Friday, April 23, 2010

little boys' perceptions

In many ways, Chris and I fit the traditional parenting roles. While I am certainly stern at times, not the type of mom who takes a lot of crap, in comparison, I'm also the parent who is more flexible, takes more time to understand the reason for the situation, more willing to work out a compromise. Chris is more about the rules and because I said so. That's not a criticism, just an observation. There has certainly been plenty of times and places for it.

What I'm trying to say is, if you're our kid and pull some ridiculous crap, you're MUCH better off if I catch you as opposed to Chris.

Yet, I'm Meannie Mommy.

In fact, even when Chris is handing out the consequences (of his own choosing), it's still ME who's MEAN.

Daddy is not mean.

Daddy has "too many rules."

But he's not mean.

And besides, Daddy is funny.

Apparently I am never funny.

Already, there's a respect for the authority of Chris, but it's all quite personal when it comes from me.

So far, pointing out these inconsistencies and double-standards hasn't made much of an impression on Gideon.

I'm Meannie Mommy.

I respond, I'd rather be the Queen of Mean.

No, he says, you are the King.

Anyhow, I bring this up because this week I came across a fair amount of little boy perceptions from people who I assume are a lot older than 5. Men who say something are revered, while women who say something quite similiar are poopy stupid-faces (or foreheads, or whatever).

Ok, I see this every week, but this week stands out a little more.

You know what, I'm tired.

I'm just gonna blame their mean mamas and call it a night.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I slept almost the entire day. Got up a few times to check email and pick Gideon up from school. I ran the dish washer. Fed the cat. That's about it. I've been up for three hours and could go right back to sleep if I laid down. Despite all that sleep and waking up, I can't remember a single dream. Weird (for me).

April has been a pretty miserable month in terms of health. I hope May is different.

Yesterday I spent some time working on my "little pig bite" dream with someone who's really good at dream interpretation and I think now that I have a better grasp. A pig has many possible interpretations. There's the gluttony and uncleanliness angles. There's the connection to farms and earth (mud). There's pigs in literature: The 3 Little Pigs, Babe, Charlotte's Web. Also, I generally don't eat pork (personal preference, I'm, as Chris says, "ham crazy").

I had trouble fitting any of those meanings into the dream. None really felt right.

It was then suggested that pigs might represent fertility (Celtic, Chinese) and femininity (Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Norse, etc., squeal like pig, anyone?). That's more in line with a dream about pregnancy and birth. And if this is a dream about creative process (which is how I'm interpreting it), it's saying I've already been bitten, despite my denial. A small-town, masculine thinking was also pointed out: a narrow, I know-better-than-you, attitude, while having best intentions, is not taking everything into consideration. I only posted a synopsis of the dream on this blog, leaving out many of the "mundane" details. In the full-dream this is clearer.

So I have a man attitude that's delaying this birth. Not sure what exactly that is--cause I'm always right, but I'll try to think more like a lady and write tonight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My poem, "Questions for the Quest," is up at The Rumpus.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

i finally figured out that i should put my camera down and help my pig injured wife

swine power

My voice is fully back, so are my allergies--juicy sneezes.

Wanna make-out?

Or we could just talk.

Tomorrow a new poem of mine will appear at The Rumpus. This is my first published post-God Damsel poem. As I mentioned before, I haven't been particularly satisfied with what I've written these past few months. I feel like I'm chocked full of poems, but they're bottlenecked or stuck inside. What's been coming out isn't quite right. The poem appearing tomorrow is the best that I've done so far. My dreams lately are full of disconnection, cold-bloodedness, critical comments, denials, the devil--environments not conducive to writing. Well, the devil would be conducive, if I was examining or getting to know it, instead of fighting it.

Today, after a grueling morning at the dentist (the first of two appointments replacing all my old fillings with new ones), I took a nap and dreamed:

I'm very pregnant, overdue. My doctor put some kind second-skin, fabricy material over my stomach to speed up labor. I'm out with a bunch of people who are annoyed that they may have to drive me to the hospital. Chris is out-of-town on business. I call him up and tell him it's time. Then I'm in a parking garage, flagging down a man to drive me to the hospital. He seems put out, but agrees. I think he's worried about me yucking up his sports car. I get to the hospital and Chris is there waiting for me in the birthing room. I walk down the hall to my recovery suite. I must have paid extra, it's really nice, round-the-clock care. My uncle is there waiting for me, which is odd, but a nice gesture. I go to the bathroom to take off the second skin and to see if my water broke. Nurses and a toddler keep coming in, opening doors, disturbing my privacy. I get really frustrated. Someone from my suite yells that a large box of chocolates just arrived. I yell back that I'm kind of busy right now and would they please just leave it. A nurse has a band-aid. I ask what is it for--she says I have a little pig bite on my neck. I'm offended and insist that I certainly do not have a little pig bite on my neck.

* * *

I bet I could finally birth this baby if only I would acknowledge the little pig bite on my neck. Why would I have a little pig bite on my neck? Is this some kind of love hickey? If so, why am I making out with swine and why can't I remember?

devil pig

1. an individual who posesses devilish or swine powers. usually includes, but not limited to: squealing loudly, goring, listening to metal (Ie. Slayer, Metallica, Black Sabbath), and is usually insane.

The devil pigs on 2nd Anderson gored down Linkin Park.

2. The worst damn kind of pig there is

3. Belzibar the Pork of Darkness

Beware of Belzibar

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

the secret to my awp success

Since I shared this with 10 or so people at the conference, technically it's no longer a secret, but . . .

when I'm at AWP, I pretend I'm in a sci-fi movie. That way, pretty much nothing bothers me. When crazy shit happens, I say, well of course, the plot has been building up to this the whole time. When some man poet is lecherous, I say, yep, he's a regular Jabba the Hut. Then I imagine strangling him with his own chains.

My last Denver dream was this:

In a classroom, a bald man behaves strangely. I go to a desk outside the room and try to call campus security. I can't get through. I yell that we need an ambulance. Nobody seems particularly concerned. I notice that a reptilian alien is living in and peeking out of the man's skull. I don't let the man near me because I don't want to catch his reptilian-alien cooties. I see my father, he has the cooties too. I stay away. Then I notice the butterflies, they're spreading the aliens to everyone, soon everybody in the entire world will be taken over.

There's some business about me getting my hair done and my dismay that people are going about their business as normal, posting dorky FB status updates, etc.

Some women and I decide to make our last stand at my family's old cabin, the Chalet Ice and Deer in Seven Springs. I set up a lamp with a metal shiv to brain an alien. I tidy up, clear plastic cups off a coffee table, try to make the place a little more presentable and livable. Some women are going through the numerous kitchen utensils. Aside from the death lamp, it doesn't really feel like we're prepping for a fight.

Alien Overlords, I think I'm almost ready to concede and receive my braining.

Monday, April 12, 2010

your awp experience is (still) valid too

I'm waiting at SFO for Hugh & Mary's delayed plane to arrive. Finally have a few moments to write about AWP.

Since I've been critical in the past, I should say that the conference itself was much better organized than in years past. Things I liked: 1. The bookfair being in one room--this should be mandatory for any upcoming venue. 2. The thin supplement that I could carry to find tables and panels, instead of having to lug that heavy catalogue. 3. The bag. Sure, I didn't use it at the bookfair, but I also didn't leave it in my hotel room like I did last year.

I only walked out of one panel for suckiness. Technically I walked out of two, but the second (Johannes' & Jenny Boully's immigrant poetry panel) was because I had a coughing fit. I got some tea and returned for the end.

As for Denver, I liked the city itself, the people were really cool, but could not hack the altitude, or the dry air. Maybe I couldn't hack being so close to heaven, breathing in all that spirit. I took very good care of myself, I drank lots of water, ate regularly, drank little alcohol, slept a lot. And I was still sick the entire time, getting worse everyday, my legs covered in rashes, continually coughing up blood, nose bleeds--my voice weakening. As I sit here in San Francisco I already feel a thousand times better and that's coming straight off an airplane.

I'm sorry, but if you're ever having a wedding or party in Denver, don't bother inviting me, cause I'm not coming.

That's what kind of dampened my experience. I couldn't really communicate, at least not to the level that I usually do. It hurt to talk. So if you met me and was disappointed or thought I was abrupt or dismissive, my apologies. It was not my best game.

By noon on Saturday I completely lost my voice, didn't try to meet up with anyone for lunch, instead went to my room, ordered room service and sulked for a couple hours until I went Barbara Jane & Oscar's panel on poetry communities.

That said, I feel remarkably not depressed like I usually do after AWP. I appreciated the mellowness of this one. Very little drama--aside from the car accident that I was in on Thursday night. Major judgement lapse. Instead of calling a cab after the Cooper Dillon/Bloof/Noemi reading, I clown-carred it with 6 other poets. I sat on Jill's lap. We were all gigging how we haven't piled into a car like this since high school. Then we got hit by an airport shuttle. Slow speed. The car was damaged, but we were all fine.

I prayed a lot at AWP. I prayed for my voice for the Meadowlark reading. Thursday night I prayed gratitude that my dumb asssness didn't lead me into any serious harm. I mean, can you imagine if THAT was how I died? Like a god damn, idiot high schooler?

I'd never forgive myself.

Friday, April 9, 2010

If you missed me giving a reading with no voice last year in Chicago, it's your lucky day, tonight, in Denver, you can hear me give a reading with no voice. I'll be doing the tried and true Rebecca Loudon temporary fix, so if you see me eating a bag of potato chips and sipping orange juice beforehand, please don't judge me too harshly.


Last year I lost my voice from strain and boozing, this year I ARRIVED sans voice. It's like I started right where I left off at the last AWP. Apparently there's some unfinished business--something involving me shutting the fuck up and listening. The gods have spoken and I'm trying, I'm really trying, but it's difficult cause I REALLY like to talk.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

awp fortune sticks

You will shortly make a new friend to your great advantage.

Your best friend or lover will bring you success.

A man and woman will shortly annoy you.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Sadly I'm not participating in NaPoWriMo this year. Too many outstanding commitments, too much travel and too little time. I participated the last three years and wrote A LOT of poems, many ended up in God Damsel.

It's not that I couldn't use the push. I'm having a tough time writing poems that I'm satisfied with. My dreams suggest a certain unconnectedness and my inhabiting an aimless space, just sort of waiting. Although lately there have been confrontations with devils and the return of shadowy murderers. Maybe they'll chase my ass up the right tree. There haven't been any trees yet, just dark alleys, back seats of cars and underground barrooms.

I did receive a suggestion last night. Finally. After the bride insulted me (for something I didn't do and then said I couldn't help it because I was my mother's daughter), I stormed away to the bathroom. There was an old woman having trouble finding soap to wash her hands. I showed her where to find it. Then the woman who usually stands for jealousy appeared, tall, newly slender (from all the yoga she's been doing) and wearing a thong. She bent over right in front of me. I stormed out of the bathroom in disgust. (Yeah, lots of storming away in this dream) The groom came up and suggested that I collaborate with jealousy, that she's had a difficult time lately too, someone who loved her, died unexpectedly, and she was lonely.

Now I'm trying to figure out how one collaborates with jealousy.

The Rumpus is celebrating National Poetry Month. I'm featured on April 21. It's the only "new" poem I've been willing to submit for publication anywhere. Feel free to let me know what you think, cause I'm not so sure what I do.

I also have poems (from God Damsel) in the latest West Wind Review.

There's a new literary website called We Who Are About To Die. I'm one of the contributors. Sometime this week I'll post a conversation I'm working on with poet Hoa Nguyen.

My AWP swag just arrived--if you're going, be sure to come up and ask for yours. It's practical and something I'm pretty sure you can use. No Tell doesn't have a table. You'll have to approach me like a human being and introduce yourself. I'll be the lady with the violet highlights in her hair and (possibly) with that "I'm gonna hurl" expression.

I'll be reading on Friday night 7pm at the Meadowlark Poetry Marathon with katie degentesh • ben doller • sandra doller • chris davidson • daniel borzutsky • charles alexander • arielle greenberg • geoffrey gatza • ana božičević • aaron belz • peter davis • amy guth • kate greenstreet • kathleen ossip • susan schultz • tony trigilio • amy king • joseph harrington • james belflower • jeff t. johnson • chad parmenter • rachel loden • keith newton • janet holmes• luc simonic • tony robinson • steven schroeder • jorn ake • julie dill

Friday, April 2, 2010

farm camp carnage

A broken thumb!

Nobody knows how.

But how will I eat?

and write?

and type?