Saturday, October 30, 2004

Hey, Mr. Flingdump, the tiny font is not my fault!

Okay, yes, but I've tried to fix it a bizzillion times and it keeps popping up small. I'd have to dump the whole format, I guess, and start from scratch.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Yeah-ha! (or however a whoop sounds phonetically) I just got a poem accepted to Rattle, which has rejected me before, most rapidly and grievously. Due out in June 2005. So that's quite a wait. But that's okay. I'm not holding my breath, much.
I sent out 4 book manuscripts today to contests: the American Poetry Review, Bakeless, Story Line Press and New Rivers Press. I decided on the title, "An Accident Waiting."

Plus: Joy Harjo has a website! I will definitely be visiting that one every day.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Ivy, who is just the kindest, said my latest postcard poem (not posted) was "dark and sulky." My poetry writing group was not so kind. "What the hell is going on in this poem?" "Are they... are they, shooting porn?" And then porn makes me think of pron, and pron naturally leads to prawn, and before I know it, I'm picturing Prawns in Porn and I'm unable to speak.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Mule Deer

Everywhere in California children
are crawling out from under beds.

The deer move like broken chairs rebuilt
in the shape of a horse. They have the faces

of cows, legs like awkward architecture.
They have killed several who lived on

my street – hunters or children who tried
to feed them pancakes. I see them every

morning as I draw my curtains. They are
destroying the garden, the squash, the tomatoes,

marigolds, string beans, the beetle-peppered
roses. They keep me awake at night rustling

the rhododendron – I imagine men with knives,
as sad children often do. The bucks rub their

antlers on the front step in the fall, the does
chase us down the driveway when we stare

at their fawns: they knock down fences, dive
through wind-shields, shadow us on our hikes.

We have town meetings, shriek about control
and acceptable losses, while they toss
our babies in the fields of wild wheat.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Since Ivy said she finally got the poetry postcard I sent this week, I am now free to post it here without spoiling the surprise.

Understanding Girls and Sentences

Not only is the dictionary cautious
in accepting new girls – it is careful,
perhaps not sufficiently so, about
admitting girls heard on the street –
girls exceedingly coarse and
vulgar, who we know as slang.

Such loose girls are seldom found
in print. They dwell on the outskirts
of literary society, unfit to appear.
We may think of them as vagrants.

Sometimes a girl of this sort works
her way out of the lower east side
of speech and at last gains
admittance to the dictionary; yet
where one succeeds in living down
her low origin, hundreds remain but
mouth-girls, without respectability.
Most of them live but a short time.

Monday, October 11, 2004


I forgot what it was
I loved so much about you,

was it your hair that bunched
and jumped and glittered
like a black tiger, or your

eyes, too large for any face,
that seemed about to weep
at peculiar secrets (lost keys,
the condom that slipped, that
child you hurt long ago
with your hand during recess).

No, it was your mouth – full
of sharp, wicked teeth, wide
and red as the mark of a slap,

your mouth that beckoned,
whispered, shook my hand then
pulled me close, your mouth

that sang a two part harmony
of disgust and longing, but
you bitch, you cunt, it was
your tongue that did us in.
I've been finding it hard to motivate myself to write, so one of my tricks is to read through vintage technical manuals -- the language is so interesting and odd -- and then change the significant nouns or verbs and use other text as found. I got two interesting pieces from this today. One for my postcard poems:

Dinner with the Taxidermist

Look at the empty space, where once
were willows. The swallow is made
up of hundreds and thousands of words.
Not all of these birds are in use today;
some are found only in old books, still
others are slowly dying.

When the spinning wheel went out,
a group of spinning wheels slipped
away. There was nothing for them
to do.

The stagecoach disappeared with
a piece of our sky.

Though we all have the same names
for things, still each Africa,
each Shropshire, each 10 Cadbury Lane,
has a few words that are not found,
that are strange
to my ear.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I made another book! It's with my new poetry, all the G rated stuff (which is hard to find)and it's actually for my mother, who is coming to visit in a few weeks. A moment of silence please.

So I called it "Poems for my Mother" (duh) and it has a lot of poems that you guys have seen here recently, minus anything vaguely even PG.

Here's the cover

And here's where you go if you, you know, are interested in making a little purchase. (not talking about drugs)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

And here's another (my apologizes for those who sat through 10 rewrites of this one already):


at 4am he's still sleeping
curled up he looks five years old
the sheets wrap him like scotch tape
she pokes him he shivers and whispers
something about seagulls when she leans
close she can smell little boy sweat where
his shoulder and neck meet

something collapses inside her lungs
when he washes himself after they fuck

she can’t get rid of him so easily he’s written
on each cheek when she looks in the mirror
he’s a shard of diamond under her lid when
she closes her eyes at night every time they
fuck he leaves another piece of himself in her
something black and keening cleaves to her
stomach he's so sweet her teeth start rotting
when she looks at him
evil sugar
I'm rewriting some of the poems in Things You Can Do With a Sharpened Pencil, cutting out a lot of the crap, finally adding PAGE NUMBERS, contemplating entering it in the writer's digest best self-published book contest, though the entrance fee is $100.

Here's one of the rewrites:

Diary of a Thief

19, I was skinny and small, wore shirts over shirts over shirts, skirts,
sweaters, bit my fingernails fucked anyone who asked, the first time
away from a house where no one knew how to kiss without tongue

when I wasn’t drinking or fucking another boy who reeked of pine fresh,
I lived in our college library, a cathedral of blackened
cinnamon wood, the angels books, helpless blind and flat

one Saturday night I crammed myself into the book elevator and up
behind locked doors, fresh chainlink and bars, a famous poet, you
would know his name, the only copy of his thesis-- I took it down with me

the paper like baby skin, transparent, elusive, pages fed a manual
typewriter in the days of carbon paper, I took

it and almost the Degas sculpture, the signed Emily
Dickinson letters, the rare things we hide because some objects shimmer
so they melt in sunlight or too much viewing

I took those pages, I touched them, the hand drawn illustrations,
I kept it with my books on a darkened desk

for one week imagining the thousands it could get me or how to take
it to my breast and suckle it, make it my own, basking in the shine
around my head from having such a valuable thing,
I put it back

for years I have done this, the trespass, the baroque plans with valuables
that seem suddenly (mine) and for years I have only touched, returned,
I have regretted things caressed and left, the Chagall drawing

the Monets, but this spring I finally saw it as a talent, I can enter a private chamber, uncover without stripping what gleams and is hidden,

touch without molding to the shape of my mouth, I can return
it unkissed, unbroken, give back what belongs and it was spring

when it finally hit me
now I can be a mother

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

So, today I got In the Criminal's Cabinet, the anthology by nth position. I feel the universe is treating me pretty well that I'm lucky enough to be in a book with Todd Colby and Daphne Gottlieb, among other greats. Also, and highly important, it has a cool cover.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Sleeping Dogs Lie

in the warm curtained room
I want to plumb your creases
thumb the popcorn smell from
between your toes

I want you still as I separate
your parts

pause the room quiet
only the hum of the fan

I want to meld geographies
of skin full length on full
your tongue to mine
your hair pricking my eyes

but you surly child
prefer your dreams
keep preferring
that dream beach
with the violet sun
until I go too