I have not kept my promise of posting here more regularly, but I’m okay with that (and know that you will forgive me). In the past month, I have been living – traveling, working, reading, writing – and I have been doing so without documenting it all here, which has been helpful. Now, I’m no Luddite – I have been posting things online, but I haven’t taken the time to really write a lengthy post, so let’s catch up.
I am finally doing some new writing, moving back and forth between two new sets of poems. One is a series of odd “self-portraits” as different nouns – as laundress, as naturalist, as devotee, as confession. I am pleased to say that two of these recent pieces were accepted by Sugared Water, a beautiful handmade journal that I really enjoy. The other series is a set of formal poems inspired by photographs I have taken of rock musicians. The first, “Triolet for Trent Reznor” will be featured in FreezeRay Press’s music anthology Again I Wait for This to Pull Apart, and I have been working on a villanelle inspired by Chris Cornell called “Feeling Minnesota.” I am, like many other writers, waiting for news on residency applications and contests and plain old submissions. I’ll keep you posted on any news.
I got to spend time with people I love over the past two weekends. First, time with family and friends at an annual gathering in New Orleans which includes the Voodoo Music Festival. Family included seeing my son, who was working at the festival but made some time for his parents anyway. (Did my mom heart good, of course.) I also got to see some favorite bands like Foo Fighters up close and personal – I will have some new photos to share once I have time to go through and edit them all. Then, this past weekend, I got to witness my friends Rachel and Donna finally get married after nine years of waiting for their union to be legal. It was an incredibly moving ceremony – outside, intimate, with both the officiant’s speech and the vows probably the best-crafted and thoughtful I have ever heard. Even the readings were from Galway Kinnell and e e cummings – this must be what happens when two writers get married by another writer!
I have been re-reading Madness, Rack & Honey by Mary Ruefle, and also savoring Blood Lyrics by Katie Ford. I can’t recommend this new book by Katie Ford enough – a stunning book of poems both intensely personal and bitingly political. And Mary Ruefle’s essays are worth returning to again and again – I especially have been savoring her comments on how poems end. I even read some Stephen King while in and out of airports the past two weekends – I forgot how much I enjoyed his prose. Effortless, engaging writing. I need to read more fiction over break – I would love recommendations for my winter vacation. Well-wrtten, but not too intellectual, please. :)
And, since we have gone three months without a kitchen due to major remodeling, I am positively giddy that I am supposed to have appliances by this weekend, even though some other things still need to be finished. Perhaps this weekend will bring, along with the cold weather, some roasted vegetables and something actually cooked on a flame instead of in a toaster oven or a microwave. It’s the little things, people. Life happens.