Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It all adds up


I currently have 1680 messages stored on my hotmail account. I've had the account for 11 years. I have trouble letting go of words. I still have emails from my grandmother who died 6 years ago. I like opening her messages and feeling an immediate connection. Perhaps I shouldn't feel an immediate connection just because it's on my screen, but somehow it feels different, less nostalgic, more real than paper letters. I can pretend each time is like the first time. Messages from less-dead people can feel this way as well. Not that I spend much time going through old messages. Hence the need for the wading through, saving and discarding that I started last week. For particularly good correspondences (this may be you), I may save because it makes me feel like one day we may publish a book together. C and I kept our early letters this way. For months we each compiled separate documents without the other's knowledge.


I went to the dentist today. The new office is not in the woods. My dentist office and I play this little game. We make appointments, then one of us cancels, then the other does. It can go on for months. Because the dentist does not like the gum action (depth of .2 or .3 beyond what it should be) around my still-present wisdom teeth (tooth 17 and tooth 32), he thinks I should come in every 4 months instead of every 6. My insurance doesn't mind, so technically I shouldn't either. However, having gone to the dentist regularly until age 10, then once at age 15, and one other time at age 21, until last year (at 31) I went for the second time in my adulthood, I don't really take much heed from what they deem "regular." I have good teeth, even the ones I shouldn't still have. Originally I was supposed to go in in 01/08. I cancelled (which I do every time), rescheduled for 02/08. They cancelled, rescheduled for 03/08, then cancelled again, but did get me in the following week (today). C made me promise to go regularly, but once a year seems appropriate to me. Twice may happen, but is not often likely.


Have you heard of iroha mojigusari? I want to try this, but will likely not have the energy for some time. Sleep seems more important than writing lately.


I have 1 more book to read this month to get to 10 on the month and 30 for the year. Ten is more doable than the 15 I did last year. Plus I don't have to start looking at the thickness of books at the end of the month to catch up with thinner volumes. That was stupid.


I have 40 more minutes to work today. I am currently 1.33 projects behind. I can probably do 4 in 40 minutes, but not if the craptastic writers are at the top of the queue.


The repetition of the ueue in queue makes me very happy. That's two YOUs and two MEs as far as I'm concerned.


If you're ever in the Showcase Showdown while I'm in the audience, please watch my hands carefully. I do not watch the Price Is Right because Drew Carey's voice is too low-key, too sardonic really is the thing I suppose because Bob Barker was low-key too. Although I do respect that he still says, "Control the pet population. Please have your pets spayed and neutered" at the end of every show the way Bob used to do. I do not watch the show, but I do like the Showdown. My daily TV watching often includes The Daily Show at 10:00am, The Colbert Report at 10:30, the last eight minutes (the Showdown) of The Price is Right at 10:52, and the first ten minutes of Ellen DeGeneres. Anyway, as I was saying... if you're ever in the Showcase Showdown, watch my hands. Two days in a row I have been within $1000 of the price of all showcases (without going over). Yesterday I was $85 and $789 off, today I was $445 and $661 off. In each case, regardless of whether I was contestant A or contestant B I would have won the Showcase Showdown. Yesterday had I been contestant A I would have won both.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Blackbird singing in the dead of night

While this is either the most confusing or the most ambitious website I've ever encountered, I do get a lot of enjoyment from making the bird jump. I'm not sure one could consider what the bird does "flying" per se, as a lot of "falling" happens in the bird's movement.

Last year I was a finalist for Subito's fiction chapbook contest and was asked to take part in their guest edited section. The wandering is fun, I'm half-inclined not to say where my work can be found. (I'm in the laundry.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Welcome Wagon

I keep forgetting some people just moved into the house behind us. I haven't yet strategized the garden to account for the open space between their kitchen window and ours. Passing through the kitchen with no shirt on, the curtains pulled back, I did not account for either making or breaking someone's Sunday morning. And we haven't even met them yet. I don't really think anyone saw me though.

Started reading Joan Fiset's _Now the Day is Over_ last night. I can't remember who suggested it. But it's fantastic. The tacky cover cleverly masks the beauty inside. I'm startled by how good it is. The simplicity. There are a few bombs, but most of the stuff is beautiful, understated.

Like this:


Once there was a house in the morning. Once there was a house in the afternoon. I stare at the tree in the morning; in the afternoon. I try to remember. It is not the same tree. The tree in the afternoon knows everything is falling down. The house in the afternoon is many houses, and I live in none of them now. But they live when the light begins to shift, turning toward the dark. The tree resumes its position wherever I am. It is that faithful. It does not forget.


And this:


A morning in sun, the sandbox in the corner of the yard. Light filtered down then. The sand felt wet, and the roads I made with my fingers were soft paths for the cars and trucks traveling down them. I pulled three fingers across the sand then patted the ruts down smoothly and evenly. There were feathers white and deep in rivers of air. I was small in the corner of the yard and wanted the feathers in my mind, wanted a mind clear and flying, high and lifting white on the wind. The day went slowly. I sat alone and made new roads. Behind my eyes a black train crossed the prairie every day at noon.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Rained all night. Blue Angels flew over early. Hot, but a good breeze. Byodo-In Temple, Windward Coast. Had to cover our shoes before we went in. Rang the five foot tall gong--it sure made you vibrate. Mountains behind us. Just beautiful. --Edie I. Halunen, travel diary entry

On the temple's red bridge, I won't let go of her,
we hula like coconut shells,
ten thousand carp, graveyard flowers,
I have her blue flight bag,
she counts thirty-one planes from midnight to seven.

We hula like coconut shells, ten thousand carp.
Graveyard flowers--pink for leis, plumeria;
her heart exhausted.
From here we can see the Blue Angels' show
over Kaneoke Bay.
She counts thirty-one planes from midnight to seven.
They float down light as butterflies, a necklace of

plumeria, leis, her heart exhausted.
I have her blue flight bag,
the face of her grandmother
on the temple's red bridge.

-Kelle Groom


This book (_Underwater City_) is one of those cast offs that I found somewhere, given to me for free. But it's strangely delightful. It's not overtly polished like so much that's out there now, overtly polished or clever. I've been drawn in by cleverness too lately, but this (and reading Hemingway) draws me back to the honesty I really prefer. Much of the book is written to and for and about the overwhelming love of her dead grandmother, so probably this is part of the charm, as I myself would do anything to get mine back.