Sunday, January 30, 2011

Weekend Healing

I like my attitude at this altitude.
The pool is open, but nobody
is swimming. I want to be better,
not bitter. I'm looking
for my armchair shaman, my
couch physician. Why do
today what you can
put off until tomorrow?
After all, an aphorism
keeps the dogma away.


First appeared in USA Today Weekend, and included in What's Written on the Body.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Took a day trip the other day out to Sayulita, about 30 miles north, on the Riviera Nayarit coast. It's an up and coming little town, a haven for hippie surfers and boutique-y boomers with money to build amazing homes up on the hills. I'll try to post a little video I took of the beach scene later: surfers waxing their boards, mild waves, row after row of palapa-ed tables, Daquiri Dick's, etc. We took s little tour of Bungalows de Los Arbolitos, which had these amazing little rooms amid winding paths and gardens, it looked very comfortable. Each room had a different Loteria Card to name it.

We wandered the town a little bit, then went to Sayulita Fish Taco Restaurant for lunch. The. Best. Fish. Tacos. Ever. Seriously. The Mango Salsa is, as it says on the menu, "insane." World Famous. I can see how the surfer boys and girls could work up a major appetite and then come here to fuel up.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Looking out on Playa Punta Negra

A lovely poem from today's poem of the day. It really resonates with where I am sitting right now:

The Process
by Joseph Massey

outside sounds
double the day's

indoor confusion.
How to untwine
noise, to see.

There's the bay,
highway slashed
beneath; water

a weaker shade
of gray than this
momentary sky's

widening bruise.
The page turns
on the table, bare

despite all
I thought was
written there.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Whale of a Time

Dean and I are having a great time so far in PV. The condo is quite spacious, with a killer ocean view. It is a little older of a building, and kind of funky and in need of some updates, but otherwise very clean and comfortable. We are enjoying cooking our own food, having walks on the beach, and dips in the pool, and jaunts into town for supplies. Last night we sat on the balcony having homemade margaritas and homemade guacamole, and watched several whales put on a show -- breaching and spouting and making enormous splashes in the water. It went on for over an hour, and only about a half mile off shore. So beautiful. Tonight P & B arriv and we plan to go into town to Le Bistro for dinner. ahhhh . . . Vacation. Not getting much writing done, but hopefully soon.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Looking forward to the long MLK weekend. And hoping my Huskies can turn it around and beat Cal tomorrow.


The sweetbox out back is in bloom. The aroma is amazing. I love having winter blooming plants in the garden. I cut a sprig from the witch hazel out front, and it is opening now in a glass jar on the kitchen windowsill. Just lovely. Ahhhhh . . .


Top blog search terms for past 24 hrs.

Plague Mask
Posting in Spanish
Palindrome Poems
The Six Minutes Sestina
Black Swan
Which Pagan God or Goddess are you most like?
Lemon and Olive Oil-Roasted Artichoke Quarters
The Below Job
Dry Lightning
Can’t See the Trees For the
Lee & Mayer
Apricot Martini Recipe

Hmmm . . . Poetic forms, food & drink recipes, nature, mythology. Interesting . . .

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Check out these three poems from Carol Frost, up at Poetry Daily. I have always enjoyed her work:

Three Poems

The honeycomb is made from flowers

and the materials for wax bees gather
from the resinous gum of trees,
while honey is distilled from dew.

At the rising of the constellations
or when a rainbow is in the sky,

. . .


And if you are from WA State, and are looking for a place for your chapbook manuscript, don't forget about Floating Bridge Press:

The 16th Annual Floating Bridge Press Poetry Chapbook Competition is open for submissions until February 16, 2011. If you are a current resident of Washington State, you may submit a chapbook manuscript of up to 24 pages of poetry with a $12 entry fee. The winner receives $500, a Seattle reading in September, and 15 copies of the prize-winning chapbook. Our books are beautiful, archival-quality, perfect-bound, and collectable.

Previous winners include Joannie Kervran Stangeland, Nance Van Winckel, Donna Waidtlow, Molly Tenenbaum, Bart Baxter, Chris Forhan, Joseph Green, Kelli Russell Agodon, Michael Bonacci, Timothy Kelly, Annette Spaulding-Convy, Holly J. Hughes, Nancy Pagh, Katharine Whitcomb, and Laura Read.

Floating Bridge Press considers all individual poems for inclusion in our annual journal, Floating Bridge Review.

For complete guidelines and a look at our titles, please visit


Sunday, January 09, 2011

Black Swan

So sad, so sad, to hear about the shootings in Arizona. It's one thing to have a free country and allow people their nutty beliefs. It is another thing entirely to allow them to arm themselves. And why shoot a child? I just cannot fathom it.

Christina Taylor Green, the 9-year-old girl killed in the attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was born on another sad day for the nation, Sept. 11, 2001.

Christina, one of six who died in Saturday's shooting, had been featured in the book, "Faces of Hope, Babies Born on 9/11" about children born on the day of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

"She came in on a tragedy and now she's gone out on a tragedy, but the nine years in between were very special," her father, John Green, told CNN. "We're all going to miss Christina. We were four people, and now we're three."


I saw Black Swan with friends last night. Wow. What a terrific movie. The music and the dancing are amazing. Natalie Portman is riveting as the lead ballerina, Nina, struggling to mature as a dancer, escape her constrictive relationship with her mother, and learn to dance the Black Swan. Mila Kunis as Lily is a revelation -- she looked so familiar to me all through the movie, and only today did I realize she played one of the kids in "That 70's Show." My oh my has she evolved.

The movie veers into surreality, I think as a way to dramatize Nina's struggle. Images of skin rashes, and bleeding fingers, and distorted body extremeties will be hard to watch for the squeamish. It is quite effective, and affecting. I will never think of swan wings and feathers the same again.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

News from around the internets . . .

This looks interesting. If I were in NY, I'd go--

Poems About Nothing

On January 26, 2011 at 7:00pm New York City's Rubin Museum of Art, in association with Augury Books, will present an evening of poetry with seven renowned poets.

Kimiko Hahn, Saskia Hamilton, Noelle Kocot, David Lehman, Ben Lerner, Brenda Shaughnessy, and Stacy Szymaszek will read poems by themselves and others reflecting absence, emptiness, and nothing—themes inherent in Buddhist art and philosophy.

Poems about Nothing is one in a series of programs inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, Grain of Emptiness: Buddhism-Inspired Contemporary Art. Like Poems about Nothing, the five artists’ works featured in Grain of Emptiness have been influenced by the tenets of Buddhism, namely, its central principles of emptiness and the fleeting nature of all things.


And more from Lemony Snicket over at The Huff . . . (don't you just love him?)

I've never had any of the problems with poetry that most people do, i.e., that it's boring and/or incomprehensible. A voracious reader, I spent my childhood reading things for adults, and learned early to find peace in the stasis of literature. Having read The Rainbow at fourteen (I'd heard D.H. Lawrence was dirty), a Robert Hass poem feels action-packed. And as far as comprehension goes, I find poetry actually has very little mystery compared to anything else.


Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hope you and yours had a safe and joyful time.

Dean and I started off New Year's Eve at the neighborhood burn -- a fun little gathering around a bonfire, with bells and noisemakers, and a chance to cast regrets from the past away and hope for the future into the flames. It was FREEZING out, but the fire was wonderful. Claire had outdone himself this year, with this amazing metal pumpkin-shaped basket that sat above the flames and glowed.

Then we went out to Cicchetti in Eastlake for a lovely dinner -- we were lucky enough to get a table somewhat last minute. A scrumptious 5 course meal, with a Turkish/Middle East theme, accompanied by a Turkish musical group. There was a wonderful festive energy on the room. And we were upstairs, with a terrific view of the lake and the city lights.

The 2000's were a mixed decade. Looking back there were lots personal successes and highlights: three books published, all sorts of poetry trips and conferences, trips with Dean to Europe and Mexico and elsewhere, home remodel projects, our garden re-do, the births of numerous nephews and nieces, ten more years of good and useful work (albeit at times stressful) at the community clinic where I have been since 1991. But there were a few losses as well: Dean's mother, two of his siblings, my brother in law. I guess it is only natural as one gets older that the people around you start to pass. And the political scene was tough this decade, with the awful awful presidency of George Bush (coming after the great years of Bill Clinton). At least we ended the decade electing a president of character in Obama. I just hope he can stand up for what he believes in, and bring us all together.

My goal for the New Year: to try something new.

Here's hope for the coming decade!