Friday, July 30, 2010

Another one out!

Submitted this afternoon to New Plains Review!

I sent out Black D'orsays, Just Words, and Upon Hearing Bruno Speak Spanish.

You know, I've been meaning to do another submission to this publication all week long and I've been putting it off and putting it off. And now, finally, it's done, out there, can't take it back. I think I just felt really intimidated, and everytime I go back and look at my pieces I feel less confident about them.

I need to write more, better...

I don't know, I'm having more self doubt lately. I think I'm ready for some more poetry classes. I've done a lot of work this summer, but it is hard to stay motivated on your own. Entering into a community of poets helps, just because I can bounce ideas, images, ect off on other people and I don't feel so weird, say - for example, writing about seducing a man in the poetry section of the library while reading Whitman. Aye. I'm a weirdo.

I shouldn't be afraid of my obsessions. But it's so hard. I just imagine the people reading my work thinking what a strange person I must be. And then I think of reading my work in front of a thesis committee... and what if no one takes it seriously? :-( So many unknowns. This is going to be an interesting academic year.

But I will make it though!

So my summer writing, successful. I produced a few good pieces, and have a lot of raw journaled material to work with which will be helpful. Now I'm switching gears a bit - away A LITTLE BIT from writing for the next few weeks and I'm going to start focusing on organizing what I have, polishing, and conceptualizing the thesis. That way, when I meet with Dr. S next month, I won't look like a complete blundering bafoon.

With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work ahead.

And then there's the prospect of PhD program apps. Ahhh I don't even want to think about it!!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Sexy Poems Have Nothing on This...

That poem is just beautiful. I could write from now until the moment I die and I'll never be able to write like that.

Well, news for today - I'm off to a PhD info session to learn more about applying to and choosing a school. I have lots to learn, and I'm glad to have this opportunity.

Hopefully more good news to come, but we shall see.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hate Poem

Read it, and had to post the link.

It's hilarious.

"The blue-green jewel of sock lint I’m digging
from under by third toenail, left foot, hates you."

How does she come up with that? Ahh... poetry :)

Productivity Pitfalls

Found this today while surfing.

Top 10 Productivity Pitfalls for Writers to Avoid

Oh boy, do most of these apply to me or what?

I mean, I'm pretty good at setting goals and following through. Lately - I've been true to my goal of writing daily, submiting biweekly, and polishing up more or less a poem a week. And I'm working towards my larger goal of the thesis.

I understand that everything is one step at a time. But my problem is that sometimes I let negativity get the best of me. Fear is something that I'm used to now, and I really try not to let that get in the way of TRYING. I honestly think that my control over my fear is what separates me from many of my collegues. Failure? I hate it, but I'm not afraid of it.

And as far as the whole isolation thing, well... right now I suffer a little from that but taking my workshop class this coming fall will help :-)

I think I'm well on my way. Anyway... I just have to emerse myself a little more and put my entire self into my pieces. I can do it!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Aubade

“As We Are So Wonderfully Done with Each Other”

by Kenneth Patchen Kenneth Patchen

As we are so wonderfully done with each other
We can walk into our separate sleep
On floors of music where the milkwhite cloak of childhood lies

O my lady, my fairest dear, my sweetest, loveliest one
Your lips have splashed my dull house with the speech of flowers
My hands are hallowed where they touched over your
soft curving.

It is good to be weary from that brilliant work
It is being God to feel your breathing under me

A waterglass on the bureau fills with morning . . .
Don’t let anyone in to wake us.

Prose Poetry Contest

I am thinking about entering... are you?

Just thought I'd share, plus if I post it here then I feel somewhat obligated to follow through and submit myself. My goals for the week:

Submit to... something! Either Toronto Quarterly, or perhaps enter that nifty looking prose poetry contest.
Get at least one new poem written to add to the thesis collection, and tie up loose ends on summer pieces.

I have a very busy week ahead. I washed my USB drive on accident, but luckily I've been able to recover most of my work. I'm so stupid sometimes.


Friday, July 23, 2010

El Mundo Zurdo Conference


I will be reading in San Antonio at UTSA on November 5th as part of the El Mundo Zurdo Conference. I will post more info soon, but I am very excited about this. Not only do I get an opportunity to share my work at a conference, an awesome line on my CV, possibly some books sales, a hopefully romantic weekend at my favorite San Antonio B&B (Gardenia Inn!) with the BruBru, but ALSO, I get to meet the Mouthfeel Press ladies and present with them!

I don't think I'm going to be able to contain myself. I will likely run up and hug my wonderful editor and thank her for the wonderful opportunity of publishing my first book :) Teary eyed! LOL, I'm such a dork.

So finally, some good news to report, right? After the last slew of rejections, I was feeling unmotivated, disheartened. But every little success, every small victory, leads to the greater goal of being an awesome poet ;-) This is just another part of the ride!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Daily Writing

So I've been pretty good about writing everyday.

I'm not journaless, and for awhile I was allowing this to be my excuse for not writing everyday. How lame am I? Very.

But this week, determined to get out of my rut, I've returned to my Ordinary Genius book and have begun writing a minimum of one page per day.

I'm currently reading a chapter on visualization before writing, to help you get all the wonderful details in. Mostly, what I've been visualizing is stuff from my past, and it is making my poems more... memoir like. Ugh. Who wants to know the nitty gritty details of my boring life?

A few things I've come up with:


the way my feet hit the ground and the ground still receives them

tongues pink and flailing against the baby blue of the sky while the pink is exposed on their cheeks. Pink – the color that reminds us where we came from.

sometimes it all just comes flowing out in tears Or screams of pink joy, joy that’s made of flesh, the flesh we cover up and hope to forget about, like the flesh of our mothers, fleshy and round – the rolls on your stomach, always one too many. And they continue, we open like Russian dolls, one after another, a layer of flesh atop a wedding cake of beauty

That one I kind of like, just because it's like one image floating into another... like a bad version of stream of concsiousness :-P

And I love the way his eyes – behind his glasses, open like fresh daisies when they lock into mine. And I know that my mother pushed me
Into this world for the sole reason
Of washing the delicate skin underneath his feet.


And I still remember the room, the room I would hide away in. I remember the carpet, thick with cigarette smoke, and the window – clouded with age. And now when I go back, sometimes I’ll see just a few of the hairs I left behind – long and golden, hairs that once curled around my winding finger while I talked on the phone with boys.

WEDNESDAY - This day I wrote a story about my mom. It's not in poem form, it's very raw still, so I can easily share :)

Parent and child memory
We were in the whirlwind rush of the mornings – the stress of waking painted all over the emerging wrinkles on her face. The sun was already in the sky – the sky was already lit with rays, and the morning had already begun.
I must have been about sixteen, because I remember reaching for the car keys in the kitchen. I remember my mom, wearing worn blue jeans (the kind all moms wear), sandals, and a blue polo shirt. Her hair was a wavy mess, pinned atop her head like a frayed crown. I remember she grabbed her purse, and, hesitating, stepped back into the kitchen. She smelled of morning – a mixture of fruity shampoo and the sour smell of sleep.
“Let me just put these cinnamon rolls away”, she said, grabbing an almost empty pan from the stovetop. I nodded and watched from the entryway, jiggling the keys a bit and listening to their ring. As she opened the refrigerator door, I must have looked away knowing that something was about to happen. I remember the shriek, restrained yet pitched with emotion, her body folded over in pain, her face hidden behind a wall of brown hair. I remember the pan crashing to the ground, the rolls picking up dust as they slid across the kitchen floor.
“What happened?” I asked as the electricity of fright woke me again. I bent down to pick up the rolls, the pan, waiting for my mom to look up, to tell me everything was ok.
And she did. She flipped her hair back, slowly stood up, and pursed her lips just a bit. Her eyelids wrapped around her eyes tight, making her look like she had more wrinkles than she actually did. “My toe,” she mumbled, letting her lips relax into smile.
Putting the pan on the counter, I looked down at her toe – bloody, the nail hanging on by a thin sheath of skin. My mother bent down, finally freed from emotion, and yanked the nail. She tossed it in the trash, grabbed a paper towel, and wiped the blood from her toe leaving clean baby skin exposed. She looked up at me and smiled.
“I can’t very well go to work like this”, she commented, and walked to the living room with a bit of a limp. On the coffee table sat a tiny container of nail polish. She grabbed it, bent down, and covered the skin where the nail was supposed to be in nail polish. I remember shivering, thinking of the sting the polish must cause on the open wound.
My mom slipped her sandal back on, and proceeded to the door. “Let’s go, Kate”

And Today...

and left you.
Closed the door behind your body
Wrapped tight in sadness, your crinkled face
Pressing into the pillow leaving its mark
On me like a blushing purple bruise.

So they're just quips from the week's writing. I will write more tomorrow - of course. And maybe even through the weekend. I have a lot of work to do before I can get any of this into polished poem form, but that will be for another day. Time to do some REAL work ;-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I Absolutely Couldn't Resist

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Give it a try! Ever wonder who you write like?
I got several different responses depending on what piece I entered, if I was putting in stuff from the blog or from my more edited stuff, ect. So it's not really that accurate, but it sure is fun :D

Writing Bios...

I think I must have written over 100 versions of my author bio by now, each one making me sound like an entirely different person. Here's a resent one:

KH lives in Edinburg, Texas with her five cats and her soul mate that she affectionately refers to as Bru Bru. She is an MFA student at the University of Texas Pan American and the author of an award winning chapbook Among the Mariposas. While she would never admit to it in public, K spends much of her spare time playing old school RPGs and World of Warcraft.

Harharhar... ok so maybe this is the MOST accurate author bio I've ever written.

Different bios for different purposes, right?

Monday, July 19, 2010

I forgot to add...

Cool essay contest I stumbled upon. Check it out! It's a way to get invited to AWP, which, would certainly be awesome.

Ah, Monday...

So its Monday again -

Recently (Friday, I think?) I submitted to Sugar Hill Review, something like that. Let's see what happens. I submitted a new piece, That Sort of Woman, which I had been working on... maybe for the past three weeks on and off. The piece went from poem, to essay, to prose poem, to essay again, and back to poem. Aye. If only my genres would quit... mating.

Other news... mmm... nope there is none. Other than the fact that I am super excited to be hiring a maid. Hah. I am finally conceeding to the very obvious fact that I am a feminine failure. But I will not be a poetic failure. So while someone is scrubbing away at my dirty kitchen floor, I will be typing away. That's the theory, at least.

Let's see how this turns out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bad Bad Poet

Ok, so I've been a bad poet lately.

I know I haven't been updating, leaving little breadcrumbs to mark my way to... what is seeming more and more everyday like failure. Yes, I'm being melodramatic but that's how I've been feeling.

Self doubt has an ugly face, and she's been peeking into my thoughts what seems like daily. I guess it's common, right? Well - this self doubt has been keeping me from writing. It's my fault for letting it get to me. I keep thinking, what do I have to say? Ugh, another vagina poem? Get over it Katie no one wants to read this garbage.

I've had several rejections lately. First - Texas Book Festival. I was a little down. Bruno had put the ominous envelope on the kitchen counter unopened. I knew what it was the moment I saw it. Rejection. I was right. Looks like I won't be going to Austin anytime soon.

Also - Minnetonka Review rejected my work. I was disheartened. I really like their publication. Well, I am determined to try again, maybe.

And to top it all off, I've been thinking to myself - why am I even in this 'biz'? What is the purpose? I'm investing so much of myself - my time, my money, my energy, my thoughts, my obsession, my sanity - to this pursuit, that will likely yield nothing, nada, ziltch. I was reading about English PhD's, excited to start working on my applications, and the stats are dismal at best. So few graduates get hired. And can I really devote five, six, TEN years of my life to something that will likely not yield results?


Of course I can. I will. And you know why? Because I've always been the person who is the exception to the rule. I'm determined, I'm mildly talented, but most of all - I'm not letting this failure business get the best of me.

So today is a new day for the poet in me. I've spent the better part of today editing old pieces, rethinking - making them better. I'm not taking these failures as a sign to quit, they are a sign to work harder, work fresher, work better.

So with ass in chair, fingers on keyboard, mind in the clouds - I bid you a'due!