Wednesday, February 23, 2011

…I have a new poem, "The Seamstress" up at The Camel Saloon, and three new poems, "Filibuster," "Tight", and "This Would Not Be Happening If We Were Still Children" up at Verse Wisconsin. They're all here under "Words in Print" as well. The Verse Wisconsin poems were in response to the political upheaval going on there presently. I tried to take a macro view of things, as opposed to taking sides.
In real life, however, it's hard not to take sides, not to have strong opinions. I think that's okay. I think having an opinion means you give a shit, that you care. The tricky part is having a conviction yet remaining clear-headed enough to hear an opposing view, a counterpoint. I wish I was more open-minded about those issues I disagree with. I think it would make me a better person. I'll keep trying.

…I'm listening to Don Henley, "Boys of Summer." It's a haunting song. Also, the lyrics are juxatposed with what's happening outside my window now--the sky is entirely flocked with snow, each flake about the size of bowtie pasta. It's breathtaking.

…I got an email from Negative Suck, a lit mag I really like. They're having a prompt challenge. You have to write a flash piece using two of several words (I'd never heard of any of them except Namaste), words like--hyaline, scurf, impetrate, demotic, moue, liminal. These are just a few of the thirty or so you can pick from. I'm going to do it. I like expanding my vocabulary, although these words kind of come off as ones you'd fling down in print to sound smart. "Moue" means a pout. That's kind of cute, though.
My piece starts with this girl running and her footprints leaving bloodstains in the snow… I know, I know, how dark can I get?

…Don Henley is not doing it for me anymore, so I'm switching over to Joanna Newsome or Bright Eyes. Be back in a sec…

…Actually, I landed on an album collaboration of Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach. I know it sounds bizarre, but it's really quite wonderful, filled with pretty sounds and soaring choruses. I'm a sucker for a strong pop hook.

…Are you having a good day? A happy one? Hope so. Here are some words I like today:

--"It is so easy to exist instead of live. Unless you know there is a clock ticking."
--"C'mon, let's be honest. We have an embarassment of riches. Life is good."
--"Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. We have to teach ourselves to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live."
--"This is not a dress rehearsal. Today is the only gruarantee you get."
--"Think of life as a terminal illness, because if you do, you will live it with joy and passion, as it out to be lived." Anna Quindlen

--"Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay." Flannery O'Conner

--"Writing is a dog's life, but the only life worth living." Gustave Flaubert

"Exhaust the little moment.
Soon it dies.

And be it gash or gold
it will not come

again in this identical

-- Gwendolyn Brooks

--"Find a subject you care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style." Kurt Vonnegut

--"Successful writing inspires the writer to do better, to attempt the scaling of greater heights."
--"It is an intriguing fact that in order to make readers care about a character, however bad, however depraved, it is only necessary to make hi love somone or even something. A dog will do, even a hamster." Ruth Rendell

--"At the most basic level, I appreciate writers who have something to say." Daniel Alarcon

--"To be a good writer, read until your eyes swell, and take your time and follow your weird, even if it means being lost for intolerable stretches--your weird will guide you, it will deliver you to a place that will be worth all th suffering and disorientation." Junot Diaz

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