Saturday, March 22, 2008

Can it really be???

I think I am suspending this blog, and moving my online life over to the blog at my new author site!!!

I will still be reviewing books, and I will still be ranting (likely more often) about nothing in particular, and my writing life in detail. But I have too many blogs, so I want to smoosh them all together...

Please go ahead and bookmark the new site? Thanks so much!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Poetry Friday!!!

I first started reading Tomaz Salamun in college, where my teacher (who had been a Fulbright to Yugoslavia) was obsessed with Slovenian poets.

Over the years, I've had the opportunity to meet Tomaz in several places. First in a cabin on Lake Bled, then in my own kitchen in Chattanooga, and finally at a party in Iowa City. The guy gets around.

And I love him. I love him, love him, love him. And I think you will too.

There is something really spare in his work, which I adore. But there's so much in each line. A great economy of language! It's just a little religious, a little surreal, a little sexy, a little sad, a little despairing, a little in love. It's a little old-world, but also very contemporary-- funny and wise.

A few years back I posted this tiny poem, which is hilarious:

What is Abomination

Abomination is when you come home
and say heat up the stove
and no one heats up the stove for you
and it's February

be gone be gone
the most global abomination is peas

But his range is great. And so here's another:

I Know

Last night, in the water where Barnett Newman’s
line disappeared, I drowned. I swam
to the surface, like a black, dark-blue
luminous blossom. It’s terrible to be
a flower. The world stopped.
Mute, like velvet, I opened, perhaps
for good.
Before, with Toma┼ż Brejc, we
talked about the mystique
of finance, about the eye, the triangle,
about God, possible readings
of chance, of Slovenian history and
Don’t touch me.
I’m the greatest capital just as I am.
I’m the water in which the
destiny of the world takes place for us.
I’m dizzy. I don’t understand.
I know.
Tonight, when I made love, I
reported. I’m a black cube now,
like marble or granite-from-the-other-world,
a bird standing, with yellow
feet and an immense yellow beak, my black
feathers shining: now the eminent church
dignitary, that is:
they all wanted me,
the blossom.
I’m the pure dark blossom
standing still on the surface.
Untouchable and untouched.

Monday, March 17, 2008

This week... a tornado and a leprecaun!!!

Yes, that's right! A tornado touched down in my neighborhood, or right around the corner anyway. But I wasn't here... I was deep below ground, in the IKEA parking lot, hiding out with the kids.



Now... in honor of St. Patrick's Day (yes, that's right... my other blog is JewishyIRISHY!) a poem, from Ireland! One I read over and over and over and over as a kid, as it was included in THIS AWESOME BOOK! (except that I discovered it was not this book, but another. Does anyone remember a seventies version with a purple cover?)

The Fairies--William Allingham

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.

High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music,
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen,
Of the gay Northern Lights.

They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back
Between the night and morrow;
They thought she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag leaves,
Watching till she wake.

By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite?
He shall find the thornies set
In his bed at night.

Up the airy mountain
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting,
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poetry Friday REDUX!!!

I didn't realize it was Dylan Day!

Here, in honor, is a prosey poem I wrote about a year ago.


Dear Bob Dylan,

The me I was at every time before this time was yours. No longer.

The me of smoke and mirrors for long stretches. The me of down on my knees and night in the cemetery and attic apartments and dreamily, dreamily, thin. The me of my ridiculous then.

I was deathly serious. I was deathly.

Of lying to people and grinning. Of beauty. Of goodness. Of ragged coughs and vegetarian and braids in my hair. Torn fabric and gilt edges. Late nights gone stale by morning. Smoke gone stale. Incense too. Flowering, weeds in a mason jar. Flowering gone stale.


I was little—romping. Bears and picnics… I was slightly less small—my skirts above my knees (in pretense). If you’re a travelin… I was older—cars and highways. Nashvilles. Skylines…

But I was still little. Then. I was something!

I miss you. I miss me. I miss us, then. I miss the then.

Murder by nostalgia. Gone stale. Goodbye.


I am loving Poetry Friday! It is letting me dig around in my brain, wander through the poems I loved long ago, outgrew, and am ready to come back to (much as I am returning to all the books I loved in the many wild long agos of my already).

Anyone else remember this Norman Dubie poem? Please, do yourself a favor and ready the last 4 lines!!

I'll consider this my kiss-off to winter!

Of Politics and Art

Here, on the farthest point of the peninsula
The winter storm
Off the Atlantic shook the schoolhouse.
Mrs. Whitimore, dying
Of tuberculosis, said it would be after dark
Before the snowplow and bus would reach us.

She read to us from Melville.

How in an almost calamitous moment
Of sea hunting
Some men in an open boat suddenly found themselves
At the still and protected center
Of a great herd of whales
Where all the females floated on their sides
While their young nursed there. The cold frightened whalers
Just stared into what they allowed
Was the ecstatic lapidary pond of a nursing cow's
One visible eyeball.
And they were at peace with themselves.

Today I listened to a woman say
That Melville might
Be taught in the next decade. Another woman asked, "And why not?"
The first responded, "Because there are
No women in his one novel."

And Mrs. Whitimore was now reading from the Psalms.
Coughing into her handkerchief. Snow above the windows.
There was a blue light on her face, breasts, and arms.
Sometimes a whole civilization can be dying
Peacefully in one young woman, in a small heated room
With thirty children
Rapt, confident and listening to the pure
God-rendering voice of a storm.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Good Stuff!!!

Okay, so I've been reading Anne Ursu's Shadow Thieves, and it's delightful, and funny, and contemporary and smart and all that good stuff.

But the end ROCKS! I will not give it away, but it DOES!

Though there is still one thing I'm confused about... probably because I fall asleep reading (which I do with all books) and missed a key page. Sigh.

(To folks who read the book, do you understand how Grandma Winter knew Metos?)

Friday, March 7, 2008

Poetry Friday!!!

Poetry Friday today, and I'm dashing out the door with the kids... to take my husband his laptop, which he left home.

But all week I have had a poem in my head, a poem I loved a long time ago, in college. I think it's resonating this week because I long to slooooooow down, have a remarkable moment (or two, or three).

Maybe a little cheesey, but here it is, by James Wright:

A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fine Lines...

What I am doing a pathetic, irregular attempt at accomplishing with this blog...

Is being hysterically, successfully, wonderfully executed over at Fine Lines. Lizzie Skurnick is a wonder, and if you read YA/kidlit and you do not know this weekly feature, you are missing OUT!

This week she's talking about Louise Fitzhugh's The Long Secret (yes, the sequel to Harriet the Spy, silly!)

(Oh, I am so jealous of Lizzie! I want to be as clever as she is!!!)