Friday, February 29, 2008


So many voices running through my tired brain. Somewhere there's a poem, but it's hidden, I'm afraid. There are voices I can't hear anymore. Maybe they're still speaking, but they sound like grey water running down the drain. I hold unreasonable grudges. I don't drink enough. I won't forgive the church woman who taught 5000 people one weekend that women and men have different hierarchies of needs, that a woman's highest need is love, but a man's highest need is respect. Well, it did piss me off. I'm growing into an unreasonable woman. It occurs to me that I very well might grow old and die alone. This thought doesn't have the strong deterrent effect that it should. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe I should drink more.

On Monday I take my turn leading and (hopefully) inspiring discussion in Sally Smits' Women & Spirituality class. So I'm brainstorming today. The book is Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and the theory text is Carter Heyward's "Sexuality, Love, and Justice." Happily for me, Women & Spirituality involves quite a bit of sex. See what you're missing! Here's some quotes from the theory I'm mulling over:

If I love you, I have to make you conscious of the things you don't see. I read and understand this to be our common vocation.

...there is one fundamental category that can be appropriately descriptive, even definitive, of who we are -- of what we are here to do in the world -- it is that of lover.

What does it mean to be a lover?

What does it mean -- to love?

Lovers re-create the world.

Love is justice.

We act our way into feeling.

The act is love, the act is justice. Good feelings about love and justice come later.

Sexuality is expressed not only between lovers in personal relationship, but also in the work of an artist who loves her painting or her poetry, a father who loves his children, a revolutionary who loves her people.

Our passion as lovers is what fuels both our rage at injustice and our compassion...

To say I love you is to say that you are not mine, but rather your own.

Certainly there should be some discussion there, plenty of stuff to argue about. I think we're going to have fun and I haven't even gotten to the discussion topics on the book yet.

Writers' News

How was the Rappleye reading? It was fine, fine, fine. Greg, you don't need Jackson. There are other countries, other lands...

So we all had a good time last night. It was too short, as usual, to listen long enough to all the voices I love. Check the Talia, Naoko and IUSB blog links on the left if you want to see pics.

And of course everyone is inspired and ready to workshop again, so...

Workshop - Next Friday, March 7, 4:00 p.m. at the Chicory.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Another Talia Tag

Talia tagged me again a few days ago, and while I didn't quite have time to respond at that precise moment, I did make note of where I was sitting at the time I first became tagged and what book was nearest by, so I couldn't be said to be cheating. Here's the rules of the game:

From World Class Poetry Blog

How to play:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences. ( was a little unclear whether I was to start with sentence 5 or 6, but I doubt that the world will end because of my unclarity.)
5. Tag five people.

My nearest book: Legitimate Dangers, an anthology of poems edited by Michael Dumanis and Cate Marvin

Page 123, lines 5-7, from the poem Subway by Miranda Field:

burns. There is war. There always is. And words
go missing from the messages
that line these walls, signs papered over signs...

So now I have to tag five people. Okay. I tag Jesus, Jennifer, Vince, Neil and Ryan.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


And don't forget the eclipse tonight!

P4 and The Greenhouse Show

(I thought I would give a long explanation, but decided instead just to copy the e-mail into this post and maybe you'll get the general idea. A couple folks you know will be reading, so it might be fun to check it out. And, to give credit where credit is due, we all can thank Mr. Neil Kelly for all this info!)

~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~ SHOW DETAILS ~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
4 Excellent Bands:
A Tundra
Pet Coffins
Kill & Eat
P4.35 Community Journal
(P4 Submission Instructions Below)
Potawatomi Greenhouse
2105 Mishawaka Avenue
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~ SHOW DETAILS ~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
Howdy folks-
Once again, we manage to defy midwestern midwinter rustbelt enui to bring you the best in aural botanical entertainment. Don't pin your visions of distant vernal release on the caprice of some neurotic and heliophobic rodent with a great PR network.... come get a lungfull of deep green right now in your very own civic botanical conservatory, all the while enjoying the live musical stylings of this line up:
from Chicago. This is what the Chicago Reader has to say:
"This four-piece fakes you out almost constantly: a typical song might start with cascading noise-damaged blues, then morph improbably into cold and atonal piano pop, then split the difference with a surprise ending in which precision rock showboating meets those chilly ivories uptown. A Tundra's debut, Man or Woman, Laughing or Crying (Staticstation), is haunted by the busy, muscular sounds of Chicago math past but puts a sassy, very contemporary obtuseness up front: the singing is arch and literary, the keys are unadorned and fluid, and both sound purposely misplaced. At times it sounds like each player is clinging hard to his or her own vision, and though the results can be confusing, the band is better for it." —Jessica Hopper, The Chicago Reader
hometown kids make good! Even if I wasn't totally blown away by the beautiful music that these PEPTO recording artists carefully craft (and I am blown away), the simple fact that they cite their influences as the following : tree's, bugs, birds, plants, 4 year old's, 40 hour+ work week, the sun, rain, snow, leaves changing
color, swimming pools in the summer.... makes them a sure bet for
the greenhouse.
from everywhere. Here's what they say:
Who? Clarke Joyner, drums, synthesizer, saxophone, trumpet; Caleb Vogel, piano, keyboards, vocals, trumpet (a trumpet duo?! whoa!) What? Well . . . we have always called Kill and Eat pop music, but "pop" is a tainted word. Of course, depending on who is reading this, every single one of these words could be tainted.
SB afro q-tech. kinda jazzy too. These guys arm wrestle music school drop-outs.... and win!
For a copy of the flyer go to:

If all those fine bands aren't enough to convince you to come out on a frosty Friday night in February to enjoy the sonic verdure, then how about this: anyone that shows up can also pick up their very own copy of the P4.35! What, you humbly ask, is the P4? Why, it's Paisley Parsley's Parcel Post, of course! Issue 35 of South Bends most elusive analog community journal can not be made without you however!
The quality of the P4 is a direct result of the quality of the submissions that I get. So..... Dig out that poem you wrote earlier in the winter, take the kid's best drawing off the fridge, send me your great grandma's favorite health food recipe. Other suggestions in a convenient list format include:
Letters to the 'editor'
Photos of anything interesting and perhaps an explanatory note.
Short Fiction
Dream journal pages
Humorous humor
Term paper excerpts
and really anything else... I'm looking for community engagement first and foremost. Here's how to get it to me.
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~ P4 Submission Instructions ~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~
If it is digital you can email it to me at this email address as an attachment by no later than the evening of WED. FEB. 20th.
(sooner the better though)
If you have any physical hard copy materials (I like it like that) , you can either:
a) Drop it by my house at
320 Howard St. near Stanfield
by no later than the evening of WED. FEB. 20th.
b) Post it to
320 Howard St.
SB, IN. 46617-1241
c) Drop it off at the Potawatomi Greenhouse, 2105 Mishawaka Ave., by no later than the end of the 10:30 yoga class on Saturday, February 15th held in the greenhouse. The class is over by noon. (Good opportunity to join the drop in yoga in the greenhouse, too!)
~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~ P4 Submission Instructions ~=~=~=~=~=~=~=~

Take Care and See You There-

Michiana Monologues

Yes, I am going on Saturday night to check the Monologues out. Here's a clip with an intro from Sally Smits, in case you didn't catch it on NPR today: Michiana Monologues.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weather Report

Okay, I drank my OJ and took my vitamin C, but there was no escaping the inevitable. I have the flu. So I'm a bit foggy, not quite there, more than my usual not quite there state. While you're waiting for me to return to unfogginess, check out Jennifer, who seems to be having a better time than everyone else I know, in the midst of great fogginess! And Mike, who has more good publication news. Woo-hoo! And now I'm off to take some Theraflu and stumble in the bed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


I've given up the poetry pen for awhile in favor of reading and writing fiction, but the poetry books still suck me in. I found this last night and it kind of fell into the erotic theme I've been exploring. It touches deep emotions and pulls them into the physical world. I suppose that's what we're striving for, what the best poetry does.

The Blind Leading the Blind

by Lisel Mueller

Take my hand. There are two of us in this cave.
The sound you hear is water; you will hear it forever.
The ground you walk on is rock. I have been here before.
People come here to be born, to discover, to kiss,
to dream, and to dig and to kill. Watch for the mud.
Summer blows in with scent of horses and roses;
fall with the sound of sound breaking; winter shoves
its empty sleeve down the dark of your throat.
You will learn toads from diamonds, the fist from the palm,
love from the sweat of love, falling from flying.
There are a thousand turnoffs, I have been here before.
Once I fell off a precipice. Once I found gold.
Once I stumbled on murder, the thin parts of a girl.
Walk on, keep walking, there are axes above us.
Watch for the occasional bits and bubbles of light--
birthdays for you, recognitions: yourself, another.
Watch for the mud. Listen for bells, for beggars.
Something with wings went crazy against my chest once.
There are two of us here. Touch me.


from Alive Together

It's funny, the effect this poem has on me. It's so good it makes me stop writing, I mean, there is the feeling, what's the point. But it also sends me down the path searching for what hasn't been said, for what I want to say.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Breathing - Or Not

Spring might not be in the air quite yet, but there's something out there. Check out your air at Scorecard.

Here's the score in my neck of the woods, St. Joseph County:

In 2002, this county ranked among the dirtiest/worst 10% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of air releases of recognized developmental toxicants.

The Top 10 Polluters in 2002

1 AM GENERAL CORP. Mishawaka

More Adventures in Writing

Ryan has a new blog! Moments in Erasure. Check it out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Water and Fins

Things I'm thinking about. From Louise Erdrich's Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, paraphasing:

How is a piano made? With time, centuries and centuries of time. (Think trees, imagine solar wind.)

And what is time? Time is a fish that never stops swimming. We are living on the rib of its fin. Sometimes in swimming through the weeds one or another of us will be shaken off time's fin.

One of my friends is writing an essay about Slow Food Love (pianos!) A fellow writer is contemplating persistence (trees!). Me, one hand is splaying through the water, one hand is holding tightly to the fin.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Women and Spirituality

God heard my prayers! Another snow/cold day! Wheeee! Or maybe there was some consensus in the prayers.

I wanted to put in a plug for Sally Smits and her awesome class, Women and Spirituality. No, she doesn't read this blog, so I'm not angling for a better grade. I just every once in awhile like to endorse what I find worthwhile. Not often, just once in awhile. The books she has chosen are wonderful and the lit theory is, well, the most satisfying lit theory I've ever had to plow through. Here's a little snippet from Audre Lorde's "Uses of the Erotic."

"...we have often turned away from the exploration and consideration of the erotic as a source of power and information, confusing it with its opposite, the pornographic. But pornography is a direct denial of the power of the erotic, for it represents the suppression of true feeling. Pornography emphasizes sensation without feeling.

"The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings. It is an internal sense of satisfaction to which, once we have experienced it, we know we can aspire. For having experienced the fullness of this depth of feeling and recognizing its power, in honor and self-respect we can require no less of ourselves."

Great class. Next time Sally is teaching this, take it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Next Writers' Meeting

February is looking as ugly schedule-wise as January, so if you missed The Chicory on Friday, you missed out on February. We'll catch you again in in March, which means you really do have plenty of time to write. In the meantime, there's always the blog-o-sphere.


Suddenly, it occurred to Jimmy that his home could use a couple more leaves.

Three Parts

After The Miller Show.

Busy, busy, busy. What can I say? There's more than I'd like on my plate at the moment. Cold weather cancellations, snow delays, often save the day. Not enough words make it to the paper these days. Soon enough, though, the situation will change. So, pics instead of words.

Jojo with Tom

Gene with Tom.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

And These Words, Too

"I will soon leave you. I will return to the home whence I came. You will be to my people as myself; you will pass with them over the straight road; I will remain in my house below and will hear all that you say to me. I give you all my wisdom, my thoughts, my heart, and all. I fill your head with my mind."

Words of Corn Woman, Iyatiku, before leaving the people to return to Shipap.

Writers' Workshop News

February! Are you kidding me? Where did January go? Or, on the other hand, when is spring break finally going to get here?!!! Yep, I know, we're all busy trying to shovel out our lives and muddle through. What to do, what to do? You could think about Lent, which begins today, if you're of that persuasion and that mind. A little self-sacrifice and contemplation never killed anyone. Or tomorrow you could celebrate Chinese New Year, we're heading into the year of the rat, if that makes any difference to you, and it's Chinese year 4705.

But wait, there's something even better! Save yourself and all your energy and come out to the writers' workshop Friday at 4:00 p.m. at The Chicory Cafe. Send out all your self-sacrificing, contemplative, celebratory scribbles on pieces of paper. Or just come and drink a cup of coffee with us. It doesn't matter. Just come.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Someone New?

We spotted this fellow yesterday and I was able to snap his (her?) picture today, but I don't know who it is! Can anyone help? It's much smaller than the red-bellied woodpecker, and much more tan than the hairy or downy woodpeckers. If you know, let me know!
Update - I've been looking through pics on the net. I think it's a yellow-bellied sapsucker (I've always wanted to have a real reason to say that.)
Update 2 - And she's not a fellow, she's a gal!

Friday, February 01, 2008


I'm turning back to fiction honing for awhile. I know a few of you are thinking along the same lines. So this is, hopefully, a little spur to encourage you to send out your fiction pieces for the next workshop. A few of you have promised, you know. Anyway, the first line of my new story I've stolen from a poem I've been working on, which seems to be going nowhere, but perhaps these images don't want to live inside a poem. At any rate, the faintest beginnings of something new:

"The sharpshooter stood beneath the black-wet branches of a wintering tree, leaning heavily on his cane."

So, come on, workshop is next Friday!! Send away.