Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Represent, yo.

I may bid on a house in the near future. It's small and cute with a huge yard, space for a garden, and it happens to be close to my family. I have decided to bid on it because it is possibly going to sell for a price I can't pass up. The house payment will actually be much lower than my rent. Plus, then I won't be throwing money away and all that jazz my mom always tells me. It's yellow and I love yellow.

What puts a dent in my excitement is that I love where I live now for many reasons. The apartment is two floors, the rooms are huge and I have a patio that overlooks a creek (or sewer) and the woods. This morning there were 27 ducks out there!

For those of you who know me well, you already know that I am obsessed with my neighbors. Such a variety exists here in these so-called luxury apartments...a couple teachers, a few junkies, a nun, a prostitute, some cops, a stripper or two, and the cutest little old ladies in Akron. There is the complex informer, the drunk who throws beer bottles from her balcony, the old Italian couple who make their square of grass look like something out of a gardening magazine and a maintenance guy who coasts around in a golf cart, 24 pack of Natural Light in the back. There is even a man in an electric wheelchair who loves Bud Light and America so much that he drives around late at night with a flag billowing from the back of his chair, Bud Ice in hand. Sometimes his girlfriend rides on his lap.

And I'm leaving this gem of a place.

I can't think of a genre of music that doesn't have something intriguing about it. Lately I have been listening to a lot of rap. I am the only one in my circle of friends who really has a nook in my heart for rap. And yes, I get teased about it. But as I walk around here (and of course it's nothing like Compton or Brooklyn or Detroit), I realize that the thing that attracts me to bands/artists like NWA, Tupac, Jay-Z, and Bone Thugs is their connection to their neighborhoods. I know this exists in other genres but it seems to be the life and breath of much rap, at least older rap.

I've written one poem so far about a neighbor and that will be handed over to the world in the next issue of Barn Owl. There must be more neighbor poems in me. I think of Nas, one of the only brilliant rappers still around. In his song "One Mic" he says something like This is my hood, I'm gonna rep until the death of it. This is what I must do.

Thanks Mary and all of BOR for picking up the first of what I think must be a series.

In case you didn't already guess, I am the poet pug lady. I wanted to keep the poet thing on the down low but my mother used to walk Telemachus every day when I was at work and she likes to tell everyone about me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pug Pageant Mother????

Once in a while a poem comes out fast but that is usually if something hits me and I just grab a notebook or napkin and scribble it down. Mostly, I mull and mull over words and look at Microsoft Word for hours. Being a word-muller has one benefit. As you can see from the above picture, Telemachus likes to sit in my lap and sleep on my arm as I attempt to write poems. This makes typing especially difficult, but when a phrase only arrives once a day, it's not so bad.

To the right of the picture you can see the new puppy, Edith, sleeping in her new tiny pink corduroy bed. She is just so cute that I can barely stand it.

Okay, so don't judge me just yet. I have not purchased one single outfit for Edith. My best friend Kelly just happens to own a Pomeranian named Lola and little Lola likes to eat and can't quite fit into some of her clothes. Kelly passed some outfits down to Edith.

I of course have not taken her anywhere in these outfits because it is too hot, but my apartment is quite air conditioned so I must admit, there has been one small fashion show.

Am I a pug pageant mother? That's a horrible thought. If I told you that pugs love clothes, would you believe me? I swear!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Welcome Edith

Some people just aren't dog people. Those people are not very happy with me right now and I don't much care. They say things like, "How can you take care of two dogs? How can you afford it? Telemachus likes being alone. You aren't home as it is. You make irrational decisions."

Here is my reply. Look at my new little baby's face. Dogs are pack animals. I was never home because I worked full time and earned an MFA (one in which I traveled to four universities) in 3 years (Thanks mom for helping out with Telemachus). I'm broke...there will be no more summer long backpacking trips for quite some time. I'm a writer so that means most of my time is spent right here in this very apartment. I am my mother's only child and look how messed up I am. Telemachus needs a sister (hopefully not a girlfriend).

In all seriousness, I know those non-dog people will come around the minute they set eyes on this new beauty. And who wouldn't love a dog named after Edith Piaf? I should train her in French. The only problem is that though I spent some time in France a few summers ago, I can only say things "I would like some red wine. I would like some white wine. I will have the special of the day. Thank you."

As for Telemachus, he is not quite sure about Edith yet. I only pulled the above picture off with some bribing. I do have confidence that they will soon be the best of friends. My intent was to rescue a dog...what could be more special? However, most of the dogs at the places I searched were too big for apartment living. Pugs are a bit different from other dogs and as much as I love Pit Bulls, I just didn't think it was right for Telemachus. So now I have two babies who will climb into the bed using the doggy steps and keep me up all night with their snoring. Does life get any better than this?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This definitely isn't County Clare

I imagine that for the next few weeks I will compare everything to my recent time in Eire. My first "back in the states" event consisted of driving in a '49 Plymouth to Dragway 42 for "Rock and Race." Drag racing seemed like a good thing to get my mind off Irish village life.

There were no Gregory Flynns or Paddy Flanagans to tell me stories. No one said slainte while slamming a pint glass against mine. Actually, no glass was allowed, but I was in good company. I do believe everyone needs a little rockabilly music.

Good music is good music. A spinning bass and a Johnny Cash song (performed by the The Hot Rod Hucksters) isn't quite the foot stomping fiddle playing that happens every night at McGann's, but for some reason, though my cliche wannabe Irish heart hates to admit this, I knew I was home when in between each Hot Rod Hucksters' song someone screamed out "Free Bird...Free Bird." A little Skynyrd never hurt anyone.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leaving Ireland and taking a borrowed book with me...

My chef friend let me borrow the book Notes by Irish poet Peter van de Kamp. The chef doesn't know it yet, but I just don't see how I can part with this book, especially since I am leaving Ireland. I can't tell you what I think of the book as a whole because I keep getting stuck on the first poem. It has thumb smudges and Guinness droppings all over it. Check it out. Enjoy!


If, on a sultry night,
You flutter past my porch
Into the light of my living,
I'll save you from the scalding.
I'll elbow the lighswitch off,
Face the moon,
Elbow french windows shut;
And hands still in prayer
Entombing your tremble
(sinuous as venial sins
flicking walls of the chapel
before their confession)
Will spread in supplication
For your dark flight.
And I? I'll go back in again,
Switch the light back on,
Read a book, maybe,
Or maybe watch TV.

-Peter van de Kamp