Friday, February 29, 2008

In Treatment

Dean and I have a confession: we are in treatment. We have been for weeks. I mean, we are so *in* to In Treatment, the new HBO series that follows a therapist, Paul, played by smoldering hunk Gabriel Byrne, and his sessions with clients. It is simply fascinating, riveting. Each half hour-long episode is an individual therapy session, done in real time. My favorites are the ones where the therapist, Paul, is in session with his own therapist, Gina, played brilliantly by Diane Weist.

Though it is a little fakey at times (I mean, really, what decent therapist sees patients in his own living room?) it is in general a very well-done show. Paul has incredibly flimsy and porous boundaries, no real sense of professional distance (Dean is simply mortified watching this). And he is hopelessly enmeshed with his patients, who are having "erotic transference" and counter-transferrance constantly. It's a total roller-coaster ride of emotions. But I guess that's what makes it so interesting?
From Radish King via the Sublibrarian:

a word cloud of your recent blog posts:

created at

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quote of the Day

"The fault lies not in our scarves, but in our shelves." — anon.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Heard John Marshall read from his fabulous new book, Meaning a Cloud, at Open Books yesterday. Winner of the Field Poetry Prize, it reprises his first two chapbooks, sandwiched around a section of new work.


Local award-winning poet Richard Kenney will read from his new poetry collection, 'The One-Strand River.'
Monday, February 25, 2008
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Seattle Public Library - Central Library
1000 4th Ave
Seattle, Washington 98104

7-9:30. A two and a half hour poetry reading? Please tell me this is a typo!


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Seattle man who helped launch Microsoft left $65M for gay rights.

Wow. What an inspiring story, but also very sad.

I guess it's really true that money alone can't make you happy. Or that giving is better than receiving. What do you do with your life, how do you *spend* your time, your money?

"With Weiland's gift, Pride becomes the largest such foundation in the country.

Weiland's other beneficiaries include Lakeside High School, Stanford University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the United Way, The Nature Conservancy and three other environmental groups."

Ahh . . . imagine if he had thrown a bone or two to a small poetry press or local literary magazine.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dean and I spent the afternoon at the Northwest Flower and Garden show yesterday. Now it is gorgeous and sunny outside today, almost as if on cue. Ahhhh, I can feel Spring coming. We are going to work in yard, and plant the four new winterblooming heathers we got from Stanwood Heathers & Heaths.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gay City: Volume One
The Gay City Health Project is proud to launch"Gay City: Volume One" an exciting new anthology of fiction, poetry, comic art and photography. Co-sponsored by Richard Hugo House.
$5 donation
Thursday, February 21st, 2008, 7:00 PM

from the Lulu website:
Some would say that everything about “coming out” has been written; that everything about AIDS, gay relationships, religious conflict, exclusion and grief has already been “done.” This slim anthology refutes that. Gay City: Volume One is a collection of fiction, poetry, comic art and photography published under the auspices of Seattle's Gay City Health Project. The work addresses Gay City's mission of preventing HIV transmission by building community, fostering communication, and nurturing self-esteem. Included here are author Tom Spanbauer’s “Mr. Energy”, written during the dark dawn of AIDS, alongside “Ethan Green” creator, Eric Orner’s visual chronicle of “25 Years, 25 Fears.” Inside you’ll find an excerpt from syndicated columnist Michael Thomas Ford’s novel “Full Circle”, eight pieces from the award winning poet Peter Pereira, and groundbreaking works from artist Donna Barr, plus many others.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dean and I went to hear Li-Young Lee at Seattle Arts & Lectures last night. He is an interesting character: very self-effacing, non-linear in his thinking and presentation. I was put off a little by the shtick he does, fumbling about with his papers at the lectern, not sure what he is going to read, starting and stopping and unable to speak a complete thought. Maybe he thinks it helps put him and the audience at ease? I find it annoying. Still, I loved many of the poems, and also his discussion of the concept of "I and Thou."

He didn't read one of my favorite poems from the book though:

Mother Deluxe

"We can't stay where we are,
and we don't know where else to go,"

is the first card my mother deals. We're playing
her deluxe edition of "Memories
from the 20th Century."

"Dead Baby," "Mystery Bundles," "Cleansing by Sacrifice."

Seven cards apiece and the object is not to die.

"Exodus," "Eyes Snatched Away,"
"Superstition at the Side of the Road."

All cards are good or bad depending on how you play them.
"Defeated by Wings," "Eating Forbidden Blood."

No card possesses inherent value.
"Among the Lepers," "Burial by the Solo River,"
"The Extracted Oil."

Every player begins in bondage.
Every player eventually dies. Everybody plays
whether they know or don't know they're playing.

Maybe this isn't a game.
Maybe it's World Evening News.

Maybe this time I'll rescue my mother.
I can't tell if I thought that or if she said it.

-- Li-Young Lee
from Behind My Eyes

Maybe this isn't the news.
Maybe this is a dream God is having
and somebody should wake Him.

Good boat, first boat, old boat. Mother,
my first night with you lasted nine months.
Our second night together is the rest of my life.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

PLU Visiting Writer's Series: Mark Doty

Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"The Writer’s Story": 5PM, Garfield Book Company at PLU
Reading: 8PM, Lagerquist Concert Hall of the Mary Baker Russell Music Center

(PLU=Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma). For more information click here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

From Telephone Ringing in the Labyrinth. I think this is Rich's best book in years. It seems more focused, more engaged.


A locomotive pushing through snow in the mountains
more modern than the will

to be modern . . . The mountain's profile
in undefiled snow disdains

definitions of poetry . . . It was always
indefinite, task and destruction

the laser eye of the poet . . . her blind eye
her moment-stricken eye . . . her unblinking eye

She had to get down from the blocked train
lick snow from bare cupped hands

taste what had soared into that air
— local cinders, steam of the fast machine

clear her palate with a breath . . .distinguish
through tumbling whiteness . . . figures

frozen . . . figures advancing
weapons at the ready
for the new password

She had to feel her tongue
freeze and burn at once

instrument searching, probing
toward a foreign tongue

I love the central image of this poem, the blocked train. I see it as a commentary on our own current political situation, where we are paradoxically enraged, burning, but frozen, immobilized to act. And I can't help but think that she is referring to, talking back to, Steven's "Snowman."


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

From Monday's Sound Focus on KUOW/NPR

Poems for the Beloved

This week, many people will exchange gifts and declarations of devotion in honor of Valentine's Day. Those who are separated from their beloved must find some way to bridge the distance. Today, Peter Pereira and Eloise Klein Healy read poems that provide evidence of the imagination's capacity to reach the beloved, despite geography and even mortality.

Click on the audio icon in the above archive link and you can listen to me reading "Twenty Years After His Passing My Father Appears to Us in Chicago, at Bobby Chinn's Crab and Oyster House, in the Guise of Our Waiter, Ramon" from What's Written on the Body. (the program starts about 25 secs in)

The recording is a little echo-y, but I love how this turned out. And the conversation/analysis of the poems, with hosts Elizabeth Austen and Megan Sukys, is fascinating. Check it out!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

January Reads

Night Train to Lisbon, Pascal Mercier * Perhaps the best way to truly understand the self, is to truly understand another.
What the Living Do, Marie Howe *
Anxious Music, April Ossman
American Spikenard, Sarah Vap
Complex Music, Tony Tost * (mostly for the fabulous cover, and the title poem)
The Insomniac Liar of Topo, Norman Dubie
Poetry, January 2008
Cascade, 2007
The Sun, January 2008 *
Raven Chronicles, #13-1 "Whimsies"
The World in Place of Itself, Bill Rasmovicz
Something Bright, Then Holes, Maggie Nelson
Embryos & Idiots, Larissa Szporluk