Tuesday, March 29, 2011

White Rabbit

I succeeded in getting more poems in the mail. Today, for the next few hours I'll try to write something to music. It's a beautiful day here in Colorado.

A day of rabbits, wild in the yard,
Alice chasing one down, down, down
So she can fly away. There’s nothing left
But a dream. The living walk to a strange
conversation. The silence of the dead
hums in the whisper of wind. I am
awake and dreaming, all together indifferent
to the past which haunted me ten years.

I believe in the soft wind, the bird chatter
translating joy. It’s a white day, the sky
a pillow on which we dream.

Monday, March 28, 2011


I'm on a roll submitting poems to magazines. It's been a very long time since I've done this, and I'm surprised at how many new journals are out there waiting for poems.

I will be sending my manuscript back to a press sooner than I had anticipated, I think. Possibly sometime in May. I've made a lot of changes according to reviewer suggestions, and I suspect they'll be a second wave of revisions.

I really wanted to enter the Larry Levis Prize, but the 28 dollar entry fee is too high for me on my limited budget. It's easier to send the revisions to someone who has expressed some interest in it already. Free is good!

In any case, I'm on a roll. Sending some strange work out now, it's very different than the things I wrote 5-6 years ago which is a good thing I suppose.

I've sent out the following poems to a journal tonight.

"On Silence"
"Our Manic Rooms"
"The Teacher"
"Sorrow was my excuse"
"A Contentious Woman Speaks"

It feels good, but I have a lot more work to do tonight.

It feels wonderful to be writing again, and actively sending work out to magazines.


My earlier ruminations are a result of not focusing on my work. I will try harder. I tend to ruminate about things I can do nothing about. It's best just to put the wheel to the axle and get busy.

Yup. I'm in the game again. It feels very good.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


The notebook I found today has many, many poems, but they are really fragments which require a lot of work before they can become poems. I had a headache all day, so I wasn't able to get as much work done as I would have liked.

I can't force the poems. They usually have to come like some strange visitation, when I leave myself behind.

Maybe I can glean something from it. I don't know.

I am sure tomorrow will go better.

Clinging and/or letting go seems to be the theme of much of what I had written, and there's always a sense of mystery, the moon, pebbles, dust and emptiness. Fact is, I had all day to write and I was forcing it too much I think. It's best when we let go and let the muse take over.

I'm thinking of the serenity prayer tonight, thankful my headache has finally gotten better. I will listen to some more music and see if that helps me write a little something. I sent a lot of poems out, but I am determined to send more, and I think maybe I'm putting a bit too much pressure on myself to produce.

Here are some lines from the journal which I find a little interesting. I will just collect them for now. Make a collection of phrases or something. H

One pansy greets the day wide petals, windmill of glory

Meditation, he said, must not be done while your body digests

He said the moon was a hole where light poured out of the universe.

Our senses betraying us the whole day.

Dawn arrived for 3 weeks, an impassioned miracle.

My hands remain empty.

A thousand doors open to imagination's sorrow.

Sometimes the sun's flush cups the horizon, despite.

Her inheritance now these strange firs.

Listening interrupted the non-stop bereavement of the self.

Fairy Tales - The Ugly Duckling

I had a headache all morning, but it's finally going away. Time to get some work done. I have four poems I hope to revise and improve today. I like the story of the ugly duckling a lot. S used to remind me about it, a lot.

Be free!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love - Earls Court - 5-25-75

The poetry workshop was great today! Lots of talented poets with insightful comments. It feels good to be around other poets for a change.

I'm working on newer poems in the workshop, but will have one poem in the manuscript work-shopped soon.

I need some rock-n-roll today.

I can't seem to focus to write tonight, but that's okay because I have all day tomorrow to get started. Though I did prepare a few packets of poems to send in the mail Monday. This is good to be engaged in getting feedback from workshop members and editors.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm at Starbucks with G. She's journaling and I'm thinking about my manuscript and blogging. It's a nice day here in Denver, and I'm feeling more free than I have in decades!! It feels very good to not be under the stress I've been under for years. My initial social security claim was denied, but I have secured an attorney on contingency, which should help with the appeal. I'm feeling great peace and happiness, which I haven't felt in decades. Letting go of things has helped. I think the last time I felt this good, I was an undergraduate at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. I needed to work on myself and heal, and I have the opportunity to do so. Lots of good things are happening in my life.

My manuscript is coming along, slowly but surely. I think I'll send it back to the press this summer. I am hoping to speak with someone about it, but in the end I have to revise it to the best of my ability. I'm thinking of calling it "The Hunger of Forgetting" and getting rid of the Latin section titles. Then I'm thinking of going back to "Seven". I'm not sure if "Arc of the Sun" works. I am stewing about the manuscript, but it is time to let go of harsh thinking and critical self evaluation. I just want it to be a good book, and I'm kind of scared about what's in the manuscript as there are several poems about sexual abuse. I'm having to let go of academic pretenses that such poems aren't any good. Maybe what I write can help other women. Maybe it's just not a poet's poet kind of book. And that's okay, too.

I can't believe I'm still blogging when blogging is dead, but I am enjoying my life so much that I wish to share it with others.

I think I need to start writing a memoir, which will be very difficult, but I'm thinking it may be time to switch genres a bit. Yet the poems are here, staring at me, and I'm feeling awkward with them as they deal with a lot of personal pain, but I think such things are okay, so my uneasiness may be more about the content than weaknesses in the manuscript. Fact is, we have to have confidence in our work. It's been difficult to have confidence for me, but I am working on changing my way of thinking.

I do know that I won't be hurt as much as I was hurt when Pity the Drowned Horses came out in 2005. Fact is, it got some good reviews, and it holds forth in its strength. I was deeply hurt by the lack of publicity the book got, and I was foolish to believe others that they would support the publication of it, but I had been warned by others about that, so fact is, people aren't stupid. They know what's going on if they know anything about writing poems. Instead I watched others promote themselves to a point of hysteria, and their friends, and I know that the assumption is one must self promote, and I do with the blog and elsewhere, but in the end, I'm finding things work themselves out. But the book stands on its own. I think wildly hysterical self promotion can't replace good work habits of the artist/poet. One must, in the end, work on the poems, send them out and be persistent. And I am learning to let go some criticisms that are truly based on socio-economic class and the fact I am no longer working frees me up to do what needs to be done.

I was taken aback in 2005, when the person who said he'd promote the book spent an extraordinary amount of his time promoting his own book. It stung, but now I am recognizing that if one puts out quality work it holds forth, goes the distance without too much self-promotion. It surpasses the lackluster work and stands the test of time. It has endurance or longevity, and in the end, it doesn't disappoint. So, it's okay that I'm staying with the second manuscript for a while, letting it set and preserve in quality.

I'll still publish "Seven" or "The Hunger of Forgetting," or "Arc of the Sun," but I feel myself leaning towards memoir a bit. We'll see. But the key is to believe in yourself, even when others are self-promoting like crazy; it's more important to simply keep writing, which gets hard at times. But as my mama says, "what goes around, comes around."

Time for me to get back to work.

In any case, publish your work and be persistent in sending it out. In the end, one is respected for the work itself, and all the power-trading, tit for tat goes nowhere if the book is weak. I feel better, and I guess I'm trying to think aloud in order to problem solve and avoid disappointment over the second one. I most certainly won't be expecting anything from it. It is what it is. I want to be happy, and it's more important to just be and let go of wounds. Past wounds can fester years later, and we misplace our rage, or misdirect our anger. Hopefully the second book will be a kind of healing or cleansing of that past pain, which was and is wrapped up with the past traumas we have.

Well, I should just wrap this long thing up! All in all, I hope the improve the manuscript immensely in a few short months.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Enya - Wild Child

Today we have sort of a house warming, so I won't be writing/revising. Tomorrow however, I will resume the work. Yes, I plan on sending out more poems and polishing some work. I got some great comments in the workshop and some helpful insights came along, too. It feels good to be working on the writing again, however difficult and frustrating it gets, as there are so many poets I admire right now.

I'm at the public library but will be going to pick up a friend soon. I will give up the car this July to maintain this non-working peacefulness.

I am still journaling just about on a daily basis, which helps, but the writing of the actual poems is where I feel I am most alive!!!

The other thing I have to do is taxes, which sucks as I think I owe from a lot of unemployment received :0 We'll see how that turns out soon.

I am more at peace than I've been for a long, long time. Not having the stress of teaching or working at 7-11 has done my soul good.

Blessings. Blessings. Blessings. I am so very thankful about where I am living and what I am doing in my life for myself these days. I am taking care of myself for the first time in many, many years. It feels great!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tina & Ike Turner - Proud Mary

I'm just getting started. A lot of work to do. G and I are at Starbucks, and I'm feeling pretty good despite being broke. I go to a poetry class tomorrow, where 10 of my poems will be looked at thoroughly by some pretty darn good poets. ;)

I'm pumped!

Will get to work on the poems tomorrow after the workshop. I feel free for the first time in years! I feel VERY good. Amazing what a little work on poetry can do for the soul or the ego or the confidence.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Feeling Alright by Big Mama Thornton - Blues Diva

I feel alright this afternoon. Just submitted some poems online, and I feel good about my chances! I seem to have uncovered a large number of poems in my files. I'm very excited to be working with poems again. It's been a very long time since I felt I could write, actually engage in the process, and 90 percent of the game is getting started. Once I start I'm in the flow. Flow. Flow. Flow. Flow.

I won't be working for at least one year, maybe more, so I am going to take advantage of my time off, but the problem I have is having the funds to send manuscript out to contests. No work means no cash. I think I want to send it to one contest, but one contest wipes out my funds for the month. Seriously. Besides, I need to work on the manuscript some more, but I may be ready to send to one particular contest. I don't know. Today I sent the following poems out to a journal.

Crazy Ted talks to the Virgen de Guadalupe
Small Defiant Gods
Dear Mr. Ashbery

Mostly, I am focusing on sending poems to journals and am on a roll with that! It feels
f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c to be back in the game. And a game it is indeed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Big Mama Thornton ft. Buddy Guy - Hound Dog

Shake, rattle and roll, I just submitted to a couple of magazines electronically. A hundred or more to go, and I should be alright.

I'm at Starbucks with G. Will send some old fashioned hard copy submissions as well soon.
I feel good.

Ugh Huh.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Enya - Only Time (video)

I'm going to take my roommate downtown in a bit. I am writing some new poems! I will send 10 newer poems/drafts to an instructor of a poetry class I will be taking starting on the 21st. I'm very excited to have a weekly class which will hopefully get me writing more poems. These types of deadlines are good for me, not to mention getting some feedback on new work, but in the end, we have to trust our gut.

I have decided to add some newer work to the manuscript and may cut some poems out. I am still waiting to speak to someone: hint, hint, hint. Call me!!

Oh well. It's a beautiful day here in Colorado.

Be well.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Enya- Long Long Journey

Someone gave me this c.d. THE VERY BEST OF ENYA and I'm enjoying it!

Very peaceful to listen to and relax to.

Well, the manuscript hasn't been moving along. Hopefully after Thursday I'll get on it. No, not hopefully. I WILL get on it after Thursday. I've made a few minor changes to some poems, but I want to wait to hear from someone before I make changes, but I have a lot of changes in mind. A lot.

Denver is cold again, but it's supposed to warm up tomorrow. I am blessed. I am blessed. I am thankful. I am so very thankful.

I'm at Starbucks with G missing internet connection at home, but I have decided to live without the internet as it distracts me from writing; plus I can't afford it ;)

I'm thinking about changing section titles and/or getting rid of the 7 sections altogether? I'm not sure what I will do, but I have added a poem about working at 7-11 and it's kind of funny, but somewhat abstract with a lot of brand names, a lot of 7-11 products such as chew, snuff, cigarettes and alcohol. Healthy store that it is. That company pays its employees on a debit card, then charges them to get the cash of the debit card. EVIL!

oops. I've never been good about kissing the appropriate ass. Oh well.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The Very Best of Enya

A lot going on as I am at the library looking out through a series of glass windows, onto a lake and the low foothills covered with snow.

I am alive, and it's a reason to celebrate!

I started reading a book called The Class Castle by Jeanette Walls. It's very good. It's about the dysfunctional childhood of the narrator. It's a memoir that has me drawn in like Mary Karr's THE LIAR'S CLUB.

I recently picked up OTHERHOOD by Reginald Shepherd and am finding that I don't connect with some of the poems very well, but there are most definitely beautiful moments of lyricism.


"I cover the sea's voice with chalk
and circumstance, having only myself
to say, scattered smattering of singed
doll parts. They make their way
by means of breaking (schist
and marl): collapse into a clamor
of crows before appearances'
sake, and stand simple


in their wreckage..."

Overall, I find the poems a bit heavy and eager to impress, too eager to show some intellectual prowess or dominance. The language is often scientific and seems coerced. But there is often a time for breath and rest, which I guess moves me to read on. So, maybe it will be like my early reading of Elizabeth Bishop, where I came back to it later on and savored it. But the book is due today. Fact is, I'd rather read something else at the moment. I know other people love his work. I find it moving at times.

"....His only distance
will be horses, frontal herd
stampeding tides and currents
the one recorded interuptus.
Shored up with stored foam
deckle, scudding margin
kelp curs shine on stone."

Since poetry has become very academic, or set in academia to a large extend, there seems to be a trend towards density and experimentation, and this is not a bad thing necessarily, but it's not always my cup of tea.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I've been thinking about longevity and poems, and how rare, and unusual it is to write poems which move people for some time, rather than just an immediate sensation or immediacy when it comes to promotion and being promoted. My essay in the ABR will be out I believe in March or April.

I am having a crisis of confidence in my work, but I will continue to press on, as I realize publishing is not the end all of it. Many great poets remain unpublished. So, to get back to the joy of it is a difficult thing, but I will simply press on and write. I may send some poems out to magazines from the second manuscript. I have published in a few journals for this particular collection: Feminist Studies, Wisconsin Review, Copper Nickel, BorderSenses, and Margie, but I'd like to see more of the poems acknowledged, but I guess that's what happens when one gets off track.

I'm getting back on track.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

7-11 curse poem. May you gorge on... etc.; Notes towards the final Manuscript

I just sent my 7-11 curse poem for a magazine to consider. I'd previously sent two serious poems, but I've decided to take someone's advice and add the humorous one.
At least my roommate and one other person think it's funny. It's been a very long time since I wrote a funny poem. It has a rather long title, but I think the title is working. It's titled, "For the Fire Happy Boss and Owner at 7-11 on Ralston and Wadsworth in what surely is the Middle of Hell: Arvada, Colorado."

In any case, I wrote the draft at Canto Mundo in Martin Espada's workshop.

I am seriously considering slowing down and revising manuscript for another 6 months
or so, as it feels rushed, as if something needs tweaking, but I don't know what it is, but I've decided due to some encouragement that I need to take time with the manuscript till I feel it is strong. I don't want to be ashamed of a book I put out into the world; however insignificant, I want it to be good, not just decent but good!!!!!!