Friday, October 8, 2010

catching up

So a lot has been happening, dear reader(s). I need to get better about updating this blog. First off, I want you to think of the last word you read that made you really happy. I read cloister in an article today and my mouth jumped up and bit me. Say that out loud and say it doesn't make you happy. Cloister. Also nice: cluster. As in: fuck. But! it doesn't have the complication of the oi.

So. News.

First off, if you're in Seattle or the surrounding areas, or if you like planes and me and find travel for poetry worth your time... I am reading at Open Books in Wallingford (2414 N 45th St.) with Shane McCrae(!) on Friday, October 22 at 7pm. Find out more about Open Books here: Also, the event has been *starred* in The Stranger (link to that here:, which means we're superawesome and you should come. As usual, I will be taking requests.

Second, you can find some recent reviews of Money for Sunsets, here: The Sonic Imperative in the Prose Poem: a review of Elizabeth Colen’s Money for Sunsets. And here: Book Notes on Elizabeth J. Colen's Money for Sunsets. A big thanks to Metta Sama and Jory Mickelson.

Thirdly, I've just jumped on board as Thumbnail Magazine's new poetry editor. We're accepting submissions, so get on that.

So that's it for "business." I just got back, well a few days ago, from a long trip to Portland. Well, not long really. Not long enough. I'm working on wrapping up a new manuscript. Writers, what do you do when you work too fast and have several manuscripts you're sending out in the world? I tend to maintain focus on the poetry, as it is (to me) easier to place, but I'm not sure what I will do when I have two entirely finished books of poetry, orphans for a home. My thought is to take the more cohesive (the more recent) of the two and focus on that, meanwhile brainstorming what presses would be more willing to take on the riskier/boundary-pushing one. The bastard, if you will. The bastard that obsessed me for nearly two years. On top of that, I've vaguely sending out two novels. I don't have the administrative energy to go all out on sending three books everywhere I should. Again I will say: I need a secretary. I don't know how people do this. Even as relatively easy as my schedule is (I make my own hours, rarely work forty hours in a week, don't have kids), I can't seem to get Everything done. I also read a lot. Books are my drug. The one that saps hours. The one where I pull my eyes out from the pages and it really is like waking up on someone's floor and having no idea how I got there.

In other news, my town is sad. A week and a half ago a freshman at Western went missing. Wednesday they found him in the bay. A week ago yesterday a two-year old was killed walking across the street, holding her mother's hand. A car had stopped to let them pass and the driver in the next car, distracted, didn't stop. Ran into the car in front, running over the little girl. About a half-mile from my house, and right on the walk I take with Cally every morning. Every morning we walk past the makeshift memorial of flowers and balloons and stuffed animals and notes and candles that grows and grows and grows. Every morning I tear up. Most mornings some passer-by has paused, some car has pulled over to look, some bicyclist has stopped to stand there. This is the difference between living in a city and living here, which sometimes feels like a city. I didn't know either one of them, but I feel it. You know? I guess this is what community feels like. And maybe why I can never leave. I love those pausers. As much as I can love a stranger anyway. As much as I can love anyone. I wrote more articulately yesterday on my private "journal"/blog. Maybe I'll repost that here... Hm, maybe not.

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