Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sorry, I know I'm posting a lot!

Race Point Notes 6/29/2005

I kiss the sweet cold salt from my own skin
twenty steps down to the water
twenty steps back
the waves’ crinoline rustle
each one advancing darkens its little moon of sand
how to describe the water’s color:
gray green brown blue white
if I met someone with eyes like that I’d marry her
and she’d wear seafoam lace
against her seafoam face

as I come down to the beach
there is a moment when the waves
are all at once all I hear
like stepping into a room

the ocean greener now as sun brightens through haze
a gull takes off from water, three small plashes
as its feet push off the surface
two whale watch boats at rest
they’ve got something but I don’t see blows
if I can’t see it from here it must be basking sharks
or a big ass mola mola
I just wanted to say big ass mola mola

something dark breaks the surface
then again – a small black – snout?
and a quick black arc
SEAL – whoa nellie – we have seal
a few yards offshore
surfaces three times, slick and soundless
then gone

sky bluer than water
water greener than sky

I just wanted to say big ass mola mola
I just wanted to say if I found a woman like this water I would marry her
as the waves come in
in long rows
and dead things wash ashore

(Anne Haines 6-29-2005 draft)

on a poetry high!

Tonight was the potluck bbq (much fun) and student reading. The student reading was SO AMAZING. There were so many absolutely incredible pieces read -- I was just blown away by the overall quality of everyone's work, much of which was new work from this week. I read a new piece-in-progress, cobbled together from some of the first-drafty stuff I posted here -- as I read it tonight I realized it is much closer to finished than I thought; it felt really good coming out of my mouth, really strong. And a couple of people from other workshops, including one whose poem (and performance) was one of my favorites of the evening, came up to me to tell me how much they liked my reading and to say I read very well. I say that not to boast, but just to share what a good, good evening it has been. (The audience overall was very attentive and receptive and generous.)

All of the writing teachers attended the reading, which was just wonderful -- at the IU conference none of the faculty ever bothers to attend the student readings, at least not that I can recall. And let me tell you it is a lovely experience to read a piece you feel good about with Robin Becker and Olga Broumas in the front row, and Sonia Sanchez, D.A. Powell, and Katherine Vaz in the audience as well. Sonia Sanchez caught up with all the readers afterwards and hugged us all and thanked us, which was so sweet of her -- she just has a wonderful energy. And Doug Powell said he was so proud of all of us. "Did you cry? I cried." Hehehe. He's just a terrific teacher, and has been extremely generous with his time and attention, socializing with his students quite a bit and making us laugh a lot. I could not have picked a better teacher for what I needed to learn at this moment. This has been one of the best workshop experiences I have ever had.

Doug & a bunch of my class (maybe all of them, I don't know) were headed over to the Squealing Pig for a drink, but much as I hate to miss an opportunity to hang out with such neat people, I felt compelled to come back to my room and write -- so that's what I'm about to do right now. But I feel so wonderful about the reading that I had to check in quickly and share this feeling with some folks who might understand just how good a poetry high like this can feel. God, I am just on top of the world right now.

Coming later, maybe: thoughts on why a good workshop is like good (and slightly kinky) sex. *grin*

A small revelation

I come here when I need to fall in love with the world again, and that is the same thing as falling in love with myself again.

Fog and rain and chilly breezes. The words are in me and all around me. Everything's a poem now and I feel very full.

It isn't easy. Nothing about this is easy. But it's the good hard work of being really alive.

Remind me ...

...that no matter how much fun I'm having, I should not stay out this late when I have work to do before class tomorrow; and if I do stay out this late when I have work to do before class tomorrow, I should go to bed go directly to bed do not pass go do not collect two hundred dollars, and not wake up the laptop & start checking email and reading blogs and stuff.

I owe several people email, blog comments, etc. At this point I'm guessing I will nto bother trying to catch up until maybe Satruday when I'm sitting around in Logan Airport.

It's pathetic how little I have to drink in order to legitimately say I am Blogging While Intoxicated.

I'm having a good time though. Poets are very silly people, we are indeed.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

fog and harbor breezes

Did I mention I saw John Waters the other day? I'm 99% sure it was him -- he does live here, and I know for sure he was in town for the film festival a couple weeks ago, so it would almost be surprising not to see him.

Readings tonight by Katherine Vaz and Olga Broumas (who is working on a translation into Greek of the Kunitz poem "The Layers," so she read that poem in English and in Greek, and then some new & uncollected work of her own), and a slide talk by the painter Joel Janowitz, whose work I liked a great deal. Then Doug Powell & a couple other poets from the class & I wandered downtown to look at tacky tourist things and buy fudge. Good times.

Tomorrow morning we are supposed to do our morning writing outside, so I plan to get up a bit early and head for the beach. Then tomorrow after class I have my individual instructor conference. Those can be a bit difficult, even -- especially! -- with a good teacher; at best, I usually come away thinking that I have a lot of work to do but that it is work that's worth doing, and at worst I come away thinking that I really cannot write for shit. I'm looking forward to it, but I expect to feel pushed a bit. So afterwards I am going to treat myself to a nice dinner at Napi's. Then Robin Becker reads tomorrow night, which should be good.

Any of you who are reading these little updates and thinking that you'd like to come here for a workshop someday: DO IT. I'm serious. It is so worth it. They get so many amazing teachers here, and the students seem to be of very high caliber -- everyone in my class is a better poet than I am in some way or other, I think, and I don't always feel that about a summer workshop. We have a couple people with MFA's, everyone is well-read and experienced and serious about their work, and all in all it is a group that challenges me to stay at their level. Which is good, it's really good, it's what I need. And this town, what can I say about Provincetown, it's a magical place. There is no other town quite like it. In a perfect world I would stay here for at least a week and a half -- at least a couple days before the workshop & a couple days after it -- to enjoy the town just for itself. Because the workshop is requiring a lot of my time. But it's good. I mean, this morning I wrote four pages of new material. I seldom write that much in one day, much less in the MORNING! And I am getting what I wanted from this, what I needed. It's challenging me artistically and emotionally, and I needed that. There are some hard things about it, but hard in good, growth-producing ways.

I think that Hunter O'Hanian mentioned something at orientation about FAWC working to start a low-residency MFA writing program. I know they're starting a low-res MFA visual art program in connection with, um, UMass I think? I forget who. So maybe he was just talking about that and in my addled brain I heard him say something about a writing MFA. But if they really do start up a low-res program here, I believe I will have to apply. In fact I will think that it is a sign that there was a reason I did not apply to low-res programs before -- I was waiting for this one to come along. To come here twice a year and have my butt kicked for a week ... heaven. And imagine the faculty they'd likely put together! Mark Doty, Robin Becker, Marie Howe, other folks who teach here often.

Okay. I got poems to type up and maybe edit just a bit. And I want to be in bed before midnight -- I'd like to get up at 7, get out of here by 8:30 and on the beach by 9. Earlier if possible.

By the way the bit of poetry-shaped writing I posted earlier is certainly fair game for commentary -- it's EXTREMELY first-draft, and it's about 1/3 of what I wrote this morning. I may read the last section of it at the student reading on Thursday evening, or I may read something I haven't written yet -- we'll see.

We'll see.

snippety snippets

I still think everything I have ever written is crap. But I have this confidence that sometime soon I'll write something that is not crap. This is a pretty good place to be, productivity-wise if not sanity-wise. And I'd rather write lots than be overly sane anyway.


Which well-known poet once briefly worked for the company that made Richard Simmons' infomercials and used to answer the phone when it was Richard Simmons phoning pretending to be his assistant Marcia? No, it wasn't Olga Broumas nor was it Robin Becker.

(I was laughing almost to the point of tears hearing that story though I'm not quite sure why.)


This business of taking some "ring of finality" last lines from a poem and starting off with them is incredibly productive for me. Like, holy cow productive. I also hit a point this morning where I was just writing and writing and not worrying about making "a poem" out of it which is just where I wanted to get this week. I have a bunch of pages and somewhere in there I think is at least a poem.


The doorknob that may or may not turn
The door that may or may not stick
The head hairless and revealed
The chance of being caught
The dark, the light, the dark
The known, the strange, the stranger
The unendurable beginning, the unendurable end
What quickens us & brings us to surrender
The breath from which our bodies come
The eros of just being alive
The door we push at & finally fall through

(class notes: things that are erotic)


"Poems are written by bodies : they're not written by minds."


[draft deleted]

Provincetown picture postcards

Image hosted by
blurry Mark Doty

Image hosted by
town landing, low tide

Image hosted by
basking sharks (approx. 30 ft. long, humongous fish! taken from the upper deck of a 100-foot boat, if that gives you any sense of how big these suckers are)

Image hosted by
ship and dock in fog

Image hosted by
Pearl Street window

Monday, June 27, 2005

Quick, quick update

(or "quick, quick! Update!")

Had our first full class meeting today, and already I can tell I have many things to learn from Doug Powell. He's a neat teacher, and he seems to have read just about everything there is to read. He also goes off on tangents a lot, which might drive some people crazy but feels very natural to me anyway. Let's see -- we talked about reading one's poems aloud in the bathroom in order to revise (which somehow led to the virtues of irritable bowel syndrome...), and about the use of fart-sounding devices in poetry workshops, and ... oh yeah, other stuff too. Hee. Many more details later, I'm sure.

Fellow blogger Carol Peters is in the workshop with me. So the class is 1/3 bloggers. Oh my.

The rest as a quick list:
  • I am pitifully un-well-read. This may or may not be remediable.
  • Today is one of those days when everything I have ever written is crap.
  • The above can, however, be a useful feeling if you use it to spur yourself to write something better and prove that you can write non-crap. It may also be a useful state of mind from which to work on revision, so.
  • One of our assignments so far: find a bang-up ending from one of your poems -- you know, one of those endings where it just feels like an ending, bang pow, the big finish -- and start writing from those lines. This assignment made me immediately very excited, though I haven't started on it yet and now I'm tired.
  • I have never been this quiet and shy in a workshop before. What gives? Possibly related to points #1 and #2 above. Is there a name for it where you know you're not really out of your depth but you feel as though you are?
  • I would give a lot to be able to bottle the air here and bring it home with me. Harbor breezes, harbor breezes, harbor breezes. Oh lovely.
  • It is only Monday and already I feel as though I'm running out of time.
Must write a bit. More later. Maybe not till I get home. (Yeah yeah. You and I both know I'll blog at least a couple more times this week. Addict.)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mark Doty reading

Quick notes before I dive into the Pile Of Poems we're working on this week -- and also a lovely packet D.A. Powell gave us, which is mostly working drafts of his own poems (along with the final versions) -- handwritten and everything -- how cool is that?

I went out on a whale watch today but (for the first time in maybe a dozen times I've gone out from P-town) did not see even one whale! Still, it was a lovely day to be out on the water for a few hours, the naturalist was extremely adorable, and it was a pleasant afternoon. And they gave us passes for our next trip free, so if I can find time to go out again -- which I will, by hook or by crook (wait, what's Richard Nixon got to do with it?) -- I won't have to pay.

We had our orientation & a brief first class meeting tonight. There are only 6 in my class, so we should each get plenty of time to talk and stuff. Doug Powell seems very cool, chatty, laid-back; he said he's going to write each of us a "prescription" by the end of the week, giving us a list of poets he thinks we should read -- which is exactly what I always ask teachers for, so I will look forward to that. He also wants us to spend at least 2-3 hours every morning before class writing. Eek. :) Hopefully I can write on the beach, 'cause I haven't been to the beach yet. Tomorrow we will schedule our individual meetings with him -- we get an hour, which is way more than I've had at other conferences/workshops.

After our brief class meetings, Mark Doty gave a lovely reading. I enjoy his readings so much. He doesn't over-theatricalize the poems, but his presentation adds a lot, and I always notice lines and phrases (and even whole poems) that never stood out for me on the page. He said that there's a tradition at this particular podium (i.e. FAWC) of reading new work, especially for those who teach or read there year after year, just to prove to everyone you're actually doing something, but this year he decided to buck the trend & do a retrospective. Then he thought about how to narrow down the selection. First he thought he'd read Provincetown poems but he said that reading could go on till 2 am and that didn't help him any. He ended up reading, get this, nothing but poems set on Pearl Street, between the red barn down the road & the harbor. So every poem he read was set within 3 or 4 blocks of where we were sitting. (The Fine Arts Work Center is on Pearl St., as is Doty's house -- and so, incidentally, is the B&B where I'm staying.) It was a lot of fun, and afterwards I pestered him to sign my book (he commented on the fact that I had a bunch of pages marked -- "this is a brand new book and look at all those lovely markers already!"). I took pictures, but decided to be considerate & not use flash, and so they came out pretty blurry. I may post one later on anyway.

Olga Broumas (who's teaching this week) was in the front row & seemed to be especially enjoying the reading. Fun to watch poets watching/listening to a poet. (Robin Becker & Sonia Sanchez are the other poets teaching this week, although Sanchez was delayed by a late train in Boston and wasn't there this evening.) Doty's partner Paul Lisicky was there too, of course, looking pleased and proud. (Lisicky is quite a good writer in his own right -- fiction and memoir -- if you haven't read him, I recommend him. And they're a horrendously cute couple; not really knowing them at all, just seeing them together, they seem extremely well-matched.)

Off to dive into poems and maybe to write a bit.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

the weather is here / wish you were beautiful

Greetings from Provincetown! Wifi is up & running in my room, which is less-than-peacefully situated between the hot tub (though SOME of you out there would appreciate the view... ahem) and the door to the office/main house. There's a lovely, faintly salt-scented breeze tonight on Pearl Street. I splurged and bought a bottle of tempranillo wine and a bit of dark chocolate. I am not, however, touching the half-wedge of brie someone left in the refrigerator -- it appears to be the approximate consistency of the erasers we used in grade school. Eek.

Have already bought books, including The Wild Braid (pictures of Stanley Kunitz and his garden, with poems & interviews, in celebration of his 100th birthday-- it seemed appropriate to buy it here). Have already gotten past the initial culture shock (which passes quicker with every visit) of walking down Commercial Street among granola dykes, glittery drag queens, and all genders in between. Every time I come here it feels a little more like coming home. This time I'm here with a purpose, beyond just enjoying the town and the beaches and the whales and the restaurants etc., and that feels very good.

Had hoped to do some proper writing tonight but it's been a very long day, and although I did have a short nap when I got in, I'm going to sleep very soon. Very, very soon. Tomorrow: Beach? Whale watching? Writing? Until activities at the FAWC begin at 6:00, I am free to do exactly as I please. I do think I will try to catch a whale watch, though. I miss my whales and I need to see them! And tomorrow is probably my best chance to spend time at the beach.

Tomorrow evening: reception, orientation, brief first class meeting, and reading by Mark Doty.

one more for the road

Great. I don't even know what a hierophant is (except for what this says -- the Pope? Ewwww!), and this guy is kind of creepy looking. That figures, huh? And am I the only one who sees something, er, inappropriate about those columns?
The Hierophant Card
You are the the Hierophant card. The Hierophant,
called The Pope in some decks, is the preserver
of cultural traditions. After entering The
Emperor's society, The Hierophant teaches us
its wisdom. The Hierophant learns and teaches
our cultural traditions. The discoveries our
ancestors have made influence the present.
Without forces such as The Hierophant who are
able to interpret and communicate traditional
lore, each generation would have to begin to
learn anew. As a force that is concentrated on
our past and our culture, The Hierophant can
sometimes be stubborn and set in his ways. This
is a negative trait he shares with his zodiac
sign, Taurus. But like Taurus he is productive.
His traditional lore can provide a source of
inspiration for the creatively inclined, and
his knowledge provides an excellent foundation
for those who come into their own in the
business world. Image from: Morgan E.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm pretty much packed except for the last-minute stuff. In a little bit I'll shut down the laptop and stow it in its bag. Just have to do the last of the housecleaning (i.e. move the piles of laundry and other crap from the living room to on top of the bed and shut the bedroom door, mostly), take out the garbage, stuff like that. This is kind of pathetic, but I'm really going to miss my cats this week. Yes, I'm one of those middle-aged women.

Oh well -- time to stop procrastinating. Two and a half hours from now I gotta be on the road. Ciao!

EDIT: OK. If I change one of my answers, I get this, which I like much better:
The Justice Card
You are the Justice card. Justice preserves the
harmony of the world. Working with opposite
forces, Justice does not seek to criticize or
condemn but rather to accept. The idea behind
the card justice is that opposite forces are
complementary; you could not have good without
evil or light without darkness. Justice's
position is to make sure that if a thing is out
of balance, the weight of its energy is
realigned with its opposite force. This card is
also a card of humour, for it is in pointing
out contrary positions that humour is often
found. The attitude that is found in the
humourous person, being able to shift
perspective and flow with an instinct, is
important in the maintenance of good balance.
Image from The Blue Moon Tarot Deck.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The last loose ends

"Poems are like erections--you can probably call one into being through sheer will. But the best ones happen when you're thinking about something you weren't supposed to be thinking about."
--D.A. Powell at Here Comes Everybody

I can't say I know much about erections, but I love that quote.

Taking tomorrow off work -- the plan is to sleep super late (at least noon), then finish cleaning house, pack, charge the cellphone and the ipod and whatever other little stupid things need to be done, and stay awake until I have to leave my house at (lord help me) 3:15 AM Saturday morning. I've picked out five drafty poems I could potentially throw in for workshopping, made 11 copies of each of those, and will make my final selection of three after I get to P-town, I guess. I actually drafted a new poem tonight -- it's very drafty; I don't know whether it's any good or not, but it's in that stage where I change a word or two every time I look at it, so it might be a good one to work on.

I'll be arriving in the midst of the Portuguese Festival. I hope I can keep my eyes open long enough to catch some of the music going on Saturday night, though after staying up all Friday night I may end up just crashing by 8 or 9 pm. I might make it to the Blessing of the Fleet on Sunday, depending on the weather and what I feel like doing when I get up that morning.

I fully expect to blog at least once or twice from P-town although, much as I love y'all, if it comes down to a choice between blogging or going to the beach, just call me beach bum. I tried to set up Audioblogger but I think it got confused because I had previously set it up to post to my livejournal. So I may be making some phone posts to my livejournal while en route; feel free to check there if you're interested. I'll probably still do a bit of blog-reading in the evenings, but sporadically; I'll catch up when I get back.

Other than that, unless something exciting happens tomorrow, y'all probably won't hear much from me until I get there. Between workplace drama, writing frustration, and just plain craving something new and different in my life, I can't think of a time when I've needed this more -- both the vacation part and the workshop part. Man, just getting out of Indiana for a week is going to feel good -- at this point the workshop is practically gravy. I am so glad I am giving this to myself.

Y'all do something nice for yourselves too this week, okay? You deserve it too. Yes, even you.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Procrastina-a-ation... making me late, is keeping me blo-o-o-ogging... (ok, sorry!)

My reliable, faithful cat sitter sold her business & the new guy is coming over tomorrow to meet the cats, see what's up with the insulin shots, and so on. Originally this was supposed to happen Wednesday evening, so I had one more day to prepare. This means I need to be frantically cleaning house right about now. Obviously, I am not.

One of the problems with having a diabetic cat is that the trustworthiness of one's cat sitter becomes vitally important. My old cat sitter had been visiting the boys since 1996. I'm a bit scared about having to change. I suspect this will be the last time I feel comfortable leaving Mudpuppy (the nearly 18 year old diabetic) for any length of time. I am so nervous about leaving him with somebody new. Sigh.

I'm thinking about this whole blogging-as-writing-genre thing. In my paper journal, I don't come up with a lot of what I would call "good writing" -- a lot of it is just whining and muttering that I need to get out of my system, working things out, processing, and the endless urge just to record one's life. Sometimes (usually with lots of caffeine) I go off on tangents and write something that might be worth coming back to -- but usually, no. But blogging, I'm aware of an audience -- that sometimes if I write something more or less worth reading, I'll actually get a comment, know that someone has enjoyed my work. It is our writing that connects us, here.

I have a bad habit of wanting to save the "good writing" for poems or maybe fiction -- to make something with it, something that's out there, crafted, separate from "me" somehow. As if good writing were somehow in limited supply. (well, mine might be in short supply, who knows?) When I write a bit of something here that I think might be worth something, my tendency is to want to dig at it, poke and tug and squeeze it and somehow extract the poem of it. As if having it on one page and pointing at it and saying "this is a poem" makes it more legitimate somehow. When I was young, in high school and early in undergrad, poetry was just how I experienced the world. It was not unusual for me to write three, four, half a dozen poems in a night. It was my way of engaging, of experiencing, of understanding. Why don't I do that anymore? Why do I now squeeze out a poem a week, if I'm lucky, constipated little turds of poems? (I'm not saying they are crappy -- heh -- poems. Just that they don't exactly flow freely, these days.)

I find myself thinking it's because I don't have much to say, but god/dess knows the poems I wrote and wrote and wrote in high school weren't exactly blazing foundries of deep wisdom. (I probably thought they were, but that's what being that age is all about.) (Do foundries blaze? Fuckit, I'm second-guessing myself again.) Is it because I've spent so much time in workshops, thinking to myself oh I have to have a poem to bring in for the next workshop? Is it because I like publishing, and random blog-blatherings aren't exactly what you send out to editors? (Except random blog-blatherings probably get more readership than most of my actual published poems.) Should I take a break from workshopping, publishing, thoughts of MFA-ing, and try to get back to that "beginner's mind" way of writing?

This may be one of the questions I want to answer for myself in P-town.

Crafting a poem, having this discrete artifact I can point to and name, is surely satisfying. It feels damn good, in fact. But blathering somewhat randomly (but not completely randomly, as I'm always aware that someone may read this, and that the someones who mostly read this are someones who care about & are sensitive to writing & language & poetry) and suddenly finding myself writing something (for lack of a better word) nice -- well, that's satisfying too. If I don't take that and use it somehow, is it worth less?

Whenever I'm about to embark on a summer workshop I try to think, before I go, about what I want to learn from it. If I can articulate this particular blathering a little better, this might be part of what I'm looking for. (Part of it, I think, is "how do I make it easier for myself to write?") That, and "should I try to put together a damn book ms." and "how the hell does one revise." And "should I try to do an MFA and if so how the hell do I expect to pay for it." (And "can I possibly write at least one damn sentence without a damn curse word in it?" Sheesh.)

And, if nothing else, some lovely beach time, the sweet salt air, and if I'm really, really lucky, a bit of a connection with some fellow writers for a few days. And maybe a new little pile of words -- whether they fall into place as poems, or not.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Because Laurel was amazed at the idea of an 18 lb. cat -- here's a picture of Himself (and that's my hand, not a little kid's or anything). This is why my sister calls him a Kittypotamus.
Image hosted by

And here are both of the boys together. Mudpuppy is the short-haired one; he will be 18 years old on the first of July and was diagnosed with diabetes in January of 1996 (proof that diabetic cats can live a long and happy life). Honey Bear is the fluffball. You can see what a hard life they have.
Image hosted by

Friday, June 17, 2005

I bet you didn't know

Tonight some friends and I drove out to the lake for a short, late evening cookout. We made a fire in a grill and cooked hot dogs and sat around at picnic tables and talked. Two of my friends are married and have six-month-old twin girls, with another baby due around Halloween. The other is just entering her mid-twenties and has every expectation of being a wife & mother someday. When we got there a young couple was just finishing up dinner at a nearby table, a single rose in a vase between them; they left after the sun set.

It was a catalog of roads not taken.

Moonlight on the lake, a big messy splat of a bug on the windshield of the van on the way back.


I haven't written much lately but when I let myself sit with it for a while I think it will all come out in an enormous splort of poetry. Maybe it will happen in Provincetown.

Then I can put together a new chapbook: Splorting in P-town.


Ten things you didn't know you knew about me:
[fill in the blank]


To make lists or not to make lists; TMI or not TMI; po-blogging or pub-blogging or describing your own left shoe. I don't care. Sometimes I like reading the most mundane and silly things about people whether I know them or not. Sometimes I love finding out that I'm not the only one who cares about [fill in the blank]. Anything that can make a person feel less alone in this world, any small connection ... that is a gift and a blessing.


I bet you didn't know that sometimes I can't imagine speaking to another living human being, and sometimes I wake from a dream in which there was someone else in my house and for just that flicker of a moment it seems completely inconceivable, unreal, and wrong that the other person isn't really here.

I bet you didn't know that sometimes I sleep when I shouldn't and sometimes I stay up all night.

I bet you didn't know that the half moon over Lake Monroe was laughing at me tonight, and so was a six-month-old girl.

I bet you didn't know that the rabbit never hears the owl that swoops up behind it and gathers its bones and its blood into darkness.


For real: ten years ago this summer I was healing from a broken engagement. Or wasn't healing, really. When I look back on it now I don't remember how it felt -- either the crazy in love part or the crazy after. I don't remember, meaning how it felt is no longer available to me and I can't even imagine how it must have been. Once I decide whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, I have every intention of writing about it. I do. I think it will be fiction.

I still think of her sometimes but I don't miss her. But sometimes I miss whoever it was that I was then.


Today I took my 18-pound fluffball of a cat to the vet to have the fur underneath his tail shaved so that it doesn't collect stinky things. He sat on my lap in the waiting room and purred and purred. Cats are the best. I am well on my way to becoming the crazy cat lady librarian in comfortable shoes. And I say that with a smile.


Sometimes there are things I don't know how to say. Sometimes there are things I know perfectly well how to say, but I don't say them. These are the times when I should be writing poems, though a lot of times I don't.

I have ten days to bring myself to the edge of something, and then I'll be out there on that very end of land and words will meet me there -- my own or someone else's.


My own. Or someone else's.


Outside, there are fireflies on all the trees. And mostly I do like my life.


I bet you didn't know how much I love to fly. It's because of the light up there, all that blue and striking light.


Ten things you don't know about your own self. Go.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

A link and some mild amusement

For both the librarian-types and the literary-types: NewPages has a good article on "Why Libraries Should Carry Literary Magazines." (The branch library that I coordinate serves only the School of Library & Information Science and the School of Informatics, so I have no voice in ordering literary stuff. Too bad, because if I did, this article might give me a little backup in doing what I'd want to do anyway.)

Recent searches that have brought people to this blog:
big ass on mammal beach
mammal starting with u (um... unicorn maybe?)
odd sex
"rafael nadal" "hottie"
a woman with a big mammal (well alrighty then!)
On that note, good night.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Good mail and other things

Good mail today: the May 26th issue of the Provincetown Banner (okay, so it's not exactly timely news by the time they mail it to me, but I enjoy reading it all the same), the new issue of Poets & Writers, and my contributor's copies of the new issue of Rattle. Fellow blogger Christine Hamm is also in this issue. Seems like I can't pick up a journal anymore without spotting at least one blogger. Either bloggers are better poets (or publish more, which may not be related to "better"), or else the percentage of bloggers within the population of journal-submitting poets is higher than I give it credit for. Or maybe I'm just picking up all the right journals.

Anyway, it's been quite a while since I got contributor's copies of something, and it's always fun, even though it never fails that seeing a poem in print makes me want to revise it (and seeing my bio in print makes me want to hide in a hole and never come back out). Haven't had a chance to sit down and read the issue yet, but it looks good.

My poetry group met tonight. We were only four; one is laid up with a bad knee (awaiting knee replacement in a couple of weeks), one was not feeling well tonight, and one was out of town. And of the four who showed, only three of us had poems. But they were all poems that were worth spending a bit more time on, so it worked out. We also talked about Tonia's experience at the IU Writers' Conference (she was in Ruth Ellen Kocher's workshop), about the readings that most of us attended that week, and about Patricia's experience at a recent poetry/art festival, the name of which I can't recall offhand, but Robert Bly was the "big name" poet there. It was a very enjoyable and interesting discussion all around, and I think I realized that when I get frustrated with a writing group, it's very often because nobody is bringing in anything writing-related from outside the group. If members of the group (I was going to say "a significant percentage of members" but I don't want to pin it down even quite that much) have no outlet for their writing other than the group, and don't think or talk about writing with people other than within the group, it can start feeling very insular and repetitive. Groups are energized when people bring in poems by other people they like & want to talk about, when people bring in critical work relevant to the concerns of the writers within the group, when people take classes and workshops and go to readings and bring what they've learned back to the group. When enough of that doesn't happen, I find that I feel frustrated and like the group isn't giving me what I want.

It's nice to be able to put a finger on what's been frustrating me.

In other news, apparently there is currently a tsunami warning for the entire west coast. Should this actually turn out to be anything, this post will look really stupid in just a few hours: "Oh by the way thousands of people are swept out to sea; now let's talk about underwear some more." But I have a hunch whoever puts out these warnings is just being over-cautious and there will be at worst a bit of an extra high tide. I hope so, anyway. You west coasterners, I hope you're still here by the time you read this, high and dry. With dry undies, too.

Some of the local young performance-ish poets are apparently organizing a guerrilla reading of sorts in the middle of the local mall. This makes me grin.

I know I had something else I wanted to post about. Something poetry-related, even. I had it in my mind when I sat down on the couch and opened up the laptop, but it ran away. If it comes sniffing back around my ankles I'll let you know.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Choosing drafty poems

Oh god. It just really hit me tonight that I have less than two weeks to pick out the (at least) three poems in draft stage I want to take to Provincetown with me, eleven copies each. On the one hand, I will admit that 'cause I'm only human, I want to take in poems that are already pretty strong because I want to impress the guy. So I don't want to take poems that are a total mess. On the other hand, if I'm going to get the most out of the workshop, I really need to take in poems that I'm willing to completely tear apart and work on a lot. So what I need is strong poems that are a total mess. Yeah, I can do that.... EEK!

Maybe I'll write one or two new ones between now and then. Yeah, 'cause I'm writing so much these days. NOT. (And I have to work five hours on Sunday, so I don't even have a whole entire weekend available between now and the time I leave.)

This momentary moment of workshop-related freakout has been brought to you by the letters D.A. Powell and by the number eleven copies of each.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Monday, Monday (na na, na na na na)

I haven't seen anything on the blogosphere about Richard Eberhart's death. (I feel a bit sheepish about this, but I didn't realize he was still alive! He was 101, after all.)

Got my copy of the Indigo Girls' new album, Rarities, today. It's a bunch of odd cover songs, juvenilia, live tracks, and stuff that didn't make it to a normal album for one reason or another. Included: their cover of the Clash's "Clampdown," Tom Morello's remix of "Shed Your Skin," the Michael Stipe collaboration "I'll Give You My Skin" (originally recorded for a PETA benefit album), a stunning rendition of Sibelius' "Finlandia" featuring Girlyman on harmony vocals, and an Emily song that never made it to CD but has been one of my favorites ever since I first heard it (via bootlegs), "Winthrop." And other stuff. Official release date is tomorrow.

Three people told me today that they heard me on the radio yesterday. That's about how many I usually hear from. One was actually someone I didn't pester about it ahead of time, though, and in fact someone who probably hasn't seen much (if any) of my work, so for him to say I was "doing some interesting stuff" meant a lot. The nice thing about a five minute radio show is that maybe it catches people who are not normally "poetry people" off guard, and they don't change the station because it's only five minutes and they may as well wait it out, and then maybe they actually like the poetry or something.

I've got the first issues of two very interesting new litmags on my "to read asap" pile: Rock & Sling (thanks to Peter for making me aware of this one), which is quite intriguing despite the fact that it's Christian-focused and I'm, well, not; and Ecotone, out of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, which focuses on work with a "sense of place" and specifically work that explores the transitional zones between places/ecosystems/states of being -- an "ecotone" is just such a transitional zone, ecologically speaking. Rock & Sling is beautifully, even lavishly, printed and includes fine work by such writers as Ellen Bass, Rebecca Loudon, Peter Pereira, and Jeanne Murray Walker as well as of course the Li-Young Lee interview that caught my attention on their website. Ecotone has an interview and some new work by Mark Doty, as well as work by Cynthia Huntington, Philip Levine, Paul Lisicky, Timothy Liu, and others. I have several poems that I think would fit into Ecotone nicely, although (at least) one of them needs drastic revision, and I might even be able to muster up something for Rock & Sling.

I'm holding off on submissions until after Provincetown, though. I'm hoping the revision bug hits me big out there and I really hate it when I send something out and then turn around & revise it and find myself hoping they reject it because the revision is so much better and I never know how to approach an editor with "uh, gee, thanks, but ... can you publish this version instead?" (I suspect that's pretty bad form and annoying to boot.) Anyway, it's exciting to have two brand-new journals that are both so promising.

Thunderheads building up tremendously to the southwest -- big, tall, billowy things. The National Weather Service has put us under a severe thunderstorm watch till 11 pm, but for now it's just enormous clouds which should make for a spectacular sunset in a half-hour or so. Outside, thunderheads gathering for a storm; inside, I'm listening to "Winthrop," with the recurring line "for everyone there is someone never coming back."

For everyone there is someone never coming back.

I guess that about sums it up.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Rainy Sunday notes

Haven't been online much this weekend -- the creaky ol' laptop has been thoroughly preoccupied with loading CD's onto my new ipod (thanks to an overly-generous gift card my mom gave me for my b-day). I feel like I've become one of Those People. I also took my laptop in to work with me yesterday (I almost never have to work weekends, but one of my students graduated and got a Real Job and I couldn't find anyone to cover yesterday's shift, so there I was) where I set up and configured my new wireless card. Now I'm all set to blog from the airport (if I choose to pay the rather outrageous price -- maybe on the way back, when I'm stuck in Logan for a good four-plus hours) or from my B&B in Provincetown.

If you haven't checked out Emily's poems over at Three Candles, do so. They're killer.

Rain all day, off and on. Big black crows keep flying through the rain, past my house, through the damp and gray. The green things need it but it's all a bit dreary. Rainy days make me want to move inward, to read and write and nap and contemplate. I have a lot to do before I leave town, though -- two weeks from now I will be there! -- I know my endless anticipation is probably a bit tiresome, but really, I need this trip so much. I need the ocean, and the whales, and the streets of P-town, and my traditional "just got to town and am much too travel-weary to think very hard about what to eat" pizza from Spiritus, and a bathroom that someone else is in charge of cleaning, and the sweet salt air, and oh yes, the workshop. Looking forward to meeting D.A. Powell. Curious what he'll have to say.

Here's an old-ish poem, and one of my favorites to read aloud:

Eight-Bar Solo

Ray Brown is God,
my father used to say,
and for proof he’d put on records
of Ella, of Oscar, Ray Brown on bass,
my father’s fingers walking the bass lines
in the air with a pop and a thump
and a swing. I learned early how the singer
had to listen to the low notes,
how the bass laid down the rhythm
and the root, how much a man could say
with one blue note.

They’re almost all gone now,
all the cats who knew
how to swing so hard even a white boy
from Kansas caught the syncopation,
learned to play. He’s gone now, too,
my father, gone eight years. Today
when I heard Ray Brown was gone
I put on “Blue Monk,” my fingers
walking the rhythm up and down
in the air, the bass line laying down
everything, the bebop heart of it all.

--A.H. 2002; published in A Linen Weave of Bloomington Poets, ed. by Jenny Kander (Wind, 2002)

Friday, June 10, 2005

IUWC readings: Divakaruni, Komunyakaa

First, a quick reminder that you can hear me reading poems on the radio (or online) Sunday morning at 11:45 AM: more info here. (hey, if you don't promote yourself, who will?)


The last night of public readings at the IU Writers' Conference drew the biggest audience, thanks in large part to Yusef Komunyakaa's presence -- he used to be on faculty here and he is quite well-liked in town.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni read first: a short excerpt from Sister of My Heart and then a bit from Queen of Dreams. I haven't read her, though I've heard of her and she's been recommended to me; after hearing her read, I do want to pick up her books. Good stuff. And she has a radiant presence.

Then Yusef Komunyakaa took the stage. Is there any other poet whose presence & performance is at once so unassuming and so completely commanding? He's just such a wonderful reader. He opened with "Anodyne" (a poem he said he usually closes with), and the audience was in the palm of his hand from then on. He read several recent poems, including "The Same Beat" which was written especially to be performed on Def Poetry Jam; he read "Praise Be," written for Galway Kinnell and in recognition of Kinnell's work within the civil rights movement; and "Ode to the Maggot" ("no one gets to heaven / Without going through you first" -- yow!). I'm skipping around here a bit, I think, and missing a few. He read a few Vietnam poems, including the well-known "Facing It" -- I think everyone in the audience knew this poem and just sat there soaking it in -- such stillness in the audience, and a collective release of breath after each poem. (By the way, if you click on the links for those poems, you can read the text and listen to him reading each one.)

There was a brief excerpt from a new long poem called, I think, "Love in a Time of War," marvelous of course, and he closed with a poem he wrote in honor of Neruda's 100th birthday last year (he was invited to Chile to take part in a celebration of same); the poem was "Nighttime Begins with a Line by Pablo Neruda" and apparently it's in The New Republic Online but it's available only to subscribers. Dang. (Neruda's 100th was last year -- one of my first thoughts -- Kunitz is only a year younger than Neruda?!)

The thing about listening to Yusef Komunyakaa read is that with his marvelous deep resonant melodic voice, his marvelous resonant musical language, and his deep sense of rhythm and meter, listening to him read would be mesmerizing even if you did not know the English language. I do believe that he is an important poet, and that he will be read fifty, a hundred years from now. His work is deepening, I think. And he's such a rockstar, captivating and riveting the audience's attention. Good good stuff, and definitely ended the conference readings on a high note.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

IUWC Wednesday night: Stanton, Ardizzone

Maura Stanton began by telling us she was going to read eight poems. I can't recall anyone else ever opening with the poem count and for some reason I found it amusing. Maybe I'm just weird. Anyway, she opened with a great poem about recovering from surgery while the narrator's hospital roommate watches food shows on TV all day -- it nicely captured that sort of half-conscious post-anesthesia state, where everything makes perfect sense and nothing makes sense at all. Her next poem was about cookbooks and the one after that was about milk toast, and I was starting to get really hungry because I hadn't eaten dinner! (There was pizza at the reception later on, thank goodness.) She moved on from the food poems to others, one of which was about "Pride and Prejudice: The Game" (so funny!) and another was a lovely elegy for Donald Justice, who was of course one of her teachers when she was at Iowa. (I want to get my hands on a copy of that one -- it really was lovely.) I thought her selection of work was particularly nice -- a good range of tone and theme -- though she does tend to read with a bit of "poetry voice." Still, an enjoyable reading.

Tony Ardizzone -- who, like Stanton, is a faculty member here at IU -- read a chapter from Whale Chaser, a novel he has "recently completed ... or may still be completing." I find I don't usually have as much to say about the fiction readings. I'm curious to read this when it comes out, as part of it is set in the Pacific Northwest where the main character is a whale-watch guide. The chapters alternate between that and the character's growing-up years in Chicago; what he read us was one of the Chicago chapters.

Tonight will be the last night of readings -- Yusef Komunyakaa and Chitra Divakaruni. I'm not familiar with Divakaruni's work, but I've heard good things. And Komunyakaa of course is a fabulous reader, with that voice of his.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

IUWC readings: Tuesday night

The conference is really in full swing now, and when I get to the small auditorium where the readings are held, there are little clumps of people sitting together talking about their workshops and stuff. I sat with two local friends, one of whom is "doing" the conference (she's in Ruth Ellen Kocher's workshop). The energy from a gathering like this is contagious, and I found myself envying those who are doing the conference all week, & consoling myself with the thought that in less than 3 weeks I will be in Provincetown enjoying a workshop myself.

So, tonight's readers. First David Lazar read an essay called "The Melon Man" and I didn't take too many notes on that.

Then Martha Rhodes read poems from Mother Quiet, which I have not read but am going to have to buy now. She read them straight through with no introductions whatsoever -- in fact, she did not even read the titles, saying that she thinks of them as one book-length sequence and reading the titles would feel like putting on the gas, then letting up, then putting on the gas, etc. I thought it sounded a little odd at first, but once she started reading, I saw that it made perfect sense for these poems. She read very well, not at all monotonous but not shoving the poems at the audience, and some of those poems walloped me so hard they took my breath away. The book is about her mother's long illness and death; she didn't say it, but it sounded like Alzheimer's -- I remember one line to the effect of "her brain has withered to the size of a pea, and we are not in it" -- I'm pretty susceptible to poems like that right now, as my own mother's health has not been the best over the past year, and these just walloped me. (And consider that I hated Sharon Olds' book about her dad's death, because I just felt battered by it, almost abused by the relentless painful intensity. I would have expected to feel the same about these poems, but I didn't at all.) Usually during a reading I'll drift off for a poem or two, but these poems held me all the way through. Just, just, wow. I know Martha Rhodes teaches in Provincetown most summers, and maybe sometime soonish I'll take a workshop with her.

Finally Brian Leung read fiction. I'd forgotten that he got his MFA here at IU a few years back (I knew his name sounded awfully familiar for some reason) and he mentioned that in his intro. Anyhow, he was a tease. He talked about trying to decide what to read tonight, and read the first few paragraphs of one story, then said "But I realized this story was too long to read tonight, so I'm not going to read it." Then he read parts of several other stories (all from his book) and always broke off after a few paragraphs or a couple pages and said why he had decided not to read that one. He said he'd finally settled on a new story, and read that, but then he stopped in the middle and said we'd have to wonder about what happened until it gets published. Tease! To his credit, though, he didn't go overtime.

More tomorrow. Phew! I feel a bit like I'm on reading overload. Many years I don't go to the readings every night, because when I'm working all day it's just tiring, but I'm taking one for the team so I can tell you guys all about all of the readings. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. ;)

Monday, June 06, 2005

Radio Radio

Attention! Yo! Listen up!

I will be on "The Poets' Weave" on WFIU radio (our local NPR station) this coming Sunday, June 12, and again on July 10 -- 11:45 am Indiana time (aka Eastern Standard or Central Daylight Time, in other words 12:45 pm New York time -- since we don't do daylight saving time here it confuses people). It's only a 5 minute show, so don't blink or you'll miss it.

You can listen online by going to and clicking on the cleverly labeled "Listen Online" link. If you are in or around Bloomington, Indianapolis, or Kokomo, Indiana, you can listen on your good old-fashioned FM radio (103.7, 95.1, 106.1, or 100.7).

Poems for Sunday, June 12:
Sugar Visits the Wine Bar
Sugar's Buddha
Sugar Hits the Highway
Sugar Surfs
all introduced by a quote from Lily Tomlin

Poems for Sunday, July 10:
All Hallows'
To Listen By Singing
Winter Travel
introduced by a quote from fellow blogger Erin Bertram

If you listen and you like it, let me know!
(that sounds like "if you're happy and you know it, clap your hands" ... yes, you now have a song virus in your head, you're very welcome)

Monday's IUWC readings

Three readers tonight, and again I have only brief notes.

Carol Bly read an essay called "How Radiation Oncology Nearly Made Me a Conservative." The style and delivery of this was vaguely reminiscent of Garrison Keillor -- and Bly's from Minnesota, so it must be a Minnesota thing.

Mark Axelrod, who's teaching a screenwriting workshop, read two selections from his novel Bombay California -- a novel which is set in the world of Hollywood screenwriting and which apparently incorporates an actual screenplay (though he didn't read any of that). These were pretty amusing in a "boy, Hollywood is a weird and fucked-up place" kind of way. Then he read several short-shorts from his collection Borges' Travel, Hemingway's Garage which were quirky and amusing but I didn't find them as funny as the Hollywood stuff.

Last was Cynie Cory, a very energetic redhead; she read several poems from her first book, American Girl, then two from her sonnet sequence Clink Street (which was just a finalist for the Larry Levis Prize), and finally several 8-line syllabic poems from her new manuscript, which she wrote while very sick and reading Byron in London (lots of references to Byron & also to Bob Dylan). While she wasn't quite my personal cup of tea, she had a lot of energy and some interesting turns of phrase, and I think a lot of my fellow bloggers out there would like her -- she's one of those hot young queer semi-formalists. (I think that means like a tea-length dress rather than the full ballgown, right?) She was quite interesting, really. And cute.

I skipped the reception tonight -- I was just tired enough that even the promise of free food didn't lure me in. Maybe tomorrow.

Tonight's Readings: Leavitt & Kocher

First off, if you haven't yet seen Paul's good news, go check it out. Way cool!

Went to the first night of the IU Writers' Conference readings tonight. I'm afraid I got too busy listening to take good notes, so this will be brief....

David Leavitt: He's got a nonfiction book about Alan Turing coming out -- verrrry interesting! He's just recently back from reading at a festival in Rome, the theme of which was "fear and hope"; he read us the short story he read there, "A Civilized Divorce." It was quite good (about the relationship between a father & his grown son, years after the son's parents divorced) -- funny in places, full of vivid description, and amazingly enough, he didn't read way over the allotted time as so many fiction writers tend to do. He read quite well, too, and though I didn't get a chance to chat with him, he came across as a very laid-back and congenial guy. He said he'd been enjoying the conference so far in the 24 hours he'd been in town and if it kept on being this much fun he might not leave. Heh.

Ruth Ellen Kocher: She was wearing a pair of shoes very much like a pair I have (and love so much I wore 'em out), so she got points right away. *grin* She opened with three poems from the manuscript she's working on, The First Gods; the first poem, "Gabriel in the Kitchen Stirring Onions," completely blew me away and I really want to read it again. Then she read some older poems, including a kick-ass one about red shoes. I actually hadn't been that familiar with her work, but I'm thoroughly sold now. These are poems that make me want to run home and write. She blends intellect and earthiness in a nearly seamless way -- just plain good stuff. Chatted with her for a few minutes at the reception afterwards (hi!) and she seems like a neat person. I'm envious of the people in her workshop this week! A good friend of mine is taking her workshop, so hopefully I will at least get to hear all about it.

I did notice that Yusef Komunyakaa went up to her right after her reading and was probably saying really nice things to her. Cool.

I hung around the reception longer than I'd actually intended to, considering I have a bunch of stuff I need to get done before bedtime tonight -- guess that laundry isn't going to get done after all, whoops. I do need to get my poems prepared for tomorrow's recording session over at the WFIU radio studio, and practice reading them a few times (ahem). Since it's already 11:30 pm, I'd better stop blogging and get cracking.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Random notes

One of the librarians I work with told me this morning that he plays tennis with Brigit Pegeen Kelly's sister. That may be as close as I'm going to get to a "brush with fame" this week.

Last night I dreamed my chapbook ms. was one of four finalists in some contest or other. For some reason I picked up my mail in a room full of people, saw the envelope, and knew I had to be by myself when I opened it, so I went into another room. When I saw that I was a finalist I jumped up in the air and said "I knew that was a good manuscript!"

I'm now trying to explain to my dream-self that if I'm going to dream about success I really should make the effort to dream big. Get a book published by Norton and have gorgeous brilliant women -- hell, gorgeous brilliant anybody, it's a dream, I don't have to be picky -- lined up on my doorstep begging for my attention. Or get a nice big cash prize. At least freakin' WIN the chapbook contest! Even my dreams embrace mediocrity these days. Good grief.

Speaking of winning, congratulations to Beverly Burch and Luis Cernuda, winners of Lambda Literary Awards in the lesbian and gay men's poetry departments. (I'm now imagining an old-style department store with an elevator whose operator nasally announces, "Third floor, lesbian poetry and lingerie.") Other winners of note included Alison Smith for her terrific memoir Name All the Animals, which I read a month or two ago, and Alexis de Veaux for her biography of Audre Lorde. Doesn't look like the Foundation has updated its website with winners yet, so if you'd like me to forward you the complete list, backchannel me (ahaines at gmail dot com).

I'm watching tennis. I love watching tennis. The French Open finishes up this weekend, and ESPN2 is currently showing the semifinal match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Even I can appreciate the grace and, well, hotness of these two players. The match took place earlier today and I already know Nadal won, but it's lovely to watch them all the same. If I could write a line of poetry with the arc and power of Federer's forehand, I would be a happy woman.

I wish I'd written this.

It Being A Free Country

Yesterday, swimming with you
arm over arm straight
to the center of the lake,
it occurred to me
that what I really wanted to do
was to swim up behind you,
run my hands across your back down round
to your belly.
I wanted to turn you around,
feel your mouth on mine--
the water was its own
free country, opening
smooth and clean
around my body,
but I did nothing. I turned over,
floated on my back, said a word
or two to the blank
blue above me--
Later in the day, I was out
in the field, bare-breasted,
on my knees, picking blueberries.
The heat from the hill kept rising steady
and constant into my body. I was distracted
watching my breasts extend their roses,
their promises, their don't you want to touch us
down to the berries
ripening at the roots of the grass.
There on the hill where the berries
grew freely, I bent into the blue fruit
staining my knees, my mouth,
my lips . . . I let the sun-warmed berries
open themselves in my mouth, and considered
what I wanted to say to you--
how I wanted to touch you--
what I would do after that.

Carol Potter
from Before We Were Born (Cambridge, MA: Alice James Books, 1990)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

readings are afoot!

The IU Writers' Conference is next week and I plan to make it to most of the evening readings -- I'll try to blog about the ones I get to. Here's the lineup:

Sunday: David Leavitt and Ruth Ellen Kocher
Monday: Mark Axelrod, Cynie Cory, and Carol Bly
Tuesday: Brian Leung, David Lazar, and Martha Rhodes
Wednesday: Tony Ardizzone and Maura Stanton
Thursday: Yusef Komunyakaa and Chitra Divakaruni

I'm looking forward to some good readings and to getting together with Jenni again. I may get to one or two of the post-reading receptions, depending on how energetic I feel -- staying out late on weeknights is, at my advanced *ahem* age, harder than it used to be! (Witness tonight; I had to work from noon to 9 pm as I had nobody to cover the front desk for the evening shift, and even though I'm a night person, getting home that late felt difficult.) They always have free food at the receptions though, which is certainly an enticement.

The Fine Arts Work Center has also posted their reading schedule for this summer, and looks like I get to go to some good ones the week I'm there:

Sunday, June 26: Mark Doty (yay! he's not teaching there this summer so this is a nice bonus)
Monday, June 27: reading by Dan Mueller & slide talk by Sue Miller
Tuesday, June 28: readings by Katherine Vaz & Olga Broumas & slide talk by Joel Janowitz
Wednesday, June 29: reading by Robin Becker (yay!) & slide talk by Paul Bowen
Thursday, June 30: I think they have student readings that night
Friday, July 1: Sonia Sanchez & D.A. Powell (yay!)

This may be more readings than I've ever been to in one month. Should be fun. I often run home & write after a reading, so maybe I will get some poems out of all this.