Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still reading a phenomenal manuscript of a book I hope to have the honor of reviewing some day. It's simply stunning!

Back from camping near Leadville, CO where I froze in a wet tent and then in a van without a sleeping bag or blanket or jacket. Lesson learned. Always bring a jacket when camping in Colorado! It was beautiful there: Twin Lakes!!!

I am working on building community in my own way, mostly doing these reviews. It's good because it gets me reading other people's poems and novels and gets me out of myself, which is good. I am feeling good these days, better than I've felt in many years.

Still waiting to hear back from U. of Arizona Press and nervous about that, but all I can do is keep on reading and writing and do the best that I can.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm at a coffee shop in old town Arvada. Time to work on my review, one of them. Not feeling too great today, but I have to get these reviews finished. I have four more left to do. I need a desk and a room of my own. If not that, I need a quiet coffee shop or library with a desk.

I find myself critical of work that doesn't have surprising word play, then I realize some of my poems are very narrative too. What to do? What to think? I'll I can do is continue to write and do the best I can. It's very hard not to compare oneself to others who are simply doing phenomenal work.

I have "Seeking Safety" group tomorrow, and after that I hope to get down and busy with this review. I am getting better in that I have more confidence and am more self-assured than I have been in oh, the last 35 years or so, so good on me!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's time to write!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Numero Cinq took four more of my poems! "Equus," "Cabeza de Vaca's Horse," "Writing the next Poem," and "Small Defiant Gods." Yay! I think that makes 13 poems published this spring/summer. I feel pretty good.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I just received a copy of Jose Antonio Rodriguez's the shallow end of sleep. I will be writing a review of it for Texas Book Review. I also have a manuscript I need to print out and comment on for someone, and the person appears to be a genius, so this will take some time for me to explore the manuscript.

I will then review ire'ne lara silva's furia and Millicent Borges Accardi's Injuring Eternity for the El Paso Times. It feels good to be busy with poetry!

My review of Christopher Carmona's beat is scheduled to appear in the El Paso Times on the 31st.

After reviewing these books, I will begin getting ready to send work out to magazines in Aug/Sept.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Nervously chewing licorice thinking of you.
Your hair grown back into perfect balance.
Your eyes brown and alert behind glasses.
Who am I kidding that love hasn’t come my way?
Descriptors are out in poetry and your watery eyes,
Crows feet of wisdom, tall lanky form are not the stuff,
Academics lean towards. They want a quirky loss,
a meandering looming, and all I think is I want to touch you.
I want to touch you bad. This is the night when music
Comes forth teaching us to unlearn these categories.
Finally, the pizza we ate cheering us on,
And were we listening to desire or fear?
I love you like the open ever-changing sky.
And you can be a real ass.
I love you like the heat of a Colorado summer’s day.
And it is the air conditioner you prefer?
Nervously drinking coffee today, I think of you
Reading everything you can get your hands on,
And forgetting everything soon after. Both our minds
As putty, our vocabularies abrupt with our grandmother’s
Spanglish. Is it any wonder we have, as my mother says,
Ruined our lives.

I've been thinking about poets I tend to idolize and how I need to stop idolizing them. Admire them yes, but they are just as human as you and I. I need to work on this as I go silly around poets whose work I admire.

This is not to say that these poets are good "marketers," I'm not interested in poets who can market well because that doesn't guarantee the work is any good. I'm interested in poets who blow the top off my head which a young one has done recently. Her work is opening all kinds of doors and windows for me to grow as a poet.

Some poets market well, but simply can't write. You know who they are. I don't have to name names. They get a lot of readings and are always sure to hustle, but their work sometimes suffers. This is just an observation. I mean the work seems rushed or something, but readings and mentions in important places they can get. All I can think is how disappointed an audience can be in such a situation. I am fearful this will be the case with the second collection. But I need to recognize that we are all different, and maybe the work that seems rushed to me someone else will enjoy. And I need to have some confidence in my work.

Still worried about second manuscript, but will hear back from poets whose work I greatly admire soon. Hopefully they will be honest. I am not sure where the confidence has gone. Oh Yes, I am sure when it left. I was twelve. Time to take it back, one word at a time. It's difficult, very difficult. We can only heal and grow and keep on writing. When we write, we are creatively engaging with the universe. It is a healthy thing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I am currently reading a phenomenal manuscript for an upcoming book. It's simply stunning, and it has me thinking about the "style" of my second manuscript nervously. In any case, I'd like to be more wild, less organic in my work next time around. I'd like to play more with surprising language and yes fragmentation, maybe the language of trauma doesn't have to be flat. Someone has just shown me this oh so vividly. Not sure why I lean towards narrative, but I do. Perhaps this is why several friends I admire write fiction and not poetry. I have leanings towards narrative, holistic pieces with a beginning, middle and end, which is so out now. :(

I am so glad to be conversing with poets after Canto Mundo. I have somehow though managed to promise a total of five reviews, one will be a novel, so I am somehow suddenly busy again, but free, so free to explore and dialogue with other writers. A very exciting time in my life. The problem is the excitement today is overflowing, and I don't want to bombard folks with email. Therefore, I blog. Wish I could go sit in a coffee shop with poets! Canto Mundo has spoiled me for this Denver isolation. I will reach out to other poets here? We'll see.

I am in some ways concerned about the lack of strong vocabulary exhibited in my own work. Being home in El Paso, I'm surrounded by Spanglish, Spanglish which at times I am now unable to decipher, especially that coming from my 98 year old grandmother. She does have dementia, so it's just difficult to decipher what exactly she's saying sometimes, but sometimes she's very, very sharp still. I'd like to make it to El Paso for her 99th birthday this October. Medicare won't pay to replace her pacemaker, due to her age (?) so she will likely not make it to a hundred. But basically, my upbringing seems to be with this Spanglish which consists of code-switching and animated physical gestures, not the language of academia!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Washed the car today and the rain came down with the sunlight. I love the desert!

A beautiful last day in Texas.

Canto Mundo was wonderful and I'm still dizzy with stars. I head back to Denver tomorrow.

Goals for the next year in Denver:

Apply to and be accepted to a residency program which pays for my stay.

Heal from traumas and thrive in a manner where I can help others.

Get the second collection accepted with contract.

Walk for health reasons.

Stay quit from smoking.

Begin writing phenomenal poems!!!!

Get in a more permanent apartment living situation.

Read more.

Love more.

I want to submit more poems to magazines.

That's about it for now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Back in El Paso, having a great day with family. I head back to Colorado on Thursday.

Grrrr. I feel good.

I met some geniuses in Austin!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm still outside Austin! Canto Mundo was/is wonderful! Awesome! Spectacular!

Blessings to all.

I have a good feeling about this stuff, a real good feeling. Community in action! Yeah!

Friday, July 08, 2011

The first day of Canto Mundo was great! Lots of good people here! The drive wasn't too bad from Dallas, but boy am I glad mom will drive the trip home.

Hope to get the sense of community I came away with last year. Meeting a lot of new and known poets. It's very exciting.

Unfortunately, I'm feeling a little under the weather, but that shouldn't effect the way I feel about being here as I'm very happy to be here. I'm not contagious, just stomach aches.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Went to pops in the park in Big Spring, Texas and it seemed the entire town came out to watch the fireworks.

Headed to Dallas tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, July 01, 2011

I'm driving to Big Spring, Texas tomorrow to visit my brother. We'll stay a day or two and then head to Dallas to visit with my sister, and then I'll head to Canto Mundo while my mother visits Little Lucy in Austin. I hope to have dinner in Austin with a friend, and get motivated about writing. I studied with Ben Saenz for my MFA, so I have no doubt his workshop will be great, and I'm looking forward to attending the other workshop led by Naomi Ayala.


I think if Canto Mundo goes well that I will apply for some residency programs next winter, possibly.


El Paso has been great at 108 degrees. I met with the Carmen and saw Amit and Chacon, among other people associated with Bordersenses magazine. I met with my aunt and uncle, and although I didn't make it to their gallery, I got some good sound advice about the life long journey of being an artist. Very excited to see my bro and sister! Yay!