Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy February

Hello from the longest shortest month of the year.

I hope you're seeing the slow, subtle signs of spring thaw like we are here. I'm starting to believe that winter won't last forever, Narnia-style, after all.

My parents' (and my) longtime neighbor just passed away well into his 90s. He was generally in great health, but he slipped and fell in the grocery store, breaking 6 ribs. His body wasn't in any shape to rebound from that. I keep thinking about that, how a body that has had the fortitude to survive over 90 years can be undone so quickly. It's also strange to think of him as mortal--he's been old as long as I've been alive; I never thought of him as being able to depart the earth even if he wanted to.

I've been contemplative about that and about bodies in general. Corporeality is loosely the subject of my second poetry manuscript, which I'm working on now. It's alternating between blissfully easy and painfully hard to write. A lot of new existential questions were just raised by my finally reading Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. It made me miss Boston terribly.

I've slacked off on my reading of new poetry lately, so I'm afraid I can't recommend anything fresh and exciting. Musically, there's plenty of love to go around. Daniel Bjarnason's Processions has been getting a lot of love from my speakers, and I've spent a lot of time thinking about Scout Niblett's The Calcination of Scout Niblett, along with breaking in Xiu Xiu's newest album.

Take care, everyone, and enjoy whatever sun comes.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Last post today, I promise

Ocean 2010 is out and full of wonderful images and words about the ocean. Some are scientific and some are more interpretive. I have a short story in there that falls in the latter category. This is the first publication from my series of mermaid short stories, so I'm excited for that. When I wrote the story, "Swim Back," I was thinking about love and music--the story heavily involves Arvo Pärt's "Tabula Rasa"--but Ocean's editor, Diane Buccheri, was creative and saw ecological meaning in the story as well. I think that came naturally from my love of the ocean.

While I'm on the subject of the ocean, Oceana.  I can't afford charitable donations as often as I'd like. but I do give something to Oceana when I can. If you're an ocean-lover and have a few dollars to spare, that's a good place for your dollars to go.

Perhaps there's all this ocean in this post because I. miss. the. ocean. Thinking about Oceana reminds me of last spring, when I was teaching at Salem State College and also working in Quincy, MA, making for long, long drives. On the drive to and from Salem, I would pass the ocean, and it would always take my breath away, even though I was sleep-deprived and it was early and I was always looking at it through dirty auto glass. Sometimes, usually on especially good or especially bad days (It's funny how they're interchangeable to a certain extent), I'd stop for as long as I could without being late. There weren't any beaches on the route, but there was a pier, and I'd park at the ubiquitous Dunkin Donuts and walk to the pier to commune a bit with the water.  I think during those months, I was more glad for the ocean than ever.

My latest Pandora station

is here.

a correction and a link

In my last post, I referred to VenusZine and VenusZine.com being gone. But oh, no. You can't keep a good woman down; both were simply on hiatus. There's life at the website and there will be even more on shelves at your local bookseller soon (April, I think), so yay.

And here is a recent interview with my former professor and perpetual writer/editor extraordinaire, Kate Bernheimer. I really hope this woman wills me her imagination...