Monday, February 16, 2009


Hello all:

I have a few poems and an image up on this month's issue of This Joy + Ride. Stop by and check it out! The poems are from a series I've been working on related to loss and memory based on my grandfather's suffering and subsequent passing from Alzheimer's.

In conjunction, I've put some new postcards in the shop; proceeds from this postcards will be donated to an Alzheimer's organization of my grandmother's choosing. They're some of my favorite images I took from Ryan and my one year wedding anniversary visit we made to my grandmother; this lake also figures into the series, though maybe only a little in the poems on Shari and Sheri's webpage.

Also, don't forget: I have a poetry reading this Thursday with Greg Watson at Barnes and Noble Har Mar (that's Roseville). Seven o'clock, and if things haven't changed, in the "events corner," which is to the back and left if you are entering from the street.

My friend Meryl, who is a second year poet in the program, told me about the phrase "in the weeds" while we were waiting for a table at a good Asian restaurant in Chicago on Saturday. (Wow. Lots of prepositions there.... while, for, at, in, on.) She said this is a term common in the food service industry--that a waitress juggles several steps ahead, all timing what might be ready in the kitchen or the bar or what the customers might be ready for, and when there's a moment of passing maximum capacity, of being fully overwhelmed and unable to track what to do next, then that person is "in the weeds." (This makes me think of Jonah's "messing up my swing" metaphor. I'm loving these phrases to connect our lives to that over other professions.)

My friends, I am, indeed, in the weeds. The Palm Beach Poetry Festival set me up to be behind by a week, but I caught up, much to my insanity, and then this AWP convention occurred, so I am again, slightly behind, and when I returned, I received another jury duty summons, this one I won't get out of (does it stop if you finally show up for a tour of the courthouse?)--it's supposed to be over April 5th, and I do want to do my civic duty, but most of all, I want to be a good student who can take advantage of this time in the MFA program, and that won't happen if I'm flitting around the country or deciding the justifying of small complaints.

I have a feeling I'd still be strung out and jittery without these setbacks: my semester is more demanding this time around. Teaching a lit class means keeping up with reading, and the way I set up my twenty pages of writing for these forty four students means I'm grading a mini-essay a week (silly me, thinking of the benefit of regular writing practice would help them become better writers, but this is such a time-suck). Taking two seminars, one of which has us reading fairly dense (non-poetry) things, and the other has us regularly writing reflections and large creative non-fiction pieces. Busy. Busy. Three days on campus, but seven days a week at work in some way.

(And the reviews! I have reviews I need to write!)

My friends, my friends, I am in the weeds, which means I will make humble attempts at being quiet here. I've never been truly able to restrain myself, but the hope is that I will.

In the meantime, buy some postcards.


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