Showing posts from 2009

This Year...

Well it's New Year's Eve.

What have I accomplished in 2009?

1. Published "Deisies Bloom in Fall", "Aisha", and "Jesus Loves Jackie" in the Journal of Texas Women's Writers (Jan 09)

2. Presented "Bah! Comic Books" Presentation at SWTX Popular Culture Association in Albuquerque, NM (Feb. 09)

3. Presented "Three Hundred Euros" at South Texas College's Human Trafficking conference (April 09)

4. "The Double Murder" and "On South Padre" published in Boundless anthology (April 09)

5. "Santa Rosa of Lima" accepted into Spring 2010 issue of Reflections (Oct. 09)

6. "Among the Mariposas" chosen as a winner of the Nuestra Voz chapbook competition, and will be published in spring (Dec. 09)

Yes, that's right! I'm having my own book published! So exciting!!!

Did I accomplish enough this year? I remember at the beginning of this year, I said my motto would be "Just live your dream". Jus…

Disappointed in Myself.

I haven't been writing lately.

I don't think my work will be accepted into Touchstone.

I did submit to Borderlands Review, though. I think my submission got sent out late though, so who knows. I submitted "My Reflection in the Rio Grande", "South on HWY 281", "My Shadow Watches Me", and "The Birthday Girl". It's a long shot. But maybe?

How can I stay motivated to improve my writing? Ugh. I'm disappointed in myself.

My Mom

I've avoided writing about my mother for many years. We have a... complicated relationship. But it's a good sort of complicated.

I'm attempting a poem about her. Here's my brainstorm. I hope it can springboard into something.

You - so accustomed to your womanhood
Naked and brown - your hands like ice skates
sliding a razor across your slowly expanding legs.
You didn't miss a hair.

My legs - waving with unsightly peach fuzz
that collected dirt
and felt ugly in gym class.

You made it look so damn easy.

Your body smelled always
like jasmine and sweet
I watched you struggle to rise
to lift your burdon of womanhood
from t he bathtub, your breasts rising
glistening and sagging.
You grabbed a towel
you'd neatly folder beside you
and wrapped it around your tired
curves and you sighed
before heading out to your bedroom
to go about the other burdens (find a new word)
that womanhood so lovingly requires.
You made it all look easy, mom, the way you instinctively twisted your hair into a bun, you…

More Submissions

I've been rather ambitious.

I know it's a super long shot. I saw a call for manuscripts for a short chapbook by a woman living in the border region. I'm not a sterotypical border woman, and I don't write stereotypical border poems about my grandmother's hands, making tortillas, or working the fields (nothing wrong with that, of course).

However, I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't exactly have a manuscript ready, but I had a lot of spare time yesterday. I basically pulled two poems out of my ass, threw together a bunch of poems I've written about my old teaching job (in an impoverished border town) and I'm calling it a chapbook. Will it get published? Probably not. But at least I've gotten some writing done on the subject, and found some sort of closure inside of myself. Anyway, I'm proud.

I had planned on really putting ass to chair this thanksgiving break. It didn't happen at all. Some people write better when they're depressed. I&#…

The Valley

Working on a piece about the valley. Here's my brainstorm so far.

Standing here along the river -
I want to jump
Without thinking into the green
muddy water.
My white feet, clean and smooth,
stand firmly at the bank.

This border does not belong to me.
This border belongs to the
ones who live in fear
of being plucked
(roots and all)
to not survive
on the other side.

This border belongs to the hands
that reach into her dusty earth -
the bent backs and the browning necks
burnt and sweaty.

This border belongs to the feet
rough and dusty, the people
with labored sighs.

This border belongs to those
who aren't afraid
of her muddy green waters,
the spines of a nopal,
the burn of the comal.

This border belongs to those
with roots like mesquites, bending
in the wind on either side
of the Rio Grande - roots
that dig deep into the soil
roots that come back
even when plucked
and tossed aside.

No, this valley does not belong to me
Here - standing and afraid
to baptize myself in her muddy waters.


I'm trying to gather together enough poems about living here to make a chapbook. I'm short a few. I've been thinking, how can I write more poems of place for the valley? What have I witnessed here, in this land, that makes my experience unique?

I was reading a poem by Robert Pinsky, "The Shirt". Amazing image...

At the Triangle Factory in nineteen-eleven.
One hundred and forty-six died in the flames
On the ninth floor, no hydrants, no fire escapes-

-The witness in a building across the street
Who watched how a young man helped a girl to step
Up to the windowsill, then held her out
Away from the masonry wall and let her drop.
And then another. As if he were helping them up
To enter a streetcar, and not eternity.

That's so powerful. What can I write about here, the valley, that's equally powerful?

Dearest Pessmist Inside Me,

You're just my mom's voice.

I know why you say all of this, and it's because you don't want me to succeed. A lot of people who have read my work have enjoyed it. These people have praised my work when you have refused to. I'm a very talented writer and I know this because my language makes me blush. I can feel the blood rushing just below the surface of my skin when I read my work. It's lighthearted (Sometimes). It's fun to read. It makes me smile.

My writing is about emotion - feeling - having an intimate relationship with the shapes of words. My poetry can make you hard, or it can make you close your eyes for a moment and imagine, 'what if'?

My writing is about being connection, about learning to love - be it the body, a man, food, the page. My writing frees me to be a whore for my readers, pleaseing them in I never otherwise could.

Pessimist - I write to be free. I write to feel. I write to connect. Most of all - I write to love.

Dear Katie,

You will never be a writer. Do you remember all of those times when other people praised your work? The time when Mr. Winnard told you that you had a gift, a talent? Or the time when, in a workshop, Carol said that your poem belonged in an anthlogy, because it read like the ones she's seen there before? Remember when your classmates voted you to represent them and read your poetry at the donor's dinner? Remember when your poems were accepted into Gallery, voted the best, and given an honorable mention? Remember when Dr. Belau was upset because you weren't pursuing the M.A (you were going for the MFA instead), but she said that at least you'd be able to write brilliantly? Remember the smiles on the peoples' faces when you read in public, and how - once at a workshop - the gay priest just HAD to read the sexy teacher poem outloud to the class?

Do you remember all of this, Katie? All of these people were just being nice to you. They felt sorry for you because, in reali…


Today I finally submitted my work to Touchstone.

Its something I've been putting off needlessly for far too long. I've always said I was going to do it, and today, finally, I was out of excuses, out of other things to do. I just did it. It's done.

I submitted:

1. The Martyrs
2. Poetic Release
3. The Common Denominator
4. Traveling West
5. Town of Mistakes.

Now for Breakwater Review...

I'm running out of material to submit, but with so many looming deadlines...

I need to write more. It's difficult to find inspiration sometimes. I'll keep searching.

But for today, I've accomplished my goal :-)

"We're in Uniform!"

A Co-worker walked by my office this afternoon. She peered in through the doorway, and stared at me for a tiny moment. Then, she smiled and her big eyes lit up. "We're in uniform!" she exclaimed in her high, innocent voice. Huh? I shot her a confused glare. She was gesturing towards her clothing.

I look down at my own. It was true. We were in uniform, both of us dressed alike, as if we were sisters.

But we couldn't be more different.

That got me thinking, and here is my writing exercise for today:

"We're in uniform!"
All of us - our bodies bathed
in different shades of violets, blushing
fucias and baby blues. We
all of us paint
our eyes and brush our lashes,
hide behind our perfumes.

We're in uniform,
all of us, we click
our heels, sway our hips
and wear, delicately -
our worries upon our shoulders
like lavish furs. Hiding
deep within our creases
of our painted faces,
we're all in uniform, together hiding
from each other.


Adding another publication to the CV.

Two of my poems were accepted into Reflections! They were Santa Rosa of Lima and The Double Murder.

This is definately a good day for the writer in me. This will definately motivate me to submit to Touchstone before the 15th.

I've been writing a little bit lately. Here are some of my more memorable images.

These are in no particular order whatsoever.

Your clothing censors your body.
Your eyes censor me from your soul, that part of you body I would never dare to touch.
You clothing censors your body- I'm left afraid of the mystery of what's underneath.

I write with my tongue - salivating in anticipation around each carefully crafted word and feel their movement inside of me. I'm ripe with poetry that's afraid to leave the womb. But one day, I know I'll explode a mess of guts and words here at my desk will be all that remains.

I'm a dirty dirty wife who prefers the chaos of my kitchen to the binding sparkling ring of its tidiness.…

I Could Never Love You...

Like Neruda. When I die
I want to feel
your hot tears falling
on my body - impassioned
like your sweat
was some time ago.

When I die
I want to hear your crying
to see your eyes puff red
from holding onto the tears.

My love, I want you to be
without me, to mourn
my death for years until
you finally join me, here,
in our marriage bed
beneath the cold
cold earth.

Bruno - I could never love you like Neruda.


If only I could write like this.

Love Sonnet #89 By Pablo Neruda

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

I don't think I've ever read a poem more absolutely beautiful.

Someday? If only.


Clothing censors your body -
I'm afraid of the mystery.

Your deceptive eyes censor your soul -

OooOOo! I've been dwelling on the thought of censorship today after looking at a rather disturbing drawing of a famliy without faces, only black veils where faces should be.

Your eyes veil your soul? Censor? Ahh I'm just playing with words at the moment. It's fun.

Sometimes my writing feels forced - and sometimes it flows freely. I always get really nervous right before I depart off into my 'zone', my 'place'. Sometimes I wish I could live there... and never ever come out.

The hum drum of everyday censors me -

I'm proud that I've been carrying my notebook with me wherever I go, be it my tiny moleskin or my big poetry notebook. I always have something to keep track of my little... lets just call them inclinations... obsessions.... hmmm...

I'm trying to get back to my place, but this office... its censoring me!

Reflections on revisions....

Writing feels good. It just simply does.

I've mostly just been editing these past few days, brushing up on language here and there, snipping up my poems, prepping them and making them pretty for my upcoming submissions. Some reflections on editing...

"The willingness, the ardent desire even, to revise, separates the poet from the person who sees poetry as therapy or self expression." Richard Tillinghast

Poems are never really finished. I think we only put poems away to brush up and improve on later. :) Its a good thing, though. A work is never finished, just abandoned! So this weekend for me is just about revisiting my recent works, and making them just a little bit better.

Wish me luck!

A Realization

I came to a realization last night.

I've always been the type of person who, when I want something, I get it. I've never been one to put things off, to delay, to hesitate, to wait on anyone or anything.

I don't like the way my stomech rolls over my jeans; therefore, I exercise and eat right.

I didn't like the person I was becoming in my job; so, I changed careers.

I want to be a writer. I want to graduate with my MFA and go on to teaching. But why am I delaying? Why am I letting the hum drum of life take over? Why do I always have an excuse as to why NOT to practice, why NOT to publish, why NOT to continue taking classes?

The truth is that I simply don't have an excuse, only flimsy ideas I like to call reasons. Ok, maybe I'm a little bit afraid but Katie, you're a big girl now and it's time to jump over this metaphorical hurrdle and just straddle life, and become the person I want to be creatively.

I've done it physically, I've done it professionally,…

An exercise with my shadow

Just a free write here...

My shadow's name is Jane. She likes to watch.

She hates the way I lay before him - much unlike a pretty flower
waiting to be plucked from the earth, carried away, and placed
in some little jar of water to rot.

No, Jane hates the way I lay before him, like a subject
inanimate without the predicate.

Jane hates me because I don't throw him to the ground
grab my destiny in my hands
Instead I wait for him to give it to me.
Jane thinks I'm just a slave
for his pleasure. She hates it
when his lips touch mine.
She hates it when he reaches
deep inside of me, how his tongue
passes through my hot lips. Jane
especially hates it when I wrap
my arms around his horizontal body,
and when I run my hands through
his musty manly hair. She hates
the feeling I get when he whispers
to me in my ear - the warmth between
us - she tells me its just sex and that I'm nothing
but his cheaply bought whore.
But when I'm feeling his breath
steaming on my neck - I don't hear her. I close
my ey…

The Shadow

"Look hard at what pleases you and harder at what doesn't" -Colette

How can a poet dive down in into the depths of something ugly, instead of splashing in it? I think the real challenge is writing about something terrible in a beautiful way.

Ahhh... I'm just trying to improve my writing here. I had a no show this morning and thought it was my responsiblity to take this little tidbit of time to dwell on an idea that I've been baking for awhile.

I'm a person who lives by feelings, not ideas. I follow my heart and not my mind. I try to live by this, and now... if only I could come full circle, and have my writing filled with duende. Ahh... yeah that'll be the day :-)

I think this is an idea that I need to dwell on more... I'll be back to write more... I promise.

Buttterflies on my windshield

Do butterflies have hearts?

I live in the midst of a butterfly migration route. At about this time every year, butterflies of all kinds paint the landscape - filling the breeze with tiny flaps of their wings. I always notice them when I'm driving, and because I think the universe revolves around me, I always take their passing as some kind of personal sign. Maybe I'm driving along with them, following the wind like they do. Maybe their crashing into my windshield, and I feel like God is trying to stop me in my tracks, sacrificing His little bursts of beauty to tell me something truly profound. Or maybe - and this is the idea I've been playing with this migration, maybe - I'm following my heart, listening to a calling within myself, like a butterfly.

And then -smack- one meets its demise on my windshield, fluttering hopelessly, beating its wings just a few last times as it sails onto the hot pavement called Ware Rd. I close my eyes, no God, I don't want to see these …


Ah being busy...

It's a good thing.

I just got back from a conference in San Antonio, and being away from the peace of a simple pad of paper and pen - well, it can be disheartening. My mind's been elsewhere, and thus - I have produced no poetry. Students flow through my office, in and out. It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment to help them, they vent to me, get their frustrations off their chests, and I help solve their problems. Its a good thing. With deadlines looming of my own, though, sometimes I wish for a simple reprive. Right now I have one :-) My 4:00 is a no show.

I've had this interesting obsession lately. My shadow, who is she? My dark side? My opposite? Who is that secret voice in the back of my head, that doubt, that skeptic that makes me only 99% a hopeless romantic. Who is she, and what does she see me as? How do I look in my shadow's eyes? Is my shadow disappointed in the decisions I've made, in my attitude, in my actions? In other words, what …


"I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am." - Philippians 4:11

If there's one Biblical verse I wish I could embody...

Although I think I'm getting better at being content no matter what, I still need to remember to always be grateful. I've been so fortunate to have a great life filled with love. Of course no one has a perfect life, but I think mine is pretty damn great :-) But should those circumstances change, would I still be content?

Anyway, today I felt truly inspired. I attended a presidental forum at my university, yes MY university. :-P I've been here all my adult life, either as an undergrad, grad student, and now as an employee. But anyway - the final presidental canidate for the university was a... CREATIVE WRITER! A fiction writer!

Needless to say my 'vote' will be cast for him. He was so inspirational - well spoken, bilingual, and he had that quirky quality that any true artist pocesses. It's amazing to me how adaptable…


My gloomy gloomy Monday is bleeding into my Tuesday.

I watched the sun rise this morning from my sofa, looking out my front window. This daily miracle usually lifts my spirits, but today I had no such luck.

I find it truly amazing how attached we can become to animals, and their passing brings about a different kind of grief. Simply put - it's completely and utterly irrational. Then again, that's just the nature of emotions. I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, which caused me to be late for work. To make matters worse, I found out today my work was not accepted into a certain journal.

But! I will persist. If I've learned anything in my years here, I've learned that when you work towards something with your heart, you eventually achieve it. So, in attempt to keep my hopes alive and well this morning I have submitted to TAMIU Reflections. At least if I get a rejection letter, it will be when my spirits are higher and I'm better able to cope. Until then,…


Today I simply feel the need to admire other poets...

I feel a total lack of inspiration for my own personal writing, and when this happens the best thing to do is to just read.

"Like a secret screamed into a late night taxi"

"Low winter sun vignetted the room"

"Like a gambler flicking his wrist drawing fate closer"

"Sunlight breaking the bones behind my eyes"

"Ashes fall from his cigarette like astericks"

"Where the ocean licks her flesh"

"Why hesitate like an older man's hand on my thigh"

Now if only I could write like that... Anna Journey is officially my new heroo!


"the person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously" - 2 Corinthians 9:6

I suppose the Bible is the best place to turn to for advice in all things. I don't think this quote could be more true for the simple act of writing. Just something for me to digest and think about. I set aside time everyday to kneel down and pray (although... truthfully, praying while the conditioner soaks into my hair doesn't exactly make me a portrait of Godliness...) and lately I've been taking the time to journal about what I'm eating and how I'm exercising... so the next logical step in improving my being would be to put my butt to the chair and write what flows out :-) yeah... it's glamorous. It's time to make ME a priority, my spiritual, physical, and now finally my artistic self. Balance? I think someday I'll achieve it.

Well I haven't heard back from the Monitor or 13th moon, but patience is a …

Ever have one of those days?

I am an occasional sufferer of anxiety.

I am (apparently) a person who must drink coffee... all day... everyday...

I am a rain hater - because it makes my hair frize

I am a cat hair attracter

I am (unfortunately) on a diet

I am (also unfortunately) not losing weight

I am (always) hungry...!

I am awkward in a not cute sort of way

I am a walker

I am a talker.. behind your back ;-)

I am not stupid.

I am a procrastinator and a go-getter at the exact same time

I am a tight clothes wearer

I am a high heels lover... and hater.

I am good with kids.

I am... almost out the door today!

Anyways, today I submitted "Black D'orsays" so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that good things happen. I have to keep motivated. I have to keep trying. More importantly, I have to keep writing!


Well I finished an end product of the poem "Poetic Release" that I began last week, so this is definately good news for me. If only I was more dedicated to my writing... it just takes an hour or so a day to really improve. I have an hour a day, but I prefer to waste it laying in bed doing nothing.

Anyway, I'm working on getting some poems out there. What's my game plan? Maybe if I put it here in writing I'll be more motivated to follow it!

ASAP! 13th moon for Black D'Orsays
TAMIU - by september 30th (find something to submit!)
DPC - pick something before Nov 30th
Alimentum - try betty crocker ;-)

There it is! Now do it Katie.

Just an exercise in writing

Feeling a little... steamy?

Your eyes penetrate my every stanza
- you begin at the top of my forehead
and with careful - graceful - loving - touch,
you slowly work your way down
- scanning over my imperfect
linebreaks and rolling piles
of my language - You roll your tongue
over my syllables - silently -
to yourself and
when you feel you're just too deep inside of me.

To the smooth rhythm of my words
you continue to read
into my - self.

I'm sorry I'm not your perfect Sestina.
Naked and exposed - I stand in front of you
With lines that run too long thick stanzas.
Run your eyes and tongue through my poetics
And make me feel - (vulnerable) - like a woman.

Hmmm... this is a seed for a future poem. I'm just playing with words at the moment... i love my job :)