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.


Emily Lloyd said...

Anne, I just checked at the Foundation, and there's no list up yet--could you b/c me at

Patty said...

I enjoy your blog. Thank you!

A post you made last month, about poetry being a mooch, made me think of this Levis poem:

The Poem You Asked For

Larry Levis

My poem would eat nothing.
I tried giving it water
but it said no,

worrying me.
Day after day,
I held it up to the light,

turning it over,
but it only pressed its lips
more tightly together.

It grew sullen, like a toad
through with being teased.
I offered it money,

my clothes, my car with a full tank.
But the poem stared at the floor.
Finally I cupped it in

my hands, and carried it gently
out into the soft air, into the
evening traffic, wondering how

to end things between us.
For now it had begun breathing,
putting on more and

more hard rings of flesh.
And the poem demanded the food,
it drank up all the water,

beat me and took my money,
tore the faded clothes
off my back,

said Shit,
and walked slowly away,
slicking its hair down.

Said it was going
over to your place.

the machinist said...

I was so happy Alison won! She comes in the store a lot and she's good friends with our manager and, by extension, us. She is honestly one of the most down-to-earth, humble people I know. Plus she appreciates a good laugh about rainbow teddy bears posed as her book cover.

here's what I can remember about the awards:

I am my own wife --doug wright

at ease: navy sailors during WWII --Harry Abrams

clay's way --blair mastenbaum (who's moving to bklyn in a couple weeks!)

flight of the aquavit --Anthony Bidulka, who is he really nice and stopped in the store

I think The Master (Toibin) one, but it was pretty late in the evenign by then)

Crybaby Butch --Judith Frank

A Seahorse Year --Stacey D'Erasmo

Fresh Men --Don Weise, ed

I Do/I Don't: Queers on Marriage

So Hard To Say --Alex Sanchez

The Ordinary --Jim Grimsley

The Gender Frontier --Mariette Pathy Allen

Peter said...

Anne: I love watching tennis as well. I am so bummed Mary Pierce lost to JHH. Now I am holding out for that hottie Nadal, in the nifty white pants.

Pamela said...

Anne--I love to watch tennis, as well. If I ever win the lottery, I am going to Wimbledon and eating strawberries the way Mark Strand's narrator ate poetry.

I'm for Nadal too, but I was rooting for JHH in the women's final.

I played tennis all through high school and through college, too. I have a draft of a story about playing clay-court tennis. It's very hard to describe a tennis match when your protagonist is playing.

Anne said...

Patty: That Levis poem is terrific -- thanks! He's come up in conversation around me more than once in the past week or two. I think that means I should go spend some time reading him soon.

Woody: I'm always glad to hear that the writers (musicians, etc.) I like are good people as well! Yay for that.

Peter and Pamela: I didn't know who to root for in the women's final! Both JHH and Pierce wanted it pretty badly, I think. It was a shame to see Pierce fall apart so completely. I'll be shocked if Nadal doesn't win tomorrow (who the heck is this Puerto kid, anyway?) but I'm sorry, those white capris are just silly. (Says the lesbian with no fashion sense whatsoever. *grin*)