Friday, December 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Being Compassionate

That is the theme this month in yoga---opening your heart up to its black hole vastness, realizing how much room you have in your heart. Though, for me, the hardest part is opening up your heart to yourself and allowing yourself compassion. Or actually, just allowing yourself to be you and not focusing on everything you have to do, places you have to submit, chores, writing assignments, and the list is also a blackhole. Can you tell I've been reading the chapter on point of view in my fiction textbook lately.

Yesterday I told one of my friends how much I respect and admire her. She's an artist and a mother and I think often gets flack for not having a "normal" job and not producing enough of her own art. She amazes me and we're going to start collaborating on the dance/writing piece we've been talking about. We're going to work on it Thursday mornings and sacrifice some sleep for it! I'm trying to get back to the art for art's sake mode and not feeling like everything has to have a tangible outcome.

So far, I've written two short stories and surprised Jonathan last night with my new more fun process not product ideology.

I like this idea of opening up one's self to all that is out there---so that's my New Year's resolution---to try more things (hmmm, maybe this will be the year Ramona will try meat???) and to be a more open and willing person.

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's all about the Donut

A new donut shop opened up in my neighborhood. It's called the Fractured Prune---though today I had oatmeal, the kind you have to cook. And speaking of cooking...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sandra Says I'm It

Since Sandra tagged me and lately I’ve been thinking about how poetry can become a career---though that whole concept seems a little oxymoronic. I remember when I just wrote poems because I liked it and I had no intention of publishing. I don’t even think I was aware that you could write a book or how one would go about that. And I certainly didn’t know anything about literary journals. Especially after Erika told me there were only 22 tenure track positions this year, I kind of miss my blissful ignorance. I’m actually thinking about some other options---things that I would like to do and since the new year is approaching, I figure I may as well investigate. I’m thinking about an MFA in fiction, going to culinary school, and doing yoga teacher training. I’m slating the yoga for June right now and the rest, I’m going to have to investigate a bit more.

The first poem I remember reading was William Blake’s The Tyger. Those lines haunted me and I kept repeating them to myself. Almost like an incantation, though I don’t know what I was trying to bring up. It was just magical. I may have to go back and really start thinking about my own syllable counts.

I was forced to memorize numerous poems in school…not so much. Only lines from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. Also, the Declaration of Independence. And all states and capitals. But the best was Mrs. King, my 6th grade English teacher who taught me the famous preposition song!

I read poetry because I do. There is just something magical about a poem, but I think I’m beginning to say the same thing about fiction. I enjoy getting lost in another world. It’s transporting to read.

A poem I'm likely to think about when asked about a favorite poem---Jane Kenyon’s Otherwise. It reminds me of all the possibilities---how your life can shift, that there are always options.

I write poetry, but I think there are too many presses and journals and too many people involved in the poetry business. On one hand it’s great, but on the other, until it becomes more mainstream, I wonder how many people will really succeed at making poetry a living, or perhaps we’re not supposed to.

My experience with reading poetry differs from my experience with reading other types of literature---I don’t think it does.

I find poetry more often than I find the Afikomen.

The last time I heard poetry was a podcast of a Billy Collins poem from somewhere in Illinois. It was a poem and then a jazzy rift. I’m getting more and more into the tech world and so I think I’ll end up listening to more poetry than reading it myself and I’m wondering how I’ll handle the shift from the written to the oral.

I think poetry is like a blackhole. The deeper you get, the more lost you are. Though I was never one who was good at directions.

And now, I tag Reb! Cause I know she likes these internet quiz type of things.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Deranged Cleaning Tip

When you don't have a vacuum cleaner, a long piece of masking tape works. A long strip and pivot until you've gotten enough crap off your floor! Silly me, I opted for a happening new bag instead of the sweeper for the holidays. The payoff, a muted oranged leather purse that I can carry books and folders in! No more backpack for me! And with new haircut, perhaps the number of times that I'm confused for a student will substantially decrease.

I'm revising my syllabus for the spring---the add ons, semi-blind workshopping and poetry dates. This way, they can explore more of the city and use DC as a landscape. I'm a huge fan of going out and putting yourself in a new environment and hoping the inspiration will hit. Think art and jass! I'm also going to try more tech-ie things---using pod casts and recordings in class. Jonathan got me a hot pink nano and I intend to use it!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Do

Finally done with grading. Though I procrastinated long enough to write a short story and to wonder if I should try writing more fiction. I've been trying to resurrect some old work, but I don't think it's working. So, tomorrow it's back to creating new work. My goal is to have three short stories by next year at this time. So, I'm 1/3 of the way there. As if I didn't have enough projects already.

I'm beginning to think I don't have any follow-through or that I always feel compelled to be working. I wonder if that's a generational thing or just a Jewish OCD thing---what is it that makes us (or rather me) so driven? Today I thought maybe it's city life, that being part of this frenetic pace is part of it. Living in a city has definitely made me more concerned with fashion and perhaps even success. It's funny, one of my students wrote a short story about a girl who was reassessing her life at 27 because that seems to be the age in which one thinks about these things. At least that's what the character reasoned. I don't think she was aiming it at me, but it hit a chord.

Perhaps it's that time of the year again, almost New Year's and time to start making goals. Mom always says she's worried about me because I always seem so flip---no need to worry about it now---that I don't have any real definitive goals except to write, teach writing, and be happy. And it seems like I'm constantly coming up with 1001 ways to do all of these things. Or maybe it's my new haircut--that somehow a physical change is symbolic of something that is going on inside, or maybe, just maybe, all of this hair dye has gone to my head.

Friday, December 08, 2006

In Defense of Creative Writing

I remember when my grandfather used to kid me about taking creative writing courses instead of math or biology classes. And then there was my father who wanted me to take more business courses. I didn't give in. I rounded out my English major with Poetry I and Poetry II. I graduated college and headed straight to NYC for my MFA in Creative Writing. And now, first book, and teaching creative writing at GW and then one of our colleagues from the English Department publishes this in Le Culte du Moi.

I agree that students need to be exposed to great writers---which I think most of us try to do in our classes. And through reading these "great" writers and asking our students to do immitation exercises, perhaps they will appreciate the struggle and choices writers constantly face with language. I myself often struggle with finding a "how to" method that will resonate the most with students, but what I have come to find out is how important it is for each writer, each student to understand their own "practice" of writing and how important it is for them to look at every piece of writing with a "how to" persepctive. How does this author create dynamic characters? How does this poet use rhyme to make her verse more modern? I often find myself teaching writers from a diverse a background as possible, not just the greats, but helping my students find greatness (or something else---as we can learn from everything) in all types of writing---including their own.

Students usually tell me that peer review and class critique is one of the most helpful aspects of my class. One student even told me she liked the work of her peers better than some of the authors we read. I remember in college when my favorite writers were my peers. I liked nothing better than going to Open Mic Night at the Brady, and no, it probably wasn't the best writing, but it was ours.

What Professor Soltan has failed to acknowledge is the importance of this type of environment that encourages students to connect with each other, and honestly engage in the process of writing (and yes, a bit of self discovery) promotes interest in the more "serious" writing courses, that our students become more active readers while becoming better writers.

After returning from the student open mic tonight, I'm reminded of the good work that we do. The work read by our students was very impressive. And as a writer, I know that this is something that cannot be quantified or qualified.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sick, Happily

A bit under the weather lately. Happily, I have some good reading to occupy my thoughts. The latest issue of The Sun arrived the other day and today in my email, I happily received this.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


You know you're getting old when...I remember the first time I criticized the clothes girls younger than me were wearing. I was in a mall in New Jersey (this was when I was in grad school) and commented about the micro-mini fad of the time. But, it's getting worse now---especially watching mtv where young people get drunk and make out. Though, I often see all of that live at the Rouge, last night no exception. At least no one threw up! And where are the roll models? Of course, right here:

"Young Hollywood’s Crack Pack" (courtesy of The Liquid Muse) as they've taken to sporting mini skirts commando, ensuring the world a steady supply of not-so-necessary crotch-shots. Lindsey’s privates hit tabloid headlines twice in the last month - and now Britney has joined in. (Wasn't she on a "classing up my act" campaign??) Ladies, for chrissakes, wtf? Put on some freakin’ panties already!

Even the professional escort there last night knows that!

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Tonight is the big AIDS benefit at Rouge. Some come on out---last time, Miss Universe was there. I don't think she's in town this time, but it will be a night of who's who in the DC party/benefit scene.

Things are winding down, the semester and Monday was the last Burlesque of 2006! I'm really looking forward to some down time---time to focus more on my own writing. After teaching fiction, I'm getting antsy to try my hand at short stories over the break. I really like the structure of Margaret Atwood's Moral Disorder---a series of interconnecting stories. The way she explores the relationship between Nell and Tig---well, you really have to read it for yourself. I think Atwood is one of the authors who shaped me in college. I fell in love with her female characters and her strange feminism, though here, it's more muted and tangible.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Upside Down Turkey Dog

Marissa made her sticky bacon for me with turkey bacon while she's here visiting. Gobble gobble. As if there wasn't enough good food lately. Aunt Sue cooked up a storm and Mom invented Buckeye cake! Today Sandra encouraged me to get my book on the shelves of Politics and Prose so hopefully, they'll order. After Matthew Zapruder's reading tonight (which was awesome---he had a great metaphor for teaching poetry---comparing it to mechanics, of looking and tinkering with an engine. And his new book, full of poems I wish I had written. He was completely inspiring--when hearing someone else triggers so much in you, you know why you write in the first place), we took a gander at the shelves and came up empty. So she walked me back in to meet the host of the event and tell him about the steam sequence. Now I know why I call her Ms. Beasley, b/c she means business!

And here's business my way: I just sold my 100th book on my own (last night's bar shift of 3 books got me there)! Though I still feel very green as Sandra and Erica seem to know a whole bunch more about this poetry business. Job market, wonder why Maj said he wanted to plant his roots somewhere. It makes your life a whole lot simpler, knowing that you don't need to pack up your bulbs every few years and start over. Lately, I've been feeling like I've been doing a lot of skimming. Of gracing the surfacing and tasting but not lingering. Jonathan said that's life. I feel a little out of balance. I have at least two readings every month until I don't know when. And just found out I'll be reading at the KGB right after my birthday, Feb. 19th! No wonder why I'm spinning. I've also been travelling so that means less yoga so no wonder.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Dark Side of Ramona

Uh-oh, I think some of my students found my blog. Now they're all going to learn how strange/lame/human I am. I think we all fear this in a way. As artists, we have to put it out there, but simultaneously we're all a bit scared about that. Someone once told me that getting recognized is more how hard you work your own PR. I'd like to hope that's not true, but I do know one has to work at getting your stuff out there---isn't that what online dating is all about anyway? You need to put the energy out there instead of waiting for something good to come your way. Though I wonder if it is more satisfying if something good comes your way more as if by chance or accident, rather than your constant plugging away at something.

I just found out over the weekend that there is a book group somewhere in Maryland interested in reading the steam sequence and that they're going to buy 20-some copies! And invite me to come and talk to them! That made my Saturday.

And today I went to the Kennedy Center for the first time to hear the Washington Chorus---they had sponsored an elegy contest and one of my former students won third place with her fugue that she wrote and though Cristina wasn't there as she's abroad this semester, it was still so moving to see her poem published in the playbill---though the spacing was all messed up so they could get it to fit on one page---instead of the short Neruda-like sharpness down the left side of the page. Regardless, it was still wonderful.

I was fascinated by all of the body language and movement and ritual associated with a symphony and was intending to write a poem about the harpist, but instead, Ramona was baking brownies and when I went home, it became the darkest one yet. Even Jonathan was freaked out.

Though I think it is a good thing as there needs to be movement within the series---she can't sustain herself on food/sex puns forever. Sometimes the chickens need to hatch in the middle of your Betty Crocker. MMM----good thing I let Jonathan do the cooking tonight. The conservative and even keel pasta with chicken sausage as our offering for the potluck.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Good Weather

Last night Rachael Baird, a former student of mine almost made me cry before I read--it was the most meaningful introduction I have ever had and the reading was lovely. 118 people were there---mostly students I think fulfilling a reading requirement, but hopefully we didn't bore them to tears, though cousins Neil and Leslie were near the back and said, nope, they were all rapt. Though, your family will never tell you that you suck to your face so who knows :) And dinner and drinks with colleagues, and having so many current and former students there further gelled my feelings of belonging here in DC at this time (though yes, I know, one can plant their roots anywhere and flourish) and somewhere in the evening it came up that in the future GW may do away with some general education requirements (like fine arts and literature) so there may not even be a job for me in the distant future if GW's new fiscal plans go through---going to a 4 by 4 where students only take 4 classes a semester that are worth 4 credits. Of course, I can't fathom why the university would want to cut writing and literature courses and claim they are not as necessary as the three sciences that are currently required (the English students were up in arms about this). I guess this is another portrait of academia---the deciding of what is important study, and of course, we will all claim that our field is universal and essential. But for now, it's sunny and the weather here is good and I have to prepare my notes for my Kafka lecture.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Let the Poets Eat Cake!

Ramona was well received today at the Library of Congress and it was awesome reading with Bernadette Geyer and Marcela Sulak. Though, how can a reading of poems about food not go well? Afterwards we went to Pete's for lunch---a diner serving burgers and Chinese food. Most of us opted for the Vegetarian Special. Ramona was happy, though she's not yet found a place in her heart for okra.

We ended up talking about (surprise surprise) the poetry scene in DC and how there are so many venues for poetry but that we don't mix that well. There's the more formal readings at LOC and the Folger and then the university readings, the slam scene, the avant garde, the northern Virginia, the question was, should we have less readings or how can we work to help each other out rather than thinning out the scene b/c we all agreed how vibrant DC is. (I had no idea I'd be agreeing with that after first moving here from NYC). And of course, time and the amount of work vs. the amount of financial support for it all is a huge factor. Anyone have any ideas?

What I do know, is that we are lucky---lucky to have all of this and hopefully, like today, we'll have our cake and eat it too! (you can get these cakes at Cake Love---the Magnolia of DC)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where can you find me this week

Here's where you can find me:

On Tuesday, November 14, "Delicious Poems about Food" will be read at the Library of Congress by guest poets Carly Sachs, author of THE STEAM SEQUENCE, Marcela Sulak, translator of MAY by Czech poet Karel Hynek Macha, and Bernadette Geyer, author of WHAT REMAINS.

The reading will be held from noon-1 p.m. in the Pickford Theater, 3rd floor, James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., SE. It is free, and tickets are not required.
Capitol South on the Blue and Orange lines is the nearest Metro stop.

For any last-minute information, please call 707-0362.

And also new poems on MiPO!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Shift in Energy

My psychic energy was working double time last night at the bar! Some guy ordered a gin and tonic and then disappeared on his cell phone for an hour or so and I thought, I wonder if he's going to come back and pay for his drink. Right after I thought that, he came back. Then I started talking about Kitty Victorian and the DC Burlesque scene to a guy at the bar and then in walks Kitty. Then this guy came up to the bar and I thought, here comes trouble, and sure enough Shannon and I broke up a fight (well, more Shannon). I usually play good cop. Then it was time to close and I was hoping the people in the booth would leave and just as I thought that, they got up and left!

Yesterday I was feeling a bit down or overwhelmed with everything---perhaps it was the weather and class was really low energy and then I fell down the stairs (no one saw, luckily) but I took it pretty metaphorically. But like Rob always says in yoga, sometimes you need to fall to learn. (And on a side note, mom's going to do yoga with me when she comes to visit!) And now today it's sunny and my flower guy was there so I have some yellow daisies and orange lillies! And I'm actually feeling less crazy, though perhaps b/c I finished my Jenny Moore application which I'll drop off tomorrow and new poems were accepted by MiPO and I have the new Justin Timberlake CD! Publication, flowers, and hip hop---three ingredients for a happy poet!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pen Is Envy

Tonight I went to a talk at Borders with Margaret Atwood and some guy from Book Expo who interviewed her. I think I would have liked it much better if she actually read, but the conversation was interesting because I came to know her a bit better. She's much funnier and much more real than I had expected---what most fascinated me is how she taught writing in the Arctic Circle for Inuit women---she doesn't just have feminist themes in her work, but she does the work of feminism. I had forgotten how good it felt to go to a reading by myself. Though right away, I ran into two former students and got to hear all about what's new with them (both taking more writing classes!). Now, when we have the Creative Writing Major/Minor dinners, I'll have former students so that is super exciting. And what was even more exciting was telling Margaret Atwood how her line "Pen is Envy" had become an inside joke with Gillian from Dr. Winebrenner's class while she was signing my book. She gave me her "best"---which I suppose one has to do when there's about 200 people in line. Oh, how I long to write best (actually I don't) and so I end up trying to scrawl these crazy things in people's books. Maybe I'll write Pen is Envy and all my Best when I sign the next round!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Why I Was so MIA from being online This Weekend

Jonathan surprised me on Friday by taking me to a mysterious location (Harper's Ferry) but I didn't know it until I saw the sign on the highway. We had a relaxing time and stayed at a cute bed and breakfast that was actually more like someone's home---this couple around our age who seemed to have a real estate empire. He restored and rebuilt and she sold...and he made blueberry and wild rice (separate) pancakes.

It was nice to slow down a little and walk in the woods. The ground was covered in these beautiful yellow leaves and I love it when the air has a bit of a bite to it, but it's still sunny even though you need a winter jacket. On Saturday we went to the Breaux Vineyards and found some great wines---a Merlot and a late harvest and I got this great shirt that says "wine diva" on it and so I wore that to Rouge.

I also had my tarot cards read and I can say that good things are in store. I'm not sure how much I really do believe, but good news is always nice to hear.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


I think I have blog block---I honestly don't have anything particularly exciting. I did have a mystery meeting on Tuesday which could perhaps lead to something interesting and poetic, but I will leave you in suspense lest I jinx it. I've really just been trying to focus on the present and was delighted to find a thank you note from one of my former students for writing him a study abroad letter of rec. In Jan. he'll be off to study in Ghana! And then met with another one of my former students who will be introducing me at my GW reading. I'm very excited for this and the dinner with other faculty and Anna and my introducers b/c this will be the first dinner that students can have with the readers. That was one of the things I loved about Kent. And this morning I made Peanutbutter Brownies for class---the final in class poetry reading and to kick off ZZ Packer's Brownies. Yes, I am that cheesy! Or should I say chocolate-y!

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Monday Memo

While I'm writing this, Reb and PF are at the costume shop so it should be a Burlesque reading filled with tricks and treats! I won't be donning my white body paint as I did on Saturday to transform myself into the statue of Venus. But I'm sure they'll have some goodies for everyone.

I made organic brownies last night---Whole Foods is too ritzy for Duncan Hines I suppose and I added some choc. chips, chipotle pepper, and ginger to the mix to spice it up, but still, I think it is the preservatives that make the brownie...they were good, but not Good. However, the risotto was a hit.

I also won 7 bucks last night at co-ed poker. I'll put that toward's the poets' drink fund this evening :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Notes from the Butterfly Princess

Just a few quick lines before I run off to Teaism to meet Sandra before tonight's reading at the Folger---

I think my students are really getting poetry now, now that we're almost done with it. I think today's class was the most fun as they got to present their poets and give us writing assignments. Students who don't normally share in class are all about sharing now. Especially when they can be ironic and nasty. Thanks to Joe Wenderoth and his Wendy's poems. We all wrote about the restaurants we regularly frequent. And the thoughts that we all have but never share...oh, contemporary poets, who give us these freedoms...Thank goodness we also had Whitman and Henry Taylor for some balance. What I liked about today's class was how much fun it was, and how much they opened up to each other---perhaps they should teach more often!

At the gym, I thought about all of this and how happy I am here---bartending and teaching, how this is enough for me right now in the midst of applications and whatnot. I'm beginning to embrace this duality more---though 30 is my age to re-evaluate the current employment options. Though once I say this, I'm sure something will cause me to wonder---as Jonathan says, I'm fickle---every day a new dream, a new neighborhood, another fairy-tale I dream up for myself.

And now the princess with flowers in her hair closes her laptop and walks out into the rain thinking of jasmine tea and poery...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Hearth Mother

Something about this time of year makes me want to cook and bake...when the air is chill and you want to be inside and warm. This morning I made a butternut squash soup with the leftover gigantic squash from the pizza. I think it's my new favorite vegetable because you can do so much with it. While cooking it down, it gets a mashed potato-like quality so perhaps squash sculptures are in the near future. A man Ramona can mold from her bare hands then melt into soup. I cooked it down with garlic and onions and salt and pepper and then added the broth and some rosemary and thyme. The recipe called for a blender but it was already so tender that I decided a bit of chunks would be good. I thought so and I'll have to see what Jonathan thinks. He's going to have a late night at the office so I took him some soup for dinner. Said in an ironic Donna Reed falsetto: Here's your dinner dear! And tonight Katelyn's coming over after yoga so I whipped up some cornbread batter and when we come back, I'll put it in the oven. I don't know why I'm getting so much satisfaction out of making things lately, why this new frenzy of cooking, but I think it's a sign. First comes the food, then comes the poems.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Squash Surprise

I just got back from teaching a "Master Writing Class" at Woodbridge High School. It went very well. It made me remember what it was like to be young and into writing, but not really knowing all that much, say that people could be a "poet" and what you had to do to become one (sigh). I also forgot how fun it can be when you really get people talking and to use their dreams/nightmares as a place to enter their writing. It was good to get out of my own head and just talk with them about what it's like being a writer---yes, i have another job, no I don't wear a cape. One girl even asked if I was "with" somebody. Ah, to be young and allowed to ask those questions and to have things like nail polish drawn on with a black sharpie because your mom won't let you buy the real black nailpolish!

Last night I made a great butternut squash pizza which I promptly housed when I came back. All you do is bake the squash with some onions, olive oil, kosher salt, and black pepper---then put it on the pizza crust with some ricotta cheese and mama mia!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wait a Minute, Maybe my dream is Here

A lazy Saturday makes me rethink---though maybe that's not the right word. Today I recorded my poem from Beltway Quarterly for WETA along with some of the other poets in the DC places issue. Seeing Kim Roberts again, meeting Richard Peabody (of the infamous Barbie book) and hearing that Michelle Brafman won the F. Scott Fitzgerald Short Story contest makes me realize how good it feels to be rooted in DC. Maybe my seeds really are taking root here---and getting some emails from former students who want to talk about poetry--one even asked if I was teaching Poetry I (sigh, not yet). I suppose when you look towards one direction, there's always something that makes you look back. Right now I feel more like I'm playing Dizzy Lizzy, giddy with energy, the circles cycling. Not knowing which direction, but knowing it will all fall into place.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Big Excitement of the Week

My dream job---teaching creative writing at Oberlin---the job posting was just sent to me today and since the deadline has passed, I'm scrambling to get it all together. When people ask me what I wanted to do, Oberlin was always the place that I used as a reference, a small college like send your good karma my way that I can pull off a decent letter and get everything in asap.

And I had a great class today with teaching odes---I think it was the mysterious bags I passed out filled with something they should write an ode about. I think finally today my students saw so much joy and fun in writing. Perhaps I'll introduce these odes earlier next semester. I'm looking forward to reading Ode to Ranch Dressing, Ode to Plastic Silverware and the like...

and finally, Justin Timberlake tickets go on sale tomorrow!!! Yes, I am 27, just so we're clear.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Fish Returns to her Five Foot Pond

Yesterday I got some great advice from a friend---why be the biggest fish in the small pond, when you can be the smallest fish in the big pond---let the others bring you up to their level---and then Richard who comes into the bar every so often noticed that I always look down when talking about my book and what I'm doing. And here, I thought I was good at shameless self promotion. Well, good enough to sell two books at my bar shift! And for some reason, I was having good poetry karma as Richard is an avid reader and next to him was Dan who got his undergrad in creative writing. Richard also gave me a letter from Lawrence Ferlinghetti about subletting his house in Big Sur. I'll tack that right next to my photograph of Gertrude Stein! And Ohio, what can I say. It's always amazing to go home and to really feel connected to a place and the people there. Just having Gillian, Krista, Jon, and Melissa there meant so much to me. And of course reading with Gianmarc---to have a friend there right along with you experiencing this book adventure. And Brian Taylor who wrote a Carly poem for the open mic. And my family, who got to see this other world---my grandma who listened to some guy read about getting beat up and dropping f bombs in the basement of Mac's and saying she was glad she got to experience all that, well, that was reason enough. And Jillian's wedding on top of all of this. To move through time with those we love and watch them grow and change. I could rattle off a ton of cliches now, but I think Jonathan said it best when I came home---I looked so relaxed and content. Which I think is pretty good considering how busy I am---in the thick of readings: Saturday on the radio, Sunday the Writer's Center in Bethesda, and Monday at Woodbridge High School in VA. Swimmy, Swimmy!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Off to Ohio

Yesterday's word of the day was fierce. That's how I feel, getting all of these submissions for the anthology and having email exchanges with all of the poets who are offering up their lines for my consideration. It's thrilling really, to have such warm responses and such support for what I'm doing. I had spent all yesterday morning with permissions before going to yoga. I really feel like I'm making progress, finally doing what I had imagined when I was in college and wanting to make poetry a profession. I may have been a bit naive then, but I think I'm as close as I can right now. Even had a good bar shift last night and today it's talking about repetition---how fitting to read Paul Celan and Sylvia Plath on Friday the 13th. Then it's off to Cleveland for my readings. Poetry midwest jet-setter!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the why and later update

It's one of those sunny late fall days when you just want to be outside---when you feel re-energized. While walking home from the gym, I had three messages from Markk who thought we were meeting today in Coventry---ah, if only travel really was that easy, but next week we'll be talking about the anthology and with any luck, I'll have two books out in a year. It's been a long time coming but my undergraduate thesis is going to be in print soon. And having the experience of my own book come out is going to shape a lot of what I do with this one. I'm trying to think of what I want the cover to look like---any input would be great. What kind of cover would one want on a book of poems about rape and sexual assault? I'm thinking something abstract but simple, something perhaps more understated. I'm still waist deep in permissions, but it's nice to know, we're ready to roll forward with the next phases. Maybe just a simple photo of the sun on a day like today, maybe something with a flower, maybe something with a fence and a field, something Ohio? Maybe even one of mine...I just dropped my film off and will pick it up when I come back from Ohio. These are the things that strike me today.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Nod to Sylvia

I think I recall a line from Plath that went something like: Today is a good day to die. Today was actually sunny and nice and I lost my caramel apple to a bee, but a small price to pay for a day at the farm, homemade cider, and an oblong pumpkin to sit outside my door. Leave it to Reb to get me in the morbid poet girl mentality. Check out the quiz---what will your obituary say about you at

Remind me never to give this as a writing prompt...sheesh!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

City Girl, Country Girl

Bryan Gattozzi said that writers write about four things: place, love, death, and work at our reading at the jailhouse in Fred Fuller Park this past Thursday in Kent. Going back reminded me of what the Ohio poetic is---the praise of the landscape, of flatness and sun, winter and industry. One of the scholarship winners had a poem with a line about carrying Ohio in her eye. Going back made me realize, I have it in my eyes too, even though I think I have shifted away from a certain kind of narrative, there is a thread of images, trying to tell a story in some way. Alice and I talked about community in her office and what it's like when your radius is a small town, how you run in to the same people, how you naturally have the seeds, and yes, you have to nurture them, but the soil is good. The bigger the place, perhaps the more you have to tend. Jillian really loves Kent and after walking around in the community garden at the apple orchard, I can see why. And late at night, watching the clouds roll across the moon at my father's, and the sun set while driving with my mother, I can think of nothing better than an Ohio sky. Here is where I come from:


Sorry for the lack of linking--the anti-virus is preventing pop ups and I haven't quite figured out how to remedy this on my computer yet.

Though I have to say, I think I've found something here in DC--there is a DC poetic (Kim Roberts of Beltway put together a special issue of poems about DC) and Rod Smith and Dan Gutstein among others have an epicenter of avant garde (dare I use the term) poetics. For more on this, there's a great interview in this issue of Beltway. And then there's No Tell Motel and Burlesque with Reb, and Natalie has Mother Tongue and Washington Writers' Publishing House. I'm so lucky to have met Moira, Piotr, and now hearing about the Annapolis scene, so I'd have to say the soil in DC is pretty good too. Ripe for pumpkins, that's Sunday's plan.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Changes in Thai

Tonight Mom and I had dinner at the Thai Gourmet back in Kent, the place that I swore has the best food ever and which is why I don't go out for Thai in other cities that often...I always say, there's no place like Stow---in a way, I mean home, for this was the first Thai place I've eaten at. Home to college graduation dinner and many others. But tonight, only the soup was as good as I remember. And of course, our fortunes were lame. Mom was disappointed. Last night I told her about what I learned in yoga, how we are always looking at the world with dream glasses, so much that we are always putting our own spin on things. Rob, Mr. Yoga asks us to remove our dream goggles and really look around and see what is actually there. I think we often mis-focus and emphasize a part and not the whole. I tossed my leftovers in the trash on the way out. But sometimes it's not about the food, but the company and the conversation, that sometimes going out to dinner is not really about consuming food, but feeding another fire altogether. That maybe it isn't about the good Thai food, but the good times and good memories that linger, and keep you coming back to the table.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

from the Baltimore Book Festival...

This weekend was my debut at the Baltimore Book Festival, the first time reading the steam sequence. I was super super nervous, but I think everything came across very well.

While at the festival, I had my handwriting analyzed. It turns out I'm a very erratic person and go through moods very quickly, sometimes I'm moody, sometimes I'm warm and inviting. I crave my own space and don't respond well to criticism about myself and am impatient. And I also have a hard time communicating how I really feel about things, What really amazed me is how long the line for this booth was, how fascinated we all are with ourselves and how much we want to know something more, find deeper meanings in our birthdays, our zodiac, numerology, handwriting, etc. We need explanations, rational and otherwise. Easpecially around this time of year (I'm about to head back home for Yom Kippur), I always find myself wondering if I'm doing alright, if I'm a good enough person and how can I be better next year. I'm also wondering what sort of a coincidence is it that the book is really debuting at the beginning of the Jewish year. Moira had brought some wine to celebrate and what I really liked about the festival was really her, her wonderful friends in Baltimore, hanging out with Piotr and Molly.

I also met the fiction winner, Denis, and I'm very excited to read with him again and to get my hands on his novel Nora's Army when it comes out in October. After the reading we headed over to the swanky engineer's club and he toasted me there and we all felt really good about books. And on another note, I'm also realizing I need to watch what I say here as I found parts of a blog entry quoted in the Festival bulletin. It was the post about me having a poetry crush on Piotr and how wonderful it was to find someone near you whose work you really love and how you can get to know them if you're not too psycho or stalker-esque. Luckily for me, he was my editor so I didn't have to work any angles, I had a natural in. Before the reading he told me to pause. And afterwards, I got a big hug from him, from Jonathan, Moira, everyone. Something happened while I was reading that has never happened before---I felt almost trance-like, how the sequence read me, not the other way around. Something ghostly and beautiful. As if this woman I created could now speak.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Nod to Janet...

Yesterday was a take control day. I decided, after some gentle pressing from my colleagues that I should apply for a few jobs on the mla I did---sending them out today in fact. And Shannon and I didn't put up with any monkey business at the bar last I will not "top off" your drink. No I will not comp. your drinks because you think you deserve to drink for free all night because you once did because your wife was our guest a few months ago. Since you want to be a big shot, you will tip us accordingly. We have an autogratuity button and if you decide to splurge on 6 or more of your friends, you will have to tip on that tab as well. And yes, we got complimented on our looks and more importantly our intelligence as artists. Brains and Beauty, imagine that. The lesson learned...if you act like you own it, you already do.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Poets Bare All...

or rather, some...check out the Burlesque

Sunday, September 24, 2006

On the New Year

It's a new year, though it doesn't feel like it. Rosh Hashanah really snuck up on me---perhaps going back home to Ohio for Yom Kippur will solidify this time of year. I always end up kinda of sad, nervous, taking stock, and feeling excited about what could be in store in the upcoming year---and reflecting on how many changes have happened. This has been a big year and I think the next brings more. I've been listening a lot to my Erin Johnson cd lately---she lived next to me freshman year and was the Sarah McLaughlin of Heer Hall and I think of all of us around the piano in the dimly lit study lounge and building fires, of walking in and out and the music and how immediate it all was and now, how long the corridors of memory.

Just this week another one of my former students asked me to write his letter of rec. for a study abroad program. He wrote of how important it is for us to step outside of ourselves and become part of another culture, not just travel, but really contribute to the community in which you become a part of----his statement of purpose really touched me and made me feel part of something larger. I often wonder what it is to teach writing, if they get when we spend half of a class listing other words for red---and then naming objects and feelings associated with it, if this is a significant thing with a capital S. Last year at this time, I had decided it was time to really pursue the teaching and so I gave up the 9-5, became a bartender so I could teach more and I think that was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Soon after that I found out my first book would be coming out, and here it is and it all still seems so surreal, how far I've come from scribbling to candlelight and piano, how here I am, the same music, a cup of tea, and writing on my students' poems, thinking how much they sounded like me, almost twenty and so so alive.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Bartender Tells All

Well, not me, but some of my colleagues expound. For a while, I've thought about writing an inside the bar post---so you know what to do or not do for a while, but it looks like a few others already have! So before you tell me to make your drink strong or try to hit on me with your lame-o lines or expect me to be your sole entertainment for the night, read up sipsters!'m not bitter and haven't been turned sour by the industry, I'm just a big fan of proper etiquitte. Sometimes people don't tell you those things, like having spinach in your teeth. You should know better!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Live Like a Rockstar

Another perk of my job is that I can meet wonderful people who are with a band and sometimes even get to be on the guest list so I can see the band...So after a night of mingling and drinking a little too much (I'm a two martini girl) and selling double the amount of books I had sold (I'm up to 61 now) I got to see The Black Crows. And then last night, a wine tasting dinner at Dino in my old neighborhood. Today it's pajamas and student poems.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Book Party

Sold two more books while bartending last night! Tomorrow is the book party, so come celebrate with me at Bar Rouge from 6-9 p.m.!

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Weather is Fitting

Five years ago I woke up to one of my roommates screaming "Fire fire!" I thought she was talking about something in the apartment so I tried frantically grabbing my most valuable possessions. Then she told me to look at the t.v. It's somewhat ironic that I got a new shower curtain with a photograph of the Brooklyn Bride circa 1950, the Towers on the left, tall and almost out of place now. Rob began today's yoga practice asking us to dedicate this hour to someone in need, still, something lost. It is grey and the sky is holding back the rain. Sometimes I wonder how the weather seems to fit with a moment, grey and like this when I went to the concentration camps, warm summer rains on first date nights, a chill fall air to walk home with someone you just met. But getting back to today, five years ago. I was taking my poem to be copied for one of my first writer's workshops of grad school. I was thinking that everything would be back to normal, and that night I would be workshopping poems. The woman in the office told me I was in the middle of a panic attack, that my body was in shock and that it felt it had to continue with the normal routine. I remember how still the city was. I went out for Chinese for lunch since we had no food and everyone was just quiet. I remember coming back to my apartment to look at walls with nothing yet hung, thinking that I was somehow being cheated of my MFA experience. My school became a triage center and everything was off kilter and could not be righted.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Good Morning

It's funny watching GG get comfortable in the apartment. This morning he actually crawled into bed--which really isn't a surprise as he's become more sassy in his relationship with the furniture. He likes sitting on the speakers and running across the coffee table. After about 30 minutes of that I decided it was time to go to the farmer's market. My purchases: basil, pears, and cheese. I came home and made waffles with some of the pears on top. Ramona thinks she may be up for some internet dating. Robert isn't panning out and she needs someone who will be there when she calls.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Wireless at the Rouge

The semester started and I think it's going to be a great one. Everyone really opened up on introduction day, so much that I barely had time to even start reading the poems with them. I'm glad that everyone was so open and I think a lot of trust was created and some walls broken down. I'm really looking forward to the photo writing assignment as it's always good to begin away from the self. We also had our famous faculty dinner and I am reminded of how lucky I am to be a part of such a talented and kind group of writers. I'm hoping this year we will be able to spend some time together more informally like we always say we will...but time, that crazy bird, always has us in flight. Then again, that's what I always think on Saturday---yoga, lunch, visiting the cats at the animal adoption in Dupont, and then Rouge! Though today I brought the laptop so I could blog from the bar (everyone else is playing outside). Stealthy me :) I suppose I should see what Jessery is doing. I hear something being shaken, not stirred!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I've been discovered

Last night one of Fred Pollack's former students came into the Rouge and overheard me talking to someone else that I was a professor at GW. Would that be a conflict of pass out poems and drinks? Hmmm...I make a mean Manhattan straight up, no metaphors please!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


While in Ocean City, I was able to catch up on some good beach reading. A while ago---perhaps even for college graduation, my Aunt gave me a book of essays of writers on writing. The one I really loved was Gish Jen's Inventing Life Steals Time, Living Life Begs it Back--and it was about the dichotomy a writer experiences between the real world and the fictional world and how does one find a balance between living and writing. I think that's something so many of us struggle with---for we writers could always be writing, but how much of that writing will actually be worth it. Do we sacrifice our lives for our writing or do we sacrifice our writing for our lives?

With the book coming out, I feel like I'm at some kind of cross roads, though I would like to think, I'm just walking along and finding enough time to stop and smell the roses, but also walking briskly enough. It rained all day, a fitting end to the summer as I'm getting ready for a new semester. Tomorrow is my first day teaching and I have this excited nervousness that I can't seem to shake, that always pops up at this time. I remember it from college, even when I wasn't the one in charge. It's like a new page. I love the way the air smells. It smells like college. One of my best friends from college called a few days ago to tell me some exciting news, she's pregnant and I think even though how much it seems like I'm not that far removed from that time of thinking and drinking, we've come so far from those halls of Heer.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Off to Ocean City

As if I didn't have enough vacation already!!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Demo Cat

Shannon brought GG over this morning so I could try out having a cat and someone can take care of GG while she is off galavanting in Spain. So far, he spent the morning finding all the good hiding spaces in the apartment and I spent the morning editing and typing up poems written on vacation. Then, right when I was finishing up, he came out and rubbed up against my leg and the desk chair. I feel like a real poet now. Maggie Anderson has a series of Black Dog poems, but I warned Shannon that there may end up being some Black Cat poems written.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Vacation Story Board

So, I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures and see if you can find a thread of narrative. Here's my version. We all have our vices. You have to wear protective gear to keep you climbing up that path you want, or to keep the birds from shitting on you. No matter, nature will cleanse you!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jet Lag, Blog Lag

I've been on vacation (I still am) and have some great photos and stories, but since I'm still on vacation (just down here to print my boarding passes) I'll make you wait---however, you can hear them before I post them if you come to Burlesque Poetry Hour tomorrow where I will be fresh off the plane from the west coast---that means I will have gotten up at about 3 am east coast time to greet you, so it's a good thing I'm hosting and not reading. So we've got three wonderful poets who you should come out and hear...Natalie Illum, Fred Pollack, and Ravi Shankar! Who will be fresher than a daisy or at least more so than Lolita!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


While at the gym this morning, I learned that this was the title of the Toni Basil album that had the "Hey Mickey" song---makes me wonder what those other tracks sounded like as I only remember bouncing around my mom's bedroom on Saturday mornings listening to the top 40 and how one time Toni didn't make it and I was sad because we had had this great dance as it had been on every Saturday. Though I suppose change is natural, but at 6, I just wanted my song to be played---I wasn't yet tired of it.

But getting back to the word of the day---I had ice cream with an old friend who I met at camp when i was 15. Since then, he has traveled all over the world and has most recently left his job as a speech writer for the Israeli ambassador at the UN to attend law school here in DC. His nickname back then was Bug. Talk about change! And here he was impressed with my book...?! However, it was my book that scored us free scoops at Larry's and Larry bought the book as well!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Check Me Out

This week I'm wrapping up my online class and then it's off to Portland and Seattle, but don't worry, I'll be back before you can say Burlesque Poetry Hour.

My copy of Ekphrasis came in the mail today and I'm really excited to read all of these poems about art---I don't even really remember how I got so into that---I think a friend said, you have to see this statue and then it seemed like I was always in the National Gallery, wandering around and writing. As I was talking to one of my students the other day, I was explaining how at some point, her writing will shift away from herself---what I like about writing about art, is that it takes you away from the self--and lets you jump in the minds and bodies of other selves. When I was younger, it seemed like I had to write about me (I still do, after all, this is my blog) but I find myself, now, not appearing in my own poems. What can I say, I'm boring :). Today I graded, did laundry, went to the drug store and the grocery store and will be baking my raspberry chocolate brownies---who really wants to read about that!

I think that's why I like the voice of the persona, you get to be someone else, or at least take your attention away from your own life.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Lazy Friday

Since Blackboard is down, I can't access any of my students' writing and so that means karmically, I think I'm supposed to have the day off. I even woke up before nine to start reading their short stories. Ah, well, I sent out the evite for the book party and now I'm going to make breakfast and hope some of them have emailed me their work so we don't get set back too much. The other day I freaked out because my internet was working and I got so frantic thinking I wouldn't get everything done that needed getting done. But I did, *sigh*, of course I knew I would and that none of it would really mattered in the grand scheme of things, but oh, how we let ourselves get all riled up!

So today, yoga, ordering the new couch, coffee, and some salsa later on with Jonathan--and hopefully some short stories zing their way over :)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

It's Here!

And you can order the book on or through Small Press Distribution---pick your vendor :)

Shannon helped me pick out the shoes to match!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Lot of Personality

Noah dubbed me little miss sunshine at the Rouge last night. My hair can't take the heat--it curls and frizzes so it's back to braids, up do's, and of course flowers! And why wouldn't I be--Shannon is coming tomorrow to pick up the book with me from Piotr's place in B'more, then a cool lunch in Hamden and date night at Asia Nora (Ramona's playing third wheel). I've been working on so many of my other projects that she feels neglected. After all, she's the one who started the flowers, not me :) I hope she doesn't get too jealous of this ghostly woman she's about to meet.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sunshine Day

Yesterday I found out the book will be here friday! I'm so excited and nervous to see it. To celebrate, Karl and I went to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and The Portrait Gallery---which are my new favorite museums in DC (sorry National Gallery and Hirshorn). We've decided to start collaborating and our first poem was incredible (I may be biased). But it was uncanny to see how easily they resonated. We've made a pact to keep it up so here's hoping this wasn't a fluke. And yesterday the most gorgeous books arrived from Kore Press in Arizona---I'll definitely be reviewing something they sent for the KGB Lit Mag. And to top it off we had an incredible lunch at Poste---conveniently located right across from the museum so I have a funny feeling I'll be spending a good number of afternoons there. Everything is good in ice cream form--including mustard and cucumbers. Really, I swear!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I'm Vindicated!!!

My mom called today to tell me I made local news. Check it out by pasting into your browser. I'm so excited I forgot how to make a click-able link!

I'm not sure if all those typos were in the original but the info is there :)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Good News

A series of unconnected events---there is a huge fat ugly moth that I have to step over to get my mail. After I get the mail, my neighbors and I all get to talking about this thing on the steps. I go inside and open the mail and find out that my poem "Self Portrait with Cigarette" (about Edward Munch, not me) was a finalist in the 2006 Ekphrasis Prize. What this means is that my poem will be published along with the other finalists in the next issue. I get a contributor's copy. Jonathan comes over with yellow flowers.

Friday, July 28, 2006

From the Bartender Diaries

We're not supposed to say when someone famous or sort of famous walks in the bar and we can't ask them about their fame. We're just supposed to treat them like regular folks and act natural---no fawning and asking for autographs and whatnot. We can even kick them out at last call...which I've done twice this week. There have also been some conference go-ers who made me recite poetry b/c I'm the resident poet at the Rouge (can I put that one on the resume) and so I'm sometimes called upon in my drink making, to recite---my last call lines being from Dylan not go gentle into that good night, rage, rage, against the dying of the light---it got them out so I guess it did the job :)

I just hope this resident poet status sells some books. So preorder your copies at and you too can toast the resident poet on September 15th at Bar Rouge (where else) where I'll be drinking (not bartending) and celebrating the book.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Dance Dance Revolution

Tonight is Salsa night---Jonathan and I start dance lessons. Since moving out of Kent and Youngstown, I've really missed swing dancing and so we decided to try something new so we could both learn together. Actually, today has been a very dance centered day as this afternoon Shannon and I had lunch and we talked about the steam sequence---giving Shannon a better idea about who this woman is so she could begin to start working with movement. I'm really excited to be collaborating with her and next week we'll be in the studio! She was asking me a lot of questions about the woman, many of which I hadn't ever thought about while writing the poems. I don't think I could have done it if I had some direction in mind though---I often tell my students that writing isn't a path to some greater theme or idea and that you have to let the writing tell you what it wants to do. I like how some things just aren't explainable---which is esentially the "message" behind the sequence.

It's That Time of the Month Again!

BPH--Sandra Beasley, Christopher Salerno and Karl Parker

Friday, July 21, 2006

This morning I went to the Phillips and got back to working on the museum manuscript---I had gone with the intention of writing about the Klee paintings but ended up mesmerized by a small Cezanne in the corner of a room.

Came back home and found out I'll be reading with Anna Ziegler at GW in November and that in the middle of my life, Sonia Sanchez is doing something (more than writing poems) about the war. Yesterday my friend Leslie asked me to give some insight into what's happening in Israel and Lebanon because I'm the only Jewish person she knows.

I keep watching the news and really don't know what to make of all of this. One of my students wrote a phenomenal vilanelle about it, and I'm glad to see politics coming in to the arts. I have been talking a lot to them about the importance of art and how it can help us to see the world, and to inspire us to reconsider our positions, to examine new ideas, and to perhaps even move us to action.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Politics of Pinching

Last night Jonathan and I watched the news before going to bed. It doesn't seem all that monumental, but I'm actually one who prefers to not watch news---I'm not sure why I am so against it---perhaps the sensationalism and the idea of images clipped together to tell the story. Maybe I prefer the writing, but even that can be the same way. I have to say that I hate the graphics and slogans they come up with---Crisis in the Middle East, Day 8....and that switching of Israeli and Lebanese flags at the bottom of the screen. I also don't know what to make of this whole situation. All I know is that the issue defies complexity and I don't know if there is any sense to be had and certainly not a right and a wrong at this point. Whenever someone asked me if I think there would be peace in the Middle East, my response was always, not in this lifetime. Not so optimistic from an optimist. Jonathan sent me the link to a blog from Lebanon so I will pass that on.

I'm not one who usually is concerned with politics, but lately I think I'm changing my mind, at least in terms of bringing it into art---I've been telling my students to consider doing what Jane Kenyon Does in "Three Small Oranges." I really like the idea of seeing the significance of the daily and how we need to start opening our eyes to that which is beyond our lines of sight. Here's a link for this poem:

Last night I went to my first crab feast with Jonathan and tried to partake but really found the whole thing pretty vulgar. I was glad when he showed me how cut up his hands were---all that carnage---he deserved the pinching. Then again, I don't know if one can justify these small things. Maybe there is a poem in all of this...

The Politics of Pinching

Last night Jonathan and I watched the new before going to bed. It doesn't seem all that monumental, but I'm actually one who prefers to not watch news---I'm not sure why I am so against it---perhaps the sensationalism and the idea of images clipped together to tell the story. Maybe I prefer the writing, but even that can be the same way. I have to say that I hate the graphics and slogans they come up with---Crisis in the Middle East, Day 8....and that switching of Israeli and Lebanese flags at the bottom of the screen. I also don't know what to make of this whole situation. All I know is that the issue defies complexity and I don't know if there is any sense to be had and certainly not a right and a wrong at this point. Whenever someone asked me if I think there would be peace in the Middle East, my response was always, not in this lifetime. Not so optimistic from an optimist. Jonathan sent me the link to a blog from Lebanon so I will pass that on.

I'm not one who usually is concerned with politics, but lately I think I'm changing my mind, at least in terms of bringing it into art---I've been telling my students to consider doing what Jane Kenyon Does in "Three Small Oranges." I really like the idea of seeing the significance of the daily and how we need to start opening our eyes to that which is beyond our lines of sight. Here's a link for this poem:

Last night I went to my first crab feast with Jonathan and tried to partake but really found the whole thing pretty vulgar. I was glad when he showed me how cut up his hands were---all that carnage---he deserved the pinching. Then again, I don't know if one can justify these small things. Maybe there is a poem in all of this...

Monday, July 17, 2006

You Always Knew I Was Nuts

now you can be sure! I've actually calmed down a bit...I realize that my imagination can and usually does get the best of me. Luckily, a trip to the Jesus salon (Jesus #1, hair #2---that's what my stylist says) was what I needed. My stylist actually reminds me a bit of my friend Katherine, the hippist Christian I know (Sarah is the second hippest). I mean, if Jesus could have rocked the purple hair, I'm sure that would have been right up there with the water to wine business. Speaking of color--not only did my hair get some, but also my walls, a pale (calming) green.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Crazy but Avec Ice Cream

Lately I've been feeling really jumpy. And very self-judging. Aunt Sue sent a great quote and a timely one too: Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it will
elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it comes softly and sits on your shoulder.

---Henry David Thoreau

Though I don't know how to make the jumpy go away---neurosis comes natural to me. Even the ice cream at Larry's two days in a row hasn't helped cool me off. Though it was funny to see the lady ahead of me get so pissed off she walked out of the store when Larry would only let her sample one flavor--and said he'd let her sample two...but this woman wanted to sample if one really needs to make a careful and cautious ice cream decision. I mean, you should know what flavor you want, or at least have some idea. It's good to know there are some people more jumpy than you. At least I ended up with a chocolate shake!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Today Is Galley Day

Someone needs to give me a big pinch---today it all becomes real with the book. I was so excited, I couldn't sleep. The galleys for the book arrive today and Piotr and I have one more final edit before we go to press.

Last night I helped one of our business guests draft an email---well, in between serving him Grey Goose rocks, I gave him the expensive words to use. He said I should think about being a consultant in terms of business writing and asked for my card, and silly me, no business card. So, that's another thing to put on the to do list.

Marissa sent along this fun self awareness check in:

and make sure you do the name one too. It's pretty accurate!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More Pinches

Shannon's back from Ireland and we're going...well, more like she's going to choreograph the steam sequence. We talked a little bit about the project yesterday. Maybe all this yoga will make me ready for my dancing debut.

I actually let out a fuck in yoga class yesterday and a somewhat loud one as I fell out of the pose and into the shelving in the back of the room. No worries, I'm ok.

Maybe Shannon should not let me be a dancer.

Will be reading at Gallery 324 in Cleveland on Saturday October 14th so now I have two Cleveland gigs. Mac's Backs the 17th, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Little Pinches of My Week

On Sunday I went to Patric and Piotr's reading at Iota and on the way there my strappy sandal broke. Luckily Sandra had her chariot to take me back to DC.

The key to making a good Manhattan is a hint of cherry juice. I learned that from my father.

Small press publishing is challenging and much depends on the author to sell books. This morning I spoke with Naomi from Lotus and really felt what small press publishing was about.

Firehook bakery really does have great brownies.

I saw the pinch commercial and am obsessed:

Friday, July 07, 2006

So Much for Not Being a Fancy Lady

Janeil invited me out for ladies lunch so I decided to wear a little black dress since we were going somewhere classy. I'm of course now back in my sweats as I work from home when not slinging swanky cosmos around. But it was cool to be out and about and fancy. Speaking of fancy, just bought a great wool suit (On Sale)--got love those post 4th of July markdowns, so I will be styling come fall. Made travel plans for Ohio, Portland, and Seattle and just found out I'll be reading at Emory University next February and have almost lined up gigs in Philly and Florida. Looks like this is going to be a jet set year. And speaking of jet setting, today I was reading Gioconda Belli's "From Eve's Rib." She's a Nicaraguan poet whose books began coming out in the 1970's. So far, I think she's kind of like Sonia and political. Take this line: "And the books/ spread out on my bed are like men I've made love with in an/ orgy of arms and legs that awaken my passion for life,/ biting my nipples , my sex and filling me with a special/ semen made from letters fecundating me..."

Yes, we are the classier sex!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Contemplation after the Fourth

Last night I watched the DC sky fill with light from a friend's boss's rooftop. I have to confess I wasn't thinking about America unless thinking about America means not really thinking about it---what I mean is that our freedom allows us not to think about it. I remember being in Israel for their Independence Day and really feeling connected to the country even though I had only been there a few days.

There are so many things we don't have to think about here, or perhaps we think about the wrong things. Listening to the people I know here and the way they talk about work, politics, but not so much about family, love, and togetherness and the things that really matter. I often wonder if this is what living on the east coast does, though I know this is a gross generalization. So many restaurants and bars where open last night (not Kimpton!) and I wondered why. Back in Ohio it seemed like Belmont Ave. would close down and no one would be out...but out in their backyards. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic and not remembering correctly. This seems to be like one does when one goes from one thing to another, whether place, person, memory, or thing.

Lately, I've been feeling like I'm at a crossroads, not sure what the different paths are, but with the book and being here in DC, and quote on quote making a life here. It's funny, I always advocate for planting roots, but I seem to like to uproot myself fairly often. But I know I'm not going anywhere this time. Class has started and I'm really excited about learning about my new students and seeing what doors writing opens for them and I'm excited about teaching online. And Mendi left a note on my blog---what the internet does for creating community and bringing people together. And the book and all the wonderful people I've met through poetry and bartending. I guess this is what it's all about---navigating the waters, both familiar and unfamiliar. Yesterday Regrets Only: Contemporary Poets on the Theme of Regret came in the mail ( and I'm taken back to where I was in 2001, somewhere between Kent and New York City and trying to locate myself. Here's the observation I had: "The difference between drowning and breathing/ is how fast you move your arms."

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Sweets to the Sweet

Yesterday the chef at 15 ria fulfilled one of my fantasies. He sent out the entire dessert menu. I had always wanted to order one of everything, especially after Lisa Loeb did it on Number 1 Single. This is one of the perks of being in the "industry." You know the important people in the city---not the movers and shakers, but the bartenders and bakers. You don't have to wait in line at clubs, the chef comes to talk to you and sends over things and those around you wonder who you are and why they don't know you. And the poetry world is offering up her pearls as well. Yesterday I found out that Remica's manuscript, Conversions won the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Prize, so her book will be coming out of Lotus Press (I'm doing a feature on them for the KGB Lit. Journal) and now the new Beltway:

Summer 2006 issue includes work by 52 poets

The DC Places Issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, an on-line anthology of poems that celebrate Washington, DC, by naming specific sites in the city (streets, neighborhoods, parks, monuments, or buildings), is the first issue of the journal to go beyond the Mid-Atlantic region and include poets from all across the United States. And what a list of contributors! The issue includes former U.S. Poets Laureates Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, and William Carlos Williams, and former and current State Poets Laureates Joseph Awad (of Virginia), Fleda Brown (Delaware), Sterling A. Brown (DC), Linda Pastan (Maryland), and Baron Wormser (Maine). A complete list of authors can be found below. Hopefully it will include not only familiar names, but some wonderful new discoveries for you as well.

You can select poems to read from a traditional table of contents, or by clicking on our interactive map, a beautiful addition to the issue provided by Emery Pajer, a Pennsylvania graphic designer who specializes in custom maps.

The DC Places Issue was co-edited by Kim Roberts and Los Angeles poet Andrea Carter Brown. Brown writes in the issue’s introduction: “Every city has its history, but for no other American city is the struggle between local identity and national role so acute.” This presents both a burden and an opportunity for poets, who amply rose to the challenge to portray the city in its public and private aspects, in all its wild complexity.

Contributors: Karren Alenier * Elizabeth Alexander * Joseph Awad * Naomi Ayala * Elizabeth Bishop * Star Black * Derrick Brown *Fleda Brown * Sterling A. Brown * Sarah Browning * Kenneth Carroll * Philip Dacey * Peter Desmond * Thomas Sayers Ellis * Martin Galvin * Simki Ghembremichael * Brian Gilmore * Barbara Goldberg * Patricia Gray * Michael Gushue * Scott Hightower * Bernard Jankowski * Rod Jellema * Fred Joiner * Rosemary Klein * Joe Lapp * Mary Ann Larkin * Lyn Lifshin * Robert Lowell * Greg McBride * E. Ethelbert Miller * Sami Miranda * Miles David Moore * Kathi Morrison-Taylor * Yvette Neisser * Kathleen O’Toole * Linda Pastan * Richard Peabody * Patric Pepper * Carly Sachs * Gregg Shapiro * Evie Shockley * Dean Smith * Mark Tarallo * Hilary Tham * Belle Waring * Josh Weiner * William Carlos Williams * Terence Winch * Baron Wormser * Andrea Wyatt *

Read Beltway Poetry Quarterly at

Subscribe for free! Go to the “About Beltway” page:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Laughing Buddha

Sometimes the straps break and sometimes you fall over. Perhaps it was too much dancing, too much of a load for them to hold up my chest, or perhaps a poor sewing job that caused my dress to come a bit undone over the weekend. Luckily Kjera was packing the super glue in her purse so nothing too unseemly happened. And today Shake Your Booty (the store in which I bought the dress) called and said a new one was on its way.

Today I fell over in high lunge with a twist in yoga. Both mishaps I laughed through--like the buddha, finding humor in our shortcomings. Conversely, the book goes to press today and we've been searching for last minute typos and mishaps. I hope we got them all, because I know I won't be laughing over these mistakes or taking them gracefully. It's actually been pretty stressful--the first time in which the book seems real, almost ready now. Sandra pointed out to me at Burlesque that I've been very hush hush about these poems, not reading them, not sharing them. Perhaps because I think they are a whole, not really meant for one at a time reading. I'm really thinking about what this means, the book, a body of work---and now being on the other end, a reviewer, I'm really interested in the whole of things, not just finding the gems, the coda poems. What I'm reading right now is Mende Lewis Obadike's Armor and Flesh. And really loving the concept of the kinds of armor we wear to protect and sheild ourselves, exposing the masks and what it looks like when we remove them.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rain Delay

It's been a weekend whirlwind of changes and weather. Annie's married! That's where the pictures are from. Jonathan and I hung out in Coventry, where I used to hang out in college and going back, so many things have changed or moved around. I guess just another indication that nothing ever remains the way it was. Luckily the milkshakes at Tommy's are still the same and you can still get the best used CD's at Record Revolution. We drank a lot and ate a lot of cheese fries. Not such a common thing here on the East Coast so I definitely took advantage of that. But the best was seeing family and friends, because even through change, you grow together. All these girls make me realize how blessed we are to have each other. I think Melissa said it best when she commented in how different we all are, but how that doesn't matter.

We got stuck and extra night and came home to rain and more rain. My ivy is growing quite rapidly and I'm excited I finally have a plant I can keep alive. And in the spirit of growing and producing, my book goes off to press this week! Last night's Burlesque was also full of red pants and hot poetry so make sure you check out the blog. WARNING! Don't view these at work!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mondays Just Got Hotter!

~Get ready to shake off your Monday Blues~

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Rain Dance

Last Friday, Shannon convinced me to take her ballet class. Everyone else had slippers. I wore my socks. That should tell you how it all went down. Nonetheless, I really liked it. I felt pretty and graceful--when I was doing the stuff right. Which was maybe about half of the time. Next to me at the bar was this guy who comes into the bar--fancy that. My world is starting to get smaller. And wetter. Today I got stuck in a minor apocalypse and was soaked to the core. A kind lady shared her umbrella with me part of the way. This was more of a gesture as the rain was blowing all over and so it didn't really serve any purpose but to have someone else to walk with as we got wet. I came home and made some coffee and began my venture into the world of having a monthly poetry column. That's right, I'll be taking a literary virtual roadtrip as I highlight different presses and poets for the KGB Bar Literary Magazine. I'm really excited to get back to reading and unearthing. I already feel like I found so much. As writers, we often turn inwards and it's nice to see the good work that is out there. You know, we submit to magazines but only read the issues that we're in. But I suppose it all depend on the time you have and how you want to use it. How does one engage in the literary community and still maintain their own writing. I suppose this comes down to balance and who are we to tell each other how to do it. I know I don't have enought time for my own work. Yesterday I wrote a poem and it was the first one in few weeks at least. It came like they usually do---a moment crystalized--from a real story told to me yesterday and then the poem took off from there. I know that's so old school---to be "hit" with inspiration, and then the excited spiral as the poem leads you on the journey. Today in yoga we were told to embrace the what is and open our hearts to that inner voice--the one you don't overthink, the gut impulse or feeling---that the heart, mind, or body have a way of knowing that is just based on feeling (not logic or reason). After the rain hit, I curled up in my sweats and am in for the night with poetry. What a hot date!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

New Laureate

One of my favorite poets is now the new laureate! I'm so excited so check it out:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ha Ha, I'm in a Relationship

Yesterday Raydiance asked me how I make a relationship work. That brings about many interesting questions and anecdotes, as I used to be one of those girls who had a flavor of the month or more accurately week. I was big into trying everything and not having a favorite flavor so to speak. So how does one go from there to where I am now...I'm not quite sure, but I know laughter is a must. Jonathan came over and was helping me hang curtains around my bed and on the ceiling (also helpful to find someone who appreciates your quirks---home decor at 9 pm). I had everything taped up and he let me stick tape all over his clothes as I peeled it from the fabric and the ceiling. Why this was hysterical, I don't know, but he shares my pension for lewd humor and other base things to chuckle about. I also think it's helpful not to yell and to be able to calmly discuss annoyances and try to understand where the other person is coming from before flying off the wall. Because most of these things are never all that big---and trying to see that when it does seem so HUGE. Most importantly, I think is forgiving and forgetting---or at least not necessarity forgetting but being able to turn the situation from tragedy to comedy, to create shared jokes, not where you make fun of the other person but where you laugh together--bringing me back to my original answer. That and ice cream---last night we went out for dessert and paid $7 for coffee ice cream inside a mason jar with some soda water. But jokes on them, it was 100% worth it.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Milkshake Brings...

You know how the rest of that lyric goes...Yes, Kleis was staying at the Rouge and I didn't get to see her :(. Besides, we're not allowed to be star struck. We just have to treat stars as normal guests and not ask for autographs or do anything else un-called for. I'm sure I would have behaved myself, but that is like one of my all time favorite songs. When asked about it by my co-workers, I said I made good milkshakes and they thought I was being lewd. So I said I had like a really expensive blender at home. So here's proof, what I made for Raydiance today:

1 banana
1/3 c. crushed ice
1 c. milk
1/3 half and half
chocolate sauce (as much as necessary)
same goes for the kahlua

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Summer Writing Goal

I spent the early afternoon listening to some of the CD Roms that will accompany the online course I'm teaching this summer, and in the middle of syllabus building, I realized that I really haven't been writing myself, unless you count blogging and countless edits of the book. Though I have been getting back to sending out some poems. I think I ended up writing a lot with my students this it's just a matter of typing and editing. I still do everything by hand. It just feels more natural that way. Perhaps b/c that's how I began. I wonder if there will be a whole generation of writers that never has that sensation of writing, scratching out, drawing arrows, and all that jazz on the page. Call me old fashioned. But I'm moving forward. I did figure out how to convert files from word perfect to word and I will be teaching online.

So now that we're into summer (hey, it's June and hot in DC) I'm making a vow to get back to the museums once a week and do some writing. I think it's good every season to check in with yourself and see where you're at and where else you want to be.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Can you really reschedule life?

Life is happening. I woke up this morning and rescheduled the air conditioner repair guy to come on Friday so I can go to yoga today (though my favorite teacher who tells us not to have J-Lo booty is off today and tomorrow). Then I had one of my cousin's fabulous caramel brownies for breakfast (you only live once) which were left over from the great big family dinner on Saturday. Mom was here and all the cousins. It was really wonderful to have so much family over---Mom and I didn't really do all that much, just hung out in Dupont. We managed to get to Larry's twice for ice cream and had fondue at the Melting Pot. You can see why I need to go to yoga so much---all that dessert.

Last night I picked up a shift at the bar b/c the two regulars on Tuesday were ill (One tore his ACL which I kept calling ACLU until Jonathan made a funny joke about that). Also another friend has ulcer problems. We're all so worried and run around, we forget how valuable our health is and how important it is to take care of ourselves and each other. Mom swears by oil of oregano and astralagus. It used to be echinacea. I just wanted the morning/early afternoon to myself since I'll be at Rouge 5 days this week. It all started with Burlesque last night so make sure you check the photos to see what you missed. Last night you missed hanging with the Fudrucker's management team (they'll be in tonight again), and some nice Jewish boys (at least one of which will be back tomorrow). Who knows what will happen today. As I've learned from yoga, you just have to breathe into it and be in the moment.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oh Joy

Today in yoga, the instructor told us to curve our pinkies in Utkatasana (you're standing but bending your knees and trying to sit in a chair---it's challenging) and then she told us to turn the corners of our mouths up---reminding us to find joy in that which is challenging. Just a simple smile and it actually felt better...

I'm hoping it won't rain tonight because Jonathan and I are going to Shakespeare in the Park but even if we get a little wet, I'll try that fab yoga move and viola, to be or not to be in the rain eh? (Though we've decided to picnic at Russia House tonight as it has already started thundering so the question is now, will the show even go on).

After yoga I bought some beer, Rolling Rock and Yeungling for Jules. Also found a new recipe for tomorrow's dinner with the cousins.

So we'll have two varieties of chicken with apricots, field greens salad with bleu cheese and pears, and german potato salad.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Debauchery Has Begun!

As if there wasn't enough debauchery in my life already (who knew a bachlorette party that began with painting pottery would have me hugging the potty later on that night), you definitely want to spend Memorial Day with Gilda and Lolita as the Boys Gone Wild tantilize and tease you. And yes, Lolita will be tending the bar so I'll really be the hostess with the most-est!

Friday, May 19, 2006

from the Bartender Diaries

People will tell you anything. Most times you don't have to ask. I remember people's drinks, not their names. Perhaps that's part of the job. You have to always keep them on their toes, let them know you're the boss. It helps to have boobs too, but really that doesn't matter (of course it does) but as long as you find what makes you sexy and in charge, you'll do alright for yourself. It also helps to be quirky and friendly. Notice friendly, not flirty--it's more genuine. In a matter of three days I got countless business cards, invites upstairs, and inquiries about where to get blow. I think I also fixed a relationship, or at least helped it along, but we bartenders know discretion is important. You are a master of mystery, the ring master of all things sultry, the gatekeeper of the city, and the hand that pours their misery.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Singing Praises to Gilda, Faye, Jesus, and hair color

Yesterday I found the only Farouk Systems salon in the DC area---in Sterling, VA and the hour drive was worth it. What was really interesting is that while they can make your hair any color you chose (i.e. purple, which I didn't do) you listen to the Jesus rock station. Perhaps when my hip preacher friend comes to visit we will sing praises while our hair turns pink.

After that, lunch with Reb---this woman is on fire. Starting her own press---she's got one of the best taste's for poetry and take out. Anyone who she publishes will be taken care of. But that's what happens when you're a sassy gal from the rustbelt. You understand how things should be. Rock on Gilda, sings Lolita playing the bass to your sultry song!

I'm amid reading student portfolios and kvelling---so much progress and these books are so meaningful. I hope I'm half the woman Faye Moskowitz is. Last night at the faculty dinner I realized how lucky I am to know her and to have her as my adopted grandmother here in DC. And how lucky I am to be teaching at GW---where I have the best colleagues, especially Mary Sherman Willis and Tammy Stuart Greenwood. I had so much apprehension about being the youngest person on faculty but they made me realize, we're all just professors who have lives and care about shoes. I know I'm making light of everything, but really, I'm honored to be in their circles. It's not often that we can find people who are so wonderful in the workplace, let alone our lives. So all this week, cheers to everyone...come in and see me at Rouge (Tuesday through Thursday) and I may toast to you too!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Don't Peck or Pee on my Poetry Please

Save the date---Monday, October 16th at 7 p.m.---I'll be reading from the steam sequence at Mac's Backs on Coventry (that's Cleveland, Ohio!!).

Jonathan is emailing the info to himself right now and you should too! That's him in the car working. The rooster wasn't too happy about it--but once I explained to him that lawyers are very busy people, he came around. "What a pisser!" said the rooster. I had to agree.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Lobster Muses

This is beauty pageant Ramona style: the world's sexiest vegetarian.

Been typing up and revising some Ramona poems as this got me thinking more about her.

Today I dropped off more short story drafts and in my mailbox I found a card from a student from last semester. I had written her recommendation letters for an internship at the Holocaust Museum this summer and her study abroad in the fall. She got both!! There's a great quote on the front of the thank you note--"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." It makes me think that I'm really planting some roots here, city-style though. Also funny because I noticed a single sprout growing out from the bricks on the sidewalk outside my door. How the small things begin to take root.

And speaking of things taking root, make sure to check out the new issue of Beltway Quarterly, poems in response to the Iraqi War: Hopefully some good has been planted.

Red Hot

Despite my application of sunscreen (SPF 30) twice daily, I am still lobster-esque, just like my red place of employment:

I'll post pictures from Key Largo when I cool off a bit :)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Last Night's Surreal Dinner Party

Somehow last night I ended up at dinner with Charles Simic and the Serbian Ambassador, though not at their table. But Simic did come over and tell us about his famous cat that is the subject of his children's books, but they're not available in English b/c the illustrations of the wife don't fit the American standard of what an illustrated wife should look like. My wonderful office mate was really the one responsible for this fabulous night as she's on the board for the Folger(where I was tongue tied and in awe), though she did make me tell Simic about Burlesque Poetry Hour and how poets take it off...he didn't seem too keen on making an appearance, but he did raise his eyebrows :).

MSW (my office mate) is one of the most gracious and wonderful people here in DC, and no, not saying that b/c she let me tag along. She's just a good welcoming soul who can talk to anyone about anything and I really admire that. In a way, she reminds me of Maj...

I also got to meet another woman who submitted poems to the Deep Cleveland anthology and it turns out she's from Cleveland. Yes, someone to cheer on the Indians and Browns with! We got to play the way back game to being 16 and hanging out at Coffee and Creations and Arabica (freeka, geeka, and sheeka).

It was one of those nights that I normally term NY nights b/c of how far you seem to drift from where you began. I thought I was going to a reading and then going back home...then DC decided to be surreal. Perhaps it has something to do with the Dada exhibit at the National Gallery, which reminds me I have to check that out soon.

And if it couldn't get any weirder, I come home to find and email from a music student in California who has set my poem "The Story" to music...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Prom and Poetry Update

Our bathtub was amazing, on the 23rd floor looking out at Manhattan, thinking about the night on the town...we were at the Kimberly Hotel which is quite near the Buttercup Bakery...mmm, cupcakes in bed for breakfast!
Do we look old enough to be at the Prom?
the DRESS!!!!
another shot of the dress...hmm, i have more shots of the dress than jonathan...what does that say about our relationship???


Today I just found out that one of my poems will be in the Outside Voices Anthology which comes out in 2008 I think. It's huge, like 475 poets. I'm always fascinated by how many people are writing and doing new things (so to speak) and how these communities of ours form. How much of it is by the so called evil networking, which I like to refer to as finding new friends, you know, like discovering new restaurants or something. I often wonder what brings us together. Obviously now the internet and wow, look what technology has done for the literary community. In general I think the internet is a great tool for literacy. So here's the site:

Come, be my book fellow. But wow, look at what we are all doing. All of these dreams of doing meaningful things. That's how I feel about my anthology, (still deep in permissions) but planting the seeds and waiting for that thing to bloom.

The King and Queen of the Prom!!!

The royal blog of text will follow later on this week...