Wednesday, May 21, 2008

we love dan zanes and friends!!!

Stella and I had a very special outing on Saturday--Emma Sage and her mom, Tara, invited us to help celebrate Emma's 7th birthday with a trip to see Dan Zanes and friends at the Highline Ballroom. Well, for various reasons I didn't try to get tickets until the week before, and it was too late: sold out.

But all was not lost. Tara emailed Dan through his website about Stella and Emma, and someone from his record company called her and said they would leave two tickets under my name! Lo and behold, Stella and I were on the guest list! It reminded me of my Boston days, going to rock shows (including Dan's band the Del Fuegos).

Stella and I also said hello to Saskia Lane, who plays bass for Dan's band, and who is in a great gal group called The Lascivious Biddies with our friend Deidre Rodman.

We had a great time--the girls became instant friends and danced a lot to the awesome sounds of the myriad musicians Dan has gathered around him. I especially enjoyed the performance of La Bruja, whom I'd just seen a few weeks ago at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe celebration at Town Hall. Afterwards, we had a wonderful outing along the Hudson River waterfront.

Thank you Tara and Emma! Thank you, Dan and Friends! See you soon!

Monday, May 19, 2008

fine motor: the chapbook

It's here! I got my first shipment from Sow's Ear Poetry Review Press. Cover design and illustration by the fabulous Bri Hermanson.

Come hear me read from it tomorrow night at Perch Cafe in Park Slope, Brooklyn!

Friday, May 16, 2008

red hen in da house

Red Hen Press (aka "the gang from the Coast" aka "my" publisher aka some really rockin' folks) are in town this week. Check out the readings if you can:

FRIDAY, 7:00 P.M.
May 16, 2008
85 East 4th Street
Featuring: Nick Flynn
Jennifer Michael Hecht
Nickole Brown

SUNDAY, 6:00 P.M.
May 18, 2008
Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery
Featuring: Steve Huff
Kurt Brown
Laure-Anne Bosselaar
Brooke Bognanni
Nickole Brown

TUESDAY, 6:00 P.M.
May 20, 2008
Cornelia Street Café
29 Cornelia Street
Featuring: Kate Gale
Sarah Bein
Greg Sanders

Thursday, May 15, 2008

blushing and crunching

It's still very much crunch time, but I wanted to give a shout-out for the latest book by the fabulous Molly Peacock, The Second Blush. I'm going to hear Molly read from the book tonight at the Ceres Gallery in Chelsea (aka the Work 'Hood). Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

And an update: strings were pulled, and we got Dan Zanes tickets! I'm ecstatic. More later. Thank you, Tara!

I fly those flights of a fluid and swallowing soul... my course runs below the soundings of plummet...
I am an acme of things accomplished... and I am an encloser of things to be...

Monday, May 12, 2008

crunch time

It's the end of the semester at FIT, and I'm hunkered down with stacks of poems, stories, journals, and other papers--all wonderful, but a bit overwhelming all at once. One week left, and then Commencement is Tuesday the 20th at Radio City!

By the way, if anybody knows how to get tickets to the Dan Zanes concert at the High Line Ballroom on Saturday 5/17, let me know!

Friday, May 09, 2008

a child said, "what is the grass?"

....fetching it to me with full hands.

If you care about Whitman, and about music, buy, steal, download this CD.

I guess the grass is itself a child.

If you care about poetry, and Nick Cave, and harlots, and Emily Dickinson t-shirts, read this blog.

Smile, for your lover comes.
Prodigal you have given me love
therefore I to you give love.
O unspeakable passionate love.

I have such a crush on Kurt Elling!

We also descend, dazzling and tremendous as the sun
We found our own o my soul in the calm and cool of the evening

God bless Fred Hersch....

I fly those flights of a fluid and swallowing soul
my course runs below the soundings of plummet

karmic cords

More wisdom from Debbie Ford:

Our emotional wounds unwittingly echo the pain of our past and act as guides leading us to those places within ourselves that need healing. These wounds cause us to resonate with people who have similar or matching unhealed emotional issues. Attaching us to these people are energetic connectors I think of as karmic cords. There is a sense of destiny at work here: these karmic cords--cords of fate--bring people into our lives who are tailor-made to bring us the spiritual experiences we need to complete ourselves.

Although lately I have been questioning my supposed belief in fate, karma, signs, divine direction, or anything that would imply that this universe is anything other than random, I find this idea appealing. It certainly would explain a couple of recent experiences that have left me pretty shaken up (or "all shook up," as Elvis would say). It would explain why I was so powerfully drawn into these situations, and why they imploded so rapidly and painfully. And also why I feel like I've learned from them and why, while I wish I did not have to experience the pain, I don't regret them.

One thing is for sure: a lot of us are running around with huge wounds, and it's a dangerous emotional world out there. Despite the perils, though, I for one believe it's worth it to connect with others. Although I'm drawing the shutters on my heart for the time being, I'm not sorry I opened them for awhile, and can't imagine it will be long before I open them again. And hopefully I've gained one or two good friends along the way.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the ghost in you

Right now I'm listening to that lovely song by the Psychedelic Furs--the first band I ever saw live, at the Newport Theater in Columbus, Ohio.

Ain't it just like rain
and love love love love
is only heaven away...

Inside you the time moves and she don't fade
the ghost in you she don't fade


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

roethke, roethke, here he goes again

From tonight's Writer's Almanac:

For An Amorous Lady
Most mammals like caresses, in the sense in which we
usually take the word, whereas other creatures, even tame
snakes, prefer giving to receiving them.
-- From a Natural-History Book

The pensive gnu, the staid aardvark,
Accept caresses in the dark;
The bear, equipped with paw and snout;
Would rather take than dish it out.

But snakes, both poisonous and garter,
In love are never known to barter;
The worm, though dank, is sensitive:
His noble nature bids him give.

But you, my dearest, have a soul
Encompassing fish, flesh, and fowl.
When amorous arts we would pursue,
You can, with pleasure, bill or coo.
You are, in truth, one in a million,
At once mammalian and reptilian.

how soon is now?

Back in the late 80s when I lived in Boston, K. and I would come home from another night partying with hipsters, collapse on our separate couches, and listen to the Smiths. This tune with Johnny Mars' hypnotic guitar riffs, was one of our favorites.

How funny that the lyrics appeal to me now as much as they did two decades ago. These returned to me today during the second mile of a particularly cathartic run:

How can you say
I go about things the wrong way?
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does.

I actually started singing out loud for almost an entire lap. It helped. The heart finds healing in strange ways.

Friday, May 02, 2008


For some reason I had a hankering for good old-fashioned tuna noodle casserole. Here's what I came up with, courtesy of Tuna Noodle Casserole with Fresh Herbs. I used farfalle pasta instead of noodles, added a splash of vermouth to the mushrooms, and the herbs were dried. On the side? Baby bok choy sauteed with garlic and scallions. Perfect.

no drama

"Acceptance comes when we step out of denial and judgment and are willing to see the present exactly as it exists in this moment, without any drama or story line. Drama keeps us stuck in an endless spiral of excuses that prevent us from being able to distinguish between fact and fantasy. Our drama serves as a defense mechanism designed to protect us from the pain of our past. When we're caught up in our drama, we are no longer living in the present moment. Instead, we get hooked into every similar experience from our past that was left unhealed. We think we are responding to the challenges of our lives when in fact we are reacting to all of our unresolved pain."

--Debbie Ford, Spiritual Divorce

Read more here.