Monday, August 28, 2006

Well, I've begun to teach 7th grade.

It is quite a change from teaching college. For one thing, there are FIVE classes! It's a long day. I see a lot of caffeine in my future. Then there's the classroom discipline thing -- you have to do a lot of getting everybody back on task. Besides that, teaching is teaching.

Jackson started pre-school today. He loved it. He wears a little uniform (a yellow polo shirt and khaki shorts -- he looks so cute!). Maxy had his first birthday last week. (That's why he's wearing a little plaid suit in the photo. Also pictured in the photo holding him is my host mother from Germany - Gaby. She and Rolf, my host father, visited us all last week. It was wonderful to see them again.) I can't beleive Max is already a year old! He really enjoyed being the center of attention for a day. It was great.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ok - I'm trying to make a table of contents and MY GOD! How do you line all of those little numbers up? There has got to be some little plug-in on program I could use to make my table of contents without having to "eye it" as I am trying to do (and let me tell you - I don't have a good eye!).

But, the fact that I am writing a table of contents at all proves that yes, indeed, I have sucessfully collaged together yet another version of my first book manuscript. Now I have two chapbooks and a book manuscript to circulate. Now I guess I just send out and send out and send out and send out.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I am so sick of unpacking. I mean, how many books can one family have? So I am procrastinating with an entry.

Yesterday, our neighbors invited us to the island. It's this unassuming island in the Potomac, just north? of Georgetown (up the tow-path of the C&O canal) that I guess is just about impossible to get a memebership to. We didn't know what to expect, but we piled the kids in the car and drove over. To get to the island you have to walked down a rugged, stony path (which I must say was a bit complicated with Maxy on my back and a backpack on my front), then at the water's edge you ring a bell. The ferryman runs down from the clubhouse and jumps onto a dock which he proceeds to tug across the river via a cord that runs about shoulder high. It was strange reminded me on the river Styx. The island was wooded and cool. We immediately suited up and jumped into the river from the swimming dock. Jackson has become a fish. He was wearing a life jacket, but this is the first time he's ever swam on his own. Our neighbors have an older taught, Kate (she's five), so Jack was happy to follow her all around the island. Maxy even got in the water, snuggled up tight in a little tiny life jacket. It was pretty cute. It was a good day. The kind where you feel exhausted from the sun and the swimming.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Well, I did it. I finished a chapbook manuscript. This is my second chapbook manuscript. Now, I just have to get the guts up to send it out. It's called The Flying Trolley and it's all based on creative writing students I've taught mostly in public hospitals and prisons. I might have gotten a little cheeseball on the opening essay, but...What can you do. I wrote five poems this week. I thin that's a post-children record for me. My other, book manuscript is now a whopping 71 pages, but it really needs some cutting back now. The problem is, I keep adding to it when I just need to let go of parts of it. It's hard to make new poems and keep the old if you know what I mean. But it's damn good to be back in the writing saddle.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Today was divine. The air embraced it was so hot. Mexican food on a date in the city (fresh guacamole that was perfectly salted) and a new poet! Can you believe it? I was reading on the Metro and found her. Lorine Niedecker. I’d never read her before now. But her mythical miniatures eddied into my eyes today (via an article by Majorie Perloff). What a luxury to find a miniaturist that carefully constructs as Emily did, and adapts and rejuvenates myth and personal lyric like H.D.. She identified with the Objectivists (like Zukofsky who was her mentor) but her brilliance is how the personal lyric (“weedy speech”) jig-jags out of the lapping lull of her exact and dual-minded words. Here is one of her poems (Jean Valentine must just adore her! I can hear Jean’s lyrical construction in Niedecker.)

I married
in the world’s black night
for warmth
If not repose.
At the close—

I hid with him
from the long range guns.
We lay leg
In the cupboard, head
In closet.

A slit of light
at no bird dawn—
I thought
he drank

too much.
I say
I married
And lived unburied.
I thought—