Sunday, December 29, 2002

I'm feeling a trifle melancholy. I suppose I could write something. But what? About what?

K has gone to bed early. He fell asleep midst of The Ladykillers, a British caper movie starring Alec Guinness, a young Peter Sellars (he looked about 20!), and some other British character actors. It was comic, I suppose. Guinness's fake teeth looked terribly fake, distending his upper lip. Not that it was a bad movie. K falls asleep to most of the movies I bring home. But it did seem longer than its hour & a half running time. I wanted to go to a matinee, Pedro Almodovar's latest maybe or The Two Towers. We went to brunch at our usual brunch place, Chester's. The break in the rain gave sun to their deck. The rain had cleaned the air so the Golden Gate was sharp in the distance. We got home to a message on the machine: seems Dolores, the library general services supervisor, was wondering where I was. I'd entirely forgotten I was to work today. Sunday work rotates among the staff. Though I'd written it on the calendar and reminded myself and everything, well, nothing worked, and I clean forgot. K whisked me downtown in the Jeep, so I missed an hour of work. I don't know if I'm being written up. Perhaps so. Then I get so rusty at working with the public. All day I plug away at my little desk in the Order Dept, how'm I to remember whether there's a bathroom on the first floor or how many videos one is allowed? I do like it. Checking books out to people, helping someone figure out if she's saved her work on the word processor. But it takes me awhile to get up to speed. I 'spect Dolores will look a little less kindly on my transferring to her dept if at some point in the future there's an attractive opening. Ah well.

After Christmas dinner at my mother's place in Sebastopol we walked up and down the block viewing the art. There's an artist who's moved into a house down her street. He assembles goofy characters out of scrap metal. And many of the neighbors have elected to provide space in their front yards for hosting these creatures. Not everyone is enamored. Mom goes on about how ugly they are. Sometimes good-humoredly, sometimes irritated. She's not the one, however, who's written to the City Council to complain. It's not a busy street so there's not much trouble when a car slows to view. We passed another group walking the neighborhood for the same purpose.

There's still a counter filled with dirty dishes. With Kent gone to bed the banging of kettles and crashing silverware is too loud. So the dishes will have to wait again. I ought to wash out the cats' litter boxes. I'm not going to do it tonight. The crystals we've been using last surprisingly long, but nothing keeps working forever. It's late, isn't it? 11:30ish. I was thinking as well of taking dog for a late night stroll, just around the block. But. Oh. Doesn't look like that'll happen either. Maybe this writing is making me sleepy enough slip safely beneath the covers and into dreamland. Maybe.

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Love Settlement
When sexy Monique Hall finds that her husband, because of a job injury, cannot sexually satisfy her, she takes her complaints and her body to his boss.


Triple XXX fun! Sheesh. Me, the Rev Moon, and hardcore sex!
"The only true settlement place is 90 degrees. The original love settlement is always 90 degrees. This pillar connects at every level all the way to God."

Who knew I was cribbing a phrase coined by Rev Moon?
"Thomas Love was born Jan. 4, 1813, in the Parish of Mortimer, Berkshire Co., England. He emigrated to this country ... and settled on a half section of land on the south line of the town of Marion. This has since been known as the Love settlement."

No, that link is not worth following.
The Love settlement "is a step in right direction..."

Am I being self-referential or what? Google the night away.
A few more days till 2003. Is anybody still arguing whether we're going to call these the aughts or the ohs? How dumb.

Miserable rainy. The gas heater is blowing. K is curled up on the couch with a mug of ice cream (he prefers such to a bowl) and a gigantic novel, Infinite Jest, the surface of which he's barely scratched. Every time he sees Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All on my pile of books he says, "You should read that." I am reading it. The writing is good but I can never get past more than a handful of pages.

I'm a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club. Have been for 20 years now. Unless I've forgotten to pay my dues. Have I paid my dues this year? There's a new L. Frank Baum biography which the library rec'd. I checked it out and have been sitting on it, now I find some other patron has put a hold on it. Should I hand it in, get it some other time, or should I power through it? What new will I learn? A few months ago I read Michael Patrick Hearn's revised millennium edition of The Annotated Wizard of Oz which included a substantial biographical introduction.

I ought to post a link to my published Oz story, the "novel" Eric Shanower and I wrote together. He published it in the last issue of his OzStory Magazine. For the longest time I resisted any suggestion of publication without major revision, claiming artistic integrity. But, prodded, I finally read the manuscript with a fresh eye, ready to follow the story rather than fixate on the hassles of the making, and it's a story. Trot of Oz. Trot is a little girl. Baum tried to get away from writing Oz books for awhile and used the character Trot and her old guardian Cap'n Bill in a couple non-Oz fantasies. When the books didn't sell Baum brought the characters to Oz. There are only a handful of major characters who haven't had a book named after them so Eric and I, when deciding to write an Oz book together (I wrote the odd numbered chapters), chose to give Trot her own book. We wanted her part in the story to be pivotal. It is. But, boy, did Eric and I get wrapped up in some mythological & sci-fi mumbo-jumbo. Works OK. So long as you're distracted by incident.

Last night Kent & I went to San Francisco (we live in Berkeley) to Teatro ZinZanni, a sort of dinner theatre cabaret-circus. God, it was a gas. K became part of the show when the master of ceremonies asked for a volunteer who could juggle. K ended up juggling an uncooked chicken, a loaf of Wonder Bread wadded into a ball, and a tub of Country Crock margarine scooped out of the container and rounded in the hand. He did so well the man at the next table leaned over to me and said, "Is he a plant?" "It's his birthday," I said. When the man looked at me as though that wasn't an answer I said, "He hasn't juggled in a long time." Expensive? Definitely! But a great evening.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Yeah, it had to happen. Stupid cat. I write a nice little entry. Not gonna spend a lot of time on it. Sundance jumps up on the desk. Noses the lamp, steps on ESC, thus erasing everything.

And is it ironic or appropriate that the first thing I wrote was that I'd been writing blog entries in my head at work, thus didn't feel like writing them again?

The most important thing: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KENT!

YAY!

I was talking (12/22 entry) about "Mahna Mahna". A couple years ago when we were visiting Brazil I bought some cheap sampler CDs. I fell in love with one of the bands -- Pato Fu, a poppy, punky outfit. Their "Made in Japan" is sung in Japanese (they seem to sing everything else in Brazilian Portuguese, as one might expect); the chorus of the song is "Mahna Mahna", with the phrase (the only English) "Made in Japan" substituting for "Mahna Mahna". I discovered the song on an import CD I found in a Berkeley music store. Now that I have the Muppets' original, I've played the songs back to back. Ooh. Echoy.

I've been poking around other blogs. Most are personal to the point of being shorthand, interesting to the person writing maybe but not providing enough context for an unfamiliar reader. Or they really are just a catalog of links. Here's one I did groove on: Little. Yellow. Different. He writes to be read, no surprise that he's also written for publication.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

We had our kitten up a tree drama. Kent's been determined to teach the cats about the outdoors. "If they get out, I want them to know how to get back in," he says, reasonably enough. While I know they're going to get out some day and would like them to have some coping skills when they do, I'd prefer they didn't get out period. So I've not been encouraging the outdoor education project.

Not long after K got home he went out on the back porch to supervise the kitty explorations. Seems Sundance, when startled, bolts for the safety of indoors. Sutra, the one we don't think of as much of an explorer, is the one who got away. K captured him in the alley beside the house but the little guy got wiggy and burst free; around the house they went. When I heard K call, Sutra had already climbed a tree and was a fluffball in a crook where the trunk split into two narrower limbs. "Ee," he said. K called to him while I went about doing some yard work -- sweeping the leaf litter & dog shit from the concrete pad, turning the kitchen waste into the compost. K finally climbed within reach of the cat, was able to scratch his head, and Sutra liked that, but cat was in tree and that was that.

Yes, we got him down. Sun going down Kent managed to climb close enough to grab Sutra's neck skin, while I prodded kitty's butt with a long white pole. K got the cat out of the crook, passed him to me, then climbed down past my perch and I handed Sutra down to K on the ground. Whew. No trauma, not even additional scratches.
I've been blogged! (12/21/02 pettis dot org) The "three girls" senryu that appeared on tiny words. Pettis snagged the poem and posted it as part of his blog. Mm. Does this put me in danger of losing copyright? Should I send a cease and desist? Not like I'm ever going to see any money for the poem. I'm tickled he was impressed enough to grab it. He kept my name with it anyway.

I've just been googling myself to make sure I have all the poems that are OUT THERE are linked to on my LoveSettlement Poetry homepage. Last night I remembered a couple I'd missed so added them today.

I've not been using my juno email. Too balky, too spammed up. I just check it once a week to clear out the spam. Back when it was my email I filled up the address book. Looking over those names recently I saw many I didn't recognize. I know several of them were poetry acquaintances. So I thought I'd send out a notice to everybody alerting them to the update of the poetry site and the creation of this one. My first attempt got bounced back by juno's spam detector. Too many addressees! A few days later I tried again, sending the same message to five at a time. The first line: **THIS IS A ONE-TIME ONLY EMAIL. IF YOU DON'T REPLY I WILL DELETE YOU FROM MY ADDRESS BOOK.** Kinda pushy, but I didn't want anybody to get bent out of shape about being spammed. Then I went ahead and erased everything in the address book. The replies started right away, the juno mailer-daemon alerting me to all the dead addresses. I've had 9 replies from real people, so now I have nine in my juno address book. Down from 70.

I did get a bunch of hits on the site. I'm sure a few checked out the site and decided not to reply.

Here's something else I found googling: my response to the challenge, "A poem without a title is like..." I don't remember when I wrote these. Quite awhile ago. I still rather like them. Everybody else seems to think a title is essential, that a poem without one is crippled or not a poem. An anonymous teen says, "A poem without a title is like a bird without a song." Which doesn't make any sense. A poem is song. On the other hand there are plenty of birds that don't sing and they're certainly no less bird for being quiet or unmelodic. I don't know that you could call the peacock's holler a song, for instance, but it's some amazing bird. My replies to the challenge choose not to give the title primacy.

Googling "glenn ingersoll" is pretty productive. There are a few other glenn ingersolls in the world. One seems to be a musician. The birthdate of one seems to be 1913. Most glenn ingersolls on the web are me.

Here's my best review ever, "Boyfriend Poem by Glenn Ingersoll is 3 lines of simple beauty. He is able to express pain, yearning, emptiness and attraction in only 24 words. I won’t quote the poem so as to not ruin the beauty, but you should pick yourself up a copy." It's from a review of the literary magazine, Over the Transom. The reviewer Justin Barrett for Remark Poetry.

My tummy's feeling empty. I wonder if Bel Forno is open? Oh, I just heard Kent drive up. Short day at the office! Good for him.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

I've just added more links to my poetry website. There were more poems out there on ezines that I hadn't yet linked to. Quite a chapbook it's turning out to be. Links to 28 poems. Then there's the homepage's featured poem and the 3 previously featured poems on the Previously Feature Poems page. There may be a couple more poems on ezines. I'll be googling and trying to remember. Anyway, at the moment I'm done and glad to have done.

K & I walked over to Telegraph Ave this afternoon. Lovely weather. We looked over all the crafts for sale. The street has been closed to car traffic and filled with booths. They do it every year on the weekends leading up to Xmas. Vic, mother of old Sebastopol friends, tells me she was there with her minerals & jewelry last weekend, her new heavy-duty rain tarp flapping under the powers of wind & rain. K found a used copy of Michael Franzen's The Corrections and a CD of Muppets tunes. A few days ago we were talking about that great Sesame Street bit where the shaggy faced troll in a rough bass mutters, "munah munah", to which three tall white long-nosed sopranos respond with, "doo doo da doo doo". K wasn't sure the song was even on the CD, but I recognized it immediately: "There it is! 'Mahna Mahna'!" It doesn't work quite as well without the visual as the troll's solos trail off when the sopranos glare at him for daring to solo; without the glaring the trailing off is ... odd. (The pictures on the linked-to page don't show white creatures. But, hey, I grew up with a b&w tv!)

Saturday, December 21, 2002

The Horizontal Working Party on Drugs

Just glad there is one.
"i always just feel that a writer writes and like a snail leaves this snotty trail that once dried can look in moonlight like a path of diamond dust," Edward Mycue. Mycue is a local. Lives in San Francisco, I think. Being as I live in Berkeley, that's local. I often think of my writing as the passage a worm leaves in the mud. Could be it'll fossilize, be museum material. Could be it'll go unnoticed. But there is all sorts of beauty that goes unseen. As there are horrors unmourned.

I like "found" poetry, the finding of poems in texts (oral or written) that were not created to be art but which someone discovered to have beauty, surprise, thus re-present as Art. I think of photography as Found Art.

The cats have discovered me at my desk and I'm getting leary. One errant foot and the whole day is deleted.

Yesterday evening I discovered the world of political weblogs, was impressed, anyway, by the extent of it. Golly but these people keep up a pace! Tom Tomorrow. Instapundit. On the left side of the Instapundit page there's a long list of links to other blogs. Wow. But, yeah, it is easy to update this thing. And it's not like you have to write some fully argued essay or anecdote. One can, after all, just throw up a link to someone else's.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I brought movies home from the library tonight. Sudden Fear with Joan Crawford (I liked the title), Reefer Madness (I remember this would play at a repertory moviehouse in Petaluma but I never got to it), I'm the one that I want (Margaret Cho's standup routine that was released to cinemas; Cho anchored a sitcom several years ago but the show turned out to be a disaster for her personal life, seems that has provided some material), and ... what was the other one? ... Teorema (an Italian movie, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini). I checked out Teorema once before but the tape was defective. I think this one is the replacement. I don't know if we'll watch any of them tonight.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

I'm trying to eat vanilla ice cream and a squishy persimmon but Sutra, the fluffy orange kitten, keeps trying to see what I've got in the bowl. He's settled down by the keyboard for the moment, seems not to have spied where I put down the bowl. (Sh. It's behind him.)

Sundance had his first outdoor-by-himself adventure tonight. He's seen the dog go in and out her flap. Finally he figured out how to make a cat-sized gap. He was out wandering several minutes before we realized he'd escaped. Kent stood in the yard calling his name and says he heard a mew. "He seemed to like squeezing under the fence." Yeah, cats don't choose open spaces. They like to go around the edge of the room.

OK. Sundance has come to plague me (none the worse for his poking about in the wet grass) but I have managed to finish my treat. Sundance licks at the bowl a little but Sutra's the one who's really sticking with it. But then Sundance finds the vine cuttings K is trying to start more to his liking and uproots one. Swats it even after it's down. So I tuck the stem back in the soil and toss cat to carpet, a couple times, till he decides to surprise the little rubber snake by the pile of newspapers.

That cat has been thieving my earplugs from the shelf by the bed. Here and there he leaves them on the floor. I don't suppose he'll grow up someday and support me.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Sundance just hopped up on the desk, I ran my hand down his back even to the tip of his tail, he looked up at me, mewed, then jumped to the floor.

It's raining. Rather miserable. This is winter. 'Tis! 'Tis! My mother called to tell me her power is still out. Since she talked to me yesterday? No. It seems the power was on then, though it had been off earlier, then it went off again shortly after the call, then again returned briefly in the evening, then was out all night & through to her call. She was bundled up, even to her Alaska parka. She took the bananas out of the fridge, otherwise, she says, there isn't much in there. She has three flashlights and she read to me the dates she'd written on each one. Whenever she changes the batteries on a flashlight she affixes a piece of masking tape to the outside and writes on it the date she put the batteries in. She was, naturally, most worried about the one she'd retrieved from the car as it was dated '99. She said she was going to call my brother, too. She's surprised she's not all jittery and unhappy.

Jack Martin says in an email that he read the new blog. He tried one once (I don't remember him telling me about it) but got paranoid about the thieving multitudes of the web so scuttled it after only a couple weeks. Then he recounted a story about a high school student who tried to pass off as her own a movie review she'd plucked from the web. Seems she got caught by a student teacher, who googled a phrase from the review and found its original, also found the student's blog which was loaded with bad behavior, brought the bad behavior to the attention of people the student probably didn't have in mind as audience (reminds me of the perennial interview question for poets: do you write for an audience, if so who?); I wonder if her parents took away her internet privileges?

Friday, December 13, 2002

I do find myself thinking about my wee baby blog and how it's growing, in public but unnoticed. How would anyone find his way here? Blundering. Oopsing. It's a back alley baby blog. An alley cat blog. An alley cat's footprint on the battered lid of a garbage pail. Scratches on the left lens of an bent pair of dark glasses. The hoar on the snout of the hound sniffing your baby in her blue stroller. The silt of tea at the bottom of the cup after the tea bag has been laid on the saucer. What saves you. What sips at the lobe of an ear. A spark clinging to ash as the draft lifts the ash, turns and tears it. Written on the back of an envelope. Grabby, hands sticky, nails ragged. Twin trails of snot on the upper lip. "He’s never liked anyone, including me, touching his hands and, sometimes, even his feet.”

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Just critiqued a poem by Jack Martin about GWBush's coming blitzkrieg on Iraq. He posted it on a private poetry bulletin board. I haven't written a poem about the war-not-yet-taking-place. I feel like I'd have to do a bunch of research. But would I find a poem?

Seems like there's something in that incubator incident. Remember when the US was decrying Iraq's brutal invasion of Kuwait? Seems some evil soldiers stormed into a hospital and tossed some premies out of their incubators so the incubators could be shipped back to Baghdad. The story got a lot of play. It didn't happen. But it's a story that could be a poem.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

I've been searching the web this evening for Horehound Drops. My mother seems to have decided they are essential for her well being. I found some at Amishcountrystore.com but like many shopping opportunities on the web they won't give you the shipping charges until you've entered a shitload of information about yourself. Shipping often costs as much as or more than the thing you're buying, unless of course it's really super expensive. Bulkfoods.com helpfully offers free freight, but charges $5 for packaging. What the --? That's about what other sites charge for freight. I guess the other guys give you free packaging.

There's a place here in Berkeley called Lhasa Karnak that sells horehound drops and Mom called them to see if she could find out who they buy from so a store in Sebastopol might be able to order some for her. But the guy she talked to wasn't helpful. And she was told he was the owner. Not everyone has bought into the excellent customer service religion, eh? There are plenty of people left who give the minimum. He says they'd sell the horehound drops to me and I could mail them to Sebastopol. Yeah. I guess I thought of that.

K is watching "24" on Fox.

Monday, December 09, 2002

I've had a website for my poetry for a couple years now. It's also called LoveSettlement.

I title the notebooks in which I write poems. One I titled "Love", the subsequent I titled "Settlement"; when time came to set up the site I already had these two nice titles, and, heck, don't they go great together?

My guy is a lawyer and he immediately thought of a legal settlement, thought the idea of a "LoveSettlement" not attractive. Tho' I did think of that, I'm more inclined to the settlement in the wilderness, thus "LoveSettlement" is a place love sets up housekeeping. Surrounded by hostile forces? Surrounded by other forces, some hostile. A new place. But I don't mind there being less hopeful meanings.