Monday, January 30, 2006

A Sickly Post

I hate being sick. And I hate that I hate being sick. And I hate that I'm having trouble being sick. And I hate that I have to blog about it to clear my head. I should be relaxing and focusing on resting and feeling better but I'm thinking about what I have to do and what should have been done if I wasn't sick. Perhaps I'm a work-a-holic. I know being busy makes me happy. I always feel like I have to be doing something. Maybe that comes from being an only child or an overachiever...where did all this come from? And why am I suddenly vomitting up all my thoughts. People have told me I'm always looking for the next step---grad school, jobs, poems, publishing, opportunities, etc...I'm not saying this is all bad b/c it's good to have goals and to strive, but when does striving lead to strife? I have a difficult time saying no to picking up shifts at the bar and I always want to help other people out and do as much as I can, but I'm beginning to realize that not everyone is the same way.

So here is what I am trying to celebrate today because I think I'm afraid of failure and mediocrity and essentially not being liked or thought to be successful, wonderful, etc. I'm trying not to think that my world is crashing down just b/c I'm sick and not able to do what I should be doing for a day or so, because really it isn't. I'm just a drama queen:

1. My friend who lives upstairs who lent me some DVDs (so I can not think anymore)
2. My girlfriends who listened to me vent today on the phone
3. J for picking up poems for me and bringing bananas and playing shrink with me
4. Reb and all the poetry people who are burlesquing tonight without me (yes, the show goes on...)
5. LS for a great blurb who found time in her schedule to think about my poems
6. My cousin Evan Offstein for getting in touch---a long lost cousin turns up again in the DC much family do I have? I'm really excited to meet him and his family.
7. It was a beautiful day in DC and it was nice to open the window and let some fresh air in. Hopefully some lingered and will leave me with fresher, more spring-like thoughts.

Friday, January 27, 2006

What's New, Nous?

Today my students handed in their first poems and I'm excited. There are some gems in the batch and I ended up with a pretty solid draft from today's writing exercise: writing from a photograph. I'm going to be heading over to Firefly for cocktail and to read the new poems while they're still buzzing from my folders and to wait for J before our dinner reservation. Tonight is Nora and Tuck and Patti:

And here's what I'll be doing at the JCC in the next few months:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

RAINN on your Valentine's Day

My birthday is always around Valentine's Day and there's so much cliche circulated then. Here's something meaningful to give:

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Madame Bovary, C'est Moi or Non?

I spent a good chunk of the afternoon reading Madame Bovary and watching Sex and the City (not simultaneously). So it got me thinking about women and what we really want and what it really means to be a woman and if that is even a worthy question to ask. Though women's lit professors will I'm sure spend much of their careers lamenting over these questions, and it was my women's lit. professor in college who really inspired me to be an English major...I remember debating the linguistics of the word woman, how the word man was part of it. And then we threw out other words, girl (too diminishing), female (same issue as woman), etc. and then played with subverting the text womyn (but that just looks weird and though doesn't have man in it, still sounds the same). So getting back to Bovary, though I'm only a little over a 100 pages into it, how she yearns for "somthing"---something perhaps beyond her reach, she's looking for a way to become more of herself---whether through material luxuries, books, horseback riding, housekeeping, religion, passion and nothing seems to live up to her expectations. So she walks around her house feeling aloof and unsatiated by anything or works herself into a frenzy over any new thing, only to discard it when it fails to live up to her expectations. Perhaps I see a bit of myself in her. It is dangerous indeed to be Madame Bovary, when the love of wanting is your raison d'etre, because there will always be wanting, more so than having, for a love of having will always end up sating you in some way. So how does one find one's own happiness? I suppose there are plenty of self help books for that, try yoga, changing your attitude, taking time to smell the flowers and love those around you. But exactly how does one do that? There are so many heroines in literature who are not happy--many who end up taking their lives because there is no way for them to carve a life for themselves. And myself, lately (besides being a little under the weather) have been brimming with excitement: the book, the teaching, the bartending, the boyfriend, the ira i just opened (see women's lit. taught me how to take care of myself). I feel almost too sunny--perhaps the karma of being slightly under the weather and a day of relaxing at home is my reward for all of this. Poor Mrs. Bovary, and the society that prohibited her from being in more control over her destiny. And how everyone calls her that instead of her name which is Emma---ah even the patriarchy of naming. I remember tossing that word around so much too. Blame it on the patriarchy, which would have been a catchy Weird Al song, if only he had gotten in touch with his feminine side.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Cupcakes at Your Door

So I have a moderate obsession. My vegan bud just sent me a link about cupcakes (he was the one bringing them back to me from NYC to the mountains of PA 2 summers ago). So the article rates the best cupcake in DC as Le Cupcake...and I think they deliver. I'm sure they'll be a trip to Falls Church in the near near future. Ramona is all about the road trip. So what do I want for my birthday: cupcakes delivered! And it would be grand to have 2 dozen sent to me at GW on the days I teach. I mean if Stevens can pull of the Emperor of Ice Cream, I can certainly manage the Mistress of Cupcake!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Rome 669

That's my office which now has a working computer and I have hung the butterfly mobile and met my office mate today (a fiction writer who also teaches intro.). I have this big window between classes so hopefully I'll be more productive than today. I ate a sandwich, took my sick phone to verizon, walked back to the office then walked back to verizon and back to the office and will be teaching in a few minutes. I guess I can not feel bad that I didn't get up to workout this morning before teaching. The office looks more like an office. I'm gadually hanging things and trying to make it look nice, as I'll be spending a considerable amount of time in it. The phone is better and I started writing a poem with my students today. It begins: This is the skin and bones of it.

It seems like a fitting beginning as so much is going on here with the book/life. I'm thinking I don't know after all that hubbub of the photo shoot if I even want my photo on my book. I think I may prefer not to be "seen." I look young and it may cause people not to take the book/me seriously.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This one's a keeper

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."--Scott Adams, American cartoonist

Yesterday I spent much of the afternoon on the phone with my "crush" talking about my book. I now understand the manuscript more as a whole and have come to some solid conclusions about what I do and don't want for the book. I don't want any suggestive photos on the cover---no nudity or allusion thereof. I want it to be a woman fully clothed and dressed in 1940's apparel. I want it to be someone I know, my grandma when she was younger (mom, see if you can snag some and send). Though I have some here. I hope our layout man has a good scanner. But more than the look, I think I really know what the poems are doing---not that I didn't before but sometimes the answers just reveal themselves. I suppose this is a cop out answer, that your subconscious knows what you are doing before you are really aware of it. Regardless, I'm getting more and more excited about the book. It's also the beginning of the semester and I finally got around to making my office look presentable and hung the butterflies above my desk. Apparently students still don't think I look old enough to be a professor as they look quizically at me and ask "do you know where I can find Professor Sachs?". Perhaps I should start saying no and then see if they pop up to class confused? But no, I don't think poetry should be so mean. I suppose they'll just have to keep me.

P.S. check out the burlesque!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Make Up and Make Out

This morning I got out of bed early to be at Sephora as soon as possible. They opened at 10 and I had a gift certificate from my mom for the holidays that was burning a hole in my purse. So sans make-up, I went to get a new face. Since New Year's I've been wearing more shadow and mascara b/c of the glammed up look of Red at the bar. What I really love is that they teach you how to get the look you want (though that probably comes at any higher end cosmetic store.) But this was more fun than the trips to the Clinique counter at the mall. So, I found a new fun brand: Stila who not only has sparkles and color, but also quotes inside the compact. I've got shadow with Louisa May Alcott and blush with Amelia Earhart. Check it out for yourself here:

Perhaps there could be some poet market-ability there?

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pondering in Down Dog

Lately I've been feeling a little strange. Perhaps b/c it's a new year and I should have many resolutions---though for us Jews, we already made them so these resolutions are kind of a let down. My yoga teacher had some wisdom for the day, to remember why you came to the mat, and to dedicate your practice. I really like the idea of stopping to center yourself (seems pretty basic, but lately I've not felt overly centered)---especially b/c I always feel like I'm all over the place. There is always some project or another. So here's my list of what I'm working on:

1. Edits and other tasks related to the steam sequence (My fabulous co-worker "Red" is going to choreograph a dance---ah, the possibilities, how I love projects)
2. Getting ready for the semester
3. Working on the deep cleveland anthology
4. Working on Ramona and the museum manuscript and my fiction

I'm writing these more for me, because I have really felt like a slacker this break---going to the gym and sleeping in more and having adventures with Caroline. Though I think this is what breaks are for. You get a break so you don't break. Namaste.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Romance from High Altitudes

It seems that it's pretty common to write about home when you are away from home--perhaps the distance gives you time to reflect. Perhaps it is the way the mind works, that we can't keep up with the moments as we're living them. I don't normally post poems (I think it's a bit too much) and I try not to write poems aboout people I'm dating for various reasons, but the mood struck me as I was sitting on the plane flying home to Ohio. The sun was coming in through the window and I was looking out at the clouds--it almost looked like the ocean and this little poem found it's way to the page. And really, who doesn't want to induldge in a little romance every now and again, even if it is cliche.

This is what it is like to love you
to feel the sun on my face through my window
and to think only of you

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Another fab. event at Rouge tomorrow:

Collageology Tour: The works of Amber Robles-Gordon"Collageology - My study of collage, art and my life. I breathe, create and live art."
The show will be at Bar Rouge Lounge, located at 1315 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036 from January 4 - February 16, 2006. There will be an opening reception held on Wednesday January 4, 2006 from 6:00-8:30pm.

Amber is a collagist. From an early age, she began creating collages, drawings, writings and photography, to document her passion for art, personal experiences and her surroundings. She focuses on topics such as womanhood, nature and her life. Collageology consists of two different series of works. The first series are surface. The second series are "paper mosaics," her technique consists of first sketching the idea and form, then ripping little pieces of different colored paper to complete the form or design. She uses the colored paper asher paint. Amber is greatly influenced by the work of Alma Thomas, Romare Bearden and Diego Rivera. She is currently pursing a Masters Degree in Fine Art atHoward University. Amber is a member of DC Black Artists and a featured artist at For further information about this artist, please visit, email her at or contact her via phone at(240)-417-4888.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Some Wicked Poems!!!

(and some are mine). Sometimes this blog feels like show and tell.
So much for being discreet in 2006!

Forget resolutions and kick off the New Year with Some Sexy Poems

That's right, the No Tell Motel Bedside Guide to Poetry is hot off the presses! Click here for your copy now:

Did I mention my "pussy" poem is in it. Remember, keep it discreet. No one likes full disclosure so I will only disclose our names...

Featuring Discretion By:Aaron Anstett * Molly Arden * Robert W. Barnett * Aaron Belz * Jasper Bernes * Remica L. Bingham * Anne Boyer * Elizabeth Bradfield * Gayle Brandeis * Suzanne Burns * Britton Carducci * Laura Carter * Shanna Compton * Bruce Covey * Matt Cox * Laura Cronk * Catherine Daly * Denise Duhamel * Peg Duthie * Jilly Dybka * Jill Alexander Essbaum * Marta Ferguson * Alice B. Fogel * Jeannine Hall Gailey * Amy Gerstler * Jim Goar * Noah Eli Gordon * Anne Gorrick * Carolyn Guinzio * Jennifer Michael Hecht * Shafer Hall * Michael Hoerman * Cynthia Huntington * Charles Jensen * Paul Jones * Kirsten Kaschock * Amy King * Craig Kirchner * David Laskowski * Dorothee Lang * Ann Neuser Lederer * Reb Livingston * Emily Lloyd * Rebecca Loudon * Oliver Luker * Tatjana Lukic * Clay Matthews * Corey Mesler * Charlton Metcalf * Michael Meyerhofer * Andrew Mister * Steve Mueske * Anita Naegeli * William Orem * Eden Osucha * Shin Yu Pai * Cami Park * Karl Parker * Dan Pinkerton * Lance Phillips * P.F. Potvin * Nate Pritts * Francis Raven * Kim Roberts * Anthony Robinson * Ken Rumble * Jenni Russell * Carly Sachs * Christopher Salerno * Standard Schaefer * Zachary Schomburg * Penelope Scambly Schott * Ravi Shankar * Brandon Shimoda * Matthew Shindell * Laurel Snyder * Heidi Lynn Staples * Hugh Steinberg * Matthew Thorburn * Aaron Tieger * Maureen Thorson * Betsy Wheeler * Allyssa Wolf * Christy Zink