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Monday, April 30, 2007

See you next year

Previous episodes:

Smooth, Or with Very Small Teeth (April 1)
Headless Female Torso (April 2)
The More Lenient Personals (April 3)
Need Anything from Home Depot? (April 4)
Pruning of the Shrubby (April 5, but not posted till the 6th)
If No New Continent or Ice Barrier Intervene (April 6)
Young America, in a Dress Coat at Seventeen, Finds Them All to Be Monstrous Slow (April 7)
Hey Mike (April 11)
To attenuate to or almost to (April 13)
Here's What She Should Do (April 14)
Sunday (April 15)
The Offices of Women (April 16)
Untitled 1 (April 17)
Untitled 2 (April 17)
Begin Here (April 18)
Much, Much Too Late (April 19)
Living on a County Road (April 20)
The Blue One with the Tail (April 21, posted on the 22nd)
Tow Path (April 22)
Hunting Accident (April 23)
Whence All This Delight (April 24, posted on the 25th)
An Occurrence on the Road (April 25)
Gift Economy (April 26)
Won't Stick to Wounds (April 27)
Dear Bread-and-Butter, (April 28, posted on the 29th)
The Debutante (April 30)

What is NaPoWriMo?

Historical notes: Maureen has been doing this since 2002, & in some years has even attempted 2 or 3 poems per day! I have been playing along with her since April 2004, when I failed utterly & rather spectacularly to make it through even half the month. (As a poetry editor/publicist at the time, National Poetry Month was too too busy at work, alas.) But I did better in 2005, despite AWP in Vancouver overlapping a bit at the beginning. Last year was the first time I managed 30 poems in 30 days, but I still missed a few in real time & had to play catch up. (That's OK, by my rules, & if I manage it again this time, hooray.) Not all the poems are keepers, but many are, & the rest are recycled or composted. In 2006, Maureen made a tiny chapbook with one poem from a bunch of participants.

How it works here on this blog: NaPoWriMo poems will be published in a single evolving post, each day's new poem will replace the poem from the day before. No archiving, no botnapping.

Other NaPoWriMers:
Maureen Thorson (@ a special blog) & friends
Ivy Alvarez (who offers these cute blog buttons)
Ada Limon & Jennifer L. Knox
Reb Livingston
Jennifer Bartlett
Elisa Gabbert & Kathy Rooney
Jen Tynes
Robin Reagler (not at her usual place)
Michelle Detorie
Sharon Mesmer
Kirsten Kaschock
& a buncha LiveJournalers here, including Tiffany Noonan & Josh Hanson, among others!
Kasey Mohammad (moved 'em to his poem blog)
Mel Nichols (ditto)
Laurel Snyder
Suzanne Frischkorn
Jessica Rowan
Nate Logan
Ian Keenan
Kaya Oakes
Janet Holmes
Mike Young
Anne Haines
Vicky, a.k.a. vmh
Julie Carter
Sandra Beasley
Sarah Bartlett & Chris Tonelli
Michael Gushue
Steve Roberts
Harry Rutherford
Deborah Ager
Michael Schiavo
Nathan Austin
Michelle Fierro
Dax Bayard-Murray
Shafer Hall & John Cotter
Susana Gardner
Elizabeth Hildreth
Cathy Eisenhower
Josh Keiter

Home stretch

Seeing as how today is the final day of NaPoWriMo, and that I'd have to write 4 poems today to achieve 30 poems in 30 days, I think I can safely predict I'm not quite going to make it.

But close. I'll keep posting one a day till I do--through Wednesday or so.

This year's challenge reminds me, just like the others have, that it's essential to set aside some time for poems to happen. If I wait for them to appear amid other busyness, they come on their own, but if I invite them they often come too, so more often. I always write *something* every day, and read poems almost every day, but you know, that kind of purposeful "I'm going to sit and write a poem now" kind of attention. It's different.

Some of the poems I've written this month are keepers, in the sense that I'll polish them and try to publish them, and others are more like notes toward possible future keepers.

This time around, I found that the daily challenge was not really conducive to working on the "For Girls" series. That's almost finished, and really needs more revisions than new-from-scratch writing, and could use more sustained attention over a couple of weeks to nail down. So I'll go back to that in May.

Anyway, not bad, in all. How'd you do?

Saturday, April 28, 2007


As you can see.

That's a recycled image, originally from an advertisement for an Olivetti Lettera 22 (like mine).

I used it on a very, very old pre-blogger site and just found it in my image files.

I can't believe I've been publishing my schtuff on the internet for TEN YEARS.

Past, Blast from

Diane, George, Debbie, Lily, Aimee, Robert, Kristy,
Michael, Danielle, Shannon, me, Marina, Jean,
& Jeff at Susan Wheeler's place, December 2001.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Tool

& I've got some poems there. Kasey, Brendan, Tracey & Reb too. Clicky.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

An actual post

". . . you can think of writing, or art generally, as a luxury. in a world of these sadnesses, what does a POEM do? the simple answer is that it does what it can. we can honour a poem for being a thing, a human made thing, that reacquaints us with language's intensity."

I like what Allen has said here, because it deflects some of anxiety of writing a poem, what some would call wasting time perhaps, or a luxury. It doesn't feel much like a luxury when one is doing it, though it does often feel pleasantly intense, like a striving for some purpose.

I imagine all people who make things (whatever they may be) enjoy their things in this way. The making of them is fulfilling in the way other work is not.

For instance, work from which one never sees the end results, as in a corporation. Or work resulting in shameful results, as in ditto. Or useless work, like busting rocks. Oh, I suppose there may be a physical pleasure and pride in even that.

But I am making poems sound too much like product. What I mean is that work-with-results is pleasurable in a way that work-without is not.

Also, I think Allen's "what it can" is the kind of permission readers give poems, the kind I give a poem. The writers in us worry about that much more than the readers in us.


I know I said this already, but do you know what's good? Folly is good. Nada Gordon has absconded with poetry, brainwashed it, taught it new dances, and returned it IMPROVED.


OK, back to "work" for me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Never Cry Woof

My good buddy, fellow Texan-New Yorker-poet, and erstwhile collaborator Shafer Hall has just released his debut!

Go on & git it now, ya hear?

Flood day

I'm glad we live on a hill.

Update: Unfortunately, that doesn't apply to our basement!

Friday, April 13, 2007


I've lost track of my NaPoWriMos.
I thought I'd written 9, but can only find 8.

I've got:

Smooth, Or with Very Small Teeth (April 1)
Headless Female Torso (April 2)
The More Lenient Personals (April 3)
Need Anything from Home Depot? (April 4)
Pruning of the Shrubby (April 5, but not posted till the 6th)
If No New Continent or Ice Barrier Intervene (April 6)
Young America, in a Dress Coat at Seventeen, Finds Them All to Be Monstrous Slow (April 7)
Hey Mike (April 11)

I don't remember doing anything else, and if I did, it's lost because I forgot to paste it into the file.
(I don't usually write directly into the computer, but have been with this project because of its on-the-fly nature.)

I must really have missed 4 days. In a row! Where is my head?

I'm going to try to catch up over the weekend.

How are y'all doing?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

"So it goes."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. 1922-2007

This is my copy of Slaughterhouse 5. (Already damaged like this when I found it.) It's the Book Club edition. (!!)

So I read this one accidentally, then my English teacher (bless her) assigned Breakfast of Champions in the 10th grade. After that I read them all.

I went to see KV read and lecture a few times in Austin, and once I moved to NYC I'd see him on the street. He lived around the corner from the publishing house, and would sit or walk outside reading, smoking, waving at people.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Be w/ you in a sec.

Or maybe another day.

An unexpected kink in last week's got me all tangled for this one.

I've gotta get that article about you turned in. (It's done, but I had so much to say it's run long.)

Then I'll make up my NaPoWriMos!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

If you're in NYC today . . .

. . . CAConrad is reading with Kenward Elmslie at the Segue Series at 4PM (sharp!).
The Segue Reading Series presents
Saturday, April 7, 2007
4PM (sharp!)
at the Bowery Poetry Club
(308 Bowery, just north of Houston)
$6 admission goes to support the readers
hosted by Erica Kaufman & Tim Peterson

CAConrad's childhood included selling cut flowers along the highway for his mother and helping her shoplift. He escaped to Philadelphia the first chance he got, where he lives and writes today with the PhillySound poets (www.PhillySound.blogspot.com). His book Deviant Propulsion was published in 2006 by Soft Skull Press.

It Really Was For Love

one day we
said let's
and not
buy real
ones any

Kenward Elmslie's recent publications include Agenda Melt, Snippets, Cyberspace, all with visuals by Trevor Winkfield, and Routine Disruptions, selected poems.


Farmer Martin's widow
of old-time bulk
is picking dandelion greens
as mutt strains at rope
to nip Land Rover tires.
I wave too soon.
She cranes too slow-
in rear-view mirror,
back picking dandelion greens.

This is going to be so good!

I just read some of Conrad's new poems a few days ago--the ones he's planning to read. They are just astounding. He is writing "under the influence" of a different color each day--wearing, eating, and keeping on his person only things that correspond to that day's color--and seeing what kind of effect that has on that day's poem. (But the poems are not "about" the colors, if that makes sense.)

I really wish I could go.

Somebody please report!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

I always want to say more here . . .

. . . about what I am reading, but never seem to get around to it all.

The list (click stack of books at right) will have to do for now, and this bit I snipped from the post below before I pasted today's poem: Was reading some more of FOLLY on the train this morning & could NOT STOP. You won't be able to either.

Maybe more later. Gotta finish that article by Friday, write a poem a day, & OH YEAH, work at my J-O-B.

What an annoying invention, the job.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Oh, just click through the annoying daypass.

Different 'sphere, same 'sphere, eh?

Get it yet?

Sunday, April 1, 2007


Geraldine Ferraro, Madeleine Albright and Billie Jean King have joined in a "rapid rebuttal force" of well-known women on standby to defend and promote Senator Hilary Clinton's Presidential candidacy.

They need CAPES!

It remains to be seen whether or not I would vote for Hilary Clinton. She's not my fave. However, I'm with Ferraro: If I do, it'll be "not because she is a woman, but isn't it wonderful that she's a woman?"