Sunday, October 31, 2010


When I was awarded the fellowship the deal
I made with myself was to get to the office
at Purchase at least one day a week. Well,
this week stuff intervened and I never got
there and that feels pretty bad. Not that I didn't
work on my projects. I did. And I don't have
to go to that office to do the work, to write.
In fact, it's a schlep. But it's a good schlep.
And I want to schlep there. I'd like to schlep
more than one day a week, but there's
work and family and now the leaves-- oh those leaves.
Which are nearly gone, thank goodness. Except
for the damn oak. Its leaves hang on till
December. Anyway, there's always this coming
week. And by hook or crook, I will spend time
in that office. I will be a good fellow!
PS...happy halloween...don't you love this photo.
From the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Afghan Women's Writing Project

One of the great things about the interwebs
is being able to do things like co-edit an online
journal with a writer in Scotland as I did last
year with Anna Dickie and qarrtsiluni.
Next month I'll be mentoring women who live
in Afghanistan via the Afghan Women's Writing Project.
The photos above are of the new office the women
now can use in Kabul.
The women will write and I will read and offer
feedback and eventually their work may be published
at the online magazine started by writer Masha Hamilton.
It's completely run by volunteers and the aim is to give women
the power and the place to write and "have a voice in the world
despite a deteriorating security situation."
Check out the website.
I think I'll be learning a thing or two or three in November.

Friday, October 22, 2010


All week I was trying to get to the office
where my poems are tacked to the wall, waiting,
burning. I barely made it there Friday morning
for two short hours, what with the yadayadayada
that fills up a week.
The poems waited and waited, like hungry kids
what's for dinner/where's my shirt/get out
they were whiny and I don't blame them, stuck
on a strange wall alone all week with no one
looking after them. But I got there and looked
and fiddled and wrote and looked and they burn
and that's good.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whale Sound

Nic Sebastian has undertaken a pretty wonderful
endeavor -- to read other people's poems and post
the readings at Whale Sound. It's lovely to hear
my poem in her voice.
The poem, Sometimes a bone, is re-imagined as she reads
it. And there are lots of other poems over at Whale Sound.
Go there and listen.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It is more difficult to fix on the map the routes of the swallows, who cut the air over the roofs, dropping long invisible parabolas with their still wings, darting to gulp a mosquito, spiraling upward, grazing a pinnacle, dominating from every point of their airy paths all the points of the city.
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Don't try this


Usually you specialize in having a light touch.
You'd rather nudge than push. Nimble harmony
is more interesting to you than brute force.
You prefer your influence on people
to be appreciated, not begrudgingly respected.
And I certainly don't want you to forsake
any of those inclinations. But I would love
to see you add a dash of aggressiveness
and a pinch of vehemence to your repertoire
in the coming week. I'd be thrilled if you raised
your voice a bit and gesticulated more vigorously
and projected your confidence with an elevated
intensity. According to my reading of the astrological
omens, your refined approach will benefit from a dose of subliminal thunder.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I spent part of the late afternoon thumb-tacking
my manuscript onto the walls of the Writer Center
office I'm now inhabiting. I like looking at the poems
from this perspective, not always on a screen or page.
I've been living with this manuscript for almost two
years and am struggling to understand its hodge-podgeness.
I think if I can look at it like a curator looking at an array
of work by one artist I can see/understand in a new way.
This afternoon I looked and looked and that was good.
No great revelations. The poems will stay up for awhile.
I want to keep looking at them.