Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yard Work

With apologies to Ryan...

I'm not a diligent weeder.

Snowball bush.

Wanna fight?

Bleeding heart/lady in a locket.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Replacement Parts

Q. Do you know if you were to actually sell them what kind of price you could get for them?

A. I don't -- I don't -- the value is, obviously, trying to replace them. They're mine, they're not somebody else's. I certainly wouldn't hang someone else's animals on my walls.


I'm working and waiting for Gene to retrieve Jojo from Michigan City. A beautiful day at the dunes followed by a lapse in judgment and a totalling of Gene's car. No injuries. Lots of hysteria. No injuries.


I know about the other room.

Daisy-cutter kissing wolf spider sliding
eggs into a cast iron pan.

Except for you, and you.

Good morning, sunshine.

Touch the white of his back, the coldest

I know halogen blue nipples,

calumet isn’t a city,

the wind doesn’t chime.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

On Third Thought

Yes, I'm not good at final decisions, Revise, revise, revise. Here's the deal. Hold onto your flowers, but we'll still do this:

Bonfire/cookout, Saturday, June 28th, 7:00 p.m. at my place.

I'll send out my address in an e-mail closer to the time, but let me know if this works for you.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Good Woman is Hard to Find

But I know several and I'm inviting them here and now!

On Saturday, July 12th at 3:00 there will be a Creative Writing Reading by women at The Chicory. Yes, men can come, of course, but it will just be women reading. No, it won't be all girly. I'll be reading, for goodness sake! This event is the brainchild of my friend Rebecca Waring-Crane, who is, one, a talented actress, two, finishing up a master's degree in communications at Valpo, and three, preparing to move to California. (Damn her wings.) She'll be reading two monologues, but she'd love to have the talented women writers from FGWC and beyond come and join her. So, polish up your writing, friends, and say you'll come and read. Each reader will have up to seven minutes.

On Second Thought

Okay, yes, we'll do the flower exchange, but Jennifer and Chris have convinced me it's best to wait until fall, less stress on the plants, folks will be around...

In the meantime, post pics of your gorgeous offerings on your blogs and we'll all wet our plant appetites and be ready to do this plant/bonfire thing in October, I think.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good News!

A million thanks to Talia for encouraging me to submit to elimae. They're going to publish "We Shall Dine" in June.

FGWC in June

Are you rested? Good. The June schedule is up. Check the sidebar. I'll send out e-mails in a week or so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Flower Wars

My first poppy opened this morning. I have a large patch of these babies that my grandmother gave me starts of years ago.
One May I woke up early and found a strange woman standing in the middle of the flower bed taking pictures. She acted like it was perfectly natural that she was invading my ground and photographing it. I even found her back again the next day. Never trust a photographer
Pink peonies also live with the poppies. They'll be opening in a week or so, which is unfortunate, because they really clash, but I haven't found another good place to put them.
I could move the poppies, I suppose. I've thought about letting them take over the side yard. I've never been fond of the grass over there anyway.
I have this discussion with myself every spring. It's yet to be resolved.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yes and No

I picked up Alison Hawthorne Deming's Genius Loci after reading nice things about it on Simmons B. Buntin's blog, a place I frequent to enjoy his wonderful Arizona pictures. I'm half way through the book, which is probably too soon to write any sort of commentary, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway. She has a couple of pieces that intrigue me, like this excerpt from "The Yaak," a piece she dedicated to Rick Bass:

------------I like to think
my animal presence
is equal to being
predator or prey, no agent
only of dominion, rather
subject to the rule
of violent need--all I might
inflict might be inflicted
on me. But truth is harder
than desire. The human mind
makes seeds that spew and drift
and carry us far from will
or wish to be benign. Most of what
we generate floats
through neurological space,
making us confuse what
we dream with how we live.


More often, however, Deming's pieces lack mystery and grace and come off heavy handed in my eyes. I found this excerpt from "Wild Fruit" to be such an example:

The blackberry is like
a person who puts off
saying the thing
she most wants to say
so that finally
the words blurt
too large and clumsy.

The blackberry puts off
making its fruit
until its canes
tower and arc
over those
which have expended
themselves early in summer
and winter is just about
to wrap its hands
around the stalks.

After spending so long
making itself strong
it cannot promise
that its fruit,
gravel seeded,
will always be sweet,
All it can promise
is abundance.


It's good, though, to read a book that in my opinion succeeds and fails. I should note that Buntin loved "Wild Fruit," so he sees something vastly different than I do. Regardless, something valuable is learned.

The Jojo Channel

Friday night, the Concord Jazz Cafe, playing piano with guest artist trumpeter Danny Barber.

Before the prom, pics at the Japanese gardens.

Practicing those martial arts moves with Kaylee.

Tree huggers.
Gene and I cooked for the ladies.
The Menu
Cranberry Frappe
Mesclum Strawberry Salad
Potato Leek Soup
French Bread
Barbequed Shrimp
Buffalo Wings
Angel Food Cake
with Strawberries & Cream
After all that, the men left early this morning for The Keweenaw for the boys-only May trip. The girls are sleeping off the prom. I'm fingering a pile of poetry books, thinking about all the dishes I still have to do.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Did You Ever Tell Your Wife

You would run the car into a tree and kill her?

The paneling in the kitchen could have been her face?

You thought maybe she should have killed herself?

She’s crazy?

Everything in the house was yours?

She was fat?

No. I said

I can't drive this car.

Stop badgering me.

She was acting irrationally.

It was a very lightweight door.

She looked good, to please wear clothes.


Cradled on the edge of dead

A man-sized owl


Whippoorwill, mourning dove

The wings

A dark line

Running alongside the spine

Poppies invade the drive

Jones flat on his belly

Testing the well

Claire in the garden

Bare feet

Scattered seeds

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Something happened real fast and my first instinct was to get out and harm the lady because she hit my car, and I cursed her. I'm not going to lie, I wanted to fight her. That's when I realized I couldn't move my hand. Since I am so honest, I was holding a Coors can and I was just holding it -- not to cuss -- the can fell out of my hands. Since then it stopped and it came and it stopped. I ain't been in no other hospital, but the psychiatric hospital. It hurts still to this day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Charles Street

I used to dream of a house that opened room into room into room. Or a yard full of wild tame animals -- turkeys, a lion, a bear. Our cat watches ghosts track across the ceiling, puts her head inside the toilet bowl and yowls. We ask her what she's thinking, but she never tells us who. All spring I sleep with my back against the moon, while my husband opens the curtains, positions me in its pool. He checks my breathing, covers my face with vines, my wild gray hair. He lifts my hand and drops it. I never move.

Monday, May 12, 2008

fgwc resting

Everyone is worn out. Go take a nap. Revive. We'll workshop again in June.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blue Yodel

by Frank Stanford

The girl in the black sweater
Lives alone with her child
On a small body of water
And is not married

She is building a cabin
Back in the woods
But for now she and the boy
Live in a houseboat
That lists off into the evening

When you go down
The goddamn roads to her place
You know
You've been somewhere

But she is always gone
When you get there

The only place she frequents
Is a tavern in the cove
What they call it is The Quiet Night

In the afternoons I went there
Wanting to get a look at her
No way

So I took to drinking
Later than I should
And the man who claimed he ran the dive
Told me the tale
Of the girl in the black sweater

It was late when I left

He helped me in my boat
And I rowed the liquor out
Of my blood all night
Going home the moon was letting
Out its mooring rope.

When I passed them asleep in their boathouse
Her sweater dried in the air
Like a black flag.

(From The Light the Dead See, University of Arkansas Press, 1991)

FGWC & The Birds

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Picnic Info

Scroll down. Look at the picnic posts. Check out the comments. Reply if you think you might come. Et cetera. I'm a little tired...

The Shadow

by Priscilla Becker

We were raised to be discreet
and you, I think, were only
hinting when you traced

my body in the grass.
We made a black thing
out of light--without effort.

And your shape on the sand
looks relieved; my face,
a redundancy. And if we

stood a certain way
we could extend our length
of days until it seemed

that we were squinting
or not breathing properly.
I made a picture with my hand,

a monologue of movement,
which did little toward
impressing you. I have been told

that that was then. Sometimes
I think I see you there; so many
nighttimes look like you.

(From Internal West)

Yes, definitely read Becker.


It was wet and exhausting and fun. The couples split off and coupled; Jojo and I split apart and singled. We all like different things. We all came together for Homer and Hopper, though, which, as Jesus said, were very fine. But the people! Now I need to spend a few weeks alone in a cave, or, more likely, the woods.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Art Institute

Another value-added experience! Just like the grocery store and chopped lettuce, sliced cucumbers.

There's still time to join FGWC and catch the train to the Art Institute tomorrow. We're leaving from South Bend on the 8:55 South Shore Train No. 14 -- or you can drive and meet us in Chicago at Millenium Park around noon-ish for lunch. Think of the stories you won't be able to tell.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Fricky Frak

My Studio Arts poetry notebook is MIA. We cleaned house this weekend. Took nine bags of books to Goodwill. I won't sleep tonight. Sigh.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

FGWC May Picnic

Saturday, May 10th, 2:00 p.m., The South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society.

A million thanks to Terri Vega for arranging the coolest place for FGWC to have a picnic in May! Here's the map. Also, it might be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Society Rules. Don't worry, there's nothing harsh. However, you aren't allowed to bring your own rabbit, and everything you do bring must be carried back out again.

So, what should you bring? Food to share, a chair, a friend, a chair for your friend, maybe some binoculars, comfortable shoes, paperless stories...

I'll bring paper plates, napkins, all that jazz...

As usual, remind me what I've forgotten to say.