Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Great Poetry Weekend

I found out this weekend that Juked is taking two of my poems: "Spot the Differences Puzzle: The Butcher Shops" and "Mumble."

I finished two poems on the same day yesterday. Usually, I'll work on a bunch and one will sort of start seeming more "done" than the others and I will work on that one until it is finished. This time, two were neck and neck the whole time so I finshed them on the same day. One of them is for Thema's upcoming issue (Theme: "Everybody Quit")and has to be postmarked by March 1, so I think that has some influence. This has only happened once before, and a Thema deadline was involved that time too.

My new poetry group had our first meeting on Sunday, and it went really well. I'm excited to have some local poets to hang out with.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I can't decide which poem I like better: "Eating Together" or "Eating Alone."

Eating Together
--Li-Young Lee

In the steamer is the trout
seasoned with slivers of ginger,
two sprigs of green onion, and sesame oil.
We shall eat it with rice for lunch,
brothers, sister, my mother who will
taste the sweetest meat of the head,
holding it between her fingers
deftly, the way my father did
weeks ago. Then he lay down
to sleep like a snow-covered road
winding through pines older than him,
without any travelers, and lonely for no one.

Eating Alone
--Li-Young Lee

I've pulled the last of the year's young onions.
The garden is bare now. The ground is cold,
brown and old. What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
eye. I turn, a cardinal vanishes.
By the cellar door, I wash the onions,
then drink from the icy metal spigot.

Once, years back, I walked beside my father
among the windfall pears. I can't recall
our words. We may have strolled in silence. But
I still see him bend that way-left hand braced
on knee, creaky-to lift and hold to my
eye a rotten pear. In it, a hornet
spun crazily, glazed in slow, glistening juice.

It was my father I saw this morning
waving to me from the trees. I almost
called to him, until I came close enough
to see the shovel, leaning where I had
left it, in the flickering, deep green shade.

White rice steaming, almost done. Sweet green peas
fried in onions. Shrimp braised in sesame
oil and garlic. And my own loneliness.
What more could I, a young man, want.

Day Jobs

I am reading Li-Young Lee this week (love him). Reporters usually make a big deal out of a poet’s day job when it is outside academia, so I’m surprised I haven’t heard much about Lee’s working at a warehouse.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Local libraries

I guess I've been spoiled by having great libraries nearby in the various places I've lived. I was shocked when I went to three local branches of the library here in Austin and saw that my modest poetry collection is bigger than the three of them put together.

I still haven't been to the main branch yet. People tell me it's a great library. I also saw a photo of it, and it has four floors! With four floors, there has to be more than a couple shelves of poetry, right?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Yesterday in the mail I got a 5-pack of Rattle magazine and the new issues of New York Quarterly (thanks for the recommendation, Jenni!) and Canary.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Hanging Man

By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me.
I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet.

The nights snapped out of sight like a lizard’s eyelid:
A world of bald white days in a shadeless socket.

A vulturous boredom pinned me in this tree.
If he were I, he would do what I did.

--Sylvia Plath

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite

I was reading about my favorite Beatles song on Wikipedia, and found out that The Beatles wrote it about this awesome antique poster (click the photo to see more detail):

Monday, February 05, 2007

Can I touch your raiment?

The show that started my love of bad TV was an awesome (horrible) Canadian show on Nickelodeon called Fifteen. I was so glad to find clips and episodes on Youtube.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Alter Ego

I found out that the sweet, mild-mannered tech at my vet's office is the captain of a roller derby team.