Sunday, August 31, 2008

Featured chap: Justin Goldberg: Speaking Past the Tongue

Justin Goldberg's Speaking Past the Tongue was selected by Henri Cole as part of the Poetry Society of America's New American Poets Chapbook Series in 2004. Here's a sample poem:


I was told as a child that my ancestors
had been chased from their village in White Russia,
follwed from their homes by a fallout of ash
to a dark bog on the outskirts of town.

I stand with them as they turn to look back from
the water's edge, their neighbors drawing
close enough for us to make out their features
twisted, unfamiliar, before we wade in together,

hide underwater in a tangle of limbs.
Refracted through the surface, they curse
as bullets make the severed, blood-stained
reeds dance in mid-air. We hold our breath.

A few reach the far shore, swim entire oceans.
The others cry out in bubbles, the last light
of their faces flaring as their throats burst
and betray them. I search the darkening water

for a face that is mine. Those who hold out longest
scold me with their eyes before giving in
for the line of air that binds me to my body.
I go on breathing, speak with my mouth full of mud.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Go Read This

I would call it unbelievable, but it's all too true--and it makes me sick to my stomach.

Go read this.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Vintage moi

Is that a little potatohead or what? Found some neat old photos at Mom & Dad's on my last visit; I've been scanning and printing new copies. Above: circa October 1960--my sis and brother, with Mom holding fat little me.
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I had a delightful meeting with Eduardo yesterday afternoon--chatting over coffee, plotting our revolution (naah, but he is gonna help me put some chapbooks together). I'm so glad he got the Roth Rez.
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Early to bed. Classes start tomorrow. Wishing all my hard-working colleagues out there a great semester.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here are some of the morning glories that have all but invaded the laundry room--we keep tying the vines up and away from the back door, but they're growing like crazy. . . I'm not complaining.
(Attempt at an artsy shot--floating the blossom in a bowl of water.)
This one intrigued me: I think the rain plastered it against the window glass, where it stuck as it dried, like a pressed flower.
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Worked on two new chapbook covers--very exciting--and spent a couple hours folding & cutting, folding & cutting, folding & cutting pages.
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Oh--and we went out this weekend to buy my new school shoes. Found a pair I liked: waterproof, scuff-resistant, super comfortable. (I'm really hard on my shoes.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


--aaaaaand we're back. I keep reminding myself to get back to the blog, but days (and weeks) pass. When classes start in two weeks, I'll be navigating a major speed bump: it's not *all* about time management, but organization definitely helps. My dreams are all about teaching. . .
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At the press: 1) Assembling covers (and full copies) of Deb Burnham's chap. It looks good. 2) Narrowing down the cover art options for Judith's chap. 3) Typing up our first fiction title, to be announced any day now. . .
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Matthew Hittinger seeks advice regarding the apparent implosion of the press that was to have published his chapbook. . . Click here to read all about it and send support, advice, well-wishes. . .
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In the garden: the morning glories have covered half the back dooryard and are now scrambling up into the trees. Three nice colors: an almost-sky-blue, a rose pink, and a small white with pink "star" markings. I've taken pix but keep forgetting to load them. Soon, soon. . .
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Time to help with dinner. I'm making the tomato/basil/mozzarella salad [chop cherry tomatoes into quarters; mince fresh basil; cube a few ounces of mozzarella; toss with fresh cracked pepper, splash of lemon juice & two or three splashes of balsamic vinegar] [= yummy garden goodness]

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Back from Ohuckiana

I'm back from Ohuckiana, where I spent a super week-and-a-half at my parents' house: weeding and mulching some of the old flower beds, Canasta with Mom & Sandy, fabric- and book-shopping with Mom, lots of quilt chatting but not much actual progress on our respective projects, though I did help "square up" Mom's blocks for the quilt she's piecing. . . Flew home yesterday, on my burfday, and fell asleep during the flight--woke as we descended through big blobby white clouds over the hills and farmland and past the two active/two dormant stacks of the Three Mile Island plant (practically next door to the Harrisburg Airport).

Lots of correspondence to catch up on, as well as lesson plans for my fall classes. . .

The garden! Four o'clocks are just starting to bloom; white and purple phlox are in full show; the first nicotiana sylvestris has started blooming (nowhere near the 3-4 feet tall that we expected, and I haven't gone out at evening to check the scent) (raining tonight); the morning glories are HUGE and threatening to sprawl into the laundry room; all my wee impatiens plantlets, set out from rooted cuttings last month, exploded into full bloom while I was away; the buddleia bushes have finished their first round of flowering and need deadheading; the rudbeckia and echinacea are completely loaded with blossoms; the cactus-flowered zinnias I started late from seed are sturdy but no flowers just yet. I picked about 30 tomatoes from Sasquatch--just the ripest, though tomorrow there'll be as many again to pick. And the crabapple tree, absolutely loaded this year, is sagging even more under the weight of so much fruit. (We'd noticed this before, of course, but after several days away, the progression is evident. May need to brace some limbs before this is all over.)

Glad to have rain tonight.

Thanks to D & S for the birthday wishes!