Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Indian Reservation

Zager And Evans - In The Year 2525

Looks like I'm stuck working at 7-11 till something better comes along, so my fantasy about going to El Paso has just fallen through. I like this weird song. I will go to EP for one night after Canto Mundo is over in Albuquerque. Concerned about having enough for the hotel at Canto Mundo and the gas too, but things usually turn out fine in the end. I'll be there one way or another.

I need to try to write again to maintain my sanity. Running the register is quite difficult for me still. I do okay, but I still mess up. I prefer the cleaning, so I don't have to deal with impatient customers. Over all things are okay. I'm moody with the prospect of working there, but it's probably good for me. It definitely gets me out of my head and into interacting with people and out of that abstract cushioned academic world (and yes, academia has no clue what working class means-- We forget the reality of it as we teach). Working at 7-11 is absolutely different than teaching . Period. Trust me. Try it yourself if you'd rather disagree with me. Seriously, get that minimum wage job and tell me how it's all the same. Go for it! I'll trade!! I'm just thankful I can teach 2 classes this fall.

Writing is a necessity. I need to look back at the various characters I meet at work and how people relate to one another and function.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Animals - It's My Life

Headed to El Paso for an entire month soon. Not sure if I'm coming back to Denver or not. Basically I want to go home but my health care options as an uninsured person are better in Colorado. How I'll survive in CO is anyone's guess.

I stopped writing cold a few days ago. I hope to write something today.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cat Stevens - "the WInd"

Just wrote a rough draft of a poem to this and of course will post it briefly. I have no self control, no shame. Please don't lift lines accidentally. I feel like naming the person to jostle their attention. I'm in a good mood even though I didn't get fired ;). I am having some difficulties though as the poem/draft indicates. Very interested in writing again though which feels good. So much we have to be ashamed of as human beings with the recent gulf spill, yet there's something beautiful and amazing in the faces of customers that I see every day, yet my attitude goes negative often. I dread going in some days. I was very slow at the register too. It's a long story, but I'm doing better. I do hope to get a teaching job and see myself returning to Texas in a year or two for some reason, but we never know where the path or journey takes us. I have P to consider too and hope he will want to move. We'll see what happens. I just hope it doesn't include 7-11 for a lifetime.

Here's the draft:

Friday, June 18, 2010

I was supposed to work a double shift today and got confused! I hope I'm not fired!

The Wind Cat Stevens

Tempted to post a poem/draft this morning, but I've decided my interest are best served by sending my work to journals and presses in the future. I am feeling good about what I'm writing, though often more self critical than I should be. Sent a bit of work out and am very much looking forward to sending out more poems to journals in Aug./Sept. Getting ready to attend Canto Mundo which is refreshing since I want to meet Demetria Martinez. I have needed a workshop for some time and hope that Canto Mundo will offer inspiration.

Hope to hear something back soon from a press and will be working on a third manuscript this year. Not really sure publishing a lot is the key to writing well, and I've decided it's okay that I'm not churning work out these past few years. Things needed time to gel. Lots of the poems I'm writing are not narrative and quite fragmented yet lyrical. Eager to revise yet a bit overwhelmed with the sheer volume of poems I must revise.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Yusuf (Cat Stevens) - Peace Train - Nobel Concert 2006

I obviously love this song. I like how Yusef Islam states that the eradication of poverty definitely is the way to peace.

I was in a cranky mood earlier. I slept a few hours and all is well.

Time to write.


Okay, maybe I'm still in a little bit of a bad mood about the subject I was writing about, but there's not a lot I can do about it other than try to write the best I possibly can without self-effacement.

In Praise of Tough Criticism

In Praise of Tough Criticism

I am still surprised that one terrible book of poetry, and I'm sorry, it's just a horrible book received at least 12 glowing online reviews. I'm not sure how that happens, but it certainly does. Nobody and I mean nobody will even hint that the book is horrific. Yet, in the current poetry world, it seems the status quo to praise with faint praise. Of course, my book, received a review in Latino Poetry Review ie not a very positive review. I honestly do not understand glowing reviews of one book in particular, but I'm thinking maybe I am missing something, but everyone I show the book to says it's terrible and I do mean terrible, not merely mediocre but just plain bad.

It comes down to belief in a person's ability to help or hurt one's "career" and people do have writing careers. I have no apparent trade ability and the other person does. Five years after the fact I just don't understand people. I do however think some people have underestimated me as a poet. Yet lately my work seems a bit odd, possibly at times too full of private imagery and things I need to revise out of it.

But lord, people still are accepting this poet/administrator as a poet and I just don't get it. I mean the emperor has absolutely no clothes! And what's worse is the emperor thinks he's got a nice outfit.

Someone from Chicago assured me that in time these things work themselves out and the cream rises to the top. I don't think that's the case in contemporary American Poetry. I hope that this is true, that such attention is fleeting (for the bad work). But then again, maybe the absence of criticism from this terrible and I do mean terrible book speaks volumes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cat Stevens - Can This Be Love (Demo)

Feeling free. I've written two short poems this morning. It's a lovely blue cloudless morning. I'm excited to be writing. I go to work at 2 pm to the chaos of shift change, cleaning, impatient customers and more impatient employees, managers etc. But I feel so free!

I mean, after I get off, or before I go in to work ;)

More music! More creativity! More good day!!


In any case, hoping today at work goes smoothly.


More tunes! More writing!

Yusuf Islam - "Peace Train" (Classic and blues)

One short poem already this morning. I have to go in to work at 2 pm and hope to write some more this morning. Feeling good about what's coming. Feeling free.

No more worrying about people's judgments, especially when they live with mom. Right?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Animals - We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place (1965) slideshow

Oh yeah, this one is the one to write to this morning!

"We've gotta get out of this place."

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

"In this dirty old part of the city, where the sun refuses to shine, people tell me there ain't no use in trying."

But I will try!

Eric Burdon & War - Spirit, Copenhagen 1971

Feel like listening all morning to Eric Burdon. Feel like writing a 7-11 poem to this stuff! Still in love with Cat/Yusef's stuff too. Thinking 'bout the job and how I've fallen from grace. People get fired a lot or quit a lot. High turnover. We'll see how long I last. It's more funny than it sounds. She fired someone for talking to a lot of guys and said, "this is no whore house." haha I'm serious.

Well, have a terrific day, ese.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yusuf Islam On Charlie Rose (Part 2)

Thinking still about transformation. Went out yesterday to a Buddhist temple and it was interesting. Bought a few things there including a money frog and laughing Buddha. Wondering how much I can transform in this life. I have difficult bad thought patterns to break, but am still singing the praises of the DBT workbook. Tried to share this stuff with someone who is severely depressed last night and got nowhere with it.

I still need to go to the Butterfly Pavilion here in Colorado. Thousands of butterflies are in the building and you are able to enter a room with all of the butterflies and some of them, I suppose, land on you. I promised S I would go before she died. She used to always tell me, "if you stop trying to catch the butterfly, it will land on your shoulder."
I feel in many ways, I've stopped trying to catch one in life, after all, I work at 7-11. I do feel more at peace than I have in many years. I worry still, but over all, I am letting go of some things.

I'm off work the next two days and hope to do some serious revision and possible writing while I am off work. Not sure if I can write anymore 7-11 poems. Someone said to write an entire book of 7-11 poems, but I'm not sure I will. I have a number though that I've already written that just need to be revised.

I want to send poems out to journals this fall. Not too many places take poetry during the summer, so since I'm kind of unorganized, I think I'll go ahead and work on the poetry all summer and get it ready to mail, email out in the fall.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Yusuf Islam On Charlie Rose (Part 1)

I find Cat Stevens' transformation to Yusef Islam interesting. It's something I can relate to in my own way as I changed my name to Luna. It is as he says a decision one makes, in my case, the decision was not only about identity, but growth. I am still on this journey which I may be able to talk about some day, but like Stevens it was/is largely a private journey which for me began in the late nineties when I was earning a doctorate and called a "spic" by a fellow graduate student who seemed to think it was funny. Other grad students and professors couldn't understand where my anger was coming from. Like many Latino/a writers I thought it was coming from social injustice, and I too had a sense of outrage, but in the end, that's not where the anger was truly coming from. The social injustices I felt outraged about, such as poverty, abuse, subjugation etc. where larger reflections of the familial injustices I endured as a child, including rape by the person who had given me the previous name. I'm not sure if I'll keep this up. I may take it down at the end of the day. Maybe it's time not to hide such things.

I think I may be interested in writing about this journey down the line, but I'm not sure I can. Maybe it will occur when I'm in my fifties. I do know I am less and less concerned about what Latino poets think or expect regarding things, since in the end, each of us are on our own journey toward understanding and peace. In the end, it is the journey that matters, not the destination. I'm learning and growing and though nobody really reads blogs anymore, I feel healed and healing through the process of writing here.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Eric Burdon - Hold on I'm Comming

Up waaaay too early but can't sleep. I go into work at 6 a.m. :(

I must try to change my attitude about going in too! I can think different thoughts if I want to. I can think different thoughts if I want to. So, overall I hope it will be a good day. I'm in the mood for music and writing a bit.


Just wrote this, will remove it at the end of the day. Tired of someone who stole a few lines from me on this blog. I mean maybe it's a coincidence, but it pisses me off. So please write your own stuff. I think it's weird who did it too.

Okay, not that I'm writing well enough for that, but I AM writing "now". I'm even sending poems out too with typos. So here goes the newest one. We'll see what happens with it over time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) The Wind - Live

At the coffee shop getting ready to read Ashbery and possibly write something. Feeling good since it's my day off. Lots of stress working at a convenience store, lots of potential poems about it too! Very tiring. It is in a weird way good to be tired, to be physically active all day long. I've changed in some ways physically and mentally and it's difficult to recognize that I have some limitations I didn't used to have. These things are a challenge, but we work within our limitations and do the best we can. I'm beginning to feel this applies to writing as well. I'm just not as quick as I once was when it comes to remembering things: even basic instructions. Not sure what the future holds, but it seems easier for me to engage with students in a classroom than to engage with the register, counterfeit twenties, smokers impatient for discounts, fellow employees just out of the military who are insane (literally) and extremely impatient for me to move faster, think faster, be faster etc. They are used to ordering each other around in the military. Long ago I could have gone to West Point and at times I've regretted not going, but now, now I'm a okay with the decision to avoid the military altogether. Thank god I didn't go!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Cat Stevens - Peace Train (live)

Getting ready to go to work in the next 30 minutes. Trying to be positive about it. Maybe overall I'm just tired because I'm getting older. Being on my feet from 6-8 hours hasn't been easy. But I'm getting used to it.

Didn't write this morning since I woke up too late. Will try to write something in the next 30 minutes.

I asked for days off work to attend Canto Mundo. Hopefully it will work out and I'll have enough money to attend.

I guess I'm going to go on the academic job market in the fall since I still haven't been hired to teach. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something. I don't know.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cat Stevens - Wild World

I’ve written quite a bit lately. Concerned about forced/coerced rhyme. It feels natural to me, but someone was bothered by it in 7. Not sure what will happen with that manuscript. Feeling pretty good about what I’m writing despite concerns about the red pen of doom ;) here in Colorado.

I am trying not to worry what others are doing and expecting. It’s difficult and full of potential rejection, but then again I am thinking about what it means to create art. It means and must mean more than acceptance and camaraderie.

This is not to say I don't desire fellowship with other artists, but I think it runs the risk of leading to lukewarm work. I'm finding my desire to fellowship and to be accepted by others lessening and lightening. If I can do so without judgments involved it will be better, but it is difficult. I have difficulty tolerating some things. But in the end I think there always has to be some price paid, some sacrifice for the pen to leak blood or for our work to bleed and sing and have it's own beat and rhythm.

There's something invigorating about working at a convenience store, something good and helpful to my work rises amidst the exhaustion, frustration, humiliation and day to day survival.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Cat Stevens "How Can I Tell You?" :)

for P

Today I go to work in less than an hour and am exhausted for some reason. Very tired. Drinking coffee. I sense I'm back writing again. Sent work to some journals yesterday, but unfortunately had a typo in one of the poems, but you never know. Will send more out soon. Also writing more and more. Feels good.

Lots of ideas, short story ideas possibly or poems. I don't know. Lots of interesting things go on at the 7-11 and I work with interesting and unusual people. Lots of good stories, narratives coming to me too; now if I can only get working past being tired. People work so very hard. Companies seem intent on being crooked too. But all we can do is our very best.

Wanting so much to write again suddenly. Eager to get to the blank page, and this always feels good.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wrote a poem this morning. Carried a line over for another poem some day. I like this line. It feels very, very good to be writing again; however slowly. I think all will be well in the end. There are some expected silences, but in the end we write because we have to, because we must. I've been unable to write for a long, long time. The silence is broken. It feels good, quite musical. I feel free when I write.

Reading John Ashbery has had a huge influence on me. A lot of talky intellectual (abstract) moments coming through in the new poem according to two other writers. They are phenomenal writers, so it's difficult to head on where I seem to be headed, but I suppose I'll just go where the flow tells me to go. It feels freeing though to continue treading this unfamiliar ground in my work.

Very upset yesterday about images of sea gulls and pelicans caught in the oil. Geez. I'm sick.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I'm doing well today. I am off work for the next two days! It's a hectic job and a very busy 7-11.

Still reading the DBT workbook. Hope to run some errands today and wash clothes.

Today, I radically accept myself, flaws and all, and I'm holding back writing about some things rooted in judgment. Instead, I'm going to go revise some poems. Yes, that's what I'll do.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I wonder what magazines you can send to in the summer. It seems sending out poems in fall/spring is basically not going to happen in my case. I suppose I should just keep getting them ready to send out in the fall, but by then, I don't know. Mags should take submissions in the summer in my opinion. It is after all, all about my disorganization. No, it's time. Even if it means just getting stuff ready to send out in Aug./Sept.

Hmmm. Where should I send these poems? I have a lot of poems that I need to revise, but I think I will just revise them and send them out without judgment. It's hard because you feel you can always improve a poem, but I haven't sent work out in YEARS, and I do mean YEARS. I always want to post drafts up here, but I've learned not to do that as people unconsciously lift lines and it sort of pisses me off. This person, I'm sure has no idea they did it.

It's time to send out my work. I can't just continue to sit on it it and contemplate it here where I am all passe.

I've said this before, but this time I really mean it. June is an important month here. If I can just get past my exhaustion and get stuff percolating, I'll feel better about the writing. I need to DO SOMETHING and not just talk about it.

I think I will just pick some off of this list online. Time to just do it and prepare for the coming onslaught of rejections. Then eventually some will get taken. Right?!