Monday, February 28, 2005

comments on "Julie and MariBeth Both are Graduating" version 2

It was time to work on this. I posted it. I said to myself, here you go, Glenn. Go to it. So.

I didn't have a sense the line breaks were doing anything for the scene. So I took them out. That's all I did. Didn't change anything else. I'd been thinking the dialog effective. I actually remember sweating over the dialog. 20 years later I remember sweating over this dialog. How curious. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to capture what actually happened. I don't always want to do that. I did this time.

Once the piece was a prose paragraph I started excising the parts that displeased. I rather like the current result. Quiet and simple. I think that was what I wanted in the first place.

Julie and MariBeth Both are Graduating, version 2

Glenn! Didn’tchu hear me? A gust gets into my hair that’s been stirring the day up. It’s been windy like that. Two girls, one dark, one fair. My back to the wall. Hi! I’m glad to see them, really. Graduating Friday? No! Tomorrow! Seen any of the summer movies? One, but not really a “summer” movie. MariBeth stands beside me smiling, but doesn’t say anything. Julie pulls her dark hair from her shoulders and lets it spill again from her hand. I want to be natural, but I’m unnatural. Doing anything? Well, really we’re late but it doesn’t matter. She bites her bagel. Coming to graduation? Julie and MariBeth both are graduating, ayear after me. A year. I’m eighteen? Are they younger than me? As they walk on I walk. I hadn’t planned on it. You going to a gradnite party? No. A wind blows between what I say, what they say, what Julie says. A wind blows between the fingers I’ve taken out of my pockets.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

it's raining, it's cold and windy

When better to watch a Morrissey video. "Do you hate me? Do you hate me?"

Thanks for the link, Talk Talk.

Meanwhile Paula's feeling "Dissatisfied." As she says, "Have you ever felt dissatisfied, thoroughly dissatisfied with yourself? ... [W]hatever I write, draw, shoot seems of no importance. Cheer up, Paula ... Would someone to blame help more?"

Saturday, February 26, 2005

AB 1825 Sex Harassment Trainer

Kent has started up a new blog, too. AB 1825 Sex Harassment Trainer ... You know how it is, you work at the day job and you have ideas, ideas there's no place for at the day job. It's not that this is info he doesn't deal with at work. It is. But it's packaged in a particular way there and on the new blog he can pour out all this stuff he's picked up that doesn't fit the mold the day job requires. So. Cool. He's enthusiastic.

Meanwhile I had a huge surge of anxiety about the booklog. In a swoon I collapsed upon the bed, tucked my knees under my chin and sobbed.

OK. You know I didn't. Not that I haven't ever done that sort of thing. Boy howdy! But the surge of anxiety part, that happened. What if ... people don't like it? Don't like MEEEE??? ... Waaaaah! ...


Leave me now. Read about Koko's nipple obsession. (Yes, that's the sort of thing you'll read about AB 1825 Sex Harassment Trainer ... Are you getting this google spider?) ...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dare I Read?

I have started a new blog. It's called Dare I Read? and it's my booklog. I've been keeping a booklog for years. It's not reviews so much as it's notes on books so I don't forget them entirely. This could be interesting. Or not. Anyway, I've started it up and it's totally an experiment and everything's very preliminary but if I waited until it was perfect it'd never happen.

When I started the LoveSettlement blog the templates were very basic and I've hardly changed a thing. Obvious, right? But now the simplest templates come with comments and fancier graphics so we'll see how they work on Dare I Read? and if they work there I might be able to get over my trembling terror at change and incorporate them here.

weather report


Overcast. Chilly. Doesn't look like it'll rain. Weather report has it raining on the weekend.

What with the Monday holiday and taking today off I had a three day work week. A long week. By the end of the day my head's in a fog. Last weekend was a bust, despite the 3 days. I had 2 headaches and Kent was feeling low, too. Aren't there always so many things to do?

I put in a load of wash. I typed up a writing project.

Piles of shite to sort, and action needs be taken on some of it. What about selling Mom's house? Well?

Cats are underfoot. Sundy just bounded across the room. I'm not sure if it was to attack his brother.


Kelli Russell Agodon has posted Marvin Bell's "32 Statements About Poetry".

#8 struck me: "Try to write poems at least one person in the room will hate." I guess the advice here is to put ugly stuff in the poem, stuff you know some reader will loathe. Fact is, of course, it takes no effort to produce something someone will hate. Soon's you've put a word on paper someone will scorn it.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

male gaze

"I look straight into men's eyes. Not with desire, but with the interest of one human being in another. To a straight guy, for whom that sort of relationship with a woman is complex and blurred, a stranger's unashamed and direct gaze is sexual. It's the gaze of the prostitute." Eleanor Brown

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

library down

The Berkeley Public Library has been having computer troubles for three weeks now. Sometimes just the internet is down. Sometimes everything's fine. Other times all the computers are kaput and when you go to the check-out desk the desk clerks have to write down the barcodes of the books you want to check out; when the computer comes up they'll rush to enter as many barcodes into the system as they can before the computer goes down. This also means the library catalog is down most the time so you can't look up anything. More than one patron has said, "Don't you wish you'd kept the card catalog?"

I guess in Technical Services where I work (no, Tech Services has nothing to do with keeping the computers running, it's where books are ordered, received, cataloged and those nice plastic covers put on) the computers have been up more often than the ones at the public service desks, so I've been (ugh) relatively lucky. Supposedly the problems plaguing the network for the last two weeks got fixed; then on the Monday holiday a power outage burned out a couple hard drives (or something). Though the computers were up today they weren't up to much. The later the day got the slower the computer on my desk got. And the back-up disk only captured activity up to Thursday night, thus everything entered into the computers on Friday was lost. That didn't affect me, but my supervisor was sure moanin'.

It's been seriously unfun, y'know?

poets bloggin'

"I was the guest speaker at a software conference in Sidney and got fired in the US while in Australia, so I spent 5 weeks living in a hotel, reading Pynchon and feeding the larakeets on the lanai." link

"I looked down at the controls: the power light was out. I toggled the switch but nothing happened. The chair was dead. That didn't stop me from trying the switch several more times, though. Almost immediately, I knew what I was looking at, besides the wall: five and a half hours until Steve would show up. And five and a half hours it was." link

"If you are thinking about welding, forget it. Poems do not weld. A highly skilled person can braze a poem together, but the high heat can distort it and can be expensive. I recommend 'gluing' poems together." link

Anagrams of names of poets' blogs ... includes "Therapist With a Dream Inside: I Am the Pirate’s Hardiest Wind" link

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

comments on "Julie and MariBeth Both are Graduating" version 1

This is another 20 year old poem. It's from that "Blue & Yellow Sun/Work Journal Part 2" from which I've taken my last couple poems-to-revise. Poor me. I was a depressed kid. What? You're surprised?

I'm posting this one because I like elements of it, it embarasses me a little, and I don't see what to do with it.

Julie and MariBeth Both are Graduating

“Glenn! Didn’tchu hear me?”

The day is whipped with a whisk.
A gust pulls my hair,
flicks my forehead with stray strands.
Two girls, “young women”
one dark haired, tan skin,
the other fair, rippling white-fleece hair.
My back to the wall. “Hi!”

As always I step back nonphysically,
though I am glad to see them.
We converse
graduating Friday?
No! Tomorrow!
Seen any of the summer movies?
one, but not really a “summer” movie.
MariBeth stands beside me smiling,
saying little,
while Julie pulls her hair back
from her shoulders.

I want to be natural,
not tumbling over inside.
Hands clutch, unclutch in pockets.
doing anything?
well, really we’re late but it doesn’t matter
munches on her cream cheese slathered bagel.
The wall offers little support
as I rest my back.

coming to graduation?
Julie and MariBeth both are graduating,
only a year from my formal exit.
It’s a cliché, but can it be a year?
They still seem so young
but I feel no older or more mature.
Am I really eighteen?
They are ready to leave.
I tag along.

i hadn’t planned on it. You going to a gradnite party?
The subject dilutes in the wind.
We are wandering down Main.
they hold up more conversational weight
than I.
I exist in a limbo world; isolated.
My words filter through the void,
I am an incredible distance from them,
when should i be holding on?
already I let go.

Monday, February 21, 2005


Flashy is chewing her butt raw. We've dosed her & the cats with flea meds, both internally & externally. Hope that shuts down the irritation that's causing her to gnaw her fur off. Poor girl. Besides the flea-specific potions Kent bought some anti-itch sprays at the pet store. The sprays seem to have a lot of tea tree oil in them, which at least doesn't smell bad. They haven't done magic, though. Today when K & I got home from an aborted trip to SF (BART train got stuck at MacArthur station for an indefinite delay -- "at least 20 minutes," the announcement said, sounding optimistic -- we hopped out and took a bus back to Berkeley) we found Flash had chewed another hole in her fur, her exposed skin inflamed. As with barking and trash raiding she knows we don't want her chewing herself so only really gets down to serious gnawing when we're away.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


The Gannon Story has been bubbling up for a couple weeks now. "Jeff Gannon" is nom de video of the man in the White House press room who asked George W. Bush that weird softball question recently, the one that accused Democrats of being "out of touch with reality." Gannon's sort of noise fills up the private rooms where Republicans let down their hair, and gets noted with indignant gasps on lefty weblogs or op-eds but seldom gets disseminated from such august settings as the media room of the White House. My favorite coinage so far tags the story, "Propagannon"; this man smelled of the dirty-tricks propaganda campaigns of Bush behind-the-scenes man Karl Rove. Or, anyway, some diarists at dailykos decided to run "Gannon" in Google and see what came up. And things came up!

You have to know already the context for this post, but it's a nice thumbnail of the "gay underground", the closeted men who know that being out would get in the way of their hobnobbing with the powerful, so they're not out, sometimes married, and often verbally bash out gays, either because they are self-hating or as a calculated distraction. Padraig (at the link) says, "I know Gay men of a certain age and income who routinely excoriate "the fags" ... But since the lights are out in the orgy rooms, good Republicans are happy to just overlook and pretend not to see. It is the public avowal of affection that makes them crazy over the gay marriage issue. ... I personally am sick and tired of being told that my only option is to have a lavender marriage with an understanding lesbian or a loveless marriage with an unsuspecting woman while trolling public toilets and internet chat rooms on the side. [Typical Republican alternatives to same sex marriage]"

For that context go to the "Jeff Gannon" page at dkosopedia.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

po biz

Are you interested in the poetry business? As a writer of poems and one who would be happy to see a few of those in print it's my job to be, I guess. But reading about how many thousands of poems jostle in the slush that washes up on the desk of every harried poetry editor, especially when an editor says something like this, "I have 61 submissions [3-6 poems in each submission] I need to read, a combination of submissions that passed our initial readers, submissions from previous contributors, and submissions from very established poets. Although one can always dream big, it is unlikely I will find more than maybe 2 or 3 poems in this stack to publish."

[Full disclosure. *And, no, I haven't seen nearly so many poems.]

Then there are contests. I don't like contests. I don't think they are a good idea. I have entered contests -- yes, I wanted to be a Yale Younger Poet! I just think a publisher shouldn't publish the best but what he likes the most, what he loves, what he has fallen in love with, what he can't live without, what he has to show the whole goddamn world, what he is willing to sacrifice for, because with poetry publishers rarely break even let alone make bucks.

On his blog Steve Mueske posts correspondence with a suspicious poet on whether the new contest Steve is sponsoring is rigged. I know Steve a teeny tiny bit from an online workshop and from publishing one of his poems in the latest issue of Hogtown Creek Review. He's a very good writer and his three candles is worth reading. Now he's getting into the publishing of real books. The poet who wins his contest will be fortunate.

Friday, February 18, 2005


I haven't been reading it much lately but I discovered Rhubarb is Susan, a blog that reviews individual poems plucked from ezines and if anyone is curious about such a project it's quite readable.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

we have poems

Kent took my back-up Zip disk to work and transferred its load of poems and other writings to one of those little flash memories plug-ins, which he brought home and poked into the USB port. Nearly everything that I'd typed into the PC was on that disk. OK. We're in business.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

a shuffle of ten

1. "Bamako City" Malian Musicians & Damon Albarn

2. "Scottish Rite Temple Stomp" Ninian Hawick

3. "Get Up and Go" The Go-Gos

4. "American Pie" Don McLean

5. "Jack Names the Planets" Ash

6. "Miss Dandys" Bandit Queen

7. "Laid (live)" James

8. "364" 7th Betty

9. "Worked Up So Sexual" The Faint

10. "Speeding" The Go-Gos

Curious, I thought I'd deleted the Go-Gos from my iPod. Oh, I see. I only deleted the playlist for the Go-Gos. They must still be in the library. Hm. Gotta fix that. I don't hate the Go-Gos or anything. I just didn't much like this selection of Go-Gos' songs so I deleted them all (I thought) to make room for other stuff.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

poets bloggin'

I am pleased to see two names that became familiar to me via poetry bulletins boards are now blogging:

Amy Unsworth ... in her latest post Amy asks if she should be working harder on getting her work out, "Should I be more motivated to submit? When I'm in the mood where I hear time's winged chariot, I get annoyed because I haven't been submitting. But for the last few months I haven't felt motivated to get the work out. Writing alone is enough."

Frank Matagrano ... In posts so far Frank has excerpted from articles on Deep Throat (the Watergate source), the benefits of a wok's breath (wok hay), and prescription drugs. But he also notes an acceptance of two poems by a literary magazine.

Monday, February 14, 2005

sending poems out

I have not sent any poems out anywhere in ... months? Maybe years.

I only have a few on the Mac, the computer with internet access. I can print out poems from the PC. I tell myself I'll do that. There are certainly places I could be (ought to be?) sending work.

But last night I decided to send some stuff out and I wasn't up to the whole printing and self-addressing and stamping so it would have to be a literary ezine. I quickly wrote a note and grabbed 3/4 of the poems on the Mac (which would be 6 poems for those who want to know) and copied 'em to the email to send to Poetry Superhighway.

Featured poet of the week? Me?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

random blog sentences

"This seems like something I would like to do with my life. Write a great book and then hide in an apartment in new york." link ... how funny. the preceding sentence has been edited out of the post to which I linked. The post, having been edited, changed its URL. Now the only place these words appear on the web is here. Whatever!

"people left, got new shoes, came home, had fun" link

"two guys playing a $25,000 match of Pong" link

"Albert got the idea that he could weigh his mice. So he brought them down one at the time and put them on our scale. And then he wrote down how much each one weighed." link


Friday, February 11, 2005

scary rabbit

My brother David has occasionally been creating his own renditions of movie monsters, particularly the ones that could have been realized better in their bad movies.

"Night of the Lepus is a bad movie. Well, not a bad movie so much as a bad execution of a silly idea. ... But think about it - giant jack rabbits hungering for your flesh? Giant carnivorous beasts that move as fast as panthers and can leap a twelve foot wall?" Scary!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hogtown Creek Review

Hogtown Creek Review is now available at Cody's in Berkeley.

It's supposed to be in Moe's, too. But I can't find it on the shelf. I left 3 copies with Owen, the poetry buyer, when I was at Moe's for the Ron Silliman/Kit Robinson reading.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

comments on "Love" version 5

I don't like version 5 as much as version 4. I've been thinking version 4 is the final version. But I wanted to try again after I achieved a final version. I haven't done that before. Plus I find version 5 interesting. I think its argument is better constructed than version 1. There were things (many things) version 4 left behind and I wanted to give the other elements another chance.

"Love", version 5

The sky likes love.
Love always rides there with the moon.
The stars are jealous.

I dream about love between the stars.
The sky is passionate with me.
Stars love passion more than they love me.
Love vanishes like stars in the sky.

Stars love the way I love.
Love loves love in the sky.
In the sky love pursues love to the stars.
Still I love love.

I love the stars in the sky.
I love the love in the stars in the sky.
I love the way the stars love the sky.
I love the sky.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

summary judgment

Judge Doris Ling-Cohan of a New York Supreme Court (unlike the US Supreme Court, the New York Supreme Court is a lower-level court; the NY Court of Appeals is the court that has the last word in NY) ruled on summary judgment that the state of New York must begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples.

Being as Kent's a lawyer and reads & writes about court decisions as part of his job I asked him how significant he thought it was that the judge ruled on summary judgment. Kent shrugged. "You have a trial when the facts are disputed."

In her opinion Judge Ling-Cohan says, "Defendant [the City Clerk of New York] does not dispute that plaintiffs [the same sex couples currently suing to be allowed to marry] are serious, committed couples, devoted to building lives together as families, whose relationships are no different from those of married couples. In fact, [the city clerk] acknowledges that same-sex couples can establish committed, loving relationships and can be fine parents. Since both sides agree that there are no material facts in dispute, summary judgment is appropriate."

Further the judge finds, "[The city clerk] does not dispute that plaintiffs and their children suffer serious burdens by being excluded from civil marriage. Marriage provides an extensive legal structure that protects the couple and any children." She goes on to list several of these, including joint income tax filing, joint property ownership, collecting on life insurance, presumed relation to children, inheritance, etc. I downloaded the pdf of the decision. The pdf is available at the Lambda Legal site.

The judge stayed her order for 30 days. Even if there had been no appeal (and the mayor of New York City has already appealed) there weren't going to be any gay marriages right away. Some surprise. Anyway, Kent seems not to find the summary judgment aspect particularly significant, at least as regards the eventual outcome. At this point it's this judge's opinion and nothing has changed really, not for anyone who wants to get married.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

comments on "Love" version 4

ah yes, even more "brutal" ...

"Love", version 4

I love the stars in the sky.
I love the sky.
I love the sky in the stars in the sky.
I love the stars in the sky in the sky in the stars.
I love the sky in the sky in the stars.
In the stars I love the sky in the stars.
I love stars in sky in the stars’ sky.
I love the sky, the stars, and the stars.
I love the sky in stars.


I've studied sign language. My hands are frequently in motion anyway so some years ago I decided to incorporate fingerspelling into my fidgets. If my hand was going to be jiggling or fiddling it might as well be improving my manual alphabet at the same time. I'll fingerspell signs as I pass them, fingerspell words as they pass through my head. When this will come in handy, who knows, it's not like many people can read fingerspelling.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

the sun king

When I hear an American soldier has died in Iraq I picture him kneeling blindfolded on the White House lawn while George W. Bush plugs him in the back of the head.

Last night Kent said, "Bush would never be able to do that."

And I said, "He could. Easily. Maybe he'd need a couple authority figures standing beside him, a Dick Cheney, a Donald Rumsfeld. But he would do it. And feel good about it. Day after day."

Kent had been watching a special on Auschwitz and was impressed again by the way ordinary men were essential to the running of the factories of death. He saw one interviewed, a man who processed the goods stolen from the people shipped to the camps, the man volunteered an interview to contradict the Holocaust-deniers. It really happened, he wanted to say. It happened and I helped it happen. Was I ever prosecuted? No. Few were.

Funny Bush's assertion that democracy is essential, that freedom is what America is bringing to Iraq. I don't believe him. He is no fan of democracy. He's not interested in it here.

Fact is, I'm okay with the notion that democracy can be/ought to be spread around ... that a benevolent military power might even effect positive change with guns. There are certainly evil dictators that need taking down. But it'll only work when the power that forces change is ... not stupid. Is truthful. Is generous. Is thoughtful. Is ... wise? Wise. That'd be something. Wise would mean such military might is used rarely and then carefully, thinking far into the future about what changes it brings -- both to the liberated people and to the liberators.

The American people in sending Bush back to the White House chose the sun king, the lord that feasts on human hearts ... in order that the sun come up tomorrow? And the American people decided his hunger could be fed with a few troops a day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

pwoermd of the day