Friday, September 30, 2011
Just saved a lot of poems/drafts on my flash drive, and I'm amazed! I have well over 50 files with poems that don't seem that bad!! They are working together too!!! So, I'll be sending these out from a library computer if I can't afford to get a new printer this month. Freeing!!! I had no idea I had so much work that's gone unsent to journals. I hope to put these in a collection about the journey of healing from abuse. I'm tickled to death with myself. I HAVE been working. My self-esteem just prevented me from realizing all the work I've done over the past 5-6 years. Yes, I think I have two manuscripts to send out. The one at U. of Arizona (Seven) and this new one. And yes, the poems are actually working together. I was so focused on healing and getting over 2008 that I had no idea I'd written so much. Now, we'll just have to send them out into the universe to see if anyone likes them. This feels good!!!
Posted by Sheryl at 1:32 PM
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I've been reading the April 2011 edition of POETRY and am literally writing the poems out longhand. I really like W.S. Di Pero's work a lot. Lots of moving lines. I'm going to walk tonight and try to come up with some lines. Slow going, but I suspect I'll find a line or two tonight. I realize I need to slow down in my work. I often do have a manic sensibility which gets me tripped up sometimes. Slow down. Careful word choice. Hear the music.
Posted by Sheryl at 5:34 PM
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Doing better, though I did fall out of bed and break my printer, which was on the floor. :( * The computer seems better after defragging the disk and repeatedly running a disk check. Tomorrow there are no groups, so I hope to work on some poems. Still reading THE COURAGE TO HEAL and finding it VERY helpful.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:06 PM
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Computer is still hanging on, maybe it's a software thing. My bro will try to fix it in Dec. 42 Ways to Say No (or buy time until you can) When someone asks you to do something for them or with them: 1. The enthusiastic (polite/helpful etc.) part of me would like to say yes, but the rest of me is over committed (more realistic/unwilling). 2. I don't know! I'll have to think that over. 3. I wish I could help you out, but I'm over extended/overcommitted right now. 4. I'm going to pass. I'm really trying to slow down my pace these days. 5. That's something I'll have to think about. 6. I don't have my calandar with me, but I can call and let you know tomorrow. 7. Sorry, I'm already booked. 8. No, I can't make it after all. But it was nice of you to ask. 9. I'll think it over. 10. Thanks, but I'm way too tired. 11. No, that's not really my thing. 12. Don't hold your breath. 13. I have an appointment that day/night. (And you don't have to say what it is!) 14. That's not for me, thanks. 15. Oh, that sounds interesting. Let me think about it and get back to you. 16. I'm not sure if I'm free that day/night. Let me check and call you tomorrow. 17. Sorry, but my schedule is too full right now. 18. The part of me that wants to make you happy wants to say yes, but the rest of me won the vote. 19. Thanks, but I don't think I will. 20. That's not really something I enjoy. 21. That doesn't work for me. 22. That doesn't fit for me. 23. When you want to have some fun saying no, try one of these: Not in this lifetime! Forget it! Dream on! You must be kidding! Not in a million years. Are you out of your tiny little mind? When Someone does, asks, or says something invasive: 24,I'm not comfortable with that. 25. I'd like to ask you not to _____ 26. I'd like you to stop____ 27, Please stop doing that. I don't like it. 28. I'm uncomfortable right now with what you're saying/doing. 29. That's not something I talk about except with family. 30. Let's talk about something else. 31. I want to keep that to myself. 32. That's my business. 33. I'm surprised you think you have a right to that info. 34. I don't feel like talking about it. 35. Are you asking me this because...? (Try saying this one with a look of disbelief.) 36. Sorry that's not something I talk about. 37. I never answer questions like that. When someone says something you disagree with: 38. I see it differently than you do. 39. We certainly don't agree about that. 40. I have a different point of view. 41. My experience of _______ is somewhat different. 42. I hear what you are saying, but I don't agree with it. From THE COURAGE TO HEAL. Ellen Bass & Laura Davis 4th edition. Collins Living. A lot of difficulty saying no, disagreeing as when I was a child, that was not an option. Feeling good these days. Will attend RHETORICAL LANDSCAPES: Reshaping Technology, Theory and Tradition at Colorado State University-Pueblo and speak on POETRY, PLACE and TRAVEL.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:22 PM
Friday, September 23, 2011
I'm in a bad mood as computer is dying. I think I need a new hard drive/ a new computer, which isn't going to happen at this time. My hearing isn't for another 7-8 months, so I'm kind of screwed. Will go to the Summit Center/Clubhouse to see if I can use their computers. Hopefully, miraculously this problem will get better. I think the hard drive is just old, so I'm going to try to save my newer work, along with the manuscript, which I do already have on flash-drive and email. What a bummer. Want to buy a hard drive at Best Buy, but I don't have any money at this time. We'll see. Have a number of poems I would like to send out and hope to send out before the computer dies. Doing cross-word puzzles and word finds to pass the time. Will go for a walk tonight as abilify has helped pack the weight on. Now on a new drug called Latuda. I'm on VERY expensive meds but am in a Colorado program and programs with the prescription drug companies for poor and indigent people. Yeah, I'm kinda indigent. But I do have a roof over my head and plenty of food, so I am very blessed. I am not much a believer in prayer, but if you are pray I can save these poems. Like wild horses in Wyoming No Longer Writing Arroyos One Pansy Greets the Day Only Clouds A Contentious Woman Speaks After All Awe Four Little Buddhas Here comes the Rain La Mano Negra We'll see. I'm going to get to trying to save them and will blog later. Have a wonderful fall! The trees are changing colors here, and it always surprises me how that creeps up on me, unnoticed. Be aware. I am aware of many blessings today. I will focus on those instead of the possible loss of a computer. I can always write long hand.
Posted by Sheryl at 3:07 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Still sick. At Starbucks reading and enjoying myself, ignoring calls, ignoring roomate and others who need a ride etc. Reading a book, a hard book on the effects of sexual abuse on one's ability to be intimate. Looking back on 40 years plus of shutting down and shutting people out. It's hard really. Will continue to work on these issues. Drinking my second cup of coffee. Spent part of my rent money on the coffee, will just owe a couple of bucks more next month. * Groups are coming up soon again after a two week break. Thank god. I do terrible when I don't have anything at all to do. Groups in the morning are good because they get me up and about, and then I can write/walk etc. in the afternoon, early evening. But I'm having to learn to put boundaries up as not many folks on SSI have a car, and well I have a car, and everyone wants a ride!! I can't take it anymore. One guy's going to give me 10 bucks gas money, but others, well others will take a mile if you give them an inch, and it's hard for me to say no, but I'm getting better at it as I simply just left the complex today. Freedom. I am ignoring my phone, so don't call :) * "Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding." -- Kahil Gilbran THE PROPHET * I obviously love Cat Stevens and consider him a poet in much the same way I consider Dylan a poet. *
Posted by Sheryl at 4:04 PM
Friday, September 16, 2011
Getting my blood drawn this morning and am having to fast, but I am drinking coffee. I am sick with a cough, a bad one. But it should pass in a day or two. My mother has chronic bronchitis, so I can't imagine being stuck with that! I've been spending my time drawing designs with colored pencils, reading a bit and have recently tried word finds/puzzles to get my mind off my worries. It works well. Back to 100 Years of Solitude today while I wait in the waiting room at the clinic because I know I will have to wait, but this clinic is pretty good, and I can be seen without having a co-pay, which would NEVER HAPPEN in Texas, that's one of the reasons I am staying in Colorado for the time being. I've been blogging a lot though blogging is dead. This in many ways is a secondary notebook to the journal I maintain. I have a few poems/drafts written in the journal and found a number of poems which I am going to send out soon. I'm going to send to Palabra and Ploughshares, though Ploughshares has consistently rejected me over the years. I am not in the know. I am feeling hesitant about my recent work. Some poems are narrative, and others aren't quite lyrical or narrative. I may post some shorter ones here, which I don't feel are publishable, then again I never seem to read which poems will be taken, but I have 14 new ones published, which feels good, but I'd like to get into some better journals, or I should say more institution affiliated journals, then again, some independent journals are stellar. I love going to Tattered Cover to read journals. I currently still have work out at a number of journals, some of which I sent way back in March, not sure what will happen with those as they, if I remember correctly were quite fragmented, but people seem to like that now. I can't seem to write organically whole pieces anymore, or as of late. In any case, I have a lot of drafts that need revision, and I have to decide which ones are keepers and which ones I will trash. * I am going to attend a symposium in Pueblo in October, but I need to sketch out my ideas and what I will speak about on a panel dealing with language, travel and poetry. * Reading non-poetry stuff but will read some more poetry soon, as I feel it helps me write better. I feel stuck in some ways, but people take my poems. Hoping they are working. I haven't had a reading in a long time, but will read on this panel at CU-Pueblo. * Will go to El Paso for Christmas, and I'm looking forward to it as I am homesick, but I've grown to love Colorado. People say it's dry here, but compared to the desert of west Texas, this seems pristine and quite green to me. I guess everything is relative. * I've lost any audience I had early possibly. But blogging keeps me thinking about poems, when it's hard to think about them. It keeps me focused on writing, when it seems like I'm very far from the writing world. But I am writing about poor people. I read recently that due to food stamps and other programs, we don't really have poor people. I find this hard to believe as I live off of 175.00 a month now. But yes, food stamps help, and it's a blessing to live in a country which provides them. * Career: my "career" has crashed? I don't know. I thought about applying for a job, but I'm not ready. It's difficult to explain why other than to state I need healing, a lot of healing, but people who know me say I am doing much, much better in that I don't put myself down as much, and see more positive things; recently I did get depressed and am starting to believe it's largely chemical as I have no reason to be depressed. Life is kind to me these days. I have no money, but I am resting up and taking care of myself which feels good. Take care
Thursday, September 15, 2011
6:03 a.m. and I am going walking in about 30 minutes. I was invited to a symposium/conference but don't have the gas $ to get there. I think I'm going to ask someone for help with that and see if it's not too late to attend. It may be too late, but it doesn't hurt to try. They've kindly offered a place to stay. Should've responded a week ago, but I had plenty of my own stuff going on. If not, fine. I have a cough/cold, but I think I need to start walking. Fact is, a lot of medications cause weight gain and weight gain I've had. It's enough to make you want to not take them anymore, but in any case, I am tapering off abilify, which could be the heavy, and I do mean heavy culprit. Fact is, I didn't believe in medication, and it got me in all sorts of troubles and difficulties with people, institutions and career (or lack there of). The flip-side is the meds seem to cause weight gain and memory difficulty. I take Strattera to help me focus, yet I have a difficult time still focusing, but that's been raised 10 mg. I think this stuff matters, as some feel meds are very bad. Fact is, being off them didn't work well for me. When I was younger, late 20's early 30's I took meds which also caused a lot of weight gain. So I decided not to take them, and the decade I didn't wreaked havoc on my potential job opportunities. I didn't realize this until 2009 or 2010. It was my own limitations which hampered myself not the doings of others. It's difficult to accept one needs chemicals to regulate emotions and even physical responses to emotions and particularly paranoia or hyper-vigilence. But the fact is when I refuse meds, I am in all sorts of difficulties with other people and my thinking gets very distorted. In 2008 I got really sick and I understand now that for the time being, I need to regulate my emotions, which otherwise are fiery, difficult and even numb at times. I think since I've been back on them too, that they are better than they were in the late 90's early 2Ks. I've gained a lot of weight this past year though, so I am frustrated. So I figure I need to start seriously walking and watching my diet. All of this is probably uninteresting. I don't know. There's only so much nature awe one can discuss on a blog. Relationships and histories seem more interesting to me. Poetry in many ways has taken a back seat, yet I published 14 poems recently. My most recent acceptance is for Mutabilis Press's anthology of Texas/ Texas related writers. They accepted "Chico's Taco's" which was previously published in FEMINIST STUDIES. I'm going to have to call El Paso Times as there is a new editor. I need to make sure my last 3 reviews get printed, and I need to ask if the books page will remain as is, or if there will be changes, as we all know reviews don't get a lot of press print in this day and age, especially poetry reviews. I suspect they'll appear, but I am wondering what this new editor will do. Well, the sun is coming up so it's time to get moving. More blathering later. Take care.
Posted by Sheryl at 6:25 AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
I like this version best. I'm back home again and feeling much better. I finished writing the review for Millicent Borges Accardi's book INJURING ETERNITY and just need to type it. I will begin reading OCOTILLO DREAMS by Melinda Palacio. I'm now on a mood stabilizer which seems to be helping a lot. I have a new journal and am almost finished filling out the old one. I will hopefully begin organizing my poems into packets/online submission files. I met a wonderful young man who is concerned with spiritual growth and interested in going to Tibet. I found him to be intelligent despite being sick, positive about life and eager to learn. I most definitely think he has/will inspire a poem. He was feeling better when I left the house, so I think he will be fine. My roommate took a dive down the stairs and has contusions on her face in a bad way. I feel guilty for not being here, but I have to take care of myself, and I am learning to take care of myself. I am letting go of perceived judgments by other people. We are simply limited by our individuality and we miss so much around us sometimes, steeped in our own problems. I am trying to be at peace and will walk and write more. Time to write. I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon and am saying goodbye to people full of judgment. Also, it's time to let someone fend for themselves. I am not a caretaker. Ugh, that sounds cold. But I mean we have to take care of ourselves first; otherwise we are no good to anyone. Adios.
Posted by Sheryl at 1:33 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I'm feeling better. Trying to not let people's judgments worry me. In any case, put on trazadone this morning and will stay at least one more day. Long story, but dealing with an addict is NO FUN. I am not schizophrenic, but have times been diagnosed schizoaffective, so I am just worn out. I have PTSD for sure too, and maybe it's more PTSD than anything, but I am thinking about working my way to becoming a peer-specialist, which is someone who helps people out by taking them for coffee, appointments etc. I have been told by a lot of people that I'll be good at it, but I do miss teaching. I'm just not ready to do such a thing at this time. Maybe some day in the future. Will try to write today as I've been antsy and not sleeping, hence the trazadone. All is well. Peace.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:04 AM
Monday, September 12, 2011
Wow, someone did get mad re: my last post. Interesting. I can read em like a book. In any case, I have interest in my well being and the well being of others. A young man, staying where I'm at responds to internal stimuli by talking to himself endlessly, or someone else, but the psychosis is real and it is a serious illness. 4 a,m. often and this is why I am here trying to see if I can't get meds that work better and that can pull me out of depression. This young man walks for hours and sometimes grows very agitated at 4 a.m.. I too wake at 4 a.m. and worry with a series of rushing thoughts and severe migraines..Not sleeping for days causes problems. I know someone not sleeping now who is homeless and perfectly sane, but he needs to get rest soon I believe. Some ass possibly the judgmental type unsubscribed after the last post. Why? Christian huff n puff. Too personal? Not enough poetry? Stigma that equals ignorance? Hmmm. Well, I'm here and I'm going to keep posting the things that can help me get better, the things that cut through beyond nicey nicey collective networking because I am human and interested in what's going on with my life. That's what a blog is for, right? Besides, this may be my path or calling possibly. I'm not sure teaching is, though I'd take a shot at teaching poetry. Perhaps the fact I was on SSI when I was younger irritated some. Perhaps the fact that I'm receiving some disability made someone mad. So, someone wants to JUDGE. Possibly some activist. Hmmm. I think someone in this world is following me now about this sad hypocrisy. I have hope that Latino/a poetry, art and creativity in general doesn't need to be cut off from reality. I am writing poems about the young man above, about my own struggles with this illness, which may stay with me a long time or may finally subside to the point I can work again. And there's that slippery academic word. Reality or experience. I've already stated what I believe to be the case about that. If there's no reality, there's no need, no hunger, no sensory perception. I don't know. What is sanity after all? Is sanity really aiming high for a career as a poet? Is sanity really teaching too many classes to have time to write or breathe or love the daffodils and sunset? Is sanity really building an empire of Latino/a poets where some are excluded and mocked? Is sanity writing poems? Is sanity networking to the bone until there is no sinew, no blood, no muscle? Is sanity liking stuff on facebook quickly and simply moving on to the next like? I don't know what sanity is anymore, but I do know what insanity is: It's doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. So I'm changing my life.
Posted by Sheryl at 11:23 PM
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Just sent my review of ire'ne lara silva's FURIA to the EL PASO TIMES. Still getting my medication changed up, and the truth of the matter is I've been very down, down, down. I've lost one good friend, and my "career" isn't. So I'm tired of people judging me and thinking that they are superior. I am working hard and have apologized to everyone I can think of re: my actions in the past. There's nothing more I can do. I have to learn to love myself. I am praying U of AZ will like my manuscript, as I've decided after sending it to cut a few poems. Life is a series of let downs someone said. But I am plodding on and reading today, despite feeling negative. I left 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE at the apartment, but I found a copy of PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK by Annie Dillard, which I read in school many years ago. I suspect I will enjoy it more this time around. Fact is I have a lot of trouble reading and writing these days, but I am putting out book reviews, so the high and mighty careerists can bite me. This is more about some things that are beyond certain people's empathy. Fact is, I am fighting boredom. I've been denied a pass like three times because I am trying new meds, one is latuda , abilify (which I should get off of tomorrow as I believe they are making a mistake in giving it to me at this time), and lamictal for prozac propranolol, ambien and ativan, so I'm very bored and feeling cramped with like 7 other people here. I am posting this video because someone VERY JUDGMENTAL needs to try to "hear" it again. I'd like to speak with this person and tell them a little bit about trauma and getting sick because as a Christian or whatever, they need to try to be more kind and learn to forgive. That's all I'll say about it. In any case, I am currently taking: Strattera, abilify, lamictal, propranolol, latunda, ambien and ativan, so it is a lot from my past and a lot of other things, but I am tired of this person's high and mighty attitude towards me, among others, and as far as someone downplaying my situation, I'd like to have him take my medication and deal with what he thinks is a minor thing rooted in irresponsibility. I am hopefully going to go home tomorrow. And I'd like to speak on this topic of judgment, stigma and stupidity somewhat further later. In any case, blogger is acting funny, few people read, and I'm tired of worrying about what judgmental people think. I am feeling too much like writing at the moment which possibly isn't a good thing, but I know people have no clue about some things. I will read PILGRIM AT TINKER CREEK now, but will probably blog later as I am bored, but the fact is I can't work now. It's a long story, but I hope to get my social security back in about 8 months. As I now have time to write, I will force myself out of depression because I have to. So, it's a lucky thing I'm not sending emails as I am not that far gone. So I apologize for all the emails I sent and wish people could forgive. But I have to move on and write these reviews and write some poems. I have no idea if I can write anymore as it is difficult to focus, but blogging tells me there is reason to hope that I'll write, and I did publish 13 poems this spring. I may link to some blogs on PTSD, bipolar, schizoaffective to see what kind of judgmental response I get on that. Thank god I have a pc card.
Posted by Sheryl at 2:35 PM
Thursday, September 08, 2011
Today, I am still typing the same review, ever so slowly. I am enjoying INJURING ETERNITY by Millicent Borges Accardi. I will rest today and journal, I think. I was put on another med, 3 times a day which is supposed to help me relax, and I'm all for relaxing today. I am getting used to not having to work and losing everything like wallets, credit cards etc. Anyone who really knows me knows I have/had this problem. When I'm not working, I am more able to hold onto things. It's ADD or ADHD, which I'm not sure, but I take Strattera to help me focus better and it really works well. I think a lot of poets I know have ADD... In any case, I drink a lot of coffee, which is supposed to help ADD. And today, once again, there is no coffee and it's really bothering me. I can have some later, but in the now I'm cranky. But the fact I'm no longer working, leaves me to blogging, journaling, drawing etc. I'm very lucky as my roomate has no hobbies to keep her entertained. In any case, I'm still waiting for my Social Security hearing, which I think is in about 8-9 months, which seems inhumane and cruel, but I do have Aid to Needy Disabled or something like that-- the big $175.00 a month, and it's getting difficult as I can't afford much beyond rent, which I'll have to pay back with SSDI if I get it. I'm really worried, as I've had some difficulties working, not just teaching. I had a terrible time at 7-11. In any case, I should be able to get it as I was on it in the past. Yes, it's transparency time. I think I may start writing more about my experiences. I'm tired of academics writing about stuff they don't experience or those who feel experience is irrelevant or unreal. I realize people judge people for things, but I know my own experiences. And I will add that the nurse here is a total bitch.
Posted by Sheryl at 10:29 AM
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
Will type up a review sometime soon. :| Need to get motivated. No caffeine this morning, really, and I feel like a heavy stone sunk into caked mud.
Will review a manuscript and send it back with comments in the next few days. Really, I will. I will. I will. I even have the money to send it back now. No, I don't use that program that allows you to make comments electronically-- Maybe next time.
I am also beginning INJURING ETERNITY by Millicent Borges Accardi for the following review, then I'll have two more to do by December.
Struggling with focusing somewhat, but I did have my meds changed this morning and we'll see if I can concentrate better and be less of a putz. Maybe I should be hush hush, but it's the case that I messed up rather badly in getting off them, and here I am again getting new changes, but I feel it will help in the long run to be transparent. I don't want another 2008.
I'm not sure if there's a god or creator. I want to believe it so with the assurance of heaven and everlasting bliss, but something tells me the universe isn't made so, more of the yin/yang darkness/light that S believed in till the day she died. She also believed in reincarnation, not sure what religion/belief system that comes out of, but non-the-less when I look carefully around, I see life and death almost intermingling, as if they were one process or event, rather than two. I really want to believe in God, and I wear a pendant of the Virgin Mary for somewhat cultural and political reasons, having grown up Catholic. When I was young I attended a church where monks lived in El Paso, and mass was chanted in Latin. It left an indelible mark on me. Today, the reality of death seems too earthy, too real. Is it fear that's made religion? I don't know. My family is very religious, so much so, that I fear they ignore more serious psychological issues in order to survive in the fog/bliss of hope for eternal existence. Then again S always said, "the energy has to go somewhere." All life for her was this energy, and she was a practitioner of Reike. It feels more comfortable to believe in the universe rather than a god, or maybe the universe is god. I don't know. If you have anything to suggest I read, please do. I have read the New Testament pretty thoroughly when I was a young fanatic for Jesus ;), so I'm interested in pondering these questions. I am not quite philosophical as I lack the vocabulary for that, but I am always curious.
I think when we die, we die. That's that. Our particles, atoms, energy may go somewhere, but it's likely we are spread all apart, and no longer exist as we were. Some days I say thank god to that. Then the Catholic guilt I was raised with rears its ugly head.
On to INJURING ETERNITY (no pun was intended; how ironic).
Posted by Sheryl at 12:16 PM
Sunday, September 04, 2011
Sleepless night, worry, trauma, the difficulty
Of words. Forgetting sets in after it hits you.
Only images can save you. I am waiting for sunrise.
This is how we survive through the snow, frost and thunder.
We lift words and seek to find our power.
Child in the classroom afraid and insecure,
We are clapping to a tune so we can breathe again:
inhale hope, exhale worry. He says the answer lies within.
The aunt is teaching children to pray,
The uncle’s riding his Harley through Denver.
Let go-- this is the final cigarette. A mantra
Towards sunrise. The lone star above still as early prayer.
The violence that people can do children
Is something better left out of poems.
It’s as black as dreamless sleep, black as a universe.
I’m waiting for two rabbits with a bag of carrots.
The lone white rat hides in the bushes behind me.
Language stole away with memory.
The gaps and fragments jagged and I bled and said.
He said, I never smiled.
He said, I was as anxious as a deer or a leaf or a butterfly?
I heard the voices of dragonflies, human-eyed.
There was no white swan, no god, no lover.
And am I to stay stuck?
This is why I wait for sunrise.
He went five days without sleep, stayed up
All night in Denny’s, washed in the bathroom.
Slept a few minutes in the library.
The language of trauma flat, a jerk away
From a raised hand. The summer ending
And the night cold--
Saturday, September 03, 2011
I have been writing again. Just need to engage in revision more. Behind on reviews, but I will get to them. I have 3 more to do. I have one written and just need to type it up which I will probably do tomorrow, then send it to EPT on Monday.
Posted by Sheryl at 4:54 PM