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Showing posts from September, 2010

Editing Obsession

Am I the only one who can get absolutely absorbed in editing a piece? I've been reworking reworking reworking a poem, Miscarriage, that I wrote maybe three weeks ago. And it's morphing into something strange.

Anyway - here's just a stanza, and it's three different stages as an example:

Version 1

The toothless smile of satisfaction – rose
across her dimpled abdomen. Her breasts
hang above, the heads of a widows in prayer.

Everyone watches – eyes taking
in the color of bare skin – skin bending
in the hurricane that blew past. She sways
to the music that couldn’t carry her home.


VERSION 2

All the eyes are on her toothless smile–the rose lips
that cut across her dimpled abdomen. Her breasts
hang above, the heavy heads of a widows in prayer.

Her bare skin bends in the hurricane that blows past
as she sways to the music that couldn’t carry her home.

VERSION 3

As she dances - her voice thunders in the hum
of fronds, and all eyes are on the toothless smile –
the rose lips that slice
across her di…

Sniffles...

Ah... ok... so what's the news today?

Another rejection - this time from Sycamore Review. That one came in on Friday evening, and it didn't really bum me out at all.

Yay, thick skin!

However, I am bummed out by a bit of a cold coming on. And the fact that I ended up missing the Ambrosia open mic. First, I wasn't feeling the best on Friday. Bruno got out of work late and wasn't in the mood to go with me, either. And then, Saturday was my first day working with Upward Bound, so I figured it would be a good evening to stay in and relax.

So relax I did.

And Saturday - I had a pretty good first day working with the kiddos. I just forgot how utterly exhausting working with youth can be... zzzzzzzzzzz....

So this week I'm ready to tackle the following tasks:

Find my stamps, still haven't done that yet... and send out those two submissions
Write a leaping poem for class
Focus on getting rest, and getting better. I can't afford to let being sick bring me down.

Open Mic!

Tonight at Ambrosia! Open mic starts at 8:00.

I think I'll be reading but no promises, ok?

Ah who am I kidding I'll read.

The Poems Exploded and It's Not My Fault

Well all the sudden I have my poetic hands full again. Woot!

First of all, I had a wonderful poetry class last night. We talked about Blake and Neruda, about leaping and taking chances in writing. I <3 Blake and Neruda. I left the class with two stacks of poems to critque. One, for our next workshop meeting and the other....

is for a poetry contest that I'm helping judge. That's right. Me. Katie. Judging a poetry contest.

Ok so it's not a huge deal. But anyway I'm pretty excited to crack into that stack of poems and choose a few winners.

You know what, in retrospect I should have posted the contest details up here. Ah well, hindsight is always 2020 excuse my cliche. It's morning and the coffee I made is too weak.

So I'm judging the Green Living Poetry contest here, for the McAllen Chamber of Commerce. Yay! Co-judging, along with my good friend the Poet Mariachi.

Wait a second... how come I don't have a cool nickname? Ok, from here on out I will refer to myself…

Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and other stuff.

Yay!

They updated the Borderlands website to reflect the latest issue - the issue in which my poem North on 281 appears! Hurray! :)

Here's the website in case you're interested in ordering a copy of this lovely and professional publication (I'm throughougly enjoying my contributor copy):

http://www.borderlands.org/issue_34.html

In other news...

I start working a second job this coming Saturday. I will be working with Upward Bound as an English instructor here at UTPA. I have a bit of mixed feelings about it. On one hand - it's going to be GREAT experience for me. I'll be working with secondary students, something I've never done before. Plus, it looks nifty on my resume: English Instructor at UTPA

But on the other hand - I'm a bit afraid. Bruno (who used to be in charge of the computer labs at the university here) tells me that he dreaded when the kiddos would come into the labs to use the computers because they were rowdy. I taught middle school for two years, s…

Productivity

Yesterday, after my goal oriented post, I proceeded to finish a poem I'd been working on AND prep the two submission packets that I declared 'due by friday'. I just didn't pop them into the mail yet. I always have trouble locating my stamps. That's the biggest hurdle in my writing. Finding my stamps...

Anyway... how about for today?

Well, today I'm going to journal and freewrite... maybe work on a bit of editing, but the focus will be on new creations. What's the next big thing, Katie?

Don't know.

Oh... a tidbit from yesterday's poem! :

Now, years later my body lays still next to his, and I hide underneath covers and sheets as I watch the evening news – men in combat boots crossing over the eggshells of peace into Kuwaiti desert. While Bruno studies the bank statements, sprouting fresh gray hairs, I study the way those hairs curl at the first folds of tired skin, wondering when our next mistake will blossom into a shining yellow yolk across the expanse o…

A Post with Goals always seems to help...

Unmotivated... again.

Another rejection came in this weekend, this time from Ante Review. Its ok - I'm over it. A World of Warcraft Marathon and pot of homemade black bean soup later I felt like myself again. Oh, and a trip the the gym.

My favorite things in the world are cooking things from scratch, playing video games, and exercising. Oh, and poetry. But not when I'm angry with poetry.

And don't forget coffee...

Ok - so I'm determined to make this week better. More productive. What are my goals?

Get some serious ass to chair time and focus on this poem that's been sitting in my notebook for weeks. I would LIKE to have it ready for my workshop on Wednesday. If not, that's ok - I have an arsinal of poems that desperately need workshopping as well.

Prep and send out TWO submissions. One for PRISM International, one for Southern Review. Deadlines, Katie, deadlines!

Eat more veggies. Yes, for some reason this helps me tremendously. In mood and spirit primarily. I feel li…

It's Friday, and it's gloomy!

Yay!

So it's raining, I'm guessing because that hurricane Karl in Mexico. Did I ever mention that lately I've been absolutely obsessed with hurricanes? It's pretty crazy, I go through these weird obsessions and lately it's hurricanes. I will probably be depressed when hurricane season is over, until I move on to another obsession.

Which SHOULD be poetry. But how can I be obsessed with something that moves so slowly? Hurricanes form, strenghten, make landfall, and then by the time it's all over a new one has formed.

Poems form, strengthen, then fizzle out and die on my USB drive unpublished :'(

Ah... ok I'm being melodrammatic. New Plains Review sent rejection email a few days ago. I'm feeling very lost on my thesis endeavor, and I haven't been writing because I'm busy with... actual work.

Next week will be better, Katie. Promise.

Ok. I'll sort of believe myself then.

My fictional self

Ok, so I wrote another poem yesterday and I kind of like it :)

And, I'm starting to notice a new freedom in my writing.

Whereas - in the past I would simply write the truth, things I'm feeling, experiencing, living, ect, I'm starting to now write more freely. I'm getting better at putting myself in fictional scenarios, morphing my everyday experiences into something more meaningful, interesting, poetic.

Its actually quite inspiring - to write lies.

But also, at the same time - I wonder how much of what I write people end up thinking is my actual experience? For example, if I write a poem about affairs, will people automatically assume that I've been a particpant? How scary to think... that yes maybe they will.

My mom seems to think that poems must be autobiographical. And I'm guilty of it too. When I go to an open mic, I judge. I think to myself - wow - that lady's done THAT? Pretty ballzy.

Like Kim Addonizio. Her poems are so no nonsense, sexy, dealing with drug…

Katie's Writing

So today I'm struggling a little bit with writing in my blog.

First - a confession. No news to share today, folks. This one is purely reflective.

Ok I lied. A little tidbit of news. I might be going back into teaching :-X But part time. so rest asured that I won't be doing too much harm to today's youth.

That aside - last night in poetry class I had the mother of all migraines. It started coming on the minute I arrived on campus. I should have felt it coming, and stayed home. But no, I didn't listen, and decided to go anyway.

And in class, we were discussing duende, the source of poetry, and we did some writing exercises. Boy - I tell you, I'm used to being in some kind of pain, but migraine pain is a little bit worse than stomach pains. So umm... its hard to write under circumstances.

Anyway - in class we were talking about the trends in poetry, too. How poetry today is more experimental, more about language play. And how confessional poems are horribly out of fashion…

Tropical Storm Hermine

Oh man...

I was so hoping to have an extended labor day weekend thanks to this tropical storm. But alas, here I am in my office...

Last night I was so cursing about how ridiculous it was to have school/work today. Oh my! Tornado warnings?! and I have to drive in that? Insane!

I went to bed amidst the whistling of wind out my window, listening to the pangs of rain drops on the roof - curled up and just a little bit scared. I'm such a wuss, I wouldn't fall asleep until bruno came to bed and held me. Ugh. I disgust myself sometimes.

And so this morning I wake up to clear skies, a cool breeze, and the world is just a little bit wetter. Ah - ok... so the UTPA administration knows a little bit more about meteorology than this lazy poet does. Good call, people, good call. It would have been somewhat silly to stay home on a beautiful day like today (although, let's be honest - I would have thoughoughly enjoyed it!).

So... last Friday I submitted to Sycamore Review. And... hmm... I gues…

Applied for Graduation Today!

Yay!

So that makes it official - right?

That means there's no turning back - right?

I mean, wasn't a big deal or anything, I just walked over to their office this morning and dropped off a seemingly meaningless piece of paper. But as I handed it away, I sighed.

Yep - its going to happen!

Nine months from now, I will be Katie, MFA.

XD XD XD XD XD XD

Ok, now back to work. I haven't met my weekly goal yet, and its Friday already!!

First Day Back in Class!

You know, I'd forgotten how utterly exhausting it is going to evening classes.

When I finally made it home last night, I was pretty tired. Phew! How was I able to do this before? I was at UTPA yesterday for a total of 14 hours straight.

But my new poetry workshop class seems pretty good. We did a lot of writing exercises yesterday which is helping me to up my daily writing. Yay! I've been writing all summer though... so going to class just puts a little structure to my writing schedule.

Anyway - I'm happy (yet exhausted) to be back in class. This is my LAST POETRY WORKSHOP of my MFA experience. I hope to make it a good one :)