Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Identifying More With the Pigs

DESPOT- absolute ruler
DEM- people
CARDI- heart
STA- to stand

Where am I going with this?
Imagine this was a subversive poem.

Taking a break from working on my essay about revising a poem. I decided to list the poetic devices I used from draft to draft, documenting the increasing density of poetic diction.
The poem I chose to write about has purposeful line breaks, a nod (fourteen lines, the last two heading off as envoy for the poem into the lived future of the reader with any sort of luck) to the sonnet form, active verbs, personification, rhythm of a personal persuasion, and the neat trick of addressing the poem to its subject, a gorilla, which (who?) I have personified.

I am fond of this poem. I feel proud of having written this poem. Writing about the process of making this poem is making me question my authenticity as a poet. Where are the metaphors? alliteration? assonance? Cases could be made, but truth would be stretched. I probably was about what I am often about when writing a poem, which is to say taking a large shapeless blob of pen scratching and prying off more than half the words. I never know at the outset what I mean to do outside of move the pen across paper to see what shows up. Like the lemon juice writing that magically became visible when your mother ironed the paper. With any luck you had not written "I hate mom" or actual swear words. No worries about me, I was very careful. I am no longer careful with words onto paper. I get it all out there. Easier to x something out than coax a thought into the pen with the pigs already snorting and rolling around. I don't think about my process so much as slosh through the mud taking inventory and throwing the inedibles over the fence. I guess I identify more with the pigs than their keeper.

Writing about my process makes me see that I believe things about making poems:
remove all unnecessary words
use the most accurate word
even if I don't stick to a particular meter, I make decisions based on the rhythm of the poem as I say it aloud.
I make line break decisions based on rhythm and suspense, not, "uh, this looks long enough."
Words have meanings but they also have size and shape and sound and history and all of these qualities influence my choices.
A poem is a piece of visual art.
The title matters.
A poem is no place for an instructional filmstrip or power point presentation.
A poem should have music in it and mystery and intuitive leaps and it should be somehow beautiful.
The poem should read as though it was made effortlessly but put a hell of a lot of effort into making the poem that sounds inevitable.
Be as concise as possible without sacrificing any music. Turn up the music.
Don't allow your reader to believe you think she is an idiot.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fibreglas resin: it isn't just for patching your boat anymore

"Boy", fiberglas resin sculpture by hyper-realist sculptor Ron Mueck, part of the Millenium Exhibition in London.

I Stopped Waiting for Godot at Intermission

DATELINE: Santa Cruz, California, May, 1971
A stunningly defiant and revolutionarily brazen production of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" took the stage at the UCSC Little Theater this evening. Vladimir and Estragon were absurd as ever, but played by women.

One of my housemates photographed the actors in costume in our yard for display in the theater lobby. I, who did not go to school and did not go to work, was recruited to black the edges of the card stock he mounted the photos on with a Flair pen. I felt connected to the production, and was given a free ticket for my artistic contribution, so I went. By myself. The story of why I, nineteen years old, was not in school, though registered for that semester at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, is theater of the absurd in itself. Depressing theater of the absurd. I would argue there is no other kind of theater of the absurd. In fact, the point theater of the absurd wants to rub our little noses in seems to me so intuitively obvious and as foregone as conclusions go that it is pointless. Ha!

Vladimir and Estragon stood around, spoke their bits, waited. I squirmed in my seat. The lights went up and I walked home. My housemate commented later that my leaving at intermission was wise as the second act carried on pretty much the same way. I had thought the play was over.

Prior to that time I had imagined myself an intellectual. I had read every book in my parents' bookshelf, including 1984, but excluding most volumes of the Encyclopedia Brittanica, by the time I was in 8th grade. Samuel Beckett felled me. Why was he doing what he was doing? Well, yeah, that absurd thing, but why was he belaboring the point? Was he good? Why was he good? Why didn't I get him? I was proud to see women play these famous roles, but what was the point? If I took not having a point as the ground we stand on in life, which I did, why not do something else with work we create? Is this not a bit like pathetic fallacy? Or that other idea, where the writer mimics an inadequacy of some kind, let's say the production of boredom, to make the point that people were bored, which is supposed to be a writing deficit not a part of writing, I thought, to celebrate.

Years later, friends and I went to see "Texts for Nothing" at the Seattle Rep. These texts were not intended for the stage, Beckett had thought them "abortive," but Bill Irwin and his collaborators brought four of these to the stage. Bill Irwin is a terrific physical comedian with a lot of verve and wit, and I thought if anyone could guide me into an appreciation of Samuel Beckett he could. As we walked to our seats, my sig oth said, "uh oh," and pointed to the hole center stage. "You know that where he's going to end up, just a head sticking out of that hole." I was enjoying a bit of twilight sleep by the time Bill Irwin was neck-deep in that hole.

Is this a personal failure? I signalled my peers that I was intellectually precocious by reading Albert Camus's The Stranger in ninth grade, no comment on our chief of state overtly intended. Let it wobble in your near consciousness. For further exploration of that topic I recommend Adam Gopnik's "Talk of the Town" piece in last week's New Yorker.

I don't believe texts are for nothing. Who cares if there is no guiding hand up there to grant us meaning with a wiggle of his/her disinterested pointer finger? "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" is where I go with absurdity. Absurdity = given. What can I do with my time that makes sense to me? A sense I create out of a hierarchy of goods and needs that has human basis - ah secular humanist blast blast blast - but wait, not for Godot, who isn't coming even in the second act, but, oh and then there are those who are lit by evil - yeah, six year old girls, say, or world domination, or destructive fires, but let's say I give you a test and you pass, so given that you are this good kind of no evil doing person, then I say get out there and try out your voice on the world. I will too. Ready, go.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Materialism and Hip Surgery

In 1994, my sig oth and I were traveling in England. We had happened upon Charles Ware's Morris Minor Centre in Bath, England, where I went into paroxysms of bliss at the sight of dozens of Morris Minors: Travelers, Saloons, Lorries, Convertibles, unexpectedly and beside the main road to Brighton. Unable to produce sounds identifiable as words, I gestured wildly until my sig oth turned our rental car back around so I could walk among the field of cars. Dorothy and the poppies.

A couple of days later in the Lakes District, my shrewd sig oth said if I would go ahead with the hip replacement surgeries I was putting off (fear of losing consciousness and my real bone femurs, etc.) he would buy me a Morris Minor, and not make any negative remarks about the uselessness or danger of the car. He didn't articulate that last, but I have known this man a long time. Called Charles Ware nearly immediately, but the dove gray saloon I felt especially blissed over had already been sold. We returned to the US, I scheduled the first of my two hip replacement surgeries, and began a series of wish list faxes to Bath. March 13, 1995 I had surgery. A week later, my car arrived at the Port of Tacoma, where it was put into seven day quarantine by the Department of Agriculture. I think it was the Department of Agriculture. I was on three weeks of house arrest, but when Morris's week was up, we went to get it. Better than I'd imagined. Shinier, cuter, entirely mine.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Making Ready to Part with the Maroon Saloon

I have put an ad on the Classic Cars part of the Auto Trader website, so have seriously launched the process of selling HAM. I had a seven day free ad on Craig's List which brought one lookilou to my home to grind the gears and nervously steer my little car around a couple of blocks while I nervously sat in the passenger seat wanting to yank the controls away from him. We had a conversation about old British cars and braking before he had to apply brakes, so that went swell. When we got back to my carport he invited me to return HAM to its slot, which was a wise decision, then made noises about getting back to me.

Yesterday, sun out, chores done, I set off with car and camera to document HAM's charms in alluring locales. That house I covet on 39th Avenue! I parked HAM in front of it and shot a couple of cute ones. The Arboretum! Many stops in there, including the parking lot of the visitors center where I would have liked to pull up to the door. Every parking pull out in the Arboretum has a prominently displayed and large forest green garbage can with its white plastic slip hanging out between can and dome lid. I wanted to park directly in front of the handsome old Tudor style building on the upper campus of Bush School, or "Helen Bush School" as we knew it when I was a child, when it was an unapproachable upper echelon facility. My best friend's mother sewed the blue sailcloth jumpers Helen Bush School girls wore for uniforms, which was as close to association as I came then. Yesterday there were orange traffic cones barring access to the driveway. I continued on Lake Washington Blvd. to where it intersects with Hillside Drive and got a shot there with a smidge of pocket park foliage and wink of lake beyond.

But now there is an ad seriously posted and I have received my first bogus offer to purchase, which read:

Pls i want to confirm if your car is still available for sale,so if it is get back to me with your fime price for my husband view and payment to follow asap.
Mrs Jones.
SENDER'S NAME: Berty Jones
TELEPHONE: Buyer did not Provide

The wonderful world of internet commerce. I wouldn't reply even if I knew what a fime price might be.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Correcting an Error and Feeling Willing to Make More

On this day in 1875, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel. In twenty-one hours and forty-five minutes, he swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France. Nine years later, he drowned in Niagara Falls, trying to swim across and under the churning water.

I realize I do not know how the rate is related to strokes per minute, but will post this finding once I learn as I know closet coxswains are taking notes as they dream of sitting in the stern of a very long narrow boat with eight (or four) tiring rowers eager to hear encouragement, cajoling, counting, anything actually to distract them from the number of minutes left to row as arms, backs, legs talk with greater and greater urgently about the need to cease punishing them and let up, please let up.

I ran us into zero, zilch, zip buoys today. There were boys out in a motor boat, one in the water, sometimes waterskiing, at which time the boat offered us its wake to wobble over, sometimes gawking at us as we passed on either side, two coxed eights intent on our south homebound course. Water was flat, weather warmish, sky clear, Mount Rainier's dome poked out of a cloud bouquet like a cauliflower in its nest of large ruffly leaves. I didn't hear the coach say to head toward the fishing pier, made a wavy motion with my hand to say I didn't hear when I should have put hand to ear so she though I'd heard then talked to me through the megaphone as I headed us dumbly home rather than back north again. All was resolved. Someone in my boat said, "you're her mom, tell her to be quiet!" which made me chuckle but not do any such thing. We learned how to do a river turn - rowers called it a "chop turn" but Julia said if we wanted to sound like we know what's what, we should call it a river turn. In a narrow place, for example a river, you spin the boat by dropping the oar in, lifting it out, tediously and together for a very long time - turning in a port direction you would have ports to back, starboards to row, but rather than backing and moving in a wide circle you pivot tightly and by wee wee increments. I got to conduct with arms out, but we all got bored and exhausted about a third of the way around and returned to ordinary spin so we could head to the dock where there was no wind and I got to steer us toward the north end of the south dock with very little difficulty. Next will be getting into my mind who I want to have tap their oar to move us in the direction I want on short notice so I don't have to say crew-confidence-deflating things like, "I have just gone brain dead. I want to move the bow to port, now what?"

Thursday, August 24, 2006

SCRABBLE Scramble in the Newspaper

Attempting this morning to do the scrabble gram in the newspaper - coming out with 69 points I see that a "par" score is 140-150, with a doozirama 100% score of 220. Absolute despondence. I mean it was upsetting to read again that we are fracking the hell out of foreign lands and that a Canadian-born wife beater released from jail intends to reunite with his beloved so bludgeoned she has no memory of him, but word games are meant to buck us the heck up and restate that all is well with the world if we can whisk letters around briskly (time limit of 20 minutes) and succeed ever so individually on this completely and totally nonessential level, allowing us to face the day smugly and securely, our private gold star pinned to the inside of our jacket (it is cool today) for protection.









I added up max scores given what I thought were the rules and came up with 76 possible total points, NOT 223. Reading more closely, I see that if you use all seven letters for any word you get 50 bonus points. Aha. I'm in with the in crowd even though I did not ever use all seven letters. I have also never pummeled anybody nor told the State of Washington my spouse had MS, therefore they should pay me money to take care of her, let alone not allowed them in to my boat, let alone come out of jail and declared I want what she wants and that she wants me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Slightly At a Tilt

Into the fours this morning, three of us coxing (one per boat) and it was thrilling really to be each by each by each, rowers pulling like mad, boats riding high atop the early morning chop on Lake Washington, our points set to where the floating bridge meets the shore of Mercer Island, clouds low and protective over our heads, coach whizzing alongside in her launch urging long strong strokes through her megaphone and keeping us advised of rates as none of the boats seemed to have a working whirligig underneath the stroke seat that keeps counts of rates. The one in the boat I persist in remembering as being named the Blue Thunder which I know is wrong, registered rates, but veered crazily from 18 to 49 from catch to catch so that I only payed attention to it for the charge of reporting to the stroke, who is a long time rower with a metronome in her head, that she was doing 37 strokes a minute in an informational tone of voice. A far better day on the water than last Friday, when an experienced coxswain showed up to cox too and I showed my competitive mettle by pouting and messing up. My whole boat was out of it, the stroke not usually a stroke, the rate counter not working, the workout being all about keeping at 16 strokes a minute then 18 strokes a minute alternating for two minutes each for a period of 16 minutes. Both the stroke and I were out of sorts, not to mention that she is short, our bow seat is tall and she kept trying to row as though her arms were half a foot longer. And then it turned out the experienced cox had never been in a bow load four and got claustrophobic being down in the hold out front and had to sit up because she was scared. Meanwhile I ran my ports' oars into a buoy with minimal warning, though I apologized afterwards. Huge lake, but I ran them into anothe buoy this morning trying to keep from running into another of the boats. We'd been told to stay together and we were being obedient. Next time I'll have the rowers ease off so we'll have room and not bang into anything, boat or buoy.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Boating with Plywood

Our friend grew up in Wisconsin where when they get bored with waterskiing they cut a sheet of plywood into a disk shape and get onto it to be pulled behind the motorboat. Additional props are necessary, such as the resin chair shown in the photo above. Each of the three participants in the plywood derby this weekend went into the water with disk and chair and two of the three managed not only to sit on the chair on the disk while being pulled behind the motorboat, but stood up on the chair on the disk and then turned around backwards, while continuing to be pulled along behind the motorboat.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Paul Klee Rock

Lake Chelan,
Fields' Point
walking the dog. The renters down the dirt drive encountered a skunk the other night - their dog was sprayed, they chopped its fur into a punk do. I suggested tomato juice. Bears have been eating the bird feeder food at another neighbor's place. I've seen the skat, large plops and much smaller ones so that yesterday morning, 6am, I sang and clapped and walked fast through the section of our walk during which the dog and I heard branches crunching in the woods.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Poetry Inventions, with Apologies to Bernadette Mayer and Johnathan Mahew

1. write apoem composed entirely of New York Times headlines
2. write a poem composed entirely of Weekly World News headlines
3. write poems composed of words that begin with "st"
4. write a haiku every morning for a month then make a book of them
5. handmake a book especially for each poem you have written
6. memorize your poems. if you don't love them, who will?
7. make a poem entirely from lines from junkmail you receive in the mailbox today
8. make a poem entirely from subject lines in your email inbox
9. write in a form that begins with the same letter as this month. You might have to make up a form.
August, Acrostics, Alphabeticals,
September: sestinas, sonnets, succotash poems, sea shanties
October: octets or Operatic Verse
November: Nine Line Poems (from Poetry Everywhere), Nocturnals
December: Definition Poems, Deconstructions, Dada, Dictation
January: Jacobean verse, Justification of Existence Poems, Jewelbox Poems
February: Fraidy Cat Verses, Foreign Language Poems, found verse
March: Misnomer Poems, Memory Poems, Metered Verse
April: Architectural Poems, Accidental Verse, Annotated Verse
May: Mock Heroics, Medicine Bottle Label Poems
June: Juice Box Poems (will fit on sides of), Joy & Jubilation Poems, Journal
July: Jealous Poems, Joke List Poems, Junk Drawer Poems
10. Write a book of invented poetry forms
11. Send out one poem a day to a different journal every day for three months
12. Give an impromptu poetry reading for your pets. Dress up.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sending the Children out onto the Road

I sent off five poetry bits to A.K. Allin/Matchbook Poems/403 Roy St. #26/Seattle, WA 98109. Today, Tuesday, August 15, 2006 is the deadline day, though the email I got Sunday said send an email if you want to send and can't by the 15th. Since I know there are dozens of you reading this and not commenting because you're shy, I'll put the email address here: so you can email right away. I sent some of the ones I wrote about and took portraits of, but made a couple of changes, since, having written about not being able to be thoughtful, I was a little bit more able to apply my brain in making decisions about what to send. I ditched: "Steakhouse truth:/some are hungry." Now I think that was dumb.

On Labor Day, two of my poems will be part of "Simultaneous Systems of Notation and Representation," a poetry, dance, music and visual creation by Linden Ontjes for Eleventh Hour Productions. Go to Bumbershoot's website to learn about when and to the link on that page to read again the phrase "The Poetic Forms Council for Coffee" one more time. Tatiana Michel and Linden Ontjes will read poems by me, Kary Wayson, Linden, Tatiana, and Jennifer Foster.

Why I Have Trouble Submitting My Work

Someone has a cool new poetry idea: put 1-4 lines of poetry on the inside of a matchbook (I'm assuming it's a blank one, custom designed to highlight poetry, not just pasting poetry lines into existing matchbooks. I want to send them some options.

My first misstep was to spend time obsessing about what the editor meant when she wrote :Grab a matchbook. Flip it over. Now imagine your poetry there on the cover."
Does she mean flip it OPEN? I spent far too much time thinking about this.

Next, I began looking at poems to find lines to send and discovered that nearly every line of my poetry has more than 25 characters in it. Each line submitted must have 25 or fewer characters. It must also "explore language, live outside the mundane, evoke color and sound, convey mood."
None of my work does any of this, I respond from a cowering posture, recover, copy out lines, and type them up.

I find five matchbooks in the house and paste the five bits I've chosen inside the covers, so they can be seen when the matchbooks are flipped open. I flip them open and imagine whether or not they "spark poetry in unconventional circles" as the editor hopes seven submissions will.

I'm pretty sparked by:

The formidable now
shrivels jokes.

from "Perils"
Her pencil sharpened
her wits

from "Self Portrait #2" is okay.


Steakhouse truth:
some are hungry.

from "Feeding Tube Blues" is best when it has from "Feeding Tube Blues" below it. I don't know if it has a high enough smoldering point standing alone.


your ski rhythm tightened
through your ankle --

from "A Tentative Mathematics of Atonement" is sensorally interesting whether or not sensorally is an actual adverb anyone else will recognize.


my fingers fast in gloves
brazen among dog turd
and blackberry

from "Fighting Entropy, September" may just be gross. Maybe I should go with the last two lines, leave the gloves out of this?

And here is where it goes to hell and I second guess myself to the point where I say "what the hell?" and shove the undeserving into an envelope and out into the world because my brain shuts down, refusing to choose, to judge, to look critically but without meanness at my writing and make intellingent decisions. This is an area of difficulty for me, probably my next largest area of difficulty after procrastination. My critical ear, choice-making brain, poet's sensibility, they all say, we're out of town, we've left no forwarding address, don't call us, we can't be reached and so my disbelieving self-sabotaging idiot self is left to submit the work. She has absolutely no sense, being one of the monkeys not allowed to sit on one of the hundred stools in front of the hundred keyboards whose job it is to type randomly proving that written beauty can be produced ala typing time. My monkey picks her nose and dips her tail in the toilet. And she's the one I call on to send my work out.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

If we're only molecules huddled to foil entropy, so what?

Oars, people, boats, all minor things, but when they all pull one way, thats the way the water flows. (with apologies to Bill Stafford)
oar carrier, rigger & derigger,
wrench wielder, bungee afixer,
trail enforcer, freebie hoarder,
soggy sock carter, encourager,
race watcher, photo taker,
cox box carrier, sunglass wearer,
boat walker, occasional talker

Fourth and final day of US Rowing Masters Nationals at Green Lake.

I missed the morning, our only, race. Now I don't have to go back until 2 to take down the tents, etc. so I have a little time to myself, which is a bit frightening after three days entirely focused on the needs of boats and rowers and in particular the assistant coach, not that she needs my help. I am is it constitutionally? other-focused. Happiest when in the midst of someone else's all-encompassing enterprise. I will weed another's garden, feed another's fish, collate another's chapbook, fetch, worry, carry on for you you you you. My work progresses best when I am able to concentrate one tenth of that much energy and focus on it, which is intensely difficult. My first impulse when alone is to go off the grid, into limbo.

The trick is to stop cooperating with entropy, isn't it? Entropy Co-dependent, the twelve step program.
1. Do not ever accept helplessness and/or hopelessness as your birthright
2. Act from choice
3. YOUR OWN choice
4. choose daily, hourly, minutely
5. tune your mind by using it
6. live in your body and move it
7. love other people
8. love yourself
9. don't worry about what this all means
10. create beauty
11. appreciate beauty others have created
12. do not accept the world as it is

Send $1 million and SASE to me for print brochure

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Rowing Nationals on Green Lake Day I

Big job today keeping groups from congregating on the Greenlake Walking/Biking Path through the regatta area - volunteer gig with blue tee shirt for thanks. Way way out of my comfort zone to tell groups of people I don't know to do something differently than what they are doing. Not to mention the whole issue of right to assembly. I took it on like something that would be good for me. Nobody refused to comply. I asked one group if I had sounded scary enough.

Cool today with some rain in the morning, wind gusting in the afternoon. Glad we were on Green Lake and not Lake Washington.

Nobody needed me to cox today. I took pictures. Did the hour volunteer gig, walking from one end of the regatta area to the other and back again for a little over an hour. Hung around in the Conibear tent, carried oars, watched boats launch, watched boats race, listened to the innane and near constant babble of the announcer, listened to the bad musical choices during his too-brief breaks, bought a hat to cox in that has a cox embroidered on it, felt part of the team, ate breakfast at a restaurant within a mile of the course with my coach-daughter. Long day.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

Sadly, I cannot begin with an image, which is the way I like to post. Image, then text. So different than writing poetry, where the text produces images, on a good day. This morning I am sluggish and reluctant. Is this not a fairly common phenom with me? Ah yes it is. I want to have all the goodies in my little bassinett, hold the effort. Thank you. Binkie please!

Yesterday, rather than working on my transliteration poems, which would mean either rough drafting my way through one, two, or three, I decided to make a dummy chapbook of the ones that are fairly on their way to becoming my poems, which is to say, twenty one poems if I cheat a weensy bit. I titled them and put them two to an 8 1/2 by 11 sheet, then printed back to back so that they are in chapbook format. I think this is what is known as end-gaining, but it is also ego boosting and progress marking. Yea me, I have some poems here, go me! That last bit tongue in cheek- ish if you are declaiming this blog aloud.

I read myself everytime I post. Addictively. Particularly when I begin with posting an image.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Adam & Eve at MoNA

During the 2006 Skagit River Poetry Festival in LaConner, the Museum of Northwest Art put up a show of word-based art. Off to the left side of where a panel of three of us poets held forth on women poets (they rock - title of panel and our consensus,) was a grouping of tiles, one set of tiles grouped around the word Adam and one grouped around the word Eve. Each tile had one word printed on it. I don't remember what other embellishments were present, just the words, which I copied down and will reproduce here as two columns without commentary. Let us begin:

dominant nurture
treacherous fecund
rational protective
ideal intuitive
moral destructive
classical mystery
absolute vegetal
pragmatic seductive

Dominant in my response is, vegetal? I can't get over vegetal, but then I cannot help equating Eve with woman, Adam with man. I think the writer of the Bible's chapter of Genesis meant for the reader to identify in this way, so I am going to proceed as though I have made a pragmatic rather than a seductive decision to let this be the ground we walk on for the moment. Vegetal?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Novice Coxswain Juggles Microphone, Steering on Race Course

In my ordinary life as writer, time is not a critical factor. Let's say I need a synonym for the word "forgetful" - at my leisure I can search my own cranial vaults, the various thesauri on my shelves, the hilariously off-base thesaurus in Word, and muse of whichever ones of these seem suitable. Time! Hah! It does not exist for me. I am out of time, beyond time, mini immortal in my lack of dependence on its constraints.
And lo, I have put me in a boat and I have said to the rowers, row, and I have asked them for race cadence and power 10's, have admonished them to give me high 20's and to take their rates up two in two. I have told them weigh nuff, and hold down, have said "spin the boat" and "ports to back, starboards to row," and they have performed these magical requests, on my signal for lo these many days.
Today was my first day on the race course. "Just follow the course buouys as you warm up," said the coach, and I steered wide and warmed them up. We spun the boat. We practiced starts and power tens, up two beats for 10, up two more for ten. We have fussed and manipulated our large boat with its extending oars within the bounds of lane 4. I have stepped from the boat on the water into the launch on the water and then into another boat on the water without incident. I have been handed a microphone with no strap to hold it to my head and I have failed to follow what pilots call the hierarchy of flying which is the hierarchy of coxing which is "aviate, navigate, communicate" and I have fiddled with the microphone that would not hang from my ear of its own accord nor hold itself under my small cap and have swung wildly into lane 3 and into lane 5 and my rowers have soldiered on, heads out of the boat as I have oversteered to compensate. Yikes.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

When You've Got Flow, Go With It

Poem 24: Eeva Kiilpi

Say, how ‘bout dancing
at vagrant homeland motels?
Jazz meds and skat candy, martinis in caftans, faster and harder,
Handel with whiskey and soda, Calypso, stiff crackers,
Beethoven, lingon schnapps,
Med naps not like cadences Shaka Khan
Dewars, Mick and masquerade, hi hat glamour,
thanks to Jagger, one step recovered.
Hear James Taylor’s tidy garish mouth.
Ocher Coburn, a scandal swearer, handstands Hammond,
Natural lignins jaw up Band Aid, Jewel, Neal Sedaka,
Allmans, Hall & Oates, altos, Haydn, Hendrix, life
force at gloaming.