Tuesday, August 16, 2011


…I have a new story, "Chop Salad," up at ZOUCH magazine and also here under "Words in Print."
--I like the photo they used, of President Obama, Michelle and the girls. They used that pic because in the story I start off by saying I wish I was black and I wish I could meet the Prez and play with his bone-thin girls (the narrator is a chubby, reclusive girl without much self-esteem.)
I am not fat. Most people would call me thin, lean, skinny.
I am six three and 165 lbs.
Sometimes I feel fat, though. Sometimes I think I am fat. I do have a little roll around the waist. Really. It's not just me being anorexic either.
Here, have a look.
See? I told you.
Even though I am not overweight and even though I do not have a vagina, I have a lot in common with the narrator in Chop Salad.
I often feel reclusive and shy. Sometimes I feel aloof because I feel as if I don't belong to any one group. What do I mean by “group?” Heck, I don’t know.
I am good in crowds when I force myself to be, which can happen, though it takes effort.
I can be charming even if it does sometimes feel like a farce, an act.
I remember a Partridge Family episode where Danny--struggling to find out what he wanted to do with his life--had a eureka moment:
DANNY: "Mom, I know what I want to be when I grow up."
SHIRLEY: "Well, that's great, Honey. What do you want to be?"
DANNY: "A negro."
(this was in 1972, so it was still "negro" instead of "African American.")
I've wanted to be black before. I've wanted to be other people, part of another culture, especially one with strong bonds.
Is that normal? How about you? Have you ever thought of being someone else, or are you just perfectly fine with who you are?

…I have given myself the permission to take the rest of the summer off from writing unless someone solicits me.
It’s a freeing feeling but still a bit of a struggle since I often judge my success/worth by how much I produce, which as a way of valuing oneself, I realize, is far from ideal.
I did cut and paste about 80 poems together just now. I might submit them to this poetry Chapbook contest. There’s a fee for the contest, of course.
The competition will be stiff, no doubt.
But you win money and there are prized for the top three finishers and it would be nice to win a prize, especially in poetry where I am not always certain I am that skilled.
So, we’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes.

…It smells like bacon.
It’s a good smell, strong, sort of greasy and irony.
The sun is streaming through the window of this crepe-coffee shop I’m at.
It’s so bright, in fact, that I’ve draped my laptop bag over the screen in order to thwart the glare.
I probably look suspicious to onlookers.
It makes me feel like I’m under the sheet at summer camp with a flashlight telling ghost stories.
Funny how little things like that can make a person feel nostalgic.

…I like these things on a happy Tuesday afternoon:

"The line between living and manipulating your life for the sake of your art is blurry." Art Edwards

"Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry." -- Mark Strand

Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I've ever known.' Chuck Palahniuk

"Ever writer who is not a great writer is a plagiarist." Bolano

"I was making a point. It was about how small life is and how you only get to see so much but then, when you widen your lens, you miss all of the important details particular to imperfect knowledge."
--"I try to remind kids that they are not noble savages, they are human beings, and the odds are aginst them."
--"Frequently we think of ourselves as someone different from whom others think we are." --Stephen Elliot

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