Thursday, November 27, 2008


Little Glove in a Big Hand, first draft completed today. OK, it's still a pretty rough draft IMO, and not nearly as far along as I feel it should be or needs to be at this point in the year. But I'm real happy with . . . most of it, and overall it is "working." It is accomplishing what I have been intending. I'm planning to nail down the table of contents this weekend, and start tweaking here and there, and finally start submitting it by the end of the year. Go!

I'm thankful for a bunch of stuff:
* a good year living with Mars, like we promised, no matter what
* sweet foley gigs
* announcing for 3 derby leagues
* the return of the MATRIX slam
* teaching gigs
* all my supportive friends and colleagues
* Obama in the White House (in Jan)
* etc.

I'm off for the first of 3 feasts this weekend, today's featuring a bunch of rollergirls and as many as 3 deep-fried turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Random Observation

This chapbook project has brought on very different work processes for me. Normally, I write something in its entirety (essay, poem, whatever) then put it aside, then come back to it, edit, revise, etc., until it's (usually) whittled down and refined.

The chap has come out of collections of notes and journal entries (and a zillion post-its), and I've built some pieces line by line, from out of several notebooks.

So I'm conflating as much as cutting or editing. Adding to more than subtracting from. I enjoy it but I probably won't keep this process up once the manuscript is done; I think I like writing poems more than writing poetry.* But if I ever do another "theme manuscript" like this again, I'll know how to start. Getting this one fully underway took a couple of months, until I figured out a process, which is why it's a little late getting done. I am finally approaching cohesion, though.

*poems being discrete, beginning-to-end, usually stand-alone assemblages of words; as opposed to poetry, which is a little looser in structure and typically works a bit more obliquely. If that makes sense.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Everybody's Doin' It!

You've probably seen Keith Olbermann's bit on Prop 8 on MSNBC.

You may not have seen this vid from last week, featuring Dan Savage (of Savage Love fame) going toe-to-toe with Tony Perkins (from Psycho the Family Research Council). I've been a Savage fan for years, but this really awesome. LOVE his "final word":

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

In memoriam

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

--John McCrae

Long Years on a Red Planet

Mars Phoenix Lander Finishes Successful Work On Red Planet
November 10, 2008 -- NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has ceased communications after operating for more than five months. As anticipated, seasonal decline in sunshine at the robot's arctic landing site is not providing enough sunlight for the solar arrays to collect the power necessary to charge batteries that operate the lander's instruments....

This story makes me feel so wistful and lonely, which is dumb. It's just a bunch of bolts and wires, right?

I'm reminded of The Martian Chronicles, which I really wanna read right now.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad

So: OBAMA WON!!! I am elated. I haven't felt so charged up since Clinton won in '92. It's like a cloud is lifting, and a bunch of other nice weather-related metaphors. In all honestly, I don't think one person can change much in our country, not in just 4 years (or 8).

But one thing HAS changed, and there is no going back: Americans' individual views about race are what they are, good, bad, and indifferent (mostly indifferent I think). But with the election of a black US president, our politics suddenly seem (and maybe will prove themselves to actually BE) more open (to everyone), more capable of welcoming change -- BIG change -- and possibility and ... aw, shit ... and HOPE.

I personally haven't felt quite so desperate about the state of the world as maybe I should. But suddenly things seem even ... less bad. As if impossibilities are now within reach. I know, I know, kind of hypocritical, and idealistic and goo-goo eyed and ridiculous, etc, to think that the color of a person's skin isn't supposed to matter -- yet here it is, mattering a whole hell of a lot.

Policies? Sure they matter, and I have liked most of Obama's views for a while now. (Ever since he gave that anti-war speech in 2002, he has been in the back of my mind.) I have long felt that Democrats and Republicans, like all Americans, at heart want the same things; they just have -- sometimes wildly -- differing ideas about how to acquire them. What's important about Obama, though, is the positivity of his message. Not simply his eloquence but also his ability to motivate people who, also at heart, really WANT to do something to help themselves and others. I WANT to help but often feel so disenfranchised. And I'm a white guy, with hot and cold running privilege. I was so disappointed when Bush, after 9/11, motivated people ... to go shopping. I mean this country was ready to build a fucking chunnel to Afghanistan and put bin Laden's head on a pike. What does he do? Tell us to keep playing with our funny money.


OK, happy place, happy place, happy place.

Obama won, my state voted blue (take THAT, familial fundies!!!), and I'm ready for more. I wanna see what this kid can really do, and I'm hopeful that he won't let me down. That WE won't let OURSELVES down.

It's hope tinged with sadness, though.

Mars got a job. A dream job. BEST. FUCKING. JOB. EVAR. I'm so happy for her. Tenure track. Actual library work. Roller derby nearby. Plenty of Irish music in the vicinity. Really, it's just about everything she could hope for.

This job is not in B-tizzle, of course, which is where the sad comes in. She and I have been talking about this possibility the whole time we've been dating, and an inevitable move on a career path became a driving force for her (and in our relationship) just about a year ago.

Well it's finally here and it sucks. It's literally a win-lose situation for both of us no matter who decides what. I've blogged about it plenty here. Just typing this little bit is making me sadder, so I'm not going to elaborate too much. Basically, barring some miraculous change of heart on my part, I'm not moving with her. Not by December, when she needs to be up there, as I conservatively estimate it'd take me most of a year to set my local affairs in order. But honestly, I'm just not moving.

I've had a year to convince myself (or be convinced) that leaving B-ton is something I want to do, as opposed to something Mars needs that I am willing to give or something I'm willing to "try." I don't see it. If anything, I've become even more deeply attached to B-ton as my relationships with townies and colleagues and friends have been reaffirmed. I feel like I'm not done here yet, and I don't know when I will be but it's not going to be any time soon, and I don't want to cut my stay short. (Yes, 18 yrs and counting is short, for a Capricorn like me. I'm a late bloomer!)

I feel awful and selfish and a little ill. I also feel like I'm making the right choice. So is she.

NONE of this diminishes my enthusiasm for supporting her as much as possible to get to Michigan and get settled. It just sucks, obviously.