Friday, April 27, 2012

My birthday was an excellent one, filled with gifts of homemade applesauce and wine, delicious chocolates, cupcakes and pulled pork sandwiches. And continues still with raspberry margaritas tonight and Sunday festivities with my parents. I've been sleeping as late as I can the last few days, which means early mornings next week finishing up assembling the new titles that released this week. I've also been making decisions on stuff we've received thus far in the reading period, which I've been perusing as we go along and picking out my favorites. We're also in that final push til the end of the semester (the end is a little early because of the NATO thing going on close by mid-May). Tomorrow, I need to do some cleaning and order groceries for the month (well all the cat accoutrements and basics, I usually go to Aldi for foodstuffs every couple weeks.) As soon as it's May, I'll be turning an eye toward gearing up for the book fair and some other arty things, plus I have some soapmaking plans. I sort of have been selling what I have in stock the past few months and not making any new while I've been occupied with books and visual stuff. So it's time, I hear my supplies calling my name...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

shipwrecks of lake michigan

Though the writing part is going slower than I'd hoped on the this particular project, the artwork is coming steadily along. I'm holding off adding the rest to the webpage until I have proper mats for them, but will be doing so in the next few weeks. I am planning on having the little chap/artbook completed by the time Printers Row rolls around, which means there are still a few pieces that need to be written and/or fixed up in the next month and everything scanned in and laid out. I'm hoping the deadline will keep me on task, but the text fragments are a sticking point, especially in the places where I feel I'm exerting the most control, or have the most I need to say. Not in the sort of rambling discovery pieces, but in the meat of the subject matter.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I think the plan for this year is themed around the idea of "new". As in "in with the". As in "out with the old." There are alot of things I just need to let go of in terms of certain relationships and endeavors that I need to stop obsessing over. A new plan of attack on taming the tangle of things I do and live. Or heck any plan at all instead of continually putting out fires. There are also ways of thinking I need finally to let go of, about poetry, about po-biz, about the way things should be done that don't really make any sense to me or for me. I know alot of people feel like they get to a certain age and they haven't really done all the things they planned when they were young. I feel like I have done far more than I ever imagined myself doing by this age (at lease education, creative, and career-wise: barring a couple of ridiculous impractical things), but I also feel like I'm rushing, rushing, rushing, and never take nearly enough time to enjoy things that I have taken on and accomplished. I have gotten very good at going after, or at least attempting to go after the things I want without holding back anything, and depite occasions when I feel like the scaredest scaredy-cat in the world, I'm actually pretty brave when it comes to facing initimidating things, be they creative or personal. I need to remember this sometimes when I'm feeling down or doubtful about whatever situation.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thus far I have spent my weekend both working my last Saturday of the semester in the library and untangling an emotional knot of sorts. Sometimes it's hard to be a grown-up and sometimes it's easy to think that you can just throw emotions out like bathwater and you'll be fine and you sorta aren't. I like to think I am good with jealousy, as being non-monogamous sort of calls for, that I've totally whipped that shit and am the better for it, but at the same time I've discovered I'm sorta an attention whore. I spent Friday night feeling off and weird and cranky about certain things and couldn't figure out WHY. But I think I have it pin-pointed and can deal with it, or at least side step it, or learn to avoid the sorts of situations that touched it off.

Otherwise, it's been a little chillier than I'd like, but I am all aflutter with a new art idea that involves pop-up, 3-D, interactive sort of stuff and have been investigating logistics. I am made of total fail on the NapoWriMo, but still thinking I may get a good chunk of stuff to work with by the end of the month anyway. I am also actually submitting things finally, mostly beautiful, sinister stuff, bit some of the mermaid poems. so we'll see what comes of that.

It's birthday week, so I intend to buy myself something lovely when we get paid, drink a ridiculous number of margaritas on Friday night, eat strawberry boston creme cake from Dominicks, and when my parents are in town next weekend, maybe fit in a zoo trip. I am still freaked by that steady inching ever towards forty, but I'm just not going to think about it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

strange seed prints

I've had these designed for awhile, and they went over amazingly well during AWP, but I finally got around to printing some more and adding them all to the shop this week. Some of them are also on display for the Art of the Library series at work, if you happen to be hanging out down at Columbia, you should stop by and check them out in the 3rd floor north space. Or get your very own, here. If you'd like to get a peak at the entire series, I also put together a little limited edition zine featuring all of them...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Another early Saturday in the library, so I spent some time before I was really awake and useful for other things looking at the girl show poems and thinking about whether there are any final edits or shifting around I want to do before I send the final version to BLP over the summer. It feels increasingly closer and real now that we've already rounded up blurbs and possibly have a cover image(the publisher is working with it now). I've sorta tried to stay away from the manuscript the past couple of years, not really looking at them, not pulling them out for readings, mostly since I don't want to be sick of looking at them, reading them, talking about them, when I get to the business of promoting the book next fall.

It's tricky, I go through bouts where I am in love with certain projects and then get weary, only to fall back in love with them again. (of course, many people would tell you I am this way about everything in my life). And these poems, which were my MFA thesis 5 years ago, were especially combed over and dissected for quite awhile, and temporarily lost some of their shimmer along the way. But reading through them today, I am madly enamoured of them again, the little world they create full of bird girls and fan dancers and bareback riders. I don't so much write poems like these now, and I'm not always sure what the difference is, except I can feel it. Sometimes I feel like the trajectory from book to book is that I'm getting better, a leaner , meaner writing machine and that the older stuff is just less developed. But I do still love even those older poems and think they are full and complete in their own way, their style serviceable to their own ends and means. I'm beginning to think that they are just different, not less, which it has taken awhile to come around to. the fever almanac is a different animal than in the bird museum, those are quite different from girl show, and what I'm writing now feels miles away from even that.

I guess you could call it progression, but often my worst secret, or not so secret fear, is that someone will come upon my work, find that they love something, and that the next thing will disappoint them somehow (whether it's older or new work depending on their taste.) I know it's a foolish fear, and you certainly can't live your life as an artist that way, but it's there, like a little needle scraping at the back of my mind. But of course, ideally, your readership, your audience, however small, will be willing to follow you along, to stay with you through leaps and sharp turns and trust that you'll get them somewhere safe and good (or maybe somewhere jagged and not so safe if that's the point).

As I'm thinking about longer book #4, which feels even more different than any of the previous three, I'm thinking it goes far beyond subject matter (which is more contemporary, more urban and fragmented and steeped in culture and pop culture than things I've written before) but also stylistically less narrative and more lyric I guess. Also more discursive..(though I feel like after the frenzy of the JF poems, I'm moving back to less discursive, who knows what's up with that? Maybe I exhausted myself in that regard.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I am firmly convinced that my general happiness level and creative output is tied entirely to my physical condition. I started coming down with a cold on Saturday and I am since pretty much entirely useless, even though my symptoms are not terrible (just general fuzziness, sneezing, sinus pressure and a slight cough). I really don't want to do anything that involves any sort of energy at all, certainly not write poems or finish layouts, (much less complete my taxes, renew my drivers license, or answer e-mails) so I'm hoping to be back in the saddle tomorrow, though I realize that having lost Monday to my Rockford stay, I will be more behind in my week than usual. A turn toward chillier weather today is not helping my overall morale. I did order a new printer that will be here in a couple days (necessary after throwing/accidently dropping my color HP onto the floor while fiddling with it last Monday), this is an all in one that in theory should work for both text blocks and covers, so I am looking forward to that. Otherwise, there are paper orders to be placed, wicked alice and dgp submissions to be looked over, all of which I can hopefully somehow swing tonight if my general mood improves.

Friday, April 06, 2012

It is Friday once again and I am headed to Rockford for some Zombie Jesus Day festivities which hopefully involve both peeps and chocolate bunnies. It's been a sort of blah and frustrating week in terms of wonky technology, postal mishaps, and general exhaustion, so some time away will either be a good idea or set me more behind than ever. I'm hoping to keep up with the poem-a-day task, though this is usually about the time I fall off the wagon and life gets in the way. It does help to be sticking to a specific project, something I've already charted out in terms of direction. Since I have alot of notes and ideas for it, actually sitting down to get something out on paper is not so traumatic. Since the shipwreck thing is actually not going to be long (maybe 12 pieces mixed in with artwork) and I already have about half that, I might switch to something else at the end of the month (provided I make it there.)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

the cruelest month

I'm not sure what's up with the French and April and this flying fish thing, but I might have to look into it. But, yes, it's April, and as you can see in the post below I have already delved into NaPoWriMo. Not only is it poetry month, but also my birthday month and usually the month where spring really starts (though this year that is sort of anticlimatic since they've been blooming the past couple of weeks due to the mild winter and the heavenly weather. You will not exactly hear me complaining.) I am not only shedding my coat and boots, but all my pesky inner turmoil and determined to enjoy the next few months as they are meant to be enjoyed. I got the Selvedge cards in the mail Saturday, photographed the new prints for the shop, and already the dgp inbox is filling with new submissions, which are open as of today for books coming late this year and 2013. (I decided to have subs open longer and read them as I got them rather than hold everything to consider all at once.)