Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Have been ogling at this cutish alien since last night. It just tickles me silly every time he grabs his eye to look at me and sings himself purple to Bill Wither's Lovely Day.

Am celebrating a day's rest from 30:30. Finished my fourth round last night with the following poems —

24. Fishing dead bodies in water
25. 27 Minutes Before a Blind Date
26. The House of Love
27. Black Ink on White #4
28. fortitude: a reportage
29. The dog in the rearview mirror
30. Driving: A Case Study

Hope everyone is having a great Halloween. I'm dressed as myself, of course. And dancing around with scissors because:

• We've got a new cd/mp3/dvd player. At last. Yay! The old one appeared to be Billy Joel's #1 fan and refused to play other cds for well over a year. As much as I love his music, there comes a point in one's life when —er— enough's enough.

• The husband has brought home two kilos of these small buggers for me to cook, cut and trim with my trusty cuticle scissors for tonight. Have never figured out what they're called in English.

In Italian, they're canocchie. Canocce, in the Venetian dialect. The bigger version, found in Manila, is called sea mantis on the menu... but I'm not sure if that's correct. Hmmmmm.... Any ideas out there?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Survived the BMW test drive

Wheeeeee!! My guardian angels didn't take the Sunday off and managed to remove all possible dangers from my path. Even did a stellar parking (after two crooked tries) in a half-deserted lot. I'm on my way to winning Formula One [yeah right, the husband would say, as in first gear].

Despite what they say about BMW cars, I'm not impressed. Stepping on the pedals is like doing the leg press — compared to the smaller cars I've driven it's quite a stiff. One nice thing about it though is I can go up to 45 kmh on second gear. Which is such a relief since someone in the company had the amazingly bad idea to put the R-everse on the left side of instead of the usual right... which never fails to make me shoot the first gear into the third — with rather nerve-wracking consequences.

Publications received:

Soooooo thrilled with my copy of Liminal Pleasures. For only £3.50 (via PayPal), you get five CD-sized, professionally printed, staple-bound (32pp, 8pp, 24pp, 32pp, 24pp) chapbooks of the issue lovingly tied with a purple yarn and delivered to your mailbox. Just looking at them awakened that old desire [suppressed for lack of equipment] to print books.

Have also received my copy of Forklift Ohio (#15).
It is what can be described, in the editors' words as, hand-assembled in limited quantities from a variety of unusual materials: approx. 4" x 6" inches, 154 pages of poetry (contributors' notes not included), saddle-stitched and laser-printed. What can I say, except I love it and I'm seriously tempted to get the previous issues, too. Interested parties can purchase the issue/s via PayPal.

An excerpt about Mestre:

Okay, I almost died laughing when I read this hilarious description of Mestre in Marius Brill's Making Love: A Conspiracy of the Heart — which is the town you pass through in order to arrive to Venice. It rather mirrors the town —Spinea— where I live in many rich ways:

Mestre. Say the word without hissing the conurbated villain, and pitying its citizens.
As quickly as they can, two million tourists pass through, or by, Mestre each year, and each one will be struck by the same thought as they wonder at the aesthetic opposition that it represents. Mestre is an ugly town but ugly only in the same way that Michael Jackson might be desccribed as eccentric or a Tabasco Vindaloo flambéed in rocket fuel might be described as warm. Mestre is almost excremental in its hideousness: a fetid, fly-blown, festering, industrial urbanization, scarred with varicose motorways, flyovers, rusting railway sidings and the rubbish of a billion holidaymakers gradually burning, spewing thick black clouds into the Mediterranean sky. A town with apparently no centre, a utilitarian ever-expandable wasteland adapted to house the displaced poor, the shorebound, outpriced, domicile-deprived exiles from its neighbouring city. For, just beyond the condom- and polystyrene-washed, black-stained, mud shores of Marghera, Mestre's very own oil refinery, less than a mile away across the waters of the lagoon in full sight of its own dispossessed citizens, is the Jewel of Adriatic. Close enough for all to feel the magnetism, there stands the most beautiful icon of Renaissance glory and, like so much that can attract tourism, a place too lovely to be left in the hands of its natives, the Serenissima itself, Venice.

The ironic thing is that town officials have actually labeled these excremental buildings as some sort of cultural treasure and are trying their best to make sure no one touches them with a paint brush or bulldozer. But hey, even Michael Jackson is considered a national treasure/relic where he lives, isn't he?

For the record, I've never seen those thick black clouds though — makes me wonder if the author had eaten some bad beans while writing the novel. Compared to Manila, the air here is pure and divine thank you.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm running late—but what else is new?

A thousand apologies to everyone who's still waiting an e-mail from me and also to those who've lost all hope about receiving a reply. The plumber was scheduled to check our hot-water system this afternoon, so I've had to clean the house these past few days. Needless to say I cried weee weeee weeee all the way through the dirt and grime.

TPM update:

The 36th issue of The Pedestal Magazine is now up — with fabulous poetry by Joseph Bradshaw, MTC Cronin, Ruth Daigon, S. Jason Fraley, Carol Frith, Liz Gallagher, Timothy Green, Stan Marcus, Roger Scott, Paul Sohar, James Tipton, Moez Surani, Ann Walters, Kelley Jean White, and Caroline Wilson.

I should know, of course, because I selected it myself. **preening**

Hope you enjoy the issue — I had a great (though rather nerve-wracking) time selecting the poems. John and I were quite pleased with how things turned out and there've been talk about guest-editing again for the June 2007 issue.

Okay, since there've been talk about bribes. I am accepting only (1) a chic apartment in Paris [complete with French maid] and/or (2) various body parts [with tattoo]. Put keys [with apron] and/or loose limb(s) in an unmarked box, take a taxi to the next town north of your birthplace, find the cemetery with the most winter burials, tap on the tree nearest the exit, genuflect, eat the ants around the exposed roots and leave the box to the caretaker (codename: Ethel). Your poetry submission will be answered personally by the voices in my head.

Recent publication:

What can I say? Here's the definition for couch grass: A Eurasian grass (Agropyron repens) that has whitish-yellow root stocks and has become a troublesome weed in the New World. Also called quack grass, witch grass... also known among fellow bloggers as arlene (misspellings: angela, anne, ellen, (h)arlem, arelene, airline, etc.)

42opus recently published two of my poems: It Could've Been a Centerfold (15.10.2006) and A setting sun (12.10.2006) in their Vol 6 No 3 issue.

Recent acceptance:

Clean Sheets, an erotic online magazine, accepted two poems for a future issue: Juice and Bathroom. Lah-dee-dah!

     Submission date: 9 September 2006
     Reply date: 20 October 2006

30:30 update:

There's a report poetry forest fire raging in 30:30! I've caught the deadly virus myself, especially since it's a good way to go through a bad muse day —

18. i. footprints (reportage)[working title]
19. body language
20. A Love Poem from the Carcass of an Abandoned Ford
21. reportage (ii. bucket) [re-worked title]
22. love: a reportage (iii. juxtapose) [re-re-worked title]
23. love: a reportage (parts iv-vi)

Currently reading:

Making Love by Marius Brill... and find that, considering my age, I have to take it slow. It's simply one belly laugh after another. And the endless puns just tickle me silly. Who else would suggest reading this if not the madwoman who lives in the musty shoebox?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Autumn's in the air...

and my poems —all weedlike and carniverous— can be found in the flowerpots of the following magazines:

elimae (delighted to be sharing space with Cheryl and none other than MTC Cronin)

Mannequin Envy (with the irresistible Liz — who happens to have a poem coming up in TPM, too)

NOÖ Journal

A mass to everyone to passed by with their congratulations (and cheeky slurs) about my driver's license. I survived the Sunday supermarket junket with only a few horns blaring, but am running late as usual — what else do you expect from someone who drives 50 km/h max?

30:30 update:

Can't believe I'm more than halfway through... between the TPM deadline and the driving worries, these poems just made the numbers —

11. A Driving Instructor's First Flat Tire
12. A Driving Student Visualizes the Center of an Intersection
13. About Your Bucket
14. A Manic Car Driver Blows Her Nose
15. outside the pool, with a bucket
16. Black Ink on White #3
17. Icarus

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Finally licensed... to drive

Loads of thanks to everyone who crossed their fingers (and toes) for me! Hah. It worked like a charm, too. I actually passed the test — by pure luck. Got lucky not only once, but twice. First, because the driving examiner turned out to be a laid-back fella who was more interested in telling his life story to the instructor while I was driving. I don't think he even noticed when the engine died on me towards the end. Hee. Second, because I ended up being the last one to take the test. All of us were bundled into a SUV behind the test car — taking turns with the driving. My mantra the whole time was: No intersections. Please. No intersections. Just when my turn was about to come up, we lost track of the test car and had to return to the school office. I actually heard the angels go in my mind. Since I was the last one, the examiner made me go only a few blocks in empty streets as opposed to everyone else who had to deal with the traffic.

Am scheduled to take the husband for a spin to the supermarket tomorrow. Yikes.

Books received:

Just when I was thinking life couldn't get any better, I received a surprise package from The Frogmore Press this morning. I know I've got a lifetime subscription on the magazine, but never imagined I'd get their press publications for free, too. Wooohooo!!

I am the thrilled owner of the following books/chapbooks (I've only skimmed through them, but each one looks quite a treat):

The Alternative Version, Jeremy Page
Other Lilies, Marita Over
The Silent Key: Selected Poems from the Crabflower Pamphlets, Kate Pemberton (editor)
Decade: Ten years of the Frogmore Poetry Prize, Jeremy Page & Kate Pemberton (editors)
A Plutonian Monologue, Brian Aldiss
A Dozen Villanelles, Matthew Mead

Recent publication:

Issue 5 of NOÖ Journal is now online — with poetry by Jessica Rowan, Jason Fraley, Doug Draime, Sarah Ruhlen, Peter Schwartz, David Thornbrugh, Sean Kilpatrick, Eric Gelsinger, Jennifer L. Knox and some sort of omnipresent weed.

TPM update:

The submission period has been closed. I'll be sending the last 5 acceptances in a few hours. I've read tons of great poetry for this issue and it's really quite a shame not to be able to offer publication to many.

Found photo:

While looking for a decent photo to send to Fringe Magazine, I found this... taken way back when digital cameras were still considered the latest in moron technology. What a riot. I remember sneaking on my hands and knees behind my favorite pooch to get this snapshot and teeheeheeing myself silly in the process. As a result, I cut off parts of my —erm— head. As the husband commented: Well, it's quite easy to pick out which of the two is the more intelligent species.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Poems in The Frogmore Papers

Forgot to mention that my copy of The Frogmore Papers arrived last Saturday.

It's 46 pages, saddle-stapled with matte card cover. Not the most sophisticated journal (especially after the postman folded my copy in half then shoved it into the smallish mailbox slot). But the poems and short shorts are absolutely delish! Hee. And I'm not saying that only because I've got —erm— four works in this issue... and never because —mumblemumble— the editor sent me a £210 check to cover my driving expenses. There's a great mixture of sass and serious poetry in this issue and, because of my lifetime subscription, it makes me want to live for a long long time.

Was reading it the other day while waiting for the instructor (always late) when I spluttered into teehees — much to the school secretary's consternation. The culprit? Matt Shoard's winsome scatological prose which was awarded 3rd prize in the Frogmore Short Shorts 2006. Here's an excerpt from Lindsay Shits — WARNING: not for the squeamish:

     Did I not tell you? She looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth, but she goes out all night, see, and drinks, and takes substances, and then comes straight to work from a nightclub and shits. You can smell it downstairs. I don't think she flushes. Once, there was shit up the back of the lid. Today was the last straw because it stunk there apparently. So Clive sent a memo to the effect that could everyone please ensure that they flush the toilet after use. Only he put 'ensue'. What does 'ensue' mean?
     Well it means it follows, it occurs.
     Could you please follow that you flush the loo. Well, anyway. It just shows what you can get away with, with looks like that. The other day apparently she stank of alcohol, but nobody mentioned anything....

What a riot! And it just got more and more wicked. My poems in this issue, apart from the first one, are more sane. I've been outweirdoed again.

• Hangover
• Chocolate Pudding
• The 23rd Secret Love Poem (read)
• Sandals (read)

The adjudicators report as well as the other winning poems in the Frogmore Poetry Prize for 2006 can be found here. Love Ros Barber's note to those who didn't make the cut: "Keep writing, and don’t let the bastards (including me) grind you down." Am tempted to quote her on that re: TPM submissions.

30:30 update:

Still alive, obsessed with buckets and writing drivel —

6. Still Life with Bucket
7. A Driving Student Intrudes on Fallen Nuts
8. Holding a bucket in one hand
9. A Driving Instructor's First Gastrointestinal Cramp
10. Locusts

Recent acceptance:

Iota accepted my poem on AIDS, Positive for a future issue.
This is a neat UK-based magazine, professionally printed, flat-spined with glossy b/w card cover. Accepts submissions via e-mail.

     Submission date: 21 August 2006
     Reply date: 9 September 2006

Driving update:

Yikes. Someone please send me a hefty amount of Divine Intervention by Friday. Apart from panicking around men-at-work sites, I'm the same old assassina behind the wheel. And that's putting it positively.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Have caught a bug from someone...

and had a rather infernal Saturday night. Still rather half-fluish today, but feeling much better... especially after driving the porcelain bus at seven in the morning. [background music: Porcelain, Red Hot Chili Peppers]

Some contagion suspects would the husband and the driving instructor. But my suspicions really lie on Mental. After all, she's always infected with something and did ask — publicly — for my hand in bigamy. And I had the impulsive honor to say "I do."

Of course, it's already trigamy for me. I have a somewhat vague memory of having married my Mr-Lonely dog, Ginger after getting dead drunk at my brother's wedding two years ago. The blackmailer even managed to take pictures of me, wearing his wife's bridal gown... with Ginger stepping, like a proud groom, on the elaborate train.

At any rate... this, of course, leads to —

The wedding announcement:

Meatball and Anchovies would like to request the pressure of your company at their holy mileage on Friday, the 13th of October at 30:30, the local LA (Length Anonymous) bar.

Guests are asked to show their buckets and long candles at the entrance. Only those who come in birthday suits will be entertained.

Recent acceptance:

elimae accepted two poems for their October 2006 issue.

Black Ink On White #2

We negotiated a bit on the second poem... it was previously called The night before, but we pushed and chopped it around until it became History. Hee.

Thanks to Cheryl for the link to this terrific 'zine. I've been going through their archives like a happy forest fire.

Very fast response times, too! And the editor is wonderful, very professional... he sort of avoided addressing me by name but broke down at the second e-mail and called me Angela. I mentally went: then and finally

     Submission date: 6 October 2006
     Reply date: 6 October 2006

Driving update:

Drove again on my own today and survived!!

Even had to courtesy to let pedestrians pass (I actually saw them! Yay!)... I did stay off the busy streets and huge roundabouts though, but I'm still recuperating from the faux flu (the news here calls it that) and I'll blow beerlike again if agitated.

Am scheduled for (remedial) driving lessons every day until the 13th. Aaaargh.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Day 5, 4th round in 30:30

Blah. I'm back on the 30:30 treadmill, puffing and panting to get out that daily poem.

Poems list to date —

1. Dear Dog
2. the last surviving pencil falls like a banana
3. A Driving Student Idealizes Rain
4. A Driving Instructor's First Copy of Jane Eyre
5. michaela (from Encyclopidemania)

The last prose poem was commissioned by Mayday... in response to her libelous poem about yours truly (attached below to attract ambulance chasers).

arsenic (as)
     wikipedia entry for arlene ang

she was born erna glean under a paris green moon. 33 minutes past every hour,
the midwife changed her name using ruddy scrabble letters and a retired ouija board.

at kindergarten, ang developed a hunger for the slightly sweet, discovered the true
objective of a boy called nigel. ethel appeared to her in dreams, shrouded in lace.

in year seven, high on blackberry wine, she learned the meaning of mees' lines and
donned her trademark purple coat. she never failed a single marsh-berzelius test.

ang dropped out of school while reading the canterbury tales backwards at a speed
of 3.3 words per second. after that, the rain never tasted the same, except in venice.

she adopted a golden sheen, married a series of weed killers in churches of dubious
reputation. supposedly, this stimulates production of red blood cells, keeps out the cold.

her fingers began to reach out for words. soon all surfaces were covered in letters,
perfect closing lines. her breakthrough opus left a metallic taste in the cleverest minds.

former length problems have been resolved. though polysyllabic words still follow her
around. in interviews, ang repeats this one line: a regular muse melts at 817° celsius.

she publishes under pen names (BIC, montblanc) but never under duress. her heart
belongs to digby. today, she lives in italy and smells like garlic when she evaporates.

For her information, I don't evaporate into a smoke of garlic. I just sizzle into it.

And as can be plainly seen by how her looooong lines run havoc all over the page, it's she who has a problem with length.

Recent publications:

Just received word that Forklift, Ohio's 15th issue is ready for shipping. My poem, How to Give Your Poem a Masterpiece Body Odor is stinking up a page in this issue. Can't wait to get my copy — I've got fond memories of reading through their archives while preparing my submission for them.

Wheeeee!! Eclectica's October-November issue is now online — have three poems there:

• One-Room Flat (read)
• After Richard's Swivel Chair Broke (read)
• A Driving Student Takes a Blind Corner (read)

I'm also utterly delighted to be sharing space with so many familiar names in the blogworld: Muskrat, Cheryl and Shanna. Tra-lah-lah!!

Driving update:

Gaaaak. Not doing so well: (1) have re-acquired that odd habit of forgetting my foot on the gas pedal while taking corners; (2) have discovered an irresistible urge to speed around the roundabout in tight, uncontrollable circles; (3) have no idea which direction to turn the wheel during parking without the instructor barking out instructions.

Am rather resigned to flunking the Friday-the-13th exam and console myself with the idea that I have my whole life ahead of me to pass it... and hey, maybe learn how to ride the bike. Yeah. Right.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Back to the salt mines

Liz was kind enough to hold a warm seat for me at the darkest end of the 30:30 tunnel. One of the things I rather dislike about starting again is seeing the rust fall off me. Though I can't really complain since for 10 whole days I shamelessly rotted my brain on video games.

Recent publications:

Lah-dee-dah!!! The autumn 2006 issue of Liminal Pleasures is now online! It's a print journal so I'm really thrilled that the editor decided to make the whole issue available over the internet. Doing a thrice-split personality dance:

Quite eclectic tastes, too — with poetry by David Berridge, Martin Burke, Srinjay Chakravarti, Mark Goodwin, Peter Hughes, Rupert Loydell, Peter Philpott, Christopher Rose, Davide Trame, Theodore Worozbyt and yours truly. I never thought I'd even find a single place for the whole Planchette Interpretation: A Short Guide to Reading Letters from the Dead series. Submitted only a few letters, but the editor asked to see the whole thing and yay! the rest is history. Was reading the stuff yesterday just to check for typos... when I told myself: Yikes, whoever wrote this must've some screws loose. It's weird. Damn weird.

Hee. As if to prove that I'm really mad, I have 6 poems in Issue 6 of Mad Hatters' Review.

They're currently accepting work from October 16 through October 29. So, get your act together and send out your peace/peas.

Driving update:

HAH!! Drove for a whole hour this morning and you, my dears, are now looking at the next rising star of Formula One. **preening wildly**

Teehee. I didn't run over anyone or anything. And the in-law's car is still all in one piece. It's a miracle!!

Even the husband admitted grudgingly that I am a very prudent driver. And no, I didn't threaten to snap off all his toenails to say that in public. Really. You know I'd never do anything like that.