Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I am trying too hard

I spent about forty-five minutes in the kitchen preparing a cool painting project for my kids to today. It took them about eleven minutes to tire of this activity, I now have a green blob of paint on the light carpet. Oh well. They are more interested in building prate ships with blocks and singing Jingle Bells while beating on the wall, the oven doo, the window . . . . anything.

The season of the cockroach has begun. Last night, after reading awhile in bed, I reached over to turn out the light, and there it was: gigantic, huge, three-inch long cockroach looking right at me. We moved most of the furniture in the bedroom before getting that one with a book. (NOT a book of poetry.) Then I couldn't go asleep because I was afraid that another would crawl in my mouth. (Around here, the legend is tht for every one cockroach you see there are 400 others hiding somewhere near.)

By the way, I don't live in filth. The rain brings these in, and we got four-inches or more yesterday.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Thanks to David and Suzanne, I think I have figured this out!

Here's my poem that was in Poetry in January.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Somebody Help

Hello out there . . . how do I underline something and have it turn into a link so that it doesn't look like this? http://www.poetrymagazine.org/magazine/0105/poem_146723.html

I promise I am not an idiot in every area of life.

Two Poems on Blackbird

I have got to learn how to use links. This is practice.


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Room of Her Own

If you could turn any room or building in the world into your writing studio, what would you choose and why? (From Charles)

I would like to buy the property we used to rent on the Tickfaw River in Springfield, Louisiana. The property has three houses--The big house, the guest house, and the guest shack. We lived in the guest house, which was really just a gussied up hunting camp. This house would be all mine, and it would be cleaned by someone other than me. The kitchen would hold a coffee pot, bar, and icemaker only. No washing machine, no brooms, irons--nothing but some file cabinets and my desk in front of the long window looking out over the river, and a rug for my feet. No phone, no email, no radio. No visitors unless they were other poets or cool people. Family on occastion, and one of the boats would be big enough to take them all out.

Why? Spots of Time. When I lived there the first time I thought that if I were Wordsworth I could write "The Prelude" sitting out on that boat dock. Also, it's the place where B. and I were last A and B. (There's four of us now.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Blog Dogging

For the most part, I enjoyed Peter Campion's essay in the June issue of Poetry magazine "Grasshoppers: A Notebook." The last section in particular gives and important 'answer' to the questions I (and I'm sure many others) have pondered lately, "Why write poems anyhow?"

Earlier in the essay he bemoans (and who doesn't) that poetry has become a "guild" system, that young poets are constantly worried about their 'careers' and looking to experienced poets for advice. He then says you can see this if you spend more than an instant reading poetry blogs, where "the you-know-whats spew down the screen with a kind of poisoned earnestness."

I see no reason for this view. For me at least a blog is an area to spill out informal ideas, observations, foolishness, and yes, even some--gasp--earnestness. On occasion some real insight creeps in through the back door. I don't see a problem with this, and I also don't understand why anybody cares what poets write about on their blogs. I think that for some the blog community is another way to find friend and mentors--poets have been doing that forever. I don't think there's any shame in looking for support in this type of environment--the readers who want to sympathise will. The readers who don't can look elsewhere.

I realize that anyone can read what you write on a blog, and respond, even, if you have set up you account that way. But I think, with very few exceptions, it is misleading to quote from a blog and present that writing as representative of a poet's style, thoughts, ability, whatever. I'm writing this before I brush my teeth--I'm not too worried about spelling.) Yet in this essay Campion quotes from a blog--I'm pretty sure it was C. Dale's--in which the author is encouraging another poet who has become discouraged about rejection by referring to poems of his that went around many times before getting accepted. The reason I remember this conversation is because I found it encouraging. I also was touched (there's that earnestness again) that a more well known poet cared anough about younger writers to share this information in a public forum. I would never do that--I'd just pretend that everything got accepted on the first try.

Campion does not attribute the lines to C. Dale, which is just plain wrong--as though he is doing the author a favor by not connecting him publicly to those lines. It's not his dissent I have a problem with--it's the way it's presented.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Real Life

Funny how when real life crashes in there is, as least for me, little time or care for blogging. What a rough month--half a week--including mother's day--in the hospital with man child number one.

I am greatful for healthcare and insurance.
I am grateful for the wonderful nurses in the pediatrics ward.
I am grateful for exrays.
Fold-out couches.
Portable DVD player.
Shrek. The Incredibles. Peter Pan.
I'm grateful that we're home.

I got the proofs to my chap, but haven't looked at them.