Friday, August 31, 2007

Random Sentences 2

Everything was yellow then. My bedroom had pine furniture painted a shiny lemon. The wallpaper, over which my mother and I fought, was a cheery yellow-and-green-flower-cluster pattern, as if one could force sunshine into a cloudy house. A wicker rocker painted white sat in the corner.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smart humor and smart blogs

I'm working on medieval arms and armor at work.

This and that are two favorite places.

Jacobus has a half-dozen video blogs from the 14th century.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Random Stanza 10

What regular lightning
marshalls up to greet me?
The sea tilts hello,
hello, hello
evening into my lap.

--from "Phosphoresence"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Poetry News

Gargoyle Magazine recently accepted one of my poems for publication. Its editor, Richard Peabody, found me again through Nin Andrews (thanks Nin!). He said he's been asking for my work for years...

Also, I'm going to be the poetry and art editor of Whiskey Island this year. Karen Schubert is the big cheese, and witty experimentalist Travis Hessman from Kent will be fiction editor.

This takes the bite out of angle magazine's demise.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Masumi Hayashi

Today is the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of Masumi Hayashi, artist, photographer, friend. Her neighbor, artist John Jackson, was also killed. The man who took their lives is in prison with a life sentence.

I'm supposed to be writing/finishing an article on the four exhibitions of her work being mounted this fall, but all I can think about is her, her laugh, her kindness ribboned with irony. Watching her son, Dean, grow up. Learning about the daughter she gave up for adoption (they found each other just in time).

She entered this life smack in the center of one of America's great shames: a Japanese internment camp called Gila River, in 1945. She left this life in a presumably safe building in Cleveland.

We have her work as testament and multiple memento mori.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Random Sentences 1

Instead of the thick, white oval he was expecting, the pond was pure, clear glass. It had frozen so quickly it caught fish in mid-swim. You could see right to the bottom. Ben had never seen such perfection.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Random Stanza 9

It’s an easy puzzle of veneer,
tiled teeth, a pimp’s smack
and click as he bends her neck nearly
off, her cheek in his mantis hands
holding a bruised plum.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sister Visit

My sister lives on a farm. She is a farmer, or wants to be a farmer. She is a farm inspector. She inspects farms claiming to be organic. She doesn't even count horses anymore because she sees so many. What is a heifer, what is a bull calf, what is a bred heifer, what is veal? The Amish men don't like her she says. They conduct business with men. They keep their cows' business at the wrong end of the business end of the barn. Sometimes. She points that out. Writes it down. What goes in can't be around what comes out.

My sister is landlocked. She came to visit me. Came to visit the lake. The lake on which we grew up. The lake our nightingale, our lullaby, our white noise. She can come and just sit and watch the lake and not talk I told her. She brought a kitten. We are wild for animals.

A red-headed woodpecker started working the willow out front. Other birds than lake gulls hopped in the grass. Look I say and she says yeah. We saw a flock of bluebirds yesterday she says. She lives on a farm. She lives away from water. Where bluebirds go.

We have purple martins I say, even though it's my neighbor who has purple martins which I haven't seen lately. I'll have to ask. Did the purple martins leave already?

We talk about how we took care of our parents. She more than me it's true. We talk about how they became our children, why we don't have children now. What's it like to have live parents? We can't imagine anymore. We look at pictures of our parents before they became parents or even knew they were going to be. They look scared.

We aren't scared anymore. I don't think. I actually don't know. I'll have to ask. It didn't come up.

My sister misses the gulls.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Random Stanza 8

Quarters for the pay phone
to call the days we slept

Friday, August 10, 2007

Barb, Books + Birthdays

Today would have been my mother's 80th birthday. I can't imagine her at 80. She died at 58.

She hated being photographed, and I have no photos of her past the age of around 30. She razored herself out of every photo she could find.

I recently found her yearbooks from 1941 and 1942, in which she chronicled what happened to upper classmen as they entered the war: killed in action, taken prisoner in the Solomons, missing in action, taken prisoner by Nazis.

I knew they all grew up together, but it's odd to see it: there is my mother, standing two rows back from her future brother- and sister-in-laws. All of my aunts and uncles on both sides are in these pages.

Her name was Barbara. She used to take books out of my hands (I was an obsessive reader). I think she wanted me to be part of the real world, and also do things like come to dinner and eat with the family.

Yesterday, another woman named Barbara put a book in my hands and asked me to read it. My mother would be shocked and (hopefully) pleased that it's part of my job.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Random Stanza 7

from the surreal pile:

A manatee drives to work
on giant muchness. Already
he has strapped on his antennae.

Monday, August 6, 2007

New Job + Random Stanza 6

Started new job today--9 to 5; a fully stocked cubicle; nice, educated people; BENEFITS, including VISION and DENTAL; and best of all, dress is casual. I'm editing pieces of text about art. Except for being paid to write poetry (haha), nothing could be better...

I saw two posters of Rothko's work around the office. Here's a random stanza from my Rothko poem:

Rothko tastes infinity in his smokes,
but knows it’s only temporary.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mary Tagged Me

"...five poetry collections you may not have read but certainly must. (Note: The collections, for whatever reason, should be a bit off the beaten path. And need not have caused the earth to open and swallow you whole.)"

In April, Mary B. tagged me with the above list. I just re-discovered it and thought I would try it out.

Bitter Angels by Amy Gerstler
More Under Saturn by William Dickey
A Hunger by Lucie Brock-Broido
Lie Awake Lake by Beckian Fritz Goldberg
To a Blossoming Pear Tree by James Wright

Yeah, yeah, I'm old school.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Random Stanza 5

All day the oyster mulls it over.
What other housework produces a pearl?

Friday, August 3, 2007

Random Stanza 4

Breathe easy. Green
muscles up. The dappled
day is not a goner. Dogs
mount the hills, piss
and stand like conquerors.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Random Stanza 3

bar of soap on which to

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Random Stanza 2

Grass grows in our stead,
a carpet pulled up
over the bald night.