Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Swoon, Morning After...

Do I look like I'm swooning?

I am...Burlesque poetry was a hit last night. Click on the Burlesque link for more pics of hot poets reading hot poems. And hot people listening to hot poets reading hot poems.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Poets Going to the Dogs!!!

Javie says check out www.burlesquepoetryhour.blogspot.com. He won't be there but Gilda and Lolita will!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday School

I can't get the music of Yoshie Fruchter out of my head (www.yoshiefruchter.com). Last night opened for the band with some poems. The whole evening reminded me of college. There was a chuch near campus that had an open mic where my friend Erin played piano and sang, and I read poems, and we all gathered around the candlelight on couches and just listened and felt together. It's not often there are places like this, where we can just slip into our hearts. Jonathan held my hand and my friend Karen was on my left and we whispered memory to each other. How we were in this room, in other rooms, in Deborah's house watching the woodburning stove and the cats spoon (I had written a poem about this, but alas, it is only in Karen's memory) I spent almost the entire night in my journal, so much that someone thought that I was reviewing the event and so this is my review I suppose. I tried to explain that I was writing poetry, but how to say words were birthing words, that the touch and breath of others took root somewhere inside. This is how I used to write. Ravenous and inspired. It felt good to go back to that space, something about the dark, about the flickering of candles, of song.

How words make other words. How going back to the Bible doesn't feel like going back. I think about how modern human emotion is...perhaps why Shakespeare lasts...but this is something else. Something about connections, of bridging the gap between the self and other. How when we try to write/sing in someone else's voice, we come as close as we can to loving the other as self. If only governments could try this, if only the people of South Dakota could. If only, we all could taste each other's song. How many voices would then harmonize. Yoshie sings, "Wake up Jacob..." and I can't help but hope this will open our eyes...

Monday, February 20, 2006

How Could I Not Take This One Home?

How I Spent My President's Day Blog

Went to the gym, got my photos scanned for the book cover and as usual am having trouble making a decision so I’m going to post the images. Visited two coffee shops in the neighborhood (Sirius and Foster Bros.), read some poems and the style section of the Post (J’s helping me become more in tune with the daily news), found a beautiful dress and shoes for J’s Prom (which Suzy argues, I bought the dress b/c of the shoes---damn skippy, and hopefully I’ll be able to find a picture of the shoes so I can show them off). Then made dinner and cupcakes and watched the L word.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A constant, underware and all

The other day J and I watched The Constant Gardener. I ended up in tears, crying for I’m not sure what---for being so far removed from world events, that we were curled up on his couch, safe, for not having done the Peace Corps, for not sticking it out in the Bronx, for not feeling like anything was enough, for feeling and not doing---He said he wouldn’t have been able to do something like that, and I don’t think honestly I would be either. I couldn’t pinpoint my tears or know exactly what it was that was so upsetting.

This morning we watched Olympic Hockey and we’ll go to the mall later---back to our overt American culture. How good we all have it. When I was a teenager, I used to have that how can we sit here and eat in fancy restaurants when people are starving angst. While that youthful idealism hasn’t vanished, I often wonder if anything we do is enough? J always tells me a lowball what I do, that I don’t focus on all the good that I do enough, but rather I focus on what I don’t do or can’t do. Maybe that’s only child syndrome, never feeling like there is enough you can have/do etc. I still haven’t given up my notion that I am really a superhero and that I will single-handedly change the world---albeit one poem or one cocktail at a time. I guess the one thing we can learn is that we should constantly be concerned with the struggle (any struggle) and constantly try to do more good than evil and to constantly try to celebrate those small dents we make, that we really are tipping the scales towards something higher, something more beautiful, a world that is good and pure.

And yes, I will purchase undergarments using my birthday Victoria’s Secret gift card probably made by cheap foreign labor that has probably exploited someone or something, but I will wear them and think of the thoughtfulness of someone who wanted to get something nice for me, someone who wanted me to feel beautiful no matter what. And like I teach my students, there is always a contrast/conflict in anything---beauty, love, truth and good writing lets us see something for all that it is. And it is by opening our eyes to that, that we become more enlightened and aware of the world, as it is, and as we want it to be.

Friday, February 17, 2006

No Bellies Just Yet

In four more days you will actually be able to see photos of the infamous bday bellydancing bash. We filled ours, but no one shook theirs. I got this really cool certificate written in Arabic which I will hang in my office and try to pass it off as a degree in Middle Eastern Literature. Tenure track, here I come!

The new issue of Runes Review came yesterday along with plenty of birthday cards and well wishes. Funny, my horoscope predicted all of that, that people would get in touch and that I would realize how many people's lives I've touched. My students have been writing about the humanity within us all---that universal connectedness we feel to each other. I think poetry is a forum that opens our eyes to opening our hearts and minds to others. One student wrote in one of her poems that Creative Writing was her favorite class. That really makes me smile b/c I've felt off this semester. Perhaps due to the Monday Friday schedule. People are still recovering from their weekends and then by Friday they have already started them. Funny, last week we wrote about time...Nonetheless, I'm impressed at the talent I have and I frequently tell people who ask about my teaching how wonderful my students are. And I'm getting back to that elated feeling of doing something that really matters. Sometimes I question the importance of language--does it resonate for others as much as it does for me and how can/does writing change the world. As I get older, I don't want to lose my optimism. Today one of my students wrote a poem in which one of the images was a child walking on the beach, falling, and getting back up and the sheer joy in that. How simple and exquisite to get so much pleasure from the body--how something simple can keep us entertained. It makes me want to grab an ice cream cone and sit outside before I meet J for our tryst at Indebleu. I've been in this office all day...

except to get a sandwich. I really dig avocados on sandwiches. And I really dig how much everyone did for my birthday. I've felt quite a bit of love lately and I want to thank you all for being there, sending cards, picking out presents, sending love and good wishes. The older you get (ha ha, upper 20's, eat that), the more you realize what really matters. Do something that touches someone else this weekend. Seek meaning in the simple. The sky is lighter, the clouds roll past the windows of Rome hall and for a minute I took it all in before heading back to my office to breathe and to find the language like the last beams of afternoon light, before night falls on this sleepy town.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Count Me In

1. This week is my birthday week. Funny, I don’t feel older or wiser and it doesn’t seem to resonate as much as birthdays used to. Perhaps all this yoga is teaching me not to put too much weight on any one particular thing. Same thing with the book. I’m excited (about both) but it doesn’t seem to be a self consuming thing. Or maybe I have too many things that I’m doing for one thing to matter so much. I guess I have lots of eggs and lots of baskets, and lots of cracked eggs. J only has a slightly cracked nose from couple’s yoga today. Apparently two klutzes doing balancing postures doesn’t go along with the two heads are better than one theory…lucky, he’s learned to let go and not get too preoccupied with holding on to grudges or my feet during handstands. We tumbled quite a bit today together and there is no one I laugh with more. I don’t even mind his computer that seems to be the cause of the invisible typing. I figured out a way to beat the system---type in word and then paste.

2. They’ve been reading a lot of Rumi to us in yoga and I have suggested Rumi to my students. There is something ancient and timeless, something that always makes you feel good when you read Rumi. Almost like prayer, though not as stagnant as the responsive reading in the prayer books---but there are some really good ones and tomorrow at the JCC I’ll be teaching a writing workshop based on Yitro. What I find really interesting about that is the contrasting images---how G-d can be both described as delicate and holding a mountain over people’s heads and threatening to drop it on them if they don’t listen. Talk about manic. Though I suppose we all have our ying and yang. Mine is that I like violent video games---not the shooting ones, but the ones like Mortal Combat where your body is the weapon. Where you can pick someone up and throw them across the room and watch them bleed. Namaste bitch! I guess there are some very base traits we humans have and we need to find a way to let them out.

3. Last night the swingers were back in the bar. Le Rouge est tres chaud et manage a trios eh? Apparently they like the drinks, c’est non? C’est moi? Je ne sais pas…

4. And here is my ISBN number for the book. Like the birthday it doesn’t feel quite real yet. 0-931846-81-1

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Top Secret Post

Well, I feel like I have one of those invisible ink pens or something. But I type in this box and I can't see anything so I guess this will teach me to be a more accurate typist or to be less mindful of common grammar rules. This is the what is according to my new yoga wisdom, that we should be mindful and embrace what is, because life is so uncontrollable and when we try to control that which is beyond our control, we get stressed out. So here I am in the now typing who knows what. This reminds me of Jack Spicer thinking some of his pomes were transmitted to him via outerspace aliens. How do we explain where our inspriations come from? Usually mine are rooted in something physical and tanggible, a painting, or the less so with a moment, a feeling. We jst started workshopping in class and it's wonderful to see people really connect about what they are feeling and thinking and how to explain this mystical craft, sort of like these random letters that I am hitting here. But it all begins someewhere, here where I'm trying to punch out something readable and insightful...to be continued. In blind faith, Carly.
For some reason my typing is invisible and I can't see what I'm writing here...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What I'm Reading

I just started reading Anne Michaels' Fugitive Pieces. MB recommended it to me last week as we were talking about fiction and how narratives can be constructed. And to look at it as a guide to how to work my own novel/short stories. Lately I've been really into structure and form, how to do convey subject matter through form. Perhaps too many philosophy and art classes about the relationship between form and content. I think it's quite important to think about it--I tell that to my students. How does what you're writing about feel like and how does that translate to the page? Michaels uses fragmented prose--non-linear and tangental, mirroring the way the mind moves. Writing that needs to be read and re-read. While reading through poems for the anthology, I've come across many poems that are fragmented and where language is cut and then re-strung together. That's how I would describe my poem in BAP. There are some things that we can't talk about or things where language seems to fail. How do you mirror that in a narrative? Michaels asks us how does a child speak of watching his family being killed by the Nazis. How does that child speak of hiding in the forests? How does that child speak of his memories? I suppose I'm drawn to difficult narratives, ones that challenge us to work with the text, when there is just as much unsaid as said. It's these contrasts and tensions that make writing (and life) the most interesting and rewarding.