Sunday, May 26, 2013


photo by K. Iuppa

Lilacs so sweet, love this time of year.  The fragrance of those heavy heads, nodding in the lake wind.  I'm going to clip some and bring this bit of heaven inside.

To paint this arrangement before the blossoms melt away.  This weekend has hours of charity.  I can take my time and be a part of the work I'm doing.  Without rush or distraction, the switch of  intention becomes something more satisfying.  The list of things to do are crossed off accomplishments rather than the nag of what else needs to be done.

Yesterday planted: Brussels sprouts (aka jingle bells), red cabbage, broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, collards, kale, Swiss chard,cherry bomb peppers, Aristole basil, and rosemary.

I think the physical work unlocks my imagination.  I have written three new lyrical essays and several poems this week.  If I can keep this rhythm up, I will have a very restful and productive summer. Make it so.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Nature Vs Human Nature

Photo: K.Iuppa

Planting the gardens this week.  Nearly finished. Yesterday's rain kept us inside writing.  I have finished several major projects. This morning, my shoulders feel lighter, my arms outstretch. Face up to the sun.

What's left to plant: broccoli, yellow squash and zucchini (once again, we have too many plants) green beans, kale, swiss chard. We have lists everywhere.  What is in, what is left out.  We have argued about the South garden which hosts all of our vine plants.  Me (protesting) :  Pumpkin leaves are the size of heavy duty dinner plates, squash plants' leaves are dessert size; cucumber leaves are doll plates.  You cannot put the cucumbers next to pumpkins. Don't you remember, I couldn't find the cucumbers last year. Everything sprawls.  I think Peter takes the bible verse too literally.  Cast seeds and see what grows.  This has been his motto for years.

My oldest grandson Brian came over on Thursday and helped us out, making  the last of the North garden's rows. We put down paper and fabric, in our endeavor to cut down on the healthy weed population, which has (historically) kicked my can.  The past two years, we have been experimenting with this paper/fabric
method and the weeding has been cut in half.  Now we're looking forward to this year's carefree solution.
What I'm hoping for is good weather and baskets of tomatoes by August.  My sister Andrea is coming home for her birthday and we plan on celebrating her day, all week long.  Come Sun, Come Fair Weather.

* * *

A new kitten has joined us.  Someone dropped this kitten in the woods and she found her way to our door.
Her name is Cat Benatar because Meghan was singing "Give It Your Best Shot" while doing the dishes and she (the cat) answered her.   Meghan despite her allergies is a cat whisperer.  At first Cat  was leery of us.  But she let me pick her up and now she is settling in.  I think she's a she.  She looks like a girl. Charlie and Carmelita are getting along with her.  Oh funny, just realized they all have "C" names.

* * *
Mindful Quote of the Day:

“When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way. But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us. But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order.” ~ Shunryu Suzuki

* * *

Make this weekend memorable.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Photo Album: Where Are You?

Photo of my father, 1973.  Not sure where they (he and my mom) were traveling.  I was a young mother then, with a blonde baby boy, in a marriage that wouldn't last beyond four years.  My father is handsome here.  He would live 26 more years after this picture was taken.  He loved his life.  He loved my mother.

Looking at this picture, I wonder if he's scared of the camels.  I would be, knowing full well that they can scritched up a loogey and spit with dead-eye aim!

I wonder if he rode this camel?  Is that what they're preparing to do?

My grandson Jack has this look.  I saw it the other day at his Spring concert. Jack has so many gestures that are my father.  The way he waves hello and nods his head and smiles, in a way that is inward and outward smiling-- a look of glad to see you and you and you.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction

Dear Gentle Readers~

Several years ago, I wrote an essay called "Daylight Savings Time" and it was published in the third anthology edited by Judith Kitchen called Short Takes, Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction.

In the past two months, I saw a lot of searches for this essay, and some of those seeking answers must have stopped by here.   But, a week or so ago, I looked back and found all of them.  There was a creative nonfiction class at Ohio University that assigned this text and had the students maintain response blogs.

Here's an example from Elinor Addison James.  Her blog: Not Harmful If Ingested: Short Takes:

"Analysis of "Daylight Savings Time"

 In this essay Iuppa describes the action and setting of six different fragments to paint an entire one day/scene of two individuals' journey in a 1968 Volkswagon bus in October. Her writing style and organization of the breaks seems very poetic and lyrical. Each paragraph represents a little chunk of the scene, yet stands by itself like the stanza of a poem. Her diction and variation of sentences are beautiful and capture the pace of the memory and/or action of each fragment. For example, in the first paragraph, there is: "Air pungent and sharp with its smells of wet leaves and earth and distant chimney smoke is loaded with melancholy, just lingering to be breathed in and set loose in a sudden gush, a thought of someone not quite forgotten, someone whose embrace felt dangerous and ticklish like electricity, like power surge before blackout." Although rather lengthy, this is a beautiful sentence with all the descriptions, power, flow . . . Still captures this same meaning in her short sentences, like in her last fragment, "There is always one. One left to know this. One left to keep quiet." She speaks of loss and the memory of the person that she is addressing throughout the story as "you." Altogether the writing style and organization embodies this memory and sense loss in a beautiful and break-taking yet sorrowful way."

I was impressed by all of the students' efforts; their voices"heard" in a public space.  Kudos to the professor at Ohio University for this project. Found Miss Elinor 's blog first and responded to her entry.  I do hope she continues using the blog beyond her class obligation.  I like the idea of mini reviews.  Certainly, the practice
hones critical writing and reading skills.

 Lastly, I am honored and  thrilled that these students selected my work to respond to in their course work.  The essay isn't easy, yet they found the essence of what was and wasn't being said about love.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sound the Golden Trumpets!

Sound the Golden Trumpets!

My prose chapbook Between Worlds will be released next week at the upcoming Genesee Reading Series at Writers and Books on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.

Please come and celebrate this with me.  See full details Listed below.

Also, in publishing news, my work Has been accepted into the following upcoming anthologies, Ekphrastia Gone Wild, edited by Rick Lupert and
Lummox Press, edited by RD Armstrong; recent poems published or forthcoming in Napalm & Novacain, edited by A.J. Huffman, Poetry Haiku (UK) edited by Nancy May,Pound of Flash, edited by A.J.Huffman, Jellyfish Whispers, edited by A.J.Huffman, & Poetry Pacifica, edited by Changming Yuan; my micro chapbook: How Deeply They Delve,the song of one day has been accepted by Origami Poems Project.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

C'est Fini! Spring Semester 2013! Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
                                                        -- Buddha


The Spring Semester is over.  
   Have a cookie, dearies!

 Photo: by K. Iuppa.  Chocolate Chip Cookie Temptress!

Looking forward to some upcoming events this week in Rochester:

Authors Aloud!: Presents ML Liebler and Wyote Monk!

Hosted by: The Little Theatre  Tuesday, May 07, 2013
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Free and open to the public

A collaborative program of Writers & Books and The Little Theatre, Authors Aloud! brings two area authors each month to The Little Theatre Cafe.

Detroit Poet & Rock Poet M. L. Liebler will perform with Grammy Winning Eminem Producer, Musician and Co-Writer Steve King. Liebler & King are part of M. L. Liebler & The Coyote Monk Poetry Band made up of some of Detroit’s best known, award winning musicians. In Rochester they perform as a duo Wyote Monk with special guest acclaimed poet Sean Thomas Dougherty.

 JCC CenterStage:

Funny Girl

May 4-19, 2013

Music by Jule Styne, Lyrics by Bob Merrill, Book by Isobel Lennart
Featuring a beloved score of classics including "I'm the Greatest Star," "Don't Rain on My Parade" and "People," this legendary musical celebrates the meteoric rise of comedienne and Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice. A rags-to-riches tale of sheer determination and the quest for fame...and love.
Directed by JCC Artistic Director Ralph Meranto, and featuring the incomparable Brynn Lucas as Fanny, this is certain to be one unforgettable production. Shows will sell out.
  • Saturday, May 4 at 8 PM
    (This performance no longer available for online sales. Call during JCC business hours.) 
  • Sunday, May 5 at 2 PM
    (This performance no longer available for online sales. Call during JCC business hours.)
  • Thursday, May 9 at 7 PM (less than 50 seats remaining. Hurry.)
  • Saturday, May 11 at 8 PM
  • Sunday, May 12 at 2 PM
  • Thursday, May 16 at 7 PM
  • Saturday, May 18 at 8 PM
  • Sunday, May 19 at 2 PM
Directed by Ralph Meranto, Choreography by Meggins Kelley, Musical Direction by Brian Clickner
For tickets, call (585) 461-2000 during JCC hours or go online and order.

****This show is not to be missed.

Next Week:

Genesee Reading Series: MJ Iuppa & Celeste Helene Schantz 

Launch of my new prose chapbook Between Worlds (Foothills Publishing) price $10.00. 

Hosted by: Wanda Schubmehl , Tuesday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m.
Member's Price: $ 3.00
General Public Price: $ 6.00

What an opportunity the Genesee Reading Series presents this month!  Well-known and beloved MJ Iuppa reads from a new book with emerging, not-to-be-missed Celeste Helene Schantz.  Our celebration of poetry extends into May, as these two poets show us why poetry still matters.
M.J.Iuppa lives on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario, where for the past eight years, she and her husband, Peter Tonery, have been committed to food sustainability.  Her most recent poems have appeared in Poetry East, The Chariton Review. Tar River Poetry, Blueline, The Prose Poem Project, and The Centrifugal Eye, among others.  Her chapbook As the Crow Flies appeared in 2008 (FootHills Publishing), and her second full length collection, Within Reach, was published in 2010 by Cherry Grove Collections.  A prose chapbook, Between Worlds, will be published in 2013 by FootHills.  She served as the poetry advisor (2007-2012) for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), and since 1986, has worked as a teaching artist in the schools, K-12, for a variety of agencies ( RCSD, BOCES 2, Genesee Valley BOCES, Writers & Books, Project U.N.I.Q.U.E. and V.I.T.A.L. programs). Currently, she is Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Visual and Performing Arts Minor program at St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY.
Celeste Helene Schantz is a member of the Board of Directors of Just Poets.  Her work appears in the groups’ annual journal, Le Mot Juste. Her essay, “Lines of Descent,” selected as a part of Story Walk at the Memorial Art Gallery of Rochester, tells the tale of how she learned about her African slave and Native American ancestors and how her family came to Upstate New York.  In 2012 she was a finalist in the Cultural Center of Cape Cod’s National Poetry Competition, judged by Naomi Shihab Nye. In March, Celeste was a participant in the Eastman School of Music’s Women in Music festival, which this year featured Pulitzer Prize winning composer Melinda Wagner.  She has been chosen by poet and novelist Marge Piercy to participate in her Intensive poetry workshop at Cape Cod. Celeste lives in Fairport with her son Evan, and is currently at work on her first book of poetry.