Showing posts from June, 2011

Good News!

Another one of my poems will be featured in the summer 2011 issue of Breakwater Review . Hooray! Hooray! This particular poem, "The Cornfields," has gone through so many revisions... so I'm excited to see the final version in print. It was originally a poem written about one of my students as a teaching in Santa Rosa, but its morphed into... something else... Of course, link will promptly be posted here on mi blogita once its published. Alongside "The Cornfields" will be "What They Told the Girl with Bite Marks on Her Lips," another poem that began as me writing about a student and morphed into... something else... slightly more sinister. What's my problem? LOL. I think I need to go back into teaching public school. I got some good material there, and then grad school morphed my brain into an organ that thinks rather strangely. On a lighter note: I gave a presentation yesterday on Caballero. But I got so caught up in the romance and d

Caballero and Feeding the Birds

Yesterday I finished reading Jovita Gonzalez's Caballero. Wahhh It was a great book, great great great indeed I would have been sad to finish it, were it not assigned reading. Over the past few years, I've read a lot of books (ok, so not ENOUGH but still I'm always reading...something). I'm noticing a trend... My favorite books are either A. Historical Fiction or B. Romantic No, not romance, romantic, BIG difference (as I discussed with my younger brother recently). And some are both. And that was Caballero. Wahhh.... I think I cried twice while reading the book, it was just so good... Which brings me to my next point - good books make me cry. They do, I know its stereotypically sentimental woman of me but whatever. That's who I am and I'm ok with it. Anyway, there's much more to Caballero than just romance, though. It's about colonializm, class, feminism, machismo... there's war and there's death and there's life and

Prayer to Tear the Sperm-Dam Down

By Charles Webb. I always, always, love reading this poem: Because we need to remember / that memory will end, let the womb remain / untouched. —from “Prayer to Seal Up the Wombdoor” by Suzanne Paola Because we know our lives will end, Let the vagina host a huge party, and let the penis come. Let it come nude, without a raincoat. Let it come rich, and leave with coffers drained. Throw the prostate’s floodgates open. Let sperm crowd the womb full as a World Cup stadium. Let them flip and wriggle like a mackerel shoal. Let babies leap into being like atoms after the Big Bang. Let’s celebrate fullness, roundness, gravidity. Let’s worship generation—this one, And the next, and next, forever. Let’s adore the progression: protozoan to guppy To salamander to slow loris to Shakespeare. Forget Caligula. Forget Hitler. Mistakes Were made. Let’s celebrate our own faces Grinning back at us across ten thousand years. Let’s get this straight

West Chester Day IV

So this will be my last blogpost about West Chester, and then I can go on to blogging about... other things, lol. Day IV sure was a great 'grand finale' for me! I headed over to breakfast a little late, but not too late. I ended up chatting with a really facinating gentleman, Johnathan Greenfield , over numerous cups of coffee. Again, one of the things I really like about West Chester is the friendly atmosphere. Johnathan and I swapped rejection letter woe stories, and success stories, too. He's actually a really talented jewelary designer, and later I find out he's also a... M.D. Talk about multi-talented. Anyway, we had a good talk and when I finally noticed the time, the first panel had already passed and it was almost time for my appointment with Dana Gioia! :-D So I rush over to the union. Dana said to meet him on the second floor. I'm fiddling with my fingers, nervous and excited and all sorts of other emotions. I'm worrying to myself, will Dana like m

West Chester Day III

The next morning, I wake up and head off to breakfast. This time, I've learned to go early to get the good food, and catch the poetry conversation. As I'm heading down the elevator, a poet strikes up a conversation with me and we start chatting. That's what I love about West Chester!   Anyway, I find out that this man is actually an M.D, and we start talking about all things poetry. We sit down for breakfast with another couple of poets, one of whom I recognize from the workshop, Timothy  (well, he kind of stands out since he has a very impressive beard.) It turns out we're all West Chester first timers, so we actually all have quite a bit in common, even though - well, to the naked eye, we don't. And that's another thing I love about West Chester, it brings together people who normally wouldn't be. I mean, I never thought I would have so much in common with a medical doctor from New York City, or an older gentleman who hails from Maine. Me, a twenty-somet

West Chester, Day II

My second day at West Chester! The next morning, I wake up - late. Doh! I took a quick shower, and headed over to breakfast (late) and... well... ate in a hurry so I wouldn't miss the panels. Well, I missed part of a panel on poetry and place. Just heard the tail end of it, but it sounded so interesting! Especially because a lot of my poems are influenced greatly on the landscape of the valley... After that, I saw Bill, from the airport. The previous night at dinner we started talking about William S. Burroughs. I actually know quite a bit about him, so I thought it was my one opportunity to say smart things to someone with a PhD. :-P Anyway, he brought a book for me to read about Burroughs written in blank verse. Go figure! I was Rick Mullin's book Hunke (heh heh, a play on Burrough's Junkie...) anyway I got about halfway through it by the end of the conference. Anyway, the next panel was a Robert Pinksy interview by Dana Gioia, which was actually really really int

Back from West Chester, Volume 1

I wanna put on, my my my my my flat shoes! LoL, my feet are sore, my body's exhausted, my mind is absolutely full... Time to step back and digest all of this, decompress... something like that. Shall I start from the beginning: My First West Chester Experience. In case by now you haven't figured, I went to West Chester Poetry conference for the first time this year. I returned just yesterday. I received a scholarship to go, and was invited to participate in Dana Gioia's juried poetry workshop on the Poetic Line. How could I turn this opportunity down? So, I didn't. All by my lonesome self, I put on my big girl panties and went. I arrived knowing no one, and left with many many wonderful friends! Day 1. I woke at 2am. Why did I even go to bed? Yeah, er, that's a good question! My plane was scheduled to leave at 5:30am out of Brownsville. My dad was coming for me at 3:30 since, it's a bit of a drive out to Btown. Anyway, that eve I was way too giddy to slee


LOL! At 3am tomorrow morn', I'll be heading to Brownsville to catch a plane to Philly! Goodness, I can't believe my trip's already here. I'm slightly more nervous than excited. Of course, I promise to blog all abouts it when I get back. And yes, I'll take pictures. :-D :-D :-D :-D When I get back, I also promise to myself to get back into the swing of writing. On a slightly unrelated note - I've started my South Texas Literature course and I'm actually liking the reading quite a bit. I'm just about finished reading George Washington Gomez by Americo Paredes, and next up on my list is Dew on the Thorn by Jovita Gonzalez. I'm actually quite a fan of historical fic, and so far I've really been having a hard time putting my books down! I like learning more about the history of this region... its rich and well, I didn't even realize just how rich. Ok I'm off to class. Probably no blog posts till I return Sunday

Writers Block :'(

Oh man... I've got the bug, people! Bad bad bad! I can't write any poems - ziltch nada nothin'. I'm thinking maybe its because I'm too excited about West Chester next week... but man that's NOT a good excuse to be poetically barren. I gotta cut this out, and fast. I did write a poem last week, which I'm actually quite happy with. But... it's been a week and I haven't even had a productive freewrite episode. Not cool. Not cool. NOT COOL! :'( And then the more upset I get about NOT writing, the more I focus on how much I need to write, and the less I'm able to produce. No upcoming readings, either. Well, actually... maybe I need to light a bit of fire under my behind and that might spark something :) Here's to hoping the conference will get me goin' again. I'm sure it will!