Starting tomorrow, get free shipping on all domestic orders in the shop for the next two weeks, offering a perfect chance to stock up on springtime loveliness. Just use "springfever2011" when checking out to take advantage..
There's more snow out there now, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow which I hope will quickly dispense of it (or it could turn it into a sloshy slippery mess). I am actually supposed to go to a party tonight, but I may just keep hiding in my apartment underneath my comforter and eating chocolate pudding (not at the same time, but I do have some in the kitchen). It's cold and I'm sleepy and I barely have enough extra money to buy beer to take along until we get paid on Monday. I sometimes feel like I'm moving in slow motion during February and it's hell to get through it.
The other morning I was watching a youtube video of this song. I am not really a DMB fan, I find them sort of pretentious, but I did like this. Forever, though I thought the lyrics went: "And though it's red blood bleeding from her now, it feels like Oberweis in her heart." Somehow, the dairy name indicated whiteness, milkiness, and amidst all that color worked in some way that the actual lyrics "cold blue ice" (cliched, boring, predictable) do not. Now I don't like the song really at all. Or maybe I am just obsessed with dairy products.
note: later, I realized our paychecks went in the bank today, so I ended up out and had a good time. It actually seemed warmer coming home than going, or maybe I just drank enough and couldn't feel the chilliness.
I realized this morning that Utrecht has moved out of their Michigan Ave/Van Buren store, which of course happens right about the time I need to restock on some things. I usually order from Blick, but sometimes it was just easier to walk over there on my lunch break than go all the way up into the loop to Dick Blick if I needed something immediately, plus they had canvases dirt cheap sometimes.
Mostly this weekend will be devoted to maybe a new collage series, some new flasks, and maybe some envelope making. I'd like to get a good full weekend of sewing in, maybe some new pillows since I was eyeing my fabric piles (along with some awesome new embroidery pieces my mom recently procured). I was gazing at them rather wistfully this morning getting ready for work, but I'm running out of weekends. Only one more after this one until I leave on The Great Southern Roadtrip(tm) and then we will practically be into April by the time I get back.
Sara asked over in her blog for poetry book recommendations, and since I don't write nearly enough about of poetry here (and way too much about the weather), I thought I would share them with the whole class. I think most fall somewhere publication-wise in the last 2-3 years...
Maggie Nelson, Bluets Something Bright, then Holes* The Latest Winter
Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet, Tulips, Water, Ash
Becca Klaver, LA Liminal**
Beth Bachman, Temper
Robin Ekiss, The Mansion of Happiness
K. Lorraine Graham, Terminal Humming
Catie Rosemurgy, The Stranger Manual
*this is older I think, but this winter has been a Maggie Nelson love-fest **I read most of this one as her MFA thesis, so I'm a little biased.
I love this picture, it's one of my favorites (it is also on the cover of Madeleine is Sleeping, one of my favorite books.) I have been having disaster dreams again, this time involving figure skating and a floating amphitheatre sinking to the bottom of a lake with my mother possibly inside it (or possibly not inside it but it escaping with amnesia a pale blue volkswagon to another city.) I'm getting that crazy panicky overwhelmed feeling I sometimes get, though, so that might be part of it. Also, just a general glumness.
Oddly, lately I've been talking to alot of people who talk about how they can't sleep, can easily function in some sort of manic insomniac state. Me, one of my greatest pleasures is sleep, hours turning into days stretching and unfurling like an endless white sheet. When I'm stressed or troubled, I sleep. Sort of like those fainting goats, but not that abruptly. I could easily sleep half my life away if I didn't have to get up and go about the business of living. Not that insomnia doesn't occasionally strike, and when it does, I'm totally zombie girl. People have had entire conversations with me after all-nighters that I don't remember. I'm a mess, walking in front of cars, biting people's heads off, unable to concentrate. As I've gotten older, I've noticed that my body actually hurts when I haven't had enough sleep. Everyone who has normal jobs always teases me for complaing about having to get up before 10am, but since I don't get to bed usually until 3 or 4, those early mornings kill me.
As I've mentioned a couple times, I've been experimenting with printing some little art zines for my own amusement, and hopefully just maybe yours. This one involves some small collages made from old bird and botanical pages, as well as some found text all mixed up. They are a small edition of only 50, so get them while I still have some, here.
and oh am I struck! I do realize I spend way too much talking about the weather, but it pleases me no end to see the brown muddy grass and the ice on the lake edge breaking up...I am almost a different person, or feel like a different person from my mean, hardened wintery self. I am still doing some thinking about poetry and publication and audience, as well as some breaking up of longer projects into shorter manageable bits. I took the brief history poems out of havoc since they seem to be more about creativity and identity than the others, and if it's going to be a chap manuscript, I tend to prefer it shorter anyway. In a way, I feel like I am moving through periods where the poems serve different functions and speak to entirely different things.
Something Real JoAnna Novak dancing girl press, 2011 $7.00 (includes S&H) buy here
"Energetic, fast-paced, rich in strong, sensuous images, JoAnna Novak's Something Real is both wistful and tough, emotionally charged, and softened by a touch of humor--a pleasure to read."
JoAnna Novak is the recepient of a BA from Knox College and an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in many journals. Currently, she studies poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is co-founder and editor of the journal Tammy.
I had a few pieces from my landscape/architecture series included in this winter's Art of the Library exibition. It's just three pieces from a series of about 8 that will eventually make another little zine. I do feel they are a little bit different than most of what I do, less colorful, less feminine focused. I've had this great book of 1930's historical photos I'd been wanting to play around with for while and this is the result.
It is amazing what a difference some fair weather makes in my mood. I feel like some other things have broken loose with the ice in my head the past couple of days, including a closing of sorts for the new prose poetry project, also, some trimming of the other manuscript. I made some preliminary decisions as to what to do with the whole lot of them, where to send them, etc. I've been waffling for two years and it's really time to stop it and get back to something like ambitiousness. When I'm trying to be low-key and just let things happen, pretty soon I'm climbing up the walls.
I am still waiting for news on something else that has been under consideration with a possible bit of interest expressed in the fall. I am hoping for the best, though I realize even if they are interested, it may be a long shot. I've seen the work out there that I am competing with (in journals, via submissions)and so much of it blows me damn straight out of the water. How anyone stands a chance amidst it all is beyond me. Still I am remaining optimistic and raising my hand, and waving wildly: "Pick me..Pick me.."
of course, my moods change from day to day. I sometimes really just want out of the game rather than to succeed in it. To just go about writing and making books and finding readers and not doing an endless round robin of contests and open submission periods. There are a few things that tether me to traditional modes of publishing and more than a few that make me want just want to be alone and do my own thing, things like the book submission bottleneck, my own sense of creative control, actually making money off of projects (as opposed to miniscule royalties and usually nothing while at the same time spending so much money/time on entry fees.) It all so seems to not have very much to do with the actual writing. Sometimes I just want to chuck ambition out the window and get on with enjoying other ways of being a poet and connecting with an audience, ie handing poems out on the street, writing them in skywriting, the sides of buildings. Or maybe just making my own little books and distributing them to whoever wants one. That might sound like the best thing ever.
I think today was the first tolerable day to be outside in months, all suneshiney and possibly even in the forties. The zoo was great fun, even though a lot of the animals (all the bears, at least) were inside off display. We did see most of the big cats, a 1 month old gibbon, a whole lot of alpacas, and the most adorable slow lorises (or lori??), plus the usual gorillas, zebras, etc. The loruses were so cute I wanted to take them home with me. The LP zoo is hands down my favorite zoo anywhere (and it's free to boot). I used to get over there a lot when I lived a couple blocks away from it, but I try now to go at least once a year, though the crowds can be a bitch in the summer. Earlier in the day, we were sometimes the only visitors in front of the displays, though it gets a little busier in the afternoon even in February. We also did a quick turn around the Lincoln Park Conservatory, whose flower room was chock full of azaleas and cyclamen, so bright and vivid, that they almost made me forget the snow outside.
This weekend I am looking forward to a winter zoo visit and dinner with my parents, some reading, some writing, finishing Greys Anatomy Season 3 on Netflix, and perhaps some laundry. (okay not looking forward to that last thing, but alas..) Last night's open studio was awesome, sold lots of jewelry, candles, soap, and a vintage slip to a girl who got so excited about the prospect of looking like Liz Taylor in Butterfield 8 she was adorable. (truthfully, the slips are the best thing since sliced bread, I can't/won't sleep in anything else and I love wearing them layered under some dresses since they give them a little bit more length, especially nice in this weather.) And the vintage ones are so much silkier and solid than the cheapy acetate monstrosities out there now..
This is the light of the mind, cold and planetary. The trees of the mind are black. The light is blue. The grasses unload their griefs on my feet as if I were God, Prickling my ankles and murmuring of their humility. Fumy, spiritous mists inhabit this place Separated from my house by a row of headstones. I simply cannot see where there is to get to.
The moon is no door. It is a face in its own right, White as a knuckle and terribly upset. It drags the sea after it like a dark crime; it is quiet With the O-gape of complete despair. I live here. Twice on Sunday, the bells startle the sky—— Eight great tongues affirming the Resurrection. At the end, they soberly bong out their names.
The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape. The eyes lift after it and find the moon. The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary. Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls. How I would like to believe in tenderness—— The face of the effigy, gentled by candles, Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes.
I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering Blue and mystical over the face of the stars. Inside the church, the saints will be all blue, Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews, Their hands and faces stiff with holiness. The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild. And the message of the yew tree is blackness—blackness and silence.
There is still so much snow and ice and cold, great, enormous drifts of it, so much so that it feels like we may never be free of it. I can't remember anytime in the years I've lived in this neighborhood where there were waist high walls of snow on either side of the sidewalk on some streets, despite the plows and trucks that hauled so much of it away last week. I was in my grad school apartment in Lincoln Park during the 99 blizzard, and that was deep, but this is a little ridiculous. So I wait and fend off winter with an abundance of chocolate and grilled cheese. Also new poems, which are coming along nicely. Yesterday, I sent some work to a journal I haven't submitted to in years, somewhere where for the longest time I tried so hard to get in when I was just starting out. By the time I was writing anything good, I realized that my work was probably a little too experimental for their typical aesthetic. Lately, I have noticed a few shifts in editorial directions, or maybe not a shift but an expansion, so I thought maybe I'd give it another whirl. It makes me a little nervous, but I vowed to actually send things out again in earnest, not just on whims and by request, so we'll see how it pans out.
I keep telling myself is probably the worst of winter, this waiting for something even a little like spring, a thaw, a day warmer than 30 degrees, anything...I am so tired of spending so much time piling on layers of clothes and then having to take them all off then start again. Pretty much the only warm places are my shower and the studio, where it is actually too hot, so hot that it makes my soaps softer than I would prefer them to be. There were a couple bars too close to the radiator and they were a little misshapen when I went to wrap them. I've been leaving the window open, but fear that pigeons or bats or some other urban creature seeking warmth will wander in since there are no screens. I myself feel a little myself like crawling in somewhere small and warm and sleeping til spring...
One of my favorite etsy discoveries is Julianna Swaney's beautiful drawings. I own a few prints I've bought over the years, and love seeing her new work as she unveils it. I keep a little list in my head of book cover possibilities, both my own and dgp projects and I would definitely love to use her work someday for something. Meanwhile, check out her shop and blog...
At a time when our environment is under constant threat, we turn to an unlikely source for answers: The city. In this urgent anthology, poets, photographers and essayists show there is much to be learned at the intersection of the urban and the wild.
Featuring the work of Dolores Wilber, Stuart Dybek, David Baker, Susan Hahn, Reginald Gibbons, Edward Hirsch, Don Share, Billy Lombardo, Rachel Jamison Webster, Deborah Nodler Rosen, Ralph Mills, Maureen Seaton, cin salach, Chris Green, Patricia McMillen, Margaret Brady, David Trinidad, Kristy Bowen, Rachel Contreni Flynn, Helen Degen Cohen, Dina Elenbogen, Maureen Tolman Flannery, Mary Hawley, Mike Puican, Marc Smith, Patricia Monaghan, Susen James, Alice George, Arielle Greenberg, James Shea, Ed Roberson, Kathleen Kirk, Larry Janowski, Richard Jones, E. Ethelbert Miller, Tony Trigilio, Virginia Bell, Cecilia Pinto, Julie Parson Nesbitt, Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody, Elise Paschen, Barry Silesky, Christian Wiman, Jan Bottiglieri, Brenda Cardenas, Patricia Smith, Allan Johnston, Mark Turcotte, Christina Pugh, Mark Curran, Miles Harvey, Michele Morano, S.L. Wisenberg, Liam Heneghan, Peter Karklins, Sean Kirkland, Mary Jane Duffy, Perry A. Zurn, Barbara Willard, Randall Honold and Elizabeth Crane.
I am all mixed up this week as to what day it is. Grey has once again seeped into this weeks collection. Could be the sky all week, a stormy blue on the verge of grey, or maybe the lake's insistent monotone. I also of late really love the combination of grey and a peacock-hued teal.
Dear Minimum Wage Employee, You Are Priceless Emilie Lindemann dancing girl press, 2011 available here
Emilie Lindemann grew up in Manitowoc, WI where she teaches at Silver Lake College. She is a graduate of UW-Milwaukee's Creative Writing program and has served as poetry editor for Cream City Review. Emilie's poems have been published in journals such as Columbia Poetry Review, PANK, Verse Wisconsin, Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, and Prime Number. These poems are for all the brave and gutsy cashiers, baristas, and department store associates she has ever worked with.
I have been home-bound the last three days because of the snow, and despite my love of hibernation, I am going a little stir crazy, especially knowing I have a lot of stuff that could be getting done, books to be made, orders to be sent out, next week's open studio to prepare for. It's back to work tomorrow and playing catch up. I have had it with winter, every year have had it with winter, but each one, like all of them, always seems worse than the last. I am worrying, about some things that are worrisome and other things that are not really worrisome at all. Winter makes me shakier, unsteadier than usual. In my leisure, my dreams have been the usual oddness. Last night, I dreamed I was a bridesmaid in a wedding that was taking place in this weird, fairytale land with strange animals and swan boats, except that I was missing one shoe and was being chased by two men who wanted to abduct me.
Since dgp is both a bit snow-logged and missing the AWP book fair this year anyway, we decided it was time for a Winter Snowbound Sale Extravaganza, 5 books for a mere $20! All your favorite dgp authors are a sure cure for a bit of cabin fever or whatever it is that ails you...
* check out Coldfront's Chap Nook, where Kate Durbin's Fragments Found in a 1937 Aviator’s Boot (dgp, 2009) gets some lovely review action..
* Julia Cohen, author The History of a Lake Never Drowns (dgp, 2008) and the forthcoming Samaritan (w/ Brandon Shimoda) has a new book out from Black Lawrence Press, Triggermoon, Triggermoon. Check it out..
or Snowpocalypse, Snowtastrophe, or something like that. Since they closed the campus, I have been napping and huddling under the covers with the kitties while the wind howled outside all afternoon. My mother asked me if I had enough food since apparently we are supposed to get two feet and live in the 1950's, ie there may be rationing, chaos, lines for bread... I was planning on making pasta tonight anyway, but otherwise am down to a half loaf of bread, peanut butter, a weird chicken rice mix and numerous cans of mushroom soup (which have been in the cabinet since circa 2005). Hopefully, the store around the corner with the creepy clerk who stares at my breasts will be open tomorrow. Either that or I will find a pizza place brave/crazy enough to be delivering. I do have enough cat food for a couple more days, so they will not start trying to eat each other, or worse, my eyeballs while I'm sleeping.
update: I just investigated the top shelf and there are apparently quite a few cans of soup (not just mushroom, but chicken noodle & tomato), some instant oatmeal, microwave popcorn, a few packs of hot cocoa, and some ramen. I don't remember buying any of this, but maybe I can avoid venturing out entirely for the next two days if they close campus again tomorrow.