Friday, November 30, 2007

You're no Fun!

That's what I was thinking to myself lately. I've been all work and no play. Well, not exactly, but I was realizing that I wasn't taking that much time just to be. Everything was always put in the planner, go here, go there, do yoga, cook, chores, write, Drisha, bartend, etc. The actual me time besides yoga, not too often. So since yesterday at 7 p.m. I decided to PLAY!

Brooke turned 30th and so we skated at Central Park. It's not that huge of a rink, but to skate with the city lights and buildings hulking over and the trees of the park all lit up, totally something special. And to watch Brooke and Meghan cram all their stuff in one locker, priceless amount of giggles! Then Jonathan and I headed back to Kitchen Bar where all the regulars were there. Nothing like Old Bays fries and a hot toddy to finish the evening.

Tonight we're off to the Brandy Library! Jonathan just made the reservation and found the place without me. I'm so tickled and excited to get all dressed up for date night. Will it be the stinger or fuzzy ruffles for me (those are the names of the cocktails!)? Stay tuned to hear more about tonight's debauchery!

And after a fabulous yoga class at good ol' LL, I met Meghan for lunch at Buddha Bodai and then headed over to Pearl River for some crazy shopping. I now have a purple dancing buddha for my dresser remind me to raise my arms up over my head and laugh. It actually looks like one of the postures we did today. A dancing something or other and I was able to hold a tree pose in handstand today for about 10-20 seconds! I'm not even going to attempt to find photos of what I did, but it was cool and I'm sure it will happen again so go to the 10 am Friday class if you want to do it too!

I'm relaxing, enjoying my jasmine tea and the new poetry prospects---I've only been chill and collected for 24 hrs. and in that time, I got an invitation to read in Oklahoma and to submit poems for a way cool magazine with a heartfelt and wonderful email from the editor.

Here's to your weekend! Go PLAY!

KGB Comrades??

Please join us for The Bedside Guide to No Tell Motel - Second Floor Release Party
Monday Dec. 3, 2007 - 7:30PM

KGB Monday Night Poetry Reading Series
85 East 4th Street., New York, NY 10003

Readers: Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Ana Bozicevic-Bowling, Bruce Covey, Jill Alexander Essbaum, Kate Greenstreet, Shafer Hall, editor Reb Livingston, Justin Marks, Gina Myers, Carly Sachs, Allyson Salazar, Evie Shockley, and Nicole Steinberg

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Holiday Season

This time of year always gets me thinking of where I am in life and what happiness means for me---being able to define what is working well in my life and figuring out how to change what I'm not so sure of. I'm not sure why I'm already thinking of my New Year's resolutions---esp. since I just assessed my life for Rosh Hashanah, but it seems to be a theme---now that I'm getting older. I've always had a combo of laissez-fare and serious ocd organization. Not sure how this dichotomy works, but somehow it does.

So my questions to myself are, where do I want to be as an artist and where do I want to be as a woman. Anyone else care to share your answers? I'm feeling both young and old, successful and not quite there yet. Carla, my yoga teacher would say, yes, these things are normal. You feel your feelings.

I'm wondering if my problem is that I've never really clarified my goals. I want to write, teach, be happy and be in love and to be healthy and not have to struggle. Am I being too loosey-goosey?

Some of us at Drisha have been talking about how women treat/view themselves---how we often appear wishy-washy and apologetic. We begin sentences: I'm sorry, I'm not sure I'm right, but I'm thinking...

And I know I've always had a hard time even deciding what to order from a menu, it all looks good. And now even with my poems, I'm not sure where they're going. I'm posting a draft below. I don't want to talk too much about the new projects because it seems that once you articulate something about a project, then you lose some of the discovery. So I'm just going to keep on trying to feel what I'm feeling.


What if I were to love you,
transfer blood from one
to the next, then does one
have a piece of the other,
breath of memory or dream
walking down, an opera
coming in from the window---

my voice or yours? Do you remember
where we began, that first taste,
you sitting in your chair,
me, with flowers
in my hair.

How then, did it come to this?
You with your stone,
me with my mirror---

for these do we give thanks?
Put the story on the table
and cut it up. Swallow
and keep it down.

The bits of blood in it.
It will not be sectioned
like a casserole, sliver
of pie or moon, the children
banging their spoons.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


sans turkey this year! My alternative is butternut squash pizza---wonder how many members of my family will try it! I'm from the midwest where poultry seems to be the standard dinner fare. My mom can make chicken a zillion ways and is a whiz in the kitchen, but my "no meat" often finds her stumped!

But regardless of the fare, we're all really celebrating each other and all the joys we do have. I have a lot to be thankful for, I am very lucky to have the family that I do, the friends that I do, the fellowship, apt. etc...

but does it get any better than this? Here's to you Moira!!! A hearty virtual Mazel Tov!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Palms

Tonight at dinner after the reading, the great swami MP read my palm. Apparently, I have a writer's fork, will not have children and will live to be close to 100. She read everyone else's hands at the table and was pretty right on. J also had no children on his hands too. Hmmm.

While I do believe in this kind of knowledge---a woman earlier today read about how the Turkish women in the village where she had lived knew she was having twins before American medicine was able to pick up on that---I'm also a believer in that nothing is ever 100%. Lines and people can lie. Though I have to say, I wasn't too shaken about the news. Even a certain someone has indicated that I may not be the right type to mother. I'm not sure what that type is, or really, how do any of us know how we will shake out in the long run.

I don't really think anyone could have put a damper on my weekend. This actually confirmed some of my own thoughts and fears about the future and the kind of life I will have. I used to think it was my feminist lit. course in college, but perhaps it was destiny in a weird form. Though, yes, I know you can be feminist, and a writer, and a mother and an artist and...

Reb is proof that one woman can do it all and we talked about how people are perceived via their blogs and how we all think everyone else has a fabulous life. And of course, if we're our own editors, why not? I mean, who really wants to read about my fabulous time of sorting the recycling and watering the plants? Or how many asses she wipes a day? She gave a fabulous reading and looked good in my panty hose! And we had a fantastic decadent brunch at Rose Water before she had to jet set back to DC.

And if that wasn't enough of a weekend, that only covered half of it. Saturday night I heard Pharoah's Daughter for the first time. I know Basya from my classes at Drisha, but to see her on stage was really awe inspiring. I've been realizing how amazing Drisha is---all the incredible women---I had had much trepidation about being judged and feeling like the black sheep, but these women are cool as hell.

And then the reading today at 440 gallery where I met even more incredible writers---it was the real deal, not people pretending to be hip and writerly, but the writerly I love. The ones who really mean it, the people who open up their lives, our lives and help us to see the world from all angles. In yoga we bent our heads lower than our hearts so that we honor the feeling part of us, rather than the thinking part.

Carla tells us to be with our feelings and Reb tells me I blog too much after yoga that I sound like a new age chic. But whatever, her camera turned up and I was right so there must be something there right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First Reading in the City as a resident!!!


WHEN: Sunday, November 18th from 4:30-6:00 pm
WHERE: 440 Gallery, 440 Sixth Avenue (at 9th St., F to 7th Ave.)
CONTACT: Brooke Shaffner at
Admission Free


CARLY SACHS Carly Sachs is currently an Arts Fellow at the Drisha
Institute. Her first book of poems, The Steam Sequence, won the 2006Washington Writers' Publishing House First Book Prize. Her secondbook, The Why and Later, an anthology of poems that women have writtenabout rapeand sexual assault, is forthcoming from Deep Cleveland Press.

R.A. VILLANUEVAR.A. Villanueva holds graduate and undergraduate
- Hide quoted text -degrees from Rutgers University. Twice awarded a Geraldine R. DodgeEducator scholarship to the Fine Arts Work Center, he is involved withliterary outreach programs as a teacher of composition and creativewriting. His poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review and RATTLE. AKundiman fellow and a semi- finalist for the 2007 "Discovery" / TheNation Poetry Prize, he is currently a MFA candidate at New YorkUniversity, where he serves as Poetry Editor of Washington Square.

Jolie Guy, November's featured artist, is a sculptor whose works arecomposed of a series of lines, like a drawing. Each piece begins witha piece of paper cut into a single line, to which other lines areadded. Each line is cut by hand. With each cut, the paper gentlyarches. Each new line of paper is placed on top of the previous lines,resting on, and sometimes threading within, these, to form a pile. Theearliest of these sculptures utilized collected paper tags fromcandies. A subsequent series investigated the building up of lines ofonly one color. In this most recent work, different colored papers aremixed, affecting the weight, lightness, and temperature of each form.

About 440 Gallery: Park Slope's only artist-run gallery, a jewel boxspace offering an alternative venue for nine Brooklyn artists. 440Gallery seeks to present surprising, unexpected art to the communitythrough exhibitions, talks, readings and events centered around directcontact with the artist. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7 pm, andSaturdays and Sundays from 12-6 pm, or by appointment.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Accidental Meat

Last night I almost had meat again. It was a misorder on my part. I didn't read the first line of the dish---pancetta in the pumpkin pasta. It sounds like some crazy alliterative cook's concoction. Luckily, Jonathan had ordered the fish and so we traded! What a prince! Ramona was batting her eyelashes all night. Maybe I should lay off the old fashioned--all that chai infused bourbon went straight to my head!

Luckily, I came out unscathed and we got to see Natalie after her reading at Bluestockings. She is such a champ--coming into the city for the reading and taking the early am train so she can be back at her desk this morning (I'm in my pjs writing this). I always knew she was an amazing person and poet, but something about holding the anthology that features her along with 35 other amazing women, made me realize how lucky I am to call her a friend.

Since I arrived too late to even fit in the door for her actual reading, I sat in Starbucks and proofed the bluelines for my anthology and should hopefully finish that up this morning. The t-shirts that Kristina made arrived and I can't tell you how excited I am to see how all of this work is coming together.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Shame on me...

I realize I've been lax with the blogging. I don't know if it's because I'm adjusting to my new life here in New York and I'm not home as much as I used to be---so there's less time of day that I'm actually online and I'm wondering if maybe I'm getting less interesting as I find myself struggling about things to write about. Or maybe it's just that so much is happening in my life, I haven't quite caught up with myself. This month's theme at Jaya is about binding and release and as usual, it got me thinking about my own life and how I'm often very hard on myself. I get very focused and it's hard for me to just be. I think instead, I have a lot of do. For example:

1. I start bartending this week at The Silverleaf Tavern. Back to work for Uncle Kimpton, even though I'm only a fill in.

2. Found out that Nextbook will be taking 3 poems (and getting paid for them!) Their poetry section will be new and hopefully up on the web soon.

3. Cut down my lecture classes at Drisha so I could focus on writing on Tuesday mornings and Fridays (so perhaps more time online afterall...though I was very strict with myself on Friday and did all my AWP applications and submitted some poems and fiction)

4. The blueline is in markk's hands and so I'll be getting my copy this week and then it's officially to press for the why and later!

And there are two amazing readings next week:

~November 8: NYC Release of Word Warriors, hosted by Eve Ensler at BlueStockings Books.

Reception afterwards * Broadsides for sale

Center for Book Arts
Broadsides Reading Series
Poets Amy Lemmon and David Lehman. Organized by Sharon Dolin Suggested Donation $5 CBA members/ $10 non-members
28 West 27th Street, 3rd Floor New York, New York 10001 (212) 481-0295

And going back to the bartending---found a great liquor/wine store in the neighborhood---and the shopkeeper let me taste some of his favorite vodkas from Poland. Elderberry and Honey! I have to admit, that even this bourbon girl went home a little happier yesterday afternoon!