Thursday, July 30, 2009


Tonight many things happen when I walk outside. Train begins to clatter down track. A plane red as Mars moves quietly. Single car drives down Montauk Highway. I imagine the waves crashing. Cicadas hum in humidity. I watch the half moon, drinking Guinness and hearing "Indestructible" in my head.

The night is thick but the sky has yet to crack. I imagine the storm. That summer it was storm and storm and storm. This summer nothing is crashing, but some things are wanting to.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

humid nights that never break.

I need to tear out the lost in me.

scaramouche and all kinds of weather

I remember far too much, and it doesn't help. Leaves me longing for a nostalgia that was never really mine. Desarreglado, uprooted, looking for where the next storm comes.

Monday, July 27, 2009


I'm sitting outside on the deck right now with my laptop, possibly ruining the "natural" feel of the sunset behind the trees. I'm still not used to this seat -- there should be a pool out here and a weeping willow back there, memory says. The breeze and incessant insect hum warn of storm. Can't you feel it in the air tonight?

On this Conference-free day, I spent a good amount of time submitting*. Or attempting to submit. In the past two weeks, I've submitted more than I normally do in a six-month period.

(*Sending out writing to literary magazines, all ye dirty minds!)

1. Submitting takes a long time.
2. All magazines sound identical. My eyes began to glaze over at, among other terms "high quality," "off-beat," "expermental/blurs/defies genres," "eclectic, intellectual, and engaging," and "Midwest women's relationships to the prairie" (yes, I did find that).
3. Despair is inevitable.

But I shall forge ahead, following the repeated heeds of the good Dr. Boynton -- submit! Submit!

4. I'm considering creating a webpage.
5. As well as a "real blog," though I'm not sure what I'd be blogging about.
6. I'd still maintain this one, however.
7. I still dislike 7.
8. Facebook auf Deutsch is very frightening.
9. I'm on the hunt for good Spanish music.
10. This entry has been oddly straightforward.
11. Pink streaks in clouds. Perhaps no storm tonight (the lull for now).
12. I miss gymnastics.
13. And upstate.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

monsoon (the writing writer)

I loved these ten days of chaos, though we didn't always know what to think of our fearless workshop leader. I loved this weekend, too. Who wouldn't love such a surprise? :-) Guinness, cookies, good friends and fog-shrouded ocean. Would you believe it if I said I could be a poet, am one? You already might have.

Back to early morning work and regular exercise for the next couple of days. And so it will be for August. So I'm enjoying this now, this "non-real life" yet very, very real writing life. I race my fingers to writing the words and race to share them all before the rains come -- I am running -- come with me --

Thursday, July 23, 2009

the trouble with poetry

It's before midnight, and I am thinking of sleep. Monumental?

You need to know what I'm not saying. You need to know that with this need, I don't know what I will do next.

Her diamonds falling down

Seriously, dreams? There are certain histories I wish not to repeat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A little night music

"Miniature" -- Yannis Ritsos

The woman stood up in front of the table. Her sad hands
begin to cut thin slices of lemon for tea
like yellow wheels for a very small carriage
made for a child's fairy tale. The young officer sitting
is buried in the old armchair. He doesn't look at her.
He lights up his cigarette. His hand holding the match
throwing light on his tender chin and the teacup's
handle. The clock
holds its heartbeat for a moment. Something has been
The moment has gone. It's too late now. Let's drink our
Is it possible, then, for death to come in that kind of
To pass by and go away? And only this carriage to
with its little yellow wheels of lemon
parked for so many years on a side street with unlit
and then a small song, a little mist, and then nothing?

Monday, July 20, 2009

From here

I'm sad about Frank McCourt. He would have been here if he were not there. Otherwise, today is a good day. A day to win softball under perfect summer blue skies, a day for back handsprings and aerials. Runs down rich roads, frisbees tossed as sun retreats. Two poems in one hour. Chicken and Irish nachos. 3-for-3.



Before the call/Electing out:

I look for a clean page because all the others are filled with notes I won't look back on and scribbled names of movies and books I will never see or read.

I want to tell you that despite my height, I can sit on the top step and see the ocean from here.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

tell me about heaven

We look up at pink stroke brush white clouds on deepening blue sky and I wonder if she sees God in them, because I think I might.


I look on the board for where "love" will be worth the most.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


For no reason at all I suddenly want fall. Leaves golden in blowing sunshine, children in too-tight new shoes at school uncomfortable in season, but everything soon to settle in an inevitable way. I'm always sad in fall but at least I know it's coming, at least I know what to expect. I know how to lose things then. How to recover, or how to try to recover. Winter is struggling soul, spring is love and wide smiles and whispers, summer is laughter then silent slow time, and fall is always something I can't quite touch, something nothing else can touch in me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Hi, Karen."

Whoa. It's Friday already?

Which means that I wake up at 6:55 instead of 7:30, drive instead of run, coach for a hot second and then speed back for the next round of lecture and reading out loud and listening to people's questions about process and questions that are really ways to discuss their own writing and listening to lengthy stories that lead to non-answers. My head leans toward sleep and suddenly someone says something brilliant. Everyone laughs. I have ideas! And an impromptu scholarship! And a roundoff back handspring across the yard! You never know when you might need these things.

"You're so little! I never realized," says the girl I once did gymnastics with who was, at that time, up to my chest and now has a good inch or two or three on me. Well, I was taller than you once, you know!

Muggy afternoon closes in as I walk up mansion steps--no yoga today--thinking of poetry for the teacher who was the reason I applied to Southampton, thinking of Facebook stalking, feeling quite all right.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A tomato for all directions

I'm tired every day, just like the fall semester junior year. Then night falls and I come to life. I step around the room in time to one a.m., two a.m., child who won't be put to bed, trading morning groans for late-night trance.


I will admit it here: the Children's Literature conference was far more fun -- and chaotic -- than I'd thought it'd be.

Right now I feel unnecessarily brave. Like I'll submit anywhere and damn, we'll see what happens.



To dancing stars:

Something seems to always want to be said.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

sugar pie with fruit

Today is long. "You can't LEAVE!" Alexa and Sydney protest when I go to leave the gym at 9am. Where does K.S. take her authority and nose-hole-thang next? How do I follow? I must follow. Can I? Who are we telling these stories to and is it all right if I want to believe that sometimes it does not matter, that no matter what we cannot lose sight of the story for ourselves, the story for just us written to the music of keys in quiet rooms? Or is this what I have to move beyond, what frightens me? I don't know, but I will sing in faux-theater musical notes as we walk down chilly July sidewalks. Four of us at our own Tidewater table as I write comments and this tall one smiles and two are in the middle of the story and the third one walks back with shots.

Then tonight I walk alone past the mansion. Lamplight shows the shadow of hooded head on sidewalk. Suddenly I am Dante in fire-charred night perpetually pointed toward hell, but walking, walking, never looking up or back but ahead.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"I don't think that's going to be an issue"

Large vans, copy copy copy rumbling road around the phragmites. Let's be each other's friends. Let's talk about writing and write in small corners in hurried scraps of time. Stalk down the hall and then a shot of Schnaps and we're all all right, we're beyond all right. We laugh and someone says sestina and these things make sense, you see, even when you're afraid of poetry and eyes water from late hours and early mornings but you do it again, again, again.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"She's going to be published soon."

Gem car with 200 point victory lap under serene blue afternoon beside bedside laughter and inmate dancing a glass of wine a shot, a shot dreams to words to dreams and back.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Against All Odds

but the odds are good.


Ah. Here I am with my life about to be taken over by conferring with writers between menial tasks, enjoying my sports bra sunburn (she makes me laugh) and dark Shoreham drives, Jillian's hula dancing and home, of all places. Home is all right now and I needed to make it so. Before I leave again.


Yesterday I walked out of the water, nearly losing my balance on the Sound's rounded stones, and remembered last year's metaphor: the child stumbling from the womb. This year I am still child but one who walks, one who learns the words.

And today I pull myself out and turn back to the water to see it glimmer gray-white under late-day sun. And I'm reminded of hope, something I haven't thought of in awhile. Well, what of hope? I hope my twin makes it back to Germany safely. I hope I don't step on glass when, for whatever reason, I take off my flip-flops on North Side Road and walk on fresh paved asphalt. I hope (you know what I hope)...the rest trails off like sun.


This does NOT apply to my life.

But it is funny:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

fireworks from the freeway

There's something to be said for 2am clarity at the stoplight just before the left turn:

This is my place.

I still get a little sad sometimes.

But Time will set this right.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

shaking hard enough to shut windows

but I feel so much better now.

Clouds break.