Thursday, April 30, 2009


I just read this on RG's blog. I don't think I've ever loved an Elizabeth Bishop poem as much as I love this poem right now. It's a nice way to end April and National Poetry Month.


Love's the boy stood on the burning deck
trying to recite 'The boy stood on
the burning deck.' Love's the son
stood stammering elocution
while the poor ship in flames went down.

Love's the obstinate boy, the ship,
even the swimming sailors, who
would like a schoolroom platform, too,
or an excuse to stay
on deck. And love's the burning boy.

--Elizabeth Bishop

my town

I kind of really want this.

And I'm going to get Sven this when he gets into med school.

Monday, April 27, 2009

why yes, i am a rockstar

I just busted out a two-page paper in 20 minutes. And I can now spell Komunyakaa in my sleep.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

26 and counting.

I have failed both National Poetry Month and Utah. Which is a shame, because I love National Poetry Month (or at least the idea of National Poetry Month) and I had a wonderful time in Utah last week. I should be blogging in favor and praise of both.

That isn't going to happen, at least not tonight.

I went to Utah because I needed a break. Also because I wanted to see my family, but mostly the break thing. Six months in Chicago and I'm still uneasy, trying to figure out why I'm here. Or rather, I spend my sleepless nights trying to remind myself why I'm here: education + MFA + poetry. I'm not here for a job, although I'd appreciate one, or anything else, although that list is long and varied.

While in Utah, well, I summed in up in Relief Society today as "Babies! Babies! Babies!" Lauren has beautiful crazy Abby and Sven will soon have what we can only hope will be a beautiful crazy son. Add to that Meghan's little girl Kaitlin, and the entire week seemed to be steeped in Babies! Babies! Babies! And I thought I was behind on the marriage thing.

There's a very sane part of me that is saying not to worry. I'm in a good place right now. Not a comfortable place, but a good place. But I never thought I'd be 26 and single, never thought I could do the math and think my baby sister could be married and raising a family before me. I want my education, I want a PhD, I want a career. I think what's getting to me tonight is knowing that all of this is out of my hands. I didn't get to choose between relationship/marriage/family and MA/MFA/PhD.

Somewhere in my apartment, a faucet is dripping. I have no idea which one and I really don't want to find out.

I want to label this crisis as something, name it so I can deal with it. I considered being cliche and using the Quarterlife Crisis, but the experts tell me this is a bad idea. Well, that and I don't trust anything in a John Mayer song anymore. Maybe I can call it the Good Mormon Girl Crisis. Would I be feeling this way if I weren't part of a culture where we're supposed to aspire to be wives and mothers? I have no problem aspiring, but I do have a problem when a guy gives me that look when I tell him I'm in grad school. Never mind the second time through grad school, with a third on the way.

It's late. I should sleep. (How many times have I said this on my blog?) I considered taking off the comments box for this one, and maybe I should. I know I have wonderful brilliant friends who are Mormon and single. I have wonderful brilliant friends who are Mormon and married. I know some of you are with me, wishing we were married (not to each other) and raising families along with writing dissertations, and others are wishing that they had had the time to get a grad degree or two.

There are no easy answers. Just once, I wish there were. Then maybe I'd get to sleep at night.

Friday, April 24, 2009

shake it like a polaroid picture

a post on utah, poetry, etc. is coming soon. in the meantime, enjoy.

you can thank T.O.S. for the video.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Lance Larsen, Backyard Alchemy.

Once in a San Jose park, on vacation, I asked
my daughter, Where are we?
She looked up at me: My dolly sits
on mine lap, I sit on yours, you sit
on the chair's lap, the chair sits
on the world's lap. There are a million
ways to say "California." Only a few promise rest.
(from "The World's Lap")

Think small. Think redundant and gossipy
in a cramped hand, with cross-outs
indicating an Ur-text that wavers between Byron's
"We're a sad jar of atoms" and a grocery list.
On lucky days, it spills itself as haiku drama.
(from "Reading Old Journal Entries")

Monday, April 06, 2009

33 minutes to midnight

and I almost didn't post today. Would have been tragic. Tragic and completely anticipated.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
(from "The Burial of the Dead," The Waste Land, T.S. Eliot)

In a Station of the Metro
Ezra Pound

The apparation of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

how to celebrate

I always begin poetry month with the best of intentions: posting a poem each day, reading a poem each day, writing a poem each day. And then I find myself six days in and--well, I've been reading poetry each day, but since it's for class, I'm not sure if it should count.

There are a lot of great blogs and websites posting a poem each day. And there are blogs with daily writing prompts, etc, for "NaPoWriMo" or National Poetry Writing Month. If you're interested, I'll start posting some links.

All that being said, I'm burned out. Shocker. And I can't get the poems to format the way they should on this blog, which angers me. So. . . instead of a poem a day or a writing prompt a day, you're going to get lines of poetry each day. Some from me, some from "real" poets. I know you wouldn't usually excise lines from a poem, but there are lines that fascinate me and I'm going to use them in celebration of everything poetry is for me.

All explorers must die of heartbreak.
(from "Lives of the Saints," Charles Wright)

Later, I like to sit and look up
At the mythic history of Western civilization,
Pinpricked and clued through the zodiac.
I'd like to be able to name them, say what's what and how who got where,
Curry the physics of metamorphosis and its endgame,
But I've spent my life knowing nothing.
(from "Looking West from Laguna Beach at Night," Charles Wright)

In the thin leaves incendiary--
(from "An Ordinary Afternoon in Charlottesville," Charles Wright)

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