Thursday, February 28, 2008

Too Cool For Glamour Shots? Probably Not

Top: What can I say for that? Aqua Net & hair bands. Nine Inch Nails had not yet changed my life. And for some strange reason, I think I had on a Denver Broncos coat.

Middle: This would be 9th grade. You can see Trent Reznor had influenced me a bit with the haircut, but the fluffy hair was still in my blood. What a crooked smile.

Bottom: This was at the end of my senior year. My pants were five times too big, but my hair was coming along.

Summary: Twelve years later, I still think Beastie Boys are cool.

Okay bloggers, start posting the pictures. And Sara, this was for you.

Sorry I did not scan these to the best of my ability.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

How I spent my snow day

For my Dumanis class, I have been reading Olena Kalytiak Davis' And Her Soul Out Of Nothing. To be honest, nothing we have previously read in the class has resonated with me. But this book is stunning.

Reading Davis' book has made me re realize how important the first poem of a book is. It should function as a map to the rest of the material. Davis opens her book with the poem A Few Words For The Visitor In The Parlor. She writes, Dear Visitor: You divide your age in two then square it by a dying mother. I am always gathering her up into my arms. Believe me, you never forget somebody that thin.

The poem opens up the book with a strong narrator who will spend the rest of the book defining an interior life where soul resides, grieving and living.

If you have not read it, I urge you to order it. It's one of the best poetry books I have read in quite some time.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Check it out, yo.

Some new poems on Wicked Alice...along with Miss Jessica Jewell's always incredible work.

What's on my poetry agenda for this weekend?

My manuscript is once again on the floor. The first and third sections must be reorganized. I have cut two or three poems and have decided that the speaker/protagonist/poet (whatever) must be wed, at least metaphorically, to painter Vincent from page one.

I also will be reading Jay's manuscript. I can't wait.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A 30 year old and her sweatshirt

Look at that sweathshirt. Is there any article of clothing that could be more comfortable? More me? Yet it seems to be a real issue for some people who claim to love me.

It was about this time two years ago when my grandpa started getting really sick. Yet, even on his death bed he managed to ask me, "Why the hell do you wear that old rag?"

And my best friend Kelly, well she has been trying to get rid of this sweatshirt for years. She was subtle about it at first. A few years ago, she bought me a new sweatshirt, an expensive baby blue Burton one. She would say things like, "Why aren't you wearing your new sweatshirt? It looks so good with your blond hair?" I almost fell for it.

At this point, Kelly is honest with her feelings. Last Saturday I reached for the sweatshirt to complete my evening attire and this is how the situation unfolded.

Kelly: Ah, NOOOOOO. Absolutely not. I'm not going anywhere with you in that.

Me: What's the problem?

Kelly: It's disgusting.

Me: Well, it's who I am.

Kelly: Well then be yourself when you are not around me.

She thinks she's funny, but her NEVER SUMMER SWEATSHIRT PREJUDICE only makes me want to wear it more. When she gets married some day, I will wear it with my maid of honor dress. I will even stick my thumbs through the holes in the sleeves.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Please, everyone answer this...

Before I explain why I am enthralled with this simple question, just answer it. CAN BATMAN FLY?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sunday thoughts on teaching...snowboarding

Yesterday I went to Seven Springs (PA) to snowboard. Conditions weren't the greatest: slushy, a tiny bit of mud on some runs, and a million people waiting in line for the lifts; but I am an Ohio girl so I cannot complain about weather.

I had a great time with my friend and her son. They are still in beginner mode which forced me to stop and dissect how it is that I snowboard in order to teach them.

My friend seemed gracious toward my teaching, but I'm not sure I taught her much of anything. When it comes down to it, what is teaching, really?

Sometimes it boils down to something quite simple. I can tell you how I snowboard. I can tell you what other snowboarders would say. And then you have to take that wisdom or stupidity and figure out what works for you. Sometimes it works like that in poetry as well.

I tried to explain to my friend's son that one way I learned to snowboard was to ride with people who were better than me. That forced me to have to keep up and push myself to limits I didn't anticipate were even possible. This is similar to how poets constantly read other poets.

My friend (tailbone on fire, knees black and blue) kept getting angry, slamming down the board and using some four letter words. I got a little Zen on her, tried to elaborate on the spirituality of snowboarding. You must respect the mountain as something much greater than you. And the board, well it must become an extension of your own body.

Really, my friend hasn't yet fallen in love with the art of it yet, but I hope that she will. As for me, even though I am 30 and according to my mother I need to be thinking about mortgages, there is just about nothing in the world that makes me as happy as snowboarding does and I need to do it much more often than I do.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New York

Here are the highlights of my New York/AWP trip:
  • Hanging out with Amy Bracken Sparks (pictured above with Jay)
  • Spending time with Joey, my friend from high school
  • Hearing Frank McCourt speak, possibly the funniest man in the world
  • Watching James Tate smile as he dodges questions
  • Seeing The Red Studio by Matisse (MoMa with Sara and Jay)
  • Eating my first gyro
  • Walking through Central Park and being lonely
  • and drum roll please...seeing Robert Bly at the NEOMFA reception

Monday, February 4, 2008

Will Blog Soon

I have been so busy reading emails and working on my assignments for Dumanis' class tomorrow. Plus, I have been mildly distracted by the Jackson 5 for some reason. I will post an AWP picture and some comments tomorrow or Wednesday or Thursday.