.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

My true nature is happenstance. My books are disorderly they crowd each other on the bed, shelves. I put tools in the pen drawers and candles with the dishes. I see beauty in the chaos of it all sometimes, the finding of things where you least expect and I believe all the objects talk amongst themselves. Because I have no expectations, the screwdriver fondles a spoon and Hemingway lies on top of Dr. Seuss.

I want you to understand everything is chaos, then underneath that pattern, predictability but those two things: chaos, order—fuck each other long into the night, trying to understand who will stay, who will leave. And no, love is not part of this Ménage á trois who sits in a chair. Love is the air, the blood—the very thing which causes order and chaos to move, to breathe and because of that very nature—love is indeed, trite.

Chaos and order pay her no heed.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Every day the world breaks a little
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Monday, March 03, 2008


I had an Alexander no good, very bad, horrible, do good day today. I went in to have my back molar checked and they ended up doing a two hour root canal and not only did I have to sit in a chair with plastic wrap over my mouth, like a piece of fresh fruit under cellophane but my dentist is having her office remolded and in between hearing the drill enter my bone, I got to hear construction workers saw and hammer.

Novocain really fucks with one’s mind and I swear to god, at one a point a man named Joe was jumping around inside my head talking about his ex-wife--and they did not have the best relationship.

Sadly, the worst part of the day was ripping my favorite (hey I look like a stud, if only in my own mind) black leather jacket on my way out the door to pick up the girls. Yes it was a horrible, terrible no good, very bad day. Tomorrow I’m moving to Australia.
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Sunday, March 02, 2008


Friday, March 14, 7:00 p.m.
Rafael Campo with Emily Freeman and Emily Lloyd.

Rafael Campo is the author of The Other Man Was Me, which won the 1993 National Poetry Series Award; What the Body Told, winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Poetry; and most recently, The Enemy. He is also the author of a memoir, The Desire to Heal, which also received a Lambda Literary Award. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Medical School, he currently teaches and practices general internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where his medical practice serves mostly Latinos, GLBT people, and people with HIV infection.

Emily Freeman (fiction) is completing an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. She recently served as the editor-in-chief for Dislocate, the program’s literary journal. She lives and works in Minneapolis.

Emily Lloyd (poetry) is a freelance writer and librarian for Hennepin County. Her work has appeared online at and and in the print journals Cream City Review, Phoebe, and elsewhere.
$5/Free Loft members
I am in a pissy mood and I don’t want to be because we have company coming over so I’ve made curry, baklava, listened to Bach’s cello music, folded laundry, scrubbed the tub, went to Target and I’m restless and whinny and I’m tired of myself.

I’ve been reading Julio Cortazar (because dead poets are so cheery) and I don’t understand why I can read the same poem one day and think it’s stunning and then buy the damn book and think it’s crap. I began to feel that maybe his writing is alive and what I truly lack in my work is life. My words are flat.

My problem is I’m not trying to write my way out of anything and the sad thing is I only write half way decent when I’m doing that---a mouse in a maze.

I know this post sucks but I’ve made really good curry and you can show up at my door and collect your reward for reading.
E & I spent several hours last night talking about words that are “sexy”: heliotrope, flax, diadem---(I’m giving you all mine b/c ya know, mine were better.) It was hard for me to let this game go and at two in the morning I rolled over and said, axis really loud in her ear. She didn’t ever stir and yet claims to be my true love;)

One of her writing exercises this week is to make a list of all the words which sound good to her and then use those words in a poem that she has never used in writing before. We have a running bet that neither one of us can use the word plutonium, in a way that actually works.

My conclusion: all bug words ROCK. extroskeleton, larvae, pupis
When I get old I’m going to illustrate books on insects and live out my days in tranquility.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Bumper Sticker for Ballard—bitch less, write more

If your idea of a perfect vacation is to walk from morning to night, eat mango stuffed chili relenos for breakfast, go in and out of bookstores, devour Dim Sum soaking wet then I had your perfect vacation. We had so much fun in San Francisco even though it poured a great deal of time and I discovered that one can actually DESTROY an umbrella by pointing it in the wrong direction.

On the way there I sat next to a professor of Islamic Literature and we spend four hours non-stop talking poets---E was ready to kill me, but this is what happens when she sits across the aisle to sleep. I wrote a great deal in my head, and planes for some reason make me want to write. Maybe because, I think I am going to die. I always freak myself out by realizing exactly where I am in space and that six inches below my feet, is just one big “fall”. Yeah I'm really fun to fly with.