Monday, September 29, 2008


What a wild day! Gene worked and I hung around Miama University of Ohio and sat in the library and worked and watched the stock market ooze.

And I have two poems up today at The Salt River Review. This makes up for the slew of rejections I've gotten all through September.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

And The Beat Goes On

Gene & I have slid down south to celebrate Anniversary 23. Wow. Twenty-three. We'll be state parking it after today. Hopefully later this week I'll have some good nature photos to post. I love, love, love to see the tobacco drying in those open barns.

In other southern news, I've been really enjoying the clusterflock blog, which has absolutely nothing to do with the south thematically, except there's a link there today to another blog that has Flannery O'Connor giving a lecture at Notre Dame and reading her story "A Good Man Is Hard To Find." Follow the links and you can download the lecture and the story.

And finally, I have a poem up at jmww. A very nice way to end the day.

Leafy Green

The next time I visit my California brother, I want to see this.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The mailman was good to me today. Good. What Water Left Behind by Rutger Kopland arrived. A while back I wrote a short poem called "Leaving the Keweenaw" that just didn't quite get to where it needed to go. I liked it, but it just didn't quite finish the arc for almost everyone who read it. Well, Kopland's first poem in What Water Left Behind is another leaving poem, but it is just perfect. I can't wait to dive further in.


Leaving is not the same
as creeping out of the house
pulling the door quietly to
behind your existence and not
coming back. You continue to be
someone who's expected.

Leaving you may describe as
a sort of staying on. No one
is waiting, for you are still there.
No one says goodbye,
for you are not going away.

Rutger Kopland, What Water Left Behind, Waxwing Book, 2005)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Neck Deep in the Big Muddy

"The losses for average people are just beginning." - guest on NPR's Diane Rehm show this morning.

They're more than just beginning. Hold on to your hats or whatever that thing is that gives you comfort.

In a side item, while the world financial markets are crashing, the featured article at Yahoo this a.m. had to do with Michelle Obama's fashion choices. For some reason my laptop has the Yahoo page set as my home page. That's going to be changing.

So here's my little survey: What's your homepage?

When I settle on something, I'll let you know mine.

Fact Check

"The world is complete without us. Intolerable fact. To which the poet responds by rebelling, wanting to prove otherwise. Out of wounded vanity or stubborn pride or desolate need, the poet lives in chronic dispute with fact, and an astonishment occurs: another fact is created, like a new element, in partial contradiction to the intolerable. Indelible voice, though it has no impact on the non-human universe, profoundly alters human experience of that universe, as well as of the world of relations, the solitude of the apparently marginal soul."

Louise Gluck, "Best American Poetry 1994: Introduction."

Come Here Often?

Why, yes, yes, I do.

Math & Art

A slideshow to start your day. Or end it. The BBC.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008



Shit Creek, according to some.

Fish in the flood puddle.
I escorted them back to their home.

The train.


Should have posted this Gluck poem days ago: The New Yorker.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Was Left All Along

And The Washington Post has an interesting article on misinformation here.

Six Unspectacular Things About Charmi

Yes, it's that season again. I have been tagged by SarahJane.

1. I have a collection of rocks that sits on top of my computer desk. At last count (seconds ago) I had 28. They are pretty, and varied, but because my memory is very poor I don't really remember where I got them all. Occasionally I think they might come in handy if I need to stone someone.

2. I rarely wear makeup anymore, like since high school, 25 years ago. I never quite got the hang of it. Perhaps, if I had been more diligent at learning this skill my life would have taken a vastly different turn. Perhaps, I would be running for VP right now. We'll never know.

3. I sleep on the left side of the bed, viewed from the position of the sleepers. I can't remember if I chose this position or if my husband chose the right side. I had never slept in anything but a twin bed until we were married.

4. I've had my ears pierced twice (same place), but because I can't remember to wear the earrings, the holes always grow shut. I'm not sure what compelled me to pierce them in the first place (or the second place.) Perhaps I was bored.

5. I have washed and blown dry chickens and trimmed their toenails and oiled their legs. I was forced into this behavior by way of having children in 4-H. I am not proud of this. If I ever have grandchildren, I will draw the line.

6. The last time I changed a flat tire was in January of 1988. I was six months pregnant with Tom. It was snowing. In Michigan. On Highway 12. I have had a flat tire since then, but I couldn't get the lug nuts off (rust), so I had to call my brother. He's a very nice man.

Meme terms & conditions!
1. link the person who tagged you: SarahJane (see above)
2. mention the rules on your blog: (these are them)
3. list 6 unspectacular things about you: (see above)
4. tag 6 other bloggers by linking them:



John Gallaher had a great post Friday of an essay by Reginald Shepherd - On Difficulty in Poetry. It's worth checking out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Buckeye Season

Lying on my belly, before the rain,
the path at the park, strewn.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I've been in a mood for days. Itchy. The rain reminds me of the September we re-roofed the house. Good times. I should be doing -- what? Something. I don't know. Dismantling the garage, maybe. I made myself submit some things yesterday and I already have a rejection to show for my efforts, which is something, I guess:

"Hi, Charmi, thanks for the poems. Unfortunately, I am going to pass on all of them... this is just a personal preference, but I really love compelling characters reacting to events as they unfold... I love being able to clearly visualize a scene, and I wasn't in any of yours. Thanks anyway."

Nothing compelling, no scenes, no characters, no events. Yes. I know. Nothing particularly compelling is happening, especially in my writing. Give me a moment and I'll stop bitching and get back to work.

When I was a child and I started feeling this way (and driving my family crazy) my grandmother would make me go outside and run around the house five times. Man, I could definitely use grandma today.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rose's Bud

Bud, daughter of Rose.
"What? You told me go weed in the backyard."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stronger Than Capital T

I heard a rumor and it's true. No, not that one. The one about Notre Dame's Hammes Bookstore expanding the poetry journal selection. I picked up Rattle, Third Coast, and Green Mountains Review last night. The mags, however, must not exactly be flying off the shelves. The clerk had to get management help to ring them up. "What are these things?" I'm not sure what they are myself, but I like them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Monday, September 08, 2008


Writing is going oh-so-slow lately, but the walking is going well. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it, too. I mean, look, I found all these forks in my path the other day and not one bite of cake. Not one!

Friday, September 05, 2008


Wednesday, September 17th, 7:00 p.m., The Oaken Bucket.

Bring writing, books, and stories to share, or just come and hang out.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Art Beat Update!

Moved to inside the Century Center!



Sergeant Iraq beams in
to the Midwest beer garden

Suicide mantras raining down
from the podium of the RNC

Son, repeat after me

You’re on a mission from God

I’ll have a sniper rifle and a side
of two handguns, please

You are the Ark of the Covenant

The cup-shaped, hollowed out man-baby,
picture of the Father, fills like a catacomb

I’m ready to receive

Tell me, slowly, about the fleas

The Christians will be persecuted

Sergeant Iraq begins his
masterpiece weave

for the up and coming guild

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Analecta at Art Beat 2008!

(I stole the pic from Naoko)

Thursday, September 4th, 4:oo to 8:oo p.m.

Downtown South Bend

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

God/Good Stuff

The Truth About God

God's Christ Theory

Anne Carson

God had no emotions but wished temporarily
to move in man's mind
as if He did: Christ.

Not passion but compassion.
Com--means "with."
What kind of withness would that be?

Translate it.
I have a friend named Jesus
from Mexico.

His father and grandfather are called Jesus too.
They account me a fool with my questions about salvation.
They say they are saving to move to Los Angeles.

(Glass, Irony and God, New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1995.)

I was having a hard time reading Anne Carson's The Beauty of the Husband. It had no voice that I particularly wanted to or perhaps was able to hear. However, my friends suggested I try Glass, Irony and God, particularly "The Glass Essay" and then circle back around. It was good advice. "The Glass Essay" is excellent. I'm ready to circle back around.