Wednesday, May 31, 2006

20th day and still alive...

more or less. Only ten more days to go now. I've even gotten into the rhythm of attending driving class three times a week, studying a bit during the day and writing in between. This week's poems are --

16. The Magnificent Shrimp World of Fergus
17. I won't even mention Seinfeld
18. A Driving Student Adjusts the Seat
19. Ugly Underwear
20. Far From Where I Was Headed

#16 was my "pomming" of a poem in POM2 -- an ultra-kewl magazine if you like the idea of pomming stuff like soft lobotomy puppies.
#19 is, of course, my warped disbelief about being the only ugly underwear in the writing community. Michi's a fruitcake... but everyone knows she's half-nuts.

Recent rejection:

Received an amiable rejection from Magma --

   Submission date: 17 February 2006
   Reply date: 27 May 2006
   Reminder: next deadline is 10 July 2006 for Magma No 36, due out in November, edited by Anne-Marie Fyfe, with a particular theme of "inscapes - poems of the inner self, of secret thoughts, steams of consciousness, interior monologues, altered states of mind". Mark it on your calender... and, erm, maybe remind me? Hee.

Dead publication:

Well, it's official Lorraine and James is on indefinite hiatus. I pestered -- well, stalked seems more correct -- the editor until she replied that "all of the works are being released back to the writers". If anyone needs to get in touch with her, I suggest leaving a message at their blog.

Monday, May 29, 2006

What I never wanted to learn about myself I learned from online quizzes

Okay, I'm about to get very, very depressed. For weeks I've studied the mechanics of weirdness, I've practiced being weird, I've communed with weird poets... I even mailed some goods to Michi hoping to bribe her royal weirdness to come over my place. Then, out of curiosity, I took the weirdness test again and my personal weirdity actually plunged down to only 50% (as opposed to being 60% previously). Waaaaaaah!!!

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!
You Are 50% Weird

Someone tell me I'm not the only one.

Then I tried the quirkness test which gave me only --

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!
Quirk Factor: 56%

Apart from this I also turned out to be --

Comfortable and soft, more people like you than let on.
But it's very difficult for you to show yourself in public.
Ugly Underwear!

On the other hand, I scored fairly well in the scariness test -- Nate must've been right about the stalking.

You even scare scary people sometimes!
You Are Scary

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Two poems in Red River Review

Honk-honk! This little duckie has two poems up in the May 2006 issue of Red River Review.

• On Her Cheeks
• The 35th Secret Love Poem

The current issue features wonderful work from many familiar names: Nathan A. Baker, Christopher Corbett, Deborah Dana, Sari Grandstaff, Garth Hill, Corey Mesler, JB Mulligan, Martin A. Ramos, Anastasia Selby, Scot Siegel, Barbara Ann Smith, Laura L. Snyder, Sarah Wagner, Kirby Wright and Ng Yi-Sheng.

   Submission date: 31 March 2006
   Acceptance date: 26 May 2006

Recent rejections:

Received my 2nd rejection from Acumen:

   Submission mailed: 22 May 2006
   E-mail reply: 25 May 2006
   Thoughts: Sigh. Still hitting water. Based on the guidelines, if the editor keeps the poems for more than a week or month, it means you've hit part of her battleship. No such luck yet.

Also received my 2nd rejection from 10th Muse:

   Submission date: 26 May 2006
   Reply date: 26 May 2006
   Thoughts: No luck with this one either. But, damn, is the editor fast. He gets my kudos just for this.

Survived day 15 in 30:30:

Yay! I've uncorked a bottle (not mine) and drank halfway to celebrate. Another 15 more to go....

Poems list:

12. soccer
       (from An Encyclopedic Guide to Counteracting Bad Luck)

13. 'I'll be gone before you find this'
14. For Six Whole Years I Only Saw Bits of Seinfeld
15. It hadn't always been like this

With the driving lessons going three times week, I've thought of giving up. Wanted to give up, actually. But my conscience made these funny, obscene gestures at me and I relented. [from afar, looks like Michi, especially the hair]

Haven't touched a computer game for two weeks now and the few times I get the urge I don't even know what to play anymore. How depressing.

Bestish prose poetry ever:

Thought I'd share my discovery of Michael Brooks Cryer's poems in the autumn 2002 issue of Spork. Hee. Have been going through their archives with wild glee.

Here's an excerpt from Lessons Before Traveling. His poems are found here:

Alexander the Great always took his pens and pencils wherever he traveled, mostly because he wanted people to think he was writing things down, but in reality he just liked the way they looked behind his ears. Different from the yellow pencils we now know, his were black like thick lead rods, and his pens, although very similar to 20th century pens, were never used for writing. Even though some speculate that Alexander enjoyed his pencils in his right ear and his pens on his left because of an early reading disability, no one knows why the boy never quite felt comfortable fashioning both at the same time. Specialists have even falsely compared Emily Dickinson to Alexander because of her pens and pencils. Emily did in fact wear pencils—the number depending on her mood—twisted into her wiry hair as she wrote. But not Alexander....

Isn't that wonderfully ticklish?!! This guy outweirds even Michi. I'd bet my favorite sneakers on it.

Recent musical discovery:
(yeah, aside from discovering that Neil Young and Bob Dylan are still alive)

K.D. Lang's version of After the Goldrush.

Listening to it like crazy. Thanks, Michi!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Survived Day 11 in 30:30

And not sure if I'll get past the 15. Went to driving class yesterday evening and my mind's been a whirligig of road signs and road stripes ever since.

Have managed to crank out 4 more poems... am going from scrap to crap and might eventually be falling apart to rap, ap and p (which means parking the brain on some blue zone until someone tows it away).

The latest poems are:

   (from An Encyclopedic Guide to Counteracting Bad Luck)

9. And Why Shouldn't I Cry Over Seinfeld?
10. Crust
11. Translating Ethel

John Vick enjoyed yesterday's -erm- ticklish poem so much that he's offered a fabulous recording -- his voice is seeeemply magnificent: Translating Ethel
Hee. I think I'll have to thank Michi and Nathan, too for this one -- since they got me thinking about Wuthering Heights.
Thank you, my dears!! [in a Gumbie Cat/Jennyanydots voice]

Recent Rejection:

Received my 4th or 5th rejection from Tarpaulin Sky:

   Submission date: 28 January 2006
   Reply date: 19 May 2006
   Thoughts: O well. Back to the drafting board.

Yesterday I mailed submissions to Acumen, Stand and Carousel. Let's see what comes out of that.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Whoopeeedoo, I've cut my hair!

I finally squeezed some time in for a hair trim. It took the hairdresser two hours to do it -- 4 minutes of which was spent doing the zigzag parting (see pic below). Anyway, it sure feels like a load off my shoulders (6 inches). Hee.

So, here I am, on Friday the 19th, looking decidedly human again.

What I've been doing lately:

1. Enrolled myself in a driving school;
2. Rounded up the House of 30 poets for Marginalia;
3. Updated Leonard Gontarek's site (he's got a rave review in The Pedestal Magazine!!);
4. Waited in line outside clinics;
5. Did the medical paperwork of my husband -- who's been mending well, diabetes going down, down, down. Yay! for that;
6. Walked to the library and borrowed Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) and American Gods (Neil Gaiman -- it's not exactly Neverwhere but it's the only one they've got and it's in English).
7. Reading Middlesex now and got a bit hung-up on how could anyone name a boy-child Chapter Eleven.

Mental notes on taking driving lessons again:

1. I will be parsimonious with the car horn.
2. I will not keep my foot on the gas pedal even though I know that the instructor is breaking for me every time.
3. I will learn how to do a perfect 90° turn.
4. I will not invade the opposite lane and be the cause of a major traffic jam.
5. I will keep my eyes on the road.
6. I will not run over inanimate objects, mainly shrubs.
7. I will be nice to the driving instructor and not tell him/her it's his/her job to watch where I am going.
8. I will not go slow on the presumption that any crowd can be dispersed by a moving car.
9. I will learn to occupy one (1) parking space.
10. I will not be stultified by my driving incapacities since, if Adrian Mole (my reality) managed to do it, I (the road nightmare) can, too.


Sent a batch of crazy poems to nthposition last Sunday and got a reply immediately from the editor asking me to re-send two poems he particularly liked along with another batch in August because the summer issue is now full. That was nice.

It's a terrific 'zine with tons and tons of inspiring weirdness. I'm still going through the archives: reading and learning. Being, of course, only 60% weird and not from Bayesia I have to study and work hard to obtain an acceptable degree of weirdness.

One week in 30:30:

Well, I've survived so far with, let's see...

1. It had nothing to do with apples
2. And another pill put words into Nigel's beer
3. It's Sunday again on the wet paint sign
4. Michaela
5. Something like death
6. Falling into a Manhole is Considered Lucky
7. May 18, 2003 and My Sister was Still Watching Seinfield

For the record, three of these are Nigel poems. He's become my Linus blanket on bad muse days.

Publications received:

Carousel (issues 15, 17, 18 and 19): opening this package made my multiple selves go tra-la-la!!

Every issue is stunning -- very eclectic tastes in poetry, too. I've never even dreamt of seeing my poems printed on glossy paper. It's 65-85 (a mixture of matte colored and glossy b/w) pages, 6 x 9 (approx.), perfect-bound with matte color card cover. Because of their lengthy response times (more than 6 months, if I remember correctly), I wasn't sure if I'd be submitting again... but now I'm sure I will.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

HiNgE Online and other updates

Wheeee! I'm shamelessly flashing five poems in the spring issue HiNgE Online (Volume 7, Issue 1: April/May 2006).

Publications received:

Coffee House Poetry (Issue 9, May 2006): I'm very pleased with the eclectic tastes of this UK-based magazine. It's 72 pages, 4 x 6 (approx.), perfect-bound with matte color card cover. Poets in this issue include some familiar names: Deb Baker, Christopher Barnes, Jim Bennett, John G. Hall, Nigel Humphreys, Idore, Anthony James, Mike Keating, Craig Kirchner, Neil McCarthy, Ashok Niyogi and Alison White. Bruce Ackerley gets the featured poet role while I get the mini-feature.

Anon (Issue 4): Purrrr! Fabulous poetry published here, at least the kind that strokes me right. They have an interesting anonymous submission procedure, hence the magazine's name. It's 95 pages, 3 x 5 (approx.), perfect-bound with matte photographic card cover. Poets include AC Bevan, Rod Burns, Robert Etty, Rob MacKenzie, Oliver Murray, Dean Wilson and yours truly.

Orbis (#136): Because of the 2nd place award in the previous issue, I asked for a three-issue subscription instead of cash. Poets in this issue include Tony Curtis. Ian Davidson, Gillian Clark, Nigel Humphreys, Mike Jenkins and Sheenagh Pugh (of whose book, The Beautiful Lie I am a devotee).

And speaking of lies....

Recent Newspaper Clipping:

Special thanks to Sharon for showing me this link.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Day 1 in 30:30, Pebble Lake Review and my reading hobbits

Well, it's now official. I've begun (again) my second 30:30 round in ITWS. Let's see how long I stink around this time.

My poem, bloom is now up in the Spring 2006 issue of Pebble Lake Review. Tons of poetry here -- however, being a print journal, only a few are available for viewing online. But hey, Rachel's got a poem here, too. Hiya, girl!

I've been tagged by 80% weird Michi to reveal my reading -- erm -- hobbits.
If you like to play along, check out the list below and see which ones you've already read, which ones you think you might read someday, and which ones you'll probably never read.

   Underline the ones on your book shelf.
   Bold the ones you've read.
   Italicize the ones you might read.
   Cross out the ones you wouldn't read even if -- er -- your sex life depended on it.
   And place (parentheses) around the ones you haven't heard of.

I'm only underlining the books I currently have here in Italy.

The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

(His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J. K. Rowling
(The Life of Pi-Yann Martel)

Animal Farm - George Orwell
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon

Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

1984 - George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban-J.K. Rowling

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
(The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini)
(The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
(The Secret History - Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis

Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
(Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell)
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
(Atonement - Ian McEwan)
(The Shadow of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Dune - Frank Herbert

(Sula by Toni Morrison)
(Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Brighton Rock - Graham Greene

(The Moor's Last Sigh - Salman Rushdie)
(We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Schriver)
(Disgrace - JM Coetzee)
(Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro)
(The Buddha of Suburbia - Hanif Kureishi)
(Small Island - Andrea Levy)
(Titus Groan - Mervyn Peake)

Ivanhoe - Walter Scott
(Perfume - Patrick Suskind )
(The reader - Bernand Shlink)
(Father and Son - Larry Brown)
(Crooked Hearts - Robert Boswell)
(She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb)
(Postcards - E. Annie Proulx)
(A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (stories) - Robert Olen Butler)
(Defiance - Carole Maso)
(Being Dead - Jim Crace)
(And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos, by John Berger)
(Holy the Firm, Annie Dillard)
(Bear Attacks--Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero)
(Desert Notes--Reflections in the Eye of a Raven, by Barry Lopez)
(River Notes--The Dance of Herons, by Barry Lopez)

(Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow)
(The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus)
(The Last of the Just by Andre Schwartz-Bart)
(Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis)
(Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
(The Red Tent by Anita Diamant)
(A Bell for Adano by John Hersey)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
(Herzog by Saul Bellow)

War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
The illustrated Man - Ray Bradbury
Anton Chekhov's Short Stories - Anton Chekhov
Roughing It - Mark Twain
A Wizard of Earthsea - Ursula K. LeGuin

(The Mistress of Spices - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyesvki
Grendel - John Gardner
A River Runs Through It and other stories - Norman Maclean

(Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo)
(The Worst Journey in the World - Apsley Cherry-Garrard)
(The Book of the Thousands Nights and a Night - translated by Sir Richard
F. Burton)

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde (and The Other Thursday Next Novels)
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Making Love - Marius Brill
Metamagical Themas - Douglas Hofstadter
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
Kassandra - Christa Wolf

Alice in Wonderland - C.S. Lewis
Women Who Run with Wolves - Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Mother Tongue - Bill Bryson
View with a Grain of Sand - Wislawa Szymborska

Next, add your own to the list and pass it along.
My additions are:

Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Beauty of the Husband - Anne Carson
Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years - Sue Townsend
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
Man and his Symbols - Carl G. Jung
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams
Lord of the Rings (1-3) - J.R.R. Tolkien
What Doctors Don't Tell You: The truth about the dangers of modern medicine - Lynne McTaggart
Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog - Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, D.V.M.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (1-5) - Lemony Snicket
The Hundred Secret Senses - Amy Tan

The Complete Kamasutra (Alain Danielou, translator)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Diagram and Half-Drunk Muse

Wheeeee! My poem, first there was chloroform is now up in Diagram 6.2.

Kristy Bowen, who's a Diagram regular by now, also has a terrific poem in this issue: Bebe Marie. Incidently, she also received the Adroitly Placed Word Award. I'm quite a fan and can't wait to get her book, the fever almanac in November when it's scheduled to come out.

I'm also rainbow-thrilled to be sharing space with the likes of Christopher Barnes, Tiffany Noelle Fung, Ricky Garni, Jonathan Hayes, Rebecca Kiernan, M, Kevin Miller, Cynthia Polutanovich, Kris Saknussemm, Cheryl Snell, and Russell Streurin in the Spring 2006 issue Half-Drunk Muse.

Interesting editorial, too about hate mail. Made me go down on my knees to thank myself that I'm no longer an editor. Poets can be scary people... which is probaby why they've put my husband on medication. Hee.

7 Recent Hang-ups:

1. Feeding husband
2. Bad muse month
3. Railroad Tycoon III
4. Low batteries (mine)
5. Unanswered e-mails
6. Future driving lessons
7. Hair... which badly needs a cut

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Husband and poetry update

Yay! Husband is now back from the hospital.
Being still under observation, he has to prick his fingers six times a day to check the glucose level before and after insulin injection. We're all hoping it's temporary diabetes -- due to stress, infection, antibiotics and prolonged excrutiating p-a-i-n. Crossing my fingers on that.

Spent the whole week going to and from the hospital... just checked my mail twice before crawling to bed. Hope to catch up with my e-mail soon!

In the meantime, a mass smiley hug to everyone who's offered good vibes and hugs --

Recent Acceptances:

Half-Drunk Muse accepted my poem, I'm caught deep in the dye of her for their upcoming issue. Watch the response time below and grow your seasonal veggies appropriately... teehee:

   Submission date: 28 December 2005
   Reply date: 4 May 2006

A UK-based print magazine, The Frogmore Papers accepted two poems: Hangover and Chocolate Pudding for their September issue (#68):

   Date mailed: 3 April 2006
   Date received: 4 May 2006
Double yay! Or as Spock would have it:

Monday, May 01, 2006

The bad news first, then the good news

This is something of a mass e-mail again. My husband was admitted to the hospital last Saturday and I haven't been myself ever since. It's nothing serious... but he was in a lot of pain.

They discovered he's diabetic, too -- which was quite a blow. He's been through three doctors these past two months and no one noticed this in the urine test even though it had always been under their noses.

They've jammed him with all sorts of antibiotics and, thankfully, he's better tonight. It turned out to be an abscess... which burst and *that* made him feel much better. Yay for that!

The good news:

My poem, Franklin in the Garden placed 2nd in the Orbis 135 Readers Award. Such a thrill, since the competition was fierce. I also get 15 GBP slapped on my slimy hands. Sure brings a bit of sun to my night.