bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
In the course of thanking Bishop for some Brazilian champagne that helped rescue a party with thwarted matchmaking and sullen guests:

I sound like notes for a Mary McCarthy novel. Have you read her last in which Mary (divorced and remarried) is seduced by Wilson (divorced and remarried) after a Wellfleet reading of Racine's Berenice? In the last chapter Mary driving to Boston for an abortion is run into and killed by a red-headed Millay-like Cape poet driving on the wrong side of the road. Who can doubt that Mary really lives in her books? If she ever loses her mind, she'll never know which parts of her life she lived and which she wrote. She is somehow rather immense without her books ever being exactly good form or good imagination.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)

People gathered from near and far,
In small groups and large,
To share their fears and grief
And the darkness in their hearts.

A year like no other, this was,
Testing us beyond what we'd ever imagined.
Day after day, week after week,
We found ourselves growing
And becoming sturdy
Because there was no other choice.

[I sang this years ago. Something I learned today: the ritual it comes from was co-written by a Unitarian Universalist and "a self-described Quaker witch" (source:]
bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
The subject line is from a Paris Review interview of Yves Bonnefoy, who recently passed away.

Bonnefoy's translations of Yeats's poems are on my bedside bookshelf. I quoted from the very first one I read at

Also from the PR interview:

What shapes the poem, what makes it what it is . . . that depends on causes which are within me already, and have been for a long time, although I am not yet aware of them. I will understand them only once the work is finished.

I must point out that I can postpone the decision to start writing for years. It's when I'm at peace with the thoughts and the images that are generated by the previous book. I will not start writing again except when I notice that the last book is no longer sufficient to express or order my relationship with the world.
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)

A farm girl and poet from Chardon, Ohio, [Grace] Butcher won the national championship for 880 yards in 1958. In 1976, just past her 40th birthday, she made a solo 2,500-mile motorcycle trip through New England, and wrote a feature article for Sports Illustrated. In it she noted, "What life is for, if it is for anything, is to find out what you do well, and then do it, for heaven’s sake, before it’s too late."

Like Butcher, other first ladies of running did many things well. [Bobbi] Gibb is an accomplished painter and sculptor who also worked in the lab of the famed M.I.T. neuroscientist Jerome Lettvin. Julia Chase, the first woman to run a road race in the United States, in 1961, received a Ph.D. in zoology, studying bats and chimpanzees in the field. A quarter-century later, she earned a medical degree at 53 and switched to psychiatry.

-- Amby Burfoot in the New York Times
bronze_ribbons: three daffodiles learning left (daffodils)
The subject line is from Alison Luterman's "Telling Your Own Fortune."

Graceland shooting range

Elvis's shooting range, Graceland, Memphis, February 2012

I devoted most of my Saturday was to one of the tulip beds. There is more weeding and digging and hauling to be done -- it is not a large patch of dirt, but I have neglected it for several seasons. This year's shoots are looking scraggly, and I am not feeling confident about the two hollyhock seedlings I have been sheltering with pasta jars, but I shall start more plants after the cleaning and prepping, and spending time outside was my chief priority.

I also stopped by Woodland Wine Merchant for the Saturday tasting. Of today's samples, I liked the Domaine de Fontsainte Gris de Gris (a rosé) the best.

Over at nineveh_uk's DW and LJ, I'm enjoying the discussions about naff hymns and mondegreens and Boredom Increments for wedding singers.
bronze_ribbons: Wawrinka with towel in mixed zone (stan with towel)
Rattle has just published as its Sunday poem "Look at that, you son of a bitch" (the title comes from the late astronaut Edgar Mitchell, who threw a javelin on the moon 45 years and a few days ago).

Meanwhile, I've been training my lens on tennis players in Memphis:

And, from the Department of Tennis Can Provide a Metaphor for Anything -- here's a glimpse of partners getting their signals scrambled...


(Oliver Marach of Austria and Fabrice Martin of France)

...and one of Kei Nishikori strrrrrretching (and sliding and squeaking) his way out of trouble (eventually -- between Sam Querrey's unreturnable serves and Kei's tendency to hit wide/long during the first half hour, it was not a good first set for him):

Nishikori v. Querrey
bronze_ribbons: 18th century harpsichord (harpsichord)
[The subject line is from Lu Yu's "Autumn Thoughts," which Dawn Potter quotes at the end of her Thursday post.]

There is much going on that has been frustrating, frightening, or disheartening. But there has also been great happiness:

thirty years of friendship

My friend Daniel (left) was the groom at the wedding I attended in Brooklyn two weekends ago. We first met at a conference in 1985. (My honorary big brother, Steve, is the other guy in the photo. He was the officiant.)

My poem "O Clouds Unfold" has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

7x20 featured five pieces last week...

half... well as five pieces back in October:

Co-cola salad...
painting spells...
mother interred...
Persian calligraphy...
Code Name Taurus...

On a fandom note -- Peter Wimsey sighting, y'all! a Soviet film poster currently at the Jewish Museum in New York. Which one of you is going to explain that? ;)
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (DelPo on verge of oh smash)
The Cubs are inflicting the usual dose of October heartache/heartburn, so I'm going to pickle carrots instead. (There's also work to get through, but staying away from monitors for the next few innings seems like a good idea.)

There seems to be no escaping Thoreau today, albeit in texts that address the mythologizing of him. In Mark Caldwell's The Last Crusade: The War on Consumption, 1862-1954, his death from tuberculosis is presented as an example of a 19th-century tendency to cast such deaths as gentle, pure goings-into-the-good-night -- an erasure of what one could argue were the victims' true personalities (vigorous, worldly, earthy) when they were healthy. And Dawn Potter relays Katherine Schulz's observations about Thoreau, including thought-provoking comparisons of Walden to Prospect Park (neither being all that off the grid) and Thoreau to Laura Ingalls Wilder (fictional vs. real isolation).

(An extra layer to this, which I only just remembered: I'm attending a wedding later this year in Prospect Park... and the groom and the officiant and I participated together in a mock trial about thirty years ago where I was drafted to portray Thoreau. "But I haven't read any Thoreau." I forget how our classmates persuaded me that a quick trip to the library would give me enough to improvise with, but I vaguely recall them managing to make contrarian-ness sound like a compliment, and they later reassured me when my Thoreau turned out to be a terrible witness on behalf of Socrates [who was once again sentenced to death], because what I'd said as him was in character.)

Signal boost: 7x20 is seeking tweet-sized pieces by women and writers of color. Non-paying market.

On a related note, I'm the featured poet at 7x20 this week. So far:

Code Name Taurus...
Persian calligraphy

*peeks at scoreboard* FFS, Cubs. OK, I'm off to do some violence to root vegetables.
bronze_ribbons: 18th century harpsichord (harpsichord)
Lots happening: At Moonsick, my poem "Nowhere to Go" (trigger warning: harassment). Over at soundcloud, a song with my name. I'm hoping to get to Simchat Torah dinner and dancing Monday night, at a synagogue whose rabbi delivered the benediction at our new mayor's inauguration in Spanish
(his Twitter bio: "With a real southern (a.k.a. Argentinean) accent! :)").

My original plan for the evening had been to head across town for ice skating, but a wave of tiredness hit during dinner, so the new plan is to review tomorrow's music and then go fall asleep in the bathtub. But first, some photos in response to Upper Rubber Boot's 100 Untimed Books challenge (most of which is taking place over at [personal profile] zirconium, but it's nice to relax with something that doesn't require absolute order or comprehensiveness [she says, enjoying the lull before her next indexing gig]).

Prompt 19: same sex

This is a book I copyedited four years ago:

19 - same sex

Our new mayor officiated at the first SCOTUS-legalized same-sex ceremony in my county earlier this year. From the Scene's report:

Councilwoman At-Large Megan Barry opened a book--a copy of the works of William Makepeace Thackeray with the ceremony taped on some inside pages. This is standard procedure for the current mayoral contender, who has the authority to perform weddings as part of her standing as a council member; she always picks up a used book when she's asked to perform a wedding. She then presents the book, with the verbiage of the ceremony, to the newly nuptialized couple.

Prompt 20: travel

A book I couldn't resist after walking around the Tuileries: Fabrice Moireau's album of Paris

Prompt 20 - travel

I'm still periodically dipping into Anthony Glyn's The Seine. I couldn't resist sending the following excerpt to a friend yesterday:

Centuries of royal boredom have done something to the building, to its very stones; the place glows with boredom and the sensitive passer-by cannot but be aware of it. It is for this reason, of course, that the palace still survives. Nobody has ever cared enough about it to burn it down; even the Communards were half-hearted when it came to the Louvre.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
Just started reading this. It's a trilogy, each part corresponding to a mother-daughter relationship: Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder Lane, Madam C. J. Walker and A'Lelia Walker, and Marie Curie and Irène Joliot-Curie.

Wasn't sure what to expect, but I am enjoying it so far, having read the Wilder/Lane part over dinner. It's from Rose's point of view, and deals with (non)motherhood, (un)reliability of memories, and choosing what to include in a story (which carries a layer of self-reference here, natch, since Atkins is herself picking and choosing what to tell about Wilder and Lane).
bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
Those of you into both wolves and music might want to take a look at the artwork inspired by Judy Bertelsen's "Interval"...
bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
container basil

I wrapped up a big deliverable last night (yes, it was a US holiday, but you know what they say about freelancing -- you can work any 60 hours of the week you want...), and I have been correspondingly useless today -- which is okay, because there are worse fates than harvesting basil leaves for pesto while watching Wimbledon and ultimate frisbee on ESPN3.

Also, my crush on Jody Adams continues:

Something that leapt out from a recent NYT interview:

Early on, some guy kept hitting on me and when I said I wouldn't go out with him, he said, "You must be a lesbian." A young stupid kid hit me on the butt, and I said, "Don't ever do that again." And he said, "You tempted me." I have no tolerance and I fight. We have to teach women to do that. The first time someone crosses the line, we have to stand up and say, don't do that.

I don't know if I can get myself to Boston next June (the Early Music Festival is producing three Monteverdi operas, and a friend just announced the birth of his third child, and I haven't seen [personal profile] marginaliana since 2008, and ... the reasons are plenty, but we'll have to see how all the other moving parts shake out), but Rialto/Trade are definitely on the list. In the meantime, the blog produced by Jody and her husband is a splendid thing, and I hope to make the kale salad with plums, roquefort and walnuts soon.

In writing news, I just received my contributor's copy of the 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar, which includes my poem "Texas Instruments" (which, being a poem about my daddy, appropriately appears opposite the page for the week of Father's Day). Whee!
bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
Fourteen (and perhaps more by the time you see this) takes on Gerard Manley Hopkins's The Windhover, including mine (... minus the profane muttering about "falling paeonic rhythm, sprung and outriding" the tweeps were treated to ;-) ).

new poem

18/3/14 18:15
bronze_ribbons: Sveta kissing her French Open trophy (Kuz kiss)
The new issue of Goblin Fruit is up, it is beautiful, and it includes my poem "Spelling 'For Worse,'" both as text and recording:
bronze_ribbons: 18th century harpsichord (harpsichord)
I'm squeeing (which autocorrect wants to change to "squeezing"...)about Nic Sebastian's lovely reading of "Playing Duets with Heisenberg's Ghost," which is now up at The Poetry Storehouse.

There are also four other poems of mine at the Storehouse. The invitation: remix or adapt them or use them as springboards! (Or play with some of the other poets' pieces there...)
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
Quantum bunnies: My villanelle "Schrodinger's Top Hat" was selected as a finalist in the latest Goodreads poetry group contest; voting is open through April 1. (Thanks to everyone who's already promoted and/or voted!) There have been some very nice comments about both my poem and the whole shortlist; I was especially delighted to read that it moved someone to look up Schrodinger's cat.

[My friend Elaine made my week in like fashion last week when I sent the other members of our chamber choir a copy of Hans Ostrom's Emily Dickinson and Elvis Presley in Heaven (after joking-but-not-entirely during rehearsal about how Emily was ahead of her time. I don't remember what prompted it, but there was a fair amount of wordplay and sassing going on that night). She told me after Sunday warmup that she'd read it aloud to two groups since receiving it. If I hadn't been wearing heels and a skirt, I would've done cartwheels in front of the pulpit right then and there.]

UU ribbons: I went to the HUUmanists site to follow up on last summer's book-smUUggling campaign, and the word is that there are two projects in progress for General Assembly 2013. One is collecting banned books to supply an underground community library in Louisville; the other is a fabric art display, with panels "reflecting a theme (or cover art) from any of the designated Banned Books or children's books, or depicting any immigration rights project being conducted by a UU congregation or humanist group." It sounds like the coordinators are still accepting participants: "if you quilt, embroider, appliqué, cross stitch, or otherwise make images on fabric, WE CAN USE YOUR TALENTS."

[Another bit of good news: the UU Congregation of Cookeville will become officially affiliated with the UUA this year! Some of you may recall that I helped coordinate around three dozen services for them some years ago -- I am so thrilled that they are now a solid faith presence on the Highland Rim.]
bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (DelPo on verge of oh smash)
[Subject line from Mary Jo Salter's "Alternating Currents," a long poem (12 pages) about Helen Keller, Alexander Graham Bell, Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes, and more, dedicated to the memory of Jeremy Brett; in A Kiss in Space, 1999]

[personal profile] okrablossom included a poem about Irene Adler in the poetry reading she, I, and Joanne Merriam conducted at the Nashville Public Library last Saturday.

Also at the other journal: assorted photos of flowers and various notes.

Other poetry-related goings-on:

  • Two new poems, "A Multiple of Sorrows" and "Good Morning," were published Monday at Houseboat (halfway down the page)

  • My sonnet "Leftovers" is one of six finalists in the current poetry contest at Goodreads. Voting is open until March 31.

  • [personal profile] jjhunter's hosting "How Are You?" In Haiku.

  • The epub (aka Nook-compatible) edition of the book was released this past weekend.

  • This entry has been brought to you by the Avoidance of Committee Work Department. (But the meeting's in less than two hours, so I'd better get back to it. Hang in there, me loves!)
    bronze_ribbons: knife with bronze ribbons (bribbons)
    The PDF edition of my book has been released! It is available at Smashwords. US$4.99 gets you 41 pages of poetry (including "Displacement," a poem about physics accepted almost a decade ago for an anthology about blowjobs that somehow never made it to press. What are you waiting for? [grin]).

    (Kindle and epub editions coming soon. I will be sending postcards of the cover to anyone wanting one -- just send me your mailing address via PM or e-mail.)

    :-) :-) :-)
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    In the February 21 print issue of Women's Wear Daily, Lorna Koski has a full-page feature on Pioneers of the Possible, a book by Angela M. Nazarian on twenty visionary women, including Taiwanese Dharma Master Cheng Yen, Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, and Simone de Beauvoir. I'm mulling over this paragraph in particular:

    One insight that has come to her, Nazarian notes, is that the most impressive women are not striving for balance, but for fullness in their lives. "They pack their lives with things that are really meaningful," she says. "They concentrate on their strengths; they know what their talents are, so they aren't so bothered by their weaknesses."

    (I'm not sure this is a helpful construct for me, but it is thought-provoking. I do like the quote from Estée Lauder that ends the article: "If you want to succeed, make the best of what you have. That's a secret to beauty, as well.")

    I became curious about Maria Nazos's A Hymn that Meanders after reading her essays at Boxcar, in particular "Silence in the Rough: When Your First Book Breaks Through the Truth." It contains bold, lush lovesongs about and elegies of broken people, and reminds me quite a bit of Lynda Hull's work. My eyes were probably as round as the proverbial saucers by the time I finished reading "My Mother's Nipples," and I also marked "Mink Rooftop," because of these lines: "Now I'm stuck / in this room telling myself we were more than two broken sticks rubbing / together.

    Back to WWD. In the February 22 issue, Huang Hung writes about Guo Pei. My kind of gal:

    Guo's husband is a Taiwanese businessman who runs a family textiles business. "When we got engaged," Guo said, smiling, "he asked me whether I wanted a rock on my finger or 50,000 yards of free fabric. I took the fabric."

    Finally updated the front page of my website and the writing-for-hire resume. Time now for errands...

    This entry was originally posted at
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    One of the things I learned last month is that feathers shed a lot. The debris made me think of grade school art classes:

    feathers and bits

    I've been dipping into The Best American Poetry 2011 a couple of times a week the past couple of weeks. The poem that has resonated the most with me so far is Mary Ruefle's "Provenance," which begins, "In the fifth grade / I made a horse of papier-mâché / and painted it white / and named it Aurora..." (That part I don't relate to so much, but I was fully hooked with "I did not want to give her anything," and the last three lines -- yes, yes, and yes.)

    Ruefle's own website looks like a lot of fun -- among other things, it features some of her "erasure books," in which she alters other people's volumes with deletions and additions.

    This entry was originally posted at


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