Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The vertebrae break.

----------In the distance, a vibrato.

Not so much water over

the dam

----------a whoosh

-------------------of wings approaching.

Women flying in the shape of a V.

Forests falling

---------from the dark of their wombs.

Witches will show you how

-----------to grind together bones.

But come late, after sun

-------------burnt nipples and caramel skin

where yaw marks singe the road.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I finished Priscilla Becker's Internal West a couple of days ago. She has the same immediate and profound effect that Louise Gluck has on me. It took me three sittings to finish it. Emotions kept washing me away.

I'm also in the middle of Franz Wright's God's Silence, and contemplating how perfect it is when he begins the poem "Lines Written in the Dark Illegible Next Day" with "Apple alone in a bowl."

Yesterday, I took Frank Stanford's The Light the Dead See to keep me company while I sat on a couch in a bridal shop and watched Jojo try on prom dresses.

Tom's home from college for the summer, coming and going like a cat, at will. He made it back this morning in time to show Gene his two new earrings and explain the details of how his friends pierced his ears. Gene called me later to tell me about the dead coyote he saw on the side of the road.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Wednesday, April 30th, 7:15 - Scot Brigg's house.

The e-mails will go out soon, along with directions to Scot's house, which you can walk to from IUSB. Bring refreshments to share, if you can. Sorry it's on graduate reading night. It's a fairly nice problem when you have to choose which writing event to attend!

In other writerly news, Terri Vega has an article in the May edition of In Michiana, a publication of the South Bend Tribune, and Talia has an article today in the Tribune, as well as more poems coming out in Arsenic Lobster. Nice!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Cygnus Olor

I noticed this guy/gal a few days ago at the park. He/she hangs out with a Canadian goose.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


So this is the guy I'm trying to identify.

Next Frame

I sat through my last "real" class of my undergraduate career Tuesday, so I have a bit of relief for a week before two last finals next Thursday. I'm already starting to feel a bit odd, but not odd enough to stay out of the woods.
I've been tramping around and crawling on my hands and knees taking pictures. Everything is blooming! Yesterday, I found a lone swan preening. I watched him for a long time, but finally had to leave. Swan's can preen for an extremely long time.
Baugo Creek was full of fingerling-somethings and also a small school of blue gill. Last week, Chris and I saw a large school of suckers.
And the butterflies! I went to Borders last night and bought a field guide, but still couldn't identify this tiny little black fellow I saw with orange window panes on its wings. Maybe it's a moth. Do moths and butterflies have different field guides? Why have I never learned these things?
Good luck, everyone, on final papers and finals! Just one week to go.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Friday, April 25th, 4:00, The Chicory Cafe.

I've sent the e-mails out. If you didn't get one and you'd like to be on the list, post a comment and I'll track you down like a dog and wrestle your e-mail address out of you and you'll be in. It's that simple. There's rarely any blood.

And a million thanks to Neil for a great After-the-Analecta party! As usual, I didn't get to talk to half the people I really wanted to, but that's the way it always is.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Art Institute

So, thanks to Jesus for letting me know that now or very soon might be the time to go to the Art Institute if we want to see Hopper or Homer. Chris & I are tentatively planning on taking the South Shore up on May 7th. If you'd like to do a group outing thing, have the time, whatever, let me know and I'll try to coordinate it. Costs? About $21 for the train and about $20 for the special exhibit entry fee. We have to purchase the special exhibit tickets in advance, so let me know if you're interested soon. Whatever else you want to spend is up to you.

I know, I know, this is very close to the picnic. It can't be helped.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nothing Clean

Q. And your results include the fact that the Defendant is greater than 99.99 percent the biological father of the products of conception?
A. That the probability of paternity, yes, is greater than 99.99 percent.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I can't remember exactly when, but it's been about a year since the writers first started meeting. We had a small little picnic and walk out at Baugo Creek. Chris and David and Talia (with Haldey and Bonita in tow) and me. It was a gorgeous day. We saw some baby raccoons climbing a tree and David showed us where any theoretical trout, if they ever frequented Baugo Creek, might be. Chris brought humus and crackers. Hadley and Bonita were a hoot. Talia hiked in her nice shoes. I showed everyone the train trestle and we walked underneath it.

Summer is on its way. It's time to do it again. The date is May 10th. Everything else is TBA. Send me suggestions, time, place, format....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Arrivals

(Franz's Wright's God's Silence came this week.)

The Visiting

by Franz Wright

I suffer from insomnia, from loneliness I sleep;
in the midst of the talk and the laughter
all at once you are there--

Hour of waking up and writhing
with humiliation, or
of wishes answered before

one was aware of what they were.
And let me ask you this: the dead,
where aren't they?

Hour when the ones who can't rest
go to bed, and the ones
who can't wake go to work--

Dark blue morning glory
I reach to touch, there is another world
and it is this world.

Then the light streamed in yellow
and blue through long windows, and blood
turned to wine in my veins.

Tears of wine
rode down my cheek.
It's happening, I thought,

though it had never happened
before. I squeezed
my eyes closed, gazing into

a darkness all of light. The more
you tried to hold it back, the more
sweetly and irresistibly it arrived.


(Published in God's Silence, Alfred A. Knopf, 2006)

No Slow

The next few weeks are going to go screeching by, so I was pretty happy to see these turkeys taking their time pecking through a soggy field of shaved corn out on Kern Road. The DNR reintroduced them a few years ago and every season I see more. For some reason, though, they weren't keen on seeing me, even though I got my feet wet just so we could have a chat. Suddenly they had places to go.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Osprey

No, not the best picture, but today an osprey came to call, right here in Osceola.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

To Sea

(Christine Hamm is someone else I'd like to keep an eye on. Salt Daughter at times was too much of the same thing, but I still really liked it.)

Snow White's Apple

by Christine Hamm

At eight my mother brings the turkey pot pie
to our table. I gauge the gleam in her eye.

She paces around the edges, touching each
of us on the shoulder. She refuses to sit down,

slips off to feed the animals. My father pours
glasses of milk, from the pink pitcher, passes

them to me and my brother. My brother and I
look at each other from across the table. He is

smaller than me; his chin barely reaches the
tabletop. He looks up. We can hear Mother's

footsteps in the room above us. She appears
to be dragging something. Anxiety wrinkles

waves into my brother's forehead. The plates
are huge, blue and white, covered with

oriental men carrying fish and women down
a mountain in baskets, castles built of

curlicues and children waving as if to warn
from the balconies. My father cuts into the pie.

The knife releases steam--it smells like love,
like fresh bread and garlic and cloves

and something else. My father passes slices
to my brother, to me. My brother watches me.

I will do it first. I lift up the fork and begin to eat.


(from Salt Daughter published by Little Poem Press, 2005.)

Staying Up Late

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Employment Opportunities

(Why can't you be like your big brother Bob...)

Q. What is your position with Walgreens?
A. I'm the senior beauty advisor.


Friday, April 11th, 4:00, The Chicory Cafe! Lots of good things are brewing...


(Okay, Mary Jo Bang is not my style, which is my problem and not hers, but there were a few things that I could enjoy.)

Here's A Fine Word: Prettiplease

By Mary Jo Bang

Mrs. Donna spoke, saying it was all very clear.
In the long month of Maggio, Louise would be jailed
in a match that one might say was morbid--
as in an attachment to one who would give not a fig
for the right to be near.

She wrote down a date
with an eight at the end. This, she said, means the end
will occur at a seaside resort, a respectable spa
where one eats in one's robe and takes side-by-side baths
in beds made of ready-mixed mud.

She said Louise should then proceed, designless
and dissident, to a place where unlikely glitter would drift
like snow in the May of a previous year. That's memory,
my dear, she said softly.
Listen, Louise told her, he gave me a pill,

saying, With this you'll taste of divinity. With this
you'll be easy to love. He said, Lie down, and I did.

(Published in Grove Press books, 2001.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Pilot

(The Q doesn't really matter too much, but I loved the A.)

A. For weight and balance purposes, I have to have souls on board.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Online chapbooks are nice. Dusie has this from Amy King.


Maybe we have a name. What do you think? FGWC? No explanation? Make up lies about what it means? Let it be a very flexible persona?


I wasn't particularly looking for a poem this morning, more like a cup of coffee and some clean jeans, but this man says he wants to be my friend on Goodreads: Hugh Behm-Steinberg. Since he already has 475 friends I'm sure he's running fast and loose with the term, but that's okay. I googled him to see if he's written anything good, anything worth adding him to my Goodreads list.

There's a couple of tactics of reproduction, but I never can remember their names. One idea is that you spread a million seeds and hope something sprouts. The other idea is you jealously guard a couple plants and do everything you can to make sure they do well. I've always been more of a No. 2 producer, with some sprinkling of No. 1. I guess in the writing world you have to be a bit of both if you want your work read. Still...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Writers' News

Writers' workshop was great last night, as Ryan has mentioned on his blog. It was wonderful to have Scot & Dane & Kasey turn out. They added exponentially to the mix. Mark escaped from work and was able to join us for the first time in a long while! We squeezed ten around Chris's table and it was all good, except for the exploding beer, but we cleaned that up.

So here's the aftermath:

We're adding one more Wednesday night workshop for April, on the 30th, 7:15. Scot has agreed to host it and her house is close to IUSB! I'll send the address around when the time comes near.

Dane also volunteered to host a workshop in the future. We'll work out the details next time.

We'll look more at the May schedule in a couple of weeks. School will be out!

And I didn't remember to bring up our name issue....

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Writers' Workshop Tonight!

Yes, pay attention!!! We're workshopping tonight at Chris O'Brien's. Yes, you can come, even though you didn't write anything and maybe you didn't even get the e-mail and you'll be late and whatnot. There will be food, drink...


(A short poem by the Finlander for his wife in rememberance of Valentine's Day. Another poet to keep an eye on...)

I like boobs
so sue me!
Just because my eyes
do not look into yours
as we talk.
Is that a good reason
Not to look into mine?
Like George Bush looked into
Vladimir Putin's.
And saw his soul.
And it was good.