Thursday, May 29, 2008

the essential "get rejected" thing

is what Tolkien Boy calls it.

I have been sending out poems (!), courtesy of a job that leaves me with a little free time here and there. Today I got another rejection, but with a promising note that the editor really liked "Garden of the Musee Rodin." It makes me feel one step closer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I gave up on lunch

I am accutely aware that I am trying to Accomplish something.

This past week I have made lists and more lists and bought books (and more books). I don't think I'm one step closer to where I should be. And what I have done, wasn't part of the Plan.

I taught a six/seven-year-old Primary class on Sunday. I thought I was getting four or five kids, and was crossing my fingers for only one hell-raiser--although, sans hell-raiser, it's two very dull hours.

What I got was seven kids, all of them hyper in their own (mostly) fantastic way. My favorite moment came at the beginning of the lesson when, after I had told them who my brother and sister are, one boy started a mutiny by shouting, "You can't teach us! You're just a teenager!" I explained that I wasn't a teenager, that I was (am) 25. Their response? "But you're not married! You can't teach us anything!"

My response: "Well, I guess I could go find you an old married lady who didn't bring you treats today to be your teacher."

If only all problems could be solved with token chocolate.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saturday, May 24, 2008

It's 2:37 a.m.

and why aren't you awake with me? What happened to all of my late-night IMing friends, people I could talk to when I needed to say things like
  • I'm avoiding Provo. Because Provo makes me feel inadequate. And gives me anxiety attacks. And yet, I miss it.
  • I am deeply disappointed in myself
  • but I'm not giving up yet.
  • I hate talking about Sven's wedding, but I'll talk about anyone else's, and in my head, I'm planning my own.
  • I come home from work ready to sleep the night away. I'm not sure at what point I wake up for the rest of the night. It's different every day.
  • Apparently File Boy has attitude. It makes work more bearable.
  • Did I spell that right?
  • I went with Marz tonight to an improv show. When I called out Say Anything, the oldest improvers and the host were thrilled. Everyone else in the room, audience included, were confused. It was a sad day in the city of Bountiful.
  • This internet connection is pretty terrible, plus my computer is jumpy, which means
  • I'm signing off.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Reading: Lyric Postmodernism. An anthology of contemporary poets chosen by Reginald Sheperd, but a different approach to anthology, since Sheperd limited the number of poets his chose, which lets them present lots of poems, as well as longer poems (something Sheperd argues is a prominent trend in contemporary lyric, courtesy of the sectioned poem). So far I've read the intro and the essays and poetry offerings of Bruce Beasley, Martine Bellen, and Brenda Hillman (I skipped ahead). The following are my favorite lines from their essays (I'm going to send you after their poetry yourself--go, go!):

Beasley: "If a poem is a place of extremity--emotional, linguistic, spiritual--no gloss is going to assimilate its monstrous body--phoneme, syllable, image, chant, word." (Toward a Poetics of Monstrosity)

Bellen: "The way lines of poetry slip past one another. Rooms connected by elongated 'U's or zigzagging corridors and natural sounds linger in negative space--rooms we open in to. Rooms that speak a foreign language. Rooms that write a different language than they speak." (Time Travel and Poetry)

Hillman: "The spiritual life of a poet is dialectical, full of unresolved struggle that is simultaneously terrifying & pleasurable." (Seam Poetics)

If I dared, I would type out all of Hillman for you. Brilliant brilliant brilliant. I'm looking at the MFA program she teaches at. . . which leads me to part 2 of the report.

PhD prep: I'm hitting this as hard as possible this year. It's May and I'm researching schools and studying for the GRE--the general GRE. My goal is to get my verbal score off the charts. Or at least the top of the chart. (For the record, it's not that bad right now. I just want to add some sparkle.) I invested in Kaplan's vocab cards--I could make my own, but I'm too lazy. And I'm scared by some of the words I thought I knew that I just plain don't. Those are the hardest to learn, because I can't seem to erase 25 years of misguided vocab. I've now created a GRE word of the day, so that I can have it show up every time I check my blog. (Which AA tells me I need to stop doing and just get Google Reader already.)

As for the rest of your suggestions:

Movies: I downloaded the AFI 100 list. And then watched Iron Man, Transporter, National Treasure 2, and Ronin. I like my list.

Writing: Ginsberg provided a nice jumpstart back into some poetry this week with his comments. I'm reworking what was once "Litany" (it's currently untitled because titles are not my friends) and "on love." Both apparently need more plant life. . .

Hip-Hop/R&B album: In the works. Missing the Fobees and their unique input.

Magazines: Picked up Poetry and Poets & Writers. Thought about Cosmo or Glamour, but who really has time for that?

Books: Why did no one tell me Mark Strand's Man and Camel was in paperback? It's on my nightstand. And it still has the ugliest cover ever.

And I added my own idea to the list: Sleep. Which I'm about to do.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

this writing life

For the past week I have been considering the purpose of this blog. I'm not the same editorgirl I was when I began three years ago to toss ideas into cyberspace, into the net of a few friends who were at similar places in their lives. Those friends changed, I changed, and in a way my blog reflected that, but more in absences and diatribes than in any of those first posts. Note: This is not to say that you should read those first posts. They're nothing groundbreaking, although they seemed, and were, important at their inception.

I still feel the need to toss around ideas in a no-pressure space, but at the same time, I'm tired of the constant navel-gazing deskset-for-one mode. It's beginning to read like my journal from high school--I only write when I need to emote. I'm also not at a place in my life where I want to be posting regular updates about where I am and what I'm doing. I'm in Utah working at a law firm. That covers it. No need for a daily report on what time the mail came or what Old Man Mayor said before leaving yet another message for his attorney (yesterday, when I said I would deliver the message, it was "God bless you, my angel").

What I do need right now is a place to conduct what I like to think of as "The Self-Education of Sarah Jenkins." In exile from academia, I know I'm at risk of losing that part of myself. I didn't realize how quickly it could leave me until today when I curled against the arm of the couch at work (after hours, waiting for Dad to finish up) and began reading the intro to Lyric Postmodernisms. I could feel myself processing and considering Shepard's account of the contemporary lyric, understanding his project and how this anthology proposed to present itself. This is what I want to be doing, this is what I am going to do, with or without a PhD program, with or without a syllabus guiding me. Over the next year, or however long it is, this blog is going to be a place for me to write about writing, to see what and how other poets are writing, and to make some progress in figuring out exactly what I want to do as a writer--that is a question I still haven't answered. Part of me wants to say that I'll take on Kim Johnson's final paper again and write about my poetic project. And maybe I will. Maybe now I'll finally be able to figure out what I'm trying to accomplish when I write. And I will take any and all suggestions as to reading material, writing prompts, etc. I know that there aren't many reading this blog anymore, but I trust those who are and I invite/beg you to stay with me this year. It's time for me to finally stand on my own.

And now you can make your joke about the girl who's living with her parents again.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I'm starting this cliche out backwards.

Chick flicks teach us that there are two categories of responses for single women when faced with a wedding: jump in almost to the point of obsession, or bitch--again to the point of obsession. The origin of these actions is, of course, the fact that the woman is tired of being single.

I've tried both approaches. When L got engaged, my family assumed that I'd choose option B (B for bitching), and so I was left alone in glorious single bitterness. Now that Sven is engaged, they've somehow forgotten the lessons learned only a few years ago--keep this editorgirl away from all wedding details, and everything will work out fine. Oddly enough, my grumpiness is no longer chalked up to being single. I have to keep reminding the family (okay, my parents) that I like Sven's betrothed. Who apparently needs a 'nym. She's not Mary Poppins (sigh of relief). She's more. . . should we stick with Disney? Hmm. Actually (moment of inspiration), the girl is reportedly a fan of Audrey Hepburn, so for now she's Miss Doolittle. (There's that thrill of a very complicated inside joke there, which maybe one day I'll share.)

So Sven and Miss Doolittle are getting married at the end of July. And I bounce back and forth between participation and annoyance. But the scales are tipping as not one, but two of my best friends from high school are also taking the marital plunge this summer. I would like to point out, these are my last two high school best (girl) friends who are single with me. And for them, I am putting on the happy face. Hell, for them, I am putting on bridal showers. But I don't know how much of this I can deal with before I crack.

I want the wedding. The wedding, which will hopefully come with a marriage, a boy, and, yes, one hell of a dress. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep watching 27 Dresses because not only is it my life, but James Marsden is adorable (if you're into smart, cynical, indoor guys--which I am). And then I'll watch a whole bunch of action films because there is nothing like a few dozen explosions to clear this wedding crap from my mind.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I have no idea what to title this post

Poetry month is over. The logo has evaporated into air, into thin air. But something better has taken its place: Poets on the Deskset. Links to poets I admire (and there will be more than two of them) who are publishing today. Not that there aren't brilliant dead poets, but what's more exciting than right now? (I choose to ignore the death stare I'm getting from Renaissance Girl.)

And in a final guesture of love and goodwill towards all poetry, here are a few books I'm opening the wallet for in the near future (because that's always so hard for me):

Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse by Darcie Dennigan

Lyric Postmodernism: An Anthology of Contemporary Innovative Poetries edited by Reginald Shepard

and prepare to pre-order A Metaphorical God by Kimberly Johnson.

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