Monday, May 22, 2006

Gratitude & Hope

I keep thinking of the idea of prayer and gratitude. The way Kunitz said we should be "thankful" for the gift of life. In difficult times, it seems like we should have an abundance of prayer and an abundance of hope. But it seems at the time when you need hope the most, it walks off holding some one elses hand.

But by being thankful, should we be thankful for our own mistakes? Thankful for our own deep and tragic faults?

What threads do we grasp on to when the world unravels?

I agree that out of great struggle can come great art, but what about if it is "the self" that you are struggling against. That your own self is your unacceptable condition?

I want to say I love you world. I want to say it and mean it truly.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Doobie Brothers

Okay, so I love the Doobie Brothers and I know it seems weird, but Jen Knox always says it's because I love that "warm California glow."

True, true, but I mean, who doesn't?

When I was in 4th grade I "went out" with a real cute guy at Dunbar Elementary School whose father managed the Doobie Brothers.

My father was the principal, but still I was VERY impressed.

Okay, I'm still impressed!

He had gold records in his house...

Are you going to see this or what? It's wonderful!

My mom saved this turtle


I think it is safe to say that I have no idea what I'm doing.

I also think it is safe to say that I will never have a very "intellectual" blog.

I am bound by certain things to the open window.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Stanley Kunitz

As many of you know, Stanley Kunitz passed away on Sunday, May 14th.

This great quote got forwarded along:

When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you have to think of your art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in acknowledgement of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself.  And I think the world tends to forget that this is the ultimate significance of the body of work each artist produces.  It is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition, or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your  gratitude for the gift of life.

Stanley Kunitz
(from The Wild Braid, W.W. Norton, 2005)

What a wonderful sentiment. I remember quite clearly the day that Trish and I drove to the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center for the first time. She drove the rental car in front of 6 Fish UP and we drove over some flowers. She said, "Oh no, we just ran over Stanley Kunitz's garden."

Of course we didn't, but I did pass it almost everyday walking to the breakwater.

I only met him once and I think so far, he was the only man I've ever been taller than (and I might be exaggerating as he was bent over.)

He will be greatly missed and what gratitude we must feel that we have his poems to remember him by.

Still recovering

from the reading on Sunday night. We had so much fun. The whole crew came out and in the end I think it was one of my favorite readings yet.

Hurrah for Jennifer L. Knox!

Hurrah for Brendan Lorber!

Hurrah for Negro Modelo!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Reading with Jennifer L. Knox this Sunday.

I know it's Mother's Day, but wouldn't you make your mother proud if you came out and had a drink on a Sunday? Hi Mom!

When: 7pm on Sunday, May 14th

What: Poetry reading with Ada Limon & Jennifer Knox

(if you've never heard Jen read she's wonderful and funny and an amazing reader).

Where: ZINC BAR: 90 West Houston between Laguardia & Thompson in New York City's Greenwich Village. Subway: ACEBDFV to west 4th street. NR to spring. 1/9 to Houston

Monday, May 08, 2006

Where did they go?

In case you were wondering where our poems went. Jen and I took them off to further edit them and perhaps someday put them in books. She picked my top 5 and I picked hers, then we picked our own favorite 5 to see what we came up with. VERY interesting.

I'm reading tonight and think I might read some of the poems from this month. We'll see how they feel about the whole thing.

You can see more of Jennifer L. Knox's poems up this week on No Tell, Motel

I am dreaming constantly of underwater lavender and car bombs.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Did you know:

that Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) was part Mexican, same as Joan Baez, Daisy Duke on Dukes of Hazzard, Loni Anderson AND Jimi Hendrix?

And did you know that the commercial on PBS that had the little boy saying, "I'm proud to be a Mexican American" was my favorite commercial?

Just in case anyone asks.

Cinco de Mayo!

Since I'm of Mexican decent, I often get asked by people in my office and friends about the meaning of Cinco de Mayo. So, I thought I'd post something here that really clarified the importance of this day. (Aside from the obvious excuse to eat quacamole and drink margaritas).

So, first thing you need to know is that Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexico's Independence Day (which is actually September 16th or midnight of the 15th). Rather, it is in celebration of the day, May 5th, 1862, when 4,000 members of the Mexican Militia defeated 8,000 members of the French army in the town of Puebla. (Napoleon wanted to take over and install Maximilian as ruler of Mexico).

Now, the thing to remember here is that there were wars almost constantly going on in Mexico, and one year later, angry at his defeat, Napoleon sent 30,000 troops to Mexico and indeed succeeded in placing Maximilian in power.

But their victory was short lived as well and soon the French were ousted with help from the United States in 1867.

And there's lots more to know, BUT, it really is simply a celebration of the little guy over the big guy, the mom & pop store over the Wallmart, the small poetry press over Random House and the independent bookstore over Barnes & Noble.

And if that's not an excuse to have a drink, well, really what is?

Personally, I also think it's a day to get your mojo back and fight your own personal Goliaths whatever they may be.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thanks, Lala!

...For letting me post poems on your blog, and goofy photos like this. You're my pal. Love, Jennie K.

I'm reading on Monday night if anyone's around!

Monday night, Reading Between A & B kicks off three straight Mondays of poetry with:

Nicole Cooley
Anothony Hawley
Ada Limón

Monday, May 8, 7:30PM
at the 11th Street Bar (510 E. 11th Street  btw A & B).

Nicole Cooley grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her first book of poetry, Resurrection, won the 1995 Walt Whitman Award and was published by LSU Press in 1996. Her second book of poetry, The Afflicted Girls, about the Salem witch trials of 1692, came out with LSU Press in April 2004. She has received a Discovery/The Nation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and the Emily Dickinson Award from the Poetry Society of America. She is an associate professor of English at Queens College-City University of New York and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two young daughters.

Anthony Hawley grew up in Massachusetts and was educated at Columbia University. He is the author of The Concerto Form (just out from Shearsman Books) and the chapbooks Afield (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004) and Vocative (Phylum Press, 2004). He is currently on the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in /Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, Forklift, Ohio, The Hat, Octopus/, and /Verse/.

Ada Limón is originally from Sonoma, California. A graduate of the Creative Writing Program at New York University, she has received fellowships from the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, New York Foundation for the Arts, and won the Chicago Literary Award for Poetry. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including, the Iowa Review, Slate, Watchword, Poetry Daily, Tarpaulin Sky, LIT, Painted Bride Quarterly, and others. Her first book lucky wreck was the winner of the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize and her second book This Big Fake World is was the winner of the 2005 Pearl Poetry Prize and is due out in the Fall. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her new bike and doesn't have any tattoos.