Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 18, 30X30

O beautiful morning light. The countryside so green. Brockport was so breath-taking yesterday.
The procession of Bradford pear trees in full bloom-- stunning holy suds, frilly white; equally stunning the sputter and cough of snow. I don't remember seeing beauty quite like this. Makes me forgive all the world's short comings.

Peter turned over the gardens on tax day, which is very early, and wasn't as taxing as he thought it would be(couldn't resist the pun). Our seed flats are started. We have our fingers crossed for a successful growing season. Oh, and good news found the Lilies of the Valley sprouting, but get this, they're caught in dandelion fists. So this is going to require some delicate surgery. Dandelions, what the Chinese aptly call Earth's nails, so hard to pry from where ever they decide to seed, which is everywhere when you're living in the country. In many ways, I'm grateful when I see this hardy survivor. Means our environment isn't full of poison.

Peggy Shumaker's poem "Long Before We Got Here, Long After We're Gone" was on Verse Daily on April 16, 2010. So you will have to go to archives to read it, but well worth the read. It's from her latest poetry collection Gnawed Bones (Red Hen Press). I'm going to do a review of this book in May. So stay tuned.

I'm still trying to keep up with the 30X30. Had to smile at Kelli Agodon's post, confessing that she was "writing a head" so she doesn't fall behind. She was up to 25 poems. So she could easily exceed the 30, right? Which means there may be an Olympic category for this. Kelli, you're setting a record!

Next week is the last week of the Spring semester. So much to do. We're having a lot of events: student art exhibit, Celebration of Words, final presentations, preparation for final exams, last papers . . . . The week will fly by. I wish the weather wasn't so distracting. Want to be outside, not stuck at a desk. I'm going to work for a couple hours, then go for a bike ride in the park.
Then come back and dive back in. I'm nearly done.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 12, 30X30

Irish Players of Rochester:

Over the weekend I went to see The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, directed by Jean Gordon Ryon at the MuCCC theater space. The show was wonderful. The nuances between actors made the play three dimensional. It's such a strong cast, and I'm certain they will bring home all the awards when they perform it at the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival in Chicago on May 21, 2010.

If you're in the Chicago area, plan on going to this upcoming festival of plays. Well worth it.


This week at St. John Fisher College, two Eastman School of Music Music for All Concerts.

April 13, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. in Wilson Formal Lounge. Will post the particulars later today.

April 15, 2010 at 7 p.m. in Wilson Formal Lounge,The Back Porch Trio, Michael Mah, clarinet, Georgina McKay Lodge, viola, and David Fisk, piano, will be playing the following selections:

Trio in E-flat Major for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, the "Kegelstatt"
K. 498, by W.A. Mozart

Selections from the 8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola and Piano, Op. 83, by Max Bruch

Hope to see you at both concerts. It’s free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

While you were away at AWP . . .

Geez, all the notes about AWP. . . Poets, you all need fainting couches. So many princes and princesses are suffering in Denver, who left the big pea under your mattresses? Who didn't?

Why did you go, if it's going to cause so much discomfort? The clue phone is ringing-- pick up. It's interesting to see how many PhDs just don't get it. For being intelligent people, you aren't that smart.

The only time I went to AWP, years ago in Albany, I had a grand time. I loved listening to the panel discussions and went to a lot of readings. First time, I heard Robert Wrigley and Sean Patrick Dougherty, among others. O wait, I remember John Montaigne's reading. He was a parade of drunk syllables, listing at the podium, with his shock of white hair.

And, I did go with someone I admire a great deal, she's an incredible poet,but needed to be in control of everything-- even driving my car. She told me when I could shower, go to sleep and eat. It was a very strange weekend marriage (Let me outta here-- by day 2), but hey, I hung in there. I didn't want to hurt her feelings. In the eye of her control stuff, she was vulnerable. So, I figured out a way to create some space for both of us, which worked out. ( This may be the secret to my marriage of nearly 33 years. I know how to get around things without kicking up too much dust.) That's what's humorous about the AWP posts, and yes,like a junkie, I'm reading them, wishing they would say something interesting-- not sniveling. Alas, the complaints read like geese stuck in a rainstorm. Okay, enough similes. Drink an egg for breakfast. I imagine some of you are quite hungover.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 7, 30X30

Today is my mother's birthday. If she were alive, she would be 100 years old. She'd be seeing me get old. Years ago, when Meghan and Nick were little, I invited my mom (dad too) over for her birthday secretly, so my other siblings wouldn't get jealous, and we asked Gary Jacobs, our neighbor at the time, to hitch up his surrey and take my mom on a birthday ride through the park. It was a glorious day, warm and sunny, and when mom saw the surrey coming down Moscow Road and turn into our driveway, she got up,without any fuss, really like a dream, she lifted herself into the surrey and off we went-- clippity-clop, clippity-clop. She was so happy. A surprise that really was a surprise.

I've been moseying around the gardens and have seen signs of perennials coming back. No Lilies of the Valley yet. I wounder if it's too early, or if I should be worried? Mind you, the warm weather has me snooping around earlier than usual. I'm anxious for the planting season. I want to be outside and digging in the dirt. I'm tired of carrying a heavy book bag of stuff wherever I go. I'm always lugging things around. It's getting annoying. I want to wear sandals and cotton sundresses. I want to be comfortable.

Meghan was home from NYC this past weekend. Great to see her and catch up on her adventures in the city. She has landed a part in a play Living Among the Natives, which will
be playing in Manhattan in May. Meghan plays a 10-year-old, Lulu Native. We will be going down to see the play as soon as the semester is over.

Still keeping up with this 30X30:

Poem titles :

7. "Constellation"

6. "A Beautiful Arrogance"

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 6, 30X30

Woke up early,early this morning, the moon looks like a wedge of a blood orange. Have been puttering around, writing email responses (this could be a job in itself!) and getting ready for today because it's always today. Going to work with a kindergarten and second grade class before I'm off to work with my college classes. Today is the beginning of registration for Fall 2010. Nothing like living ahead of one's own shadow.

Recent poems accepted in The Raleigh Review and Tar River Poetry; story included in Six Sentences (print issue).

I'm on task with the 30X30:

Here are the titles thus far:

5. "Something Brief, But Bright"

4. "In Morning’s Darkness, The Rooster Crows"

3. "When There’s Nothing To Say"

2. "How It Happens"

1."Humoring Warhol and his Camera"

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 4, 30X30

It's Easter Sunday. Cooler morning, but still warmer than it's suppose to be. In years past, the crocuses had mouths full of snow on Easter Sunday. I'm hoping this warmth means our summer will be warmer and drier than last year. We lost so many vegetables to the constant rain.

I'm hoping we will be able to take a canoe ride today. It didn't rain last night, as predicted, or if it did it was a light rain. Thunderstorms will be coming through mid-week. I have more papers to grade before the week begins. April is such a strict month. Too much to do.

Spent time yesterday tweaking poem #3. I keep looking at the list of prompts and feel like I've done them all. Of course, I haven't, but just thinking about them requires a certain effort, and that effort translates into something finished. This same reaction occurs when I study a store catalog. Once I flip through the pages, I feel like I've bought it all. Although, the other day, I did buy a new set of pots and pans. I've been thinking about burying all the old ones in the back yard. The three poems I've written thus far had nothing to do with the prompts. But I look at the list nonetheless. I don't follow recipes either. I imagine this project could be pointless and deadly for some. Best to keep a sense of humor and celebrate what works.

Now to work on number 4. Then get stuff ready for brunch.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 3, 30X30

Wrote a decent poem today. Surprising how upset can fuel the imagination. I'm wearing red socks. I'm making a statement in these socks. I'm putting my feet to the fire, so to speak. I'm feeling quite feisty, so watch out.

Yesterday, my sister listened to me complain. She's a good sister. She listened to the whole story without saying "What?" once, which is really good, because I can't stand repeating myself, over and over again, which I have to do when I'm with her. I'm not sure if she can't hear me, or if she has trouble understanding what I'm saying. My stories are complicated, as if I'm speaking in the same way Henry James writes. Funny too, because my story is another kind of "turn of the screw."

After listening to my whole story, my sister looked at me and said: Friendship is overrated.

Once again, my sister has the last word. She makes me laugh, which made me feel better.

Remember this: kindness does not beget kindness. In fact, it encourages opportunistic people to take advantage of you. Be clear in what you do for others. If it's from your heart, then it's a gift. But, if you think you will receive equal kindness in some future, then you need to say it upfront that you expect kindness in kind. I grew up with the notion of people helping each other; but, for many, this notion isn't shared. It's all about them. It's terrible to find out how truly shallow they are. It's so disappointing. I expected more from them. I really thought they were better people-- real human beings. Not true. They're savages.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1st: 30X30 for Poetry Month

Decided to take up April's 30X30 challenge. Woke early this morning and wrote two small world poems. I think I should count this as 2 for 1. A decent start. Maybe this year I will cross the finishing line.

Looking forward to a quiet weekend. Warm weather today, and it's going to be warmer tomorrow-- close to 80 degrees, which may make everything pop, pop, pop. The peepers have been thrilling all day-- alive, alive. It makes me very lonesome. A sound I associate with my brother dying so many years ago. Everything awakening and his awakening to something else. I miss him.

The lake looked inviting today. Made me want to take a boat ride. Hundreds of hawks flying overhead, migrating East. Breath-taking watching them swirl on the wind's wheel-- sometimes thirty of them and in a sudden shift-- gone.

In three weeks the semester will be over. O the candles will burn late every night from now to then. So many papers to grade, and final exams, and general busyness.