Friday, October 24, 2008

Stuff (and nonsense)

Many thanks to the folks at Verse Daily for running Deborah Burnham's poem "Baseball" last Saturday. I didn't know the poem was going up, and as you can see, I'm catching up on this week's poems.
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And then there's this: an odd little book that arrived in the mail from "No Tickee/ No Washee Enterprizes" in Chicago. . .

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Po nite

Eduardo gave a lovely reading tonight with Mia Leonin in Bucknell Hall.

I'm up!

My poem "Sleepers" is up today at qaartsiluni!

Friday, October 17, 2008


This week has been a blur: I won't bore you with the particulars. Yesterday, on the drive home, I pulled off to the side of the road for a moment to watch the sun breaking through heavy lead-gray clouds. Should have taken photos. Instead, here's a glimpse of the fantastic autumn foliage on the mountain, as seen by my camera through the passenger window. This evening, after classes, after the last meeting, I'm driving home slowly with the windows down. I'm going to breathe.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Angel on a shoestring

I dragged Eduardo off to Lyco on Saturday night for our campus theatre department's production of Angels in America. I've seen the play before--in Houston, at the Alley--and knew the plot well; I've also watched the HBO version at least twice. It was, of course, hard to suspend those experiences during the evening's production: the special effects were basically nonexistent, and some of the performances were jarringly one-dimensional, but Kushner's script (though small parts seemed to be missing) shone through.
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Earlier on Saturday, R & I drove out to the Montour Preserve and walked around the lake. It was a beautiful, warm afternoon: honeybees were prolific in the goldenrod; a single-engine plane climbed and dove in tight loops high above the fields; the sky was streaked in every direction with huge mare's tail cloud formations. The maples are turning quickly now--lots of amber, orange and red--and even though I got too much sun, I was happy to set down all my to-dos and just enjoy the incredible day.
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My stapelia plants are both about to bloom: the indoor one on the dining room window sill has one star-shaped bud about to open, and the outdoor one (which I moved into the laundry room for two cold days last week) has six or seven buds, all sizes. I'll get photos. The flowers are fascinating, lovely in a surreal, otherworldly sort of way. Unfortunately, they stink: one of the common names for stapelia is "carrion flower." I think it's propagated by flies.
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Off to bed. The to-do list resumes bright and early in the morning.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just one more Wordle

Just one more. I'm printing this one out for my office wall: it's art. I love the font, and I love connecting the words and reexperiencing Clinton's endorsement of Obama:

[click to see a larger version at the Wordle site]


Following Anne's lead, I Wordled my book:

We do love a good simile.

More good news

More good news: I got word yesterday afternoon that Dave and Beth are taking my poem "Sleepers" for the upcoming "Journaling the Apocalypse" edition of qaartsiluni. I'm terribly pleased.
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As I was packing up from a visit with my folks this past April, I realized I didn't have room in my bag for my winter jacket. So I left it. When I visited in August, again there wasn't room in my bag (I do try to pack well, but also to carry as little as possible--hence a smallish bag). Looking back on the August visit, I recall that books were to blame as well.

So anyway, when I phoned home yesterday evening to let Mom & Dad know that the barium swallow (sounds like a futuristic species nesting on the wall of--what, a nuclear cooling tower?) had gone well (read: without incident) (I was afraid I might throw up during the procedure), Mom said she'd just mailed my jacket. Good timing, as we've had two consecutive freeze warnings--on Monday evening, along with dragging numerous plants into the apartment and laundry room, I also cut big bundles of basil and white sage. Gave some of the basil to the neighbors: this a small-leafed tricolor variety we'd never grown before: because it doesn't flower, it's stayed quite leafy all season. Smells wonderful in the kitchen (in a vase). I should have bought olive oil at the store. Need to whirrr up some hasty pesto, or if nothing else, run the basil and olive oil through the processor and freeze it like that.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


This morning, we did a procedure called a barium swallow: it basically involved rearranging myself in various non-fetching poses on an x-ray table while simultaneously sipping and swallowing heaping mouthfuls of a noxoius, chalky "barium shake" and dutifully holding my breath as various pictures were taken. It was nothing, really--the digital prostate exam, for example, is much worse in my opinion, even though it lasts less than a minute. Still, as I lay there, sans glasses, staring at the blurry cold arms and gauzy (out-of-focus) green lights of the diagnostic apparatus and wondering just how many x-rays and scans are too many, my overwhelming feeling was of relief: in the six years I worked at BU, only two included really good health insurance (some years I had none at all), and I've been fortunate to have insurance in both my years at Lyco.

Barium, aquarium, solarium. "Hold your breath--" Opium. Sodium. "Okay, now breathe--" Ammonium. Harmonium. Euphonium. "Now hold your breath--" Is that all? That can't be all. There's a ton of chemical names, like molybdenum or however it's spelled. Oh--Symposium!

So, thinking about that. And playing rhyming games. And so passed the time.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


Sitting down to watch the candidates' debate with a mug of chamomile tea. It may take something stronger to calm my blood pressure, doncha know fer darn sure?

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Update: Okay. When the moderator put forth the "Achilles heel" question, this is what I saw: Palin did not dodge it. She dodged lots of questions all night, yes, but those evasions were transparent. In this case, she behaved as though she were responding directly to the question. You know what I think? I think she doesn't know what "Achilles heel" means.

I'm going to go distract myself with some of those many magazines I've read all of over these many years.

Call for Chapbooks: Eric Rofes Center for Multi-cultural Queer Studies

Passing this along from Reggie Harris' and Christopher Hennessey's sites:

Call for Chapbooks: LGBT/Queer/SGL Chapbook Archive

The Eric Rofes Center for Multi-cultural Queer Studies announces that it will house the largest collection of LGBT/Queer/SGL chapbooks. Eric Rofes was a longtime educator and activist who worked on a wide range of progressive social and political justice issues. Since his untimely passing in 2006, many of his colleagues have worked to continue this legacy. The Eric Rofes Center for Multi-cultural Queer Studies is one among many of the way his legacy is materialized and continued. As a Visiting Lecturer in Ethnic Studies at Humboldt State University for Fall 2008, and Faculty advisor to students operating ERC, Tim'm West, one of Eric's colleagues, has been working to mark the center with a unique collection of chapbooks. Chapbooks honor works published outside of the traditional publishing industry-- books bound by staples, tape, or string, collections printed at copy centers, and creative works that mark writers who have long been told their works are not worthy of being published.

We are working to ensure that all chapbooks submitted receive a call number in collaboration with the Humboldt State University library, though the collection will be housed at ERC. This collection remains a way to ensure chapbooks are preserved. If possible, we would prefer that all chapbooks submitted be signed to "Eric Rofes Center". While students everywhere are working to explore the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, among other identities, we invite all writers to participate in our attempts to mobilize a collection that validates the experiences of writers both published and unpublished. We are especially interested in older collections, or phases of books before more traditional bound versions were created. In the service of including works by community members and our allies, we will be taking a broad approach to collecting LGBT, Queer, or SGL chapbooks. Contributers may submit if their collection has related content, even if the author does not idenfity as LGBT, Queer, or SGL.

Please distribute widely.
Submissions can be sent to:

HSU- Multicultural Center
c/o Eric Rofes Center Chapbook Archive
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521

All submissions will receive receipt of their contribution, as a list of all works is being compiled, published, and updated regularly.

Thanks for your attention,

Tim'm T. West
author, Red Dirt Revival, chapbook BARE, and Flirting
Visiting Lecturer, Humboldt State University
(707) 826-3826
artist website:

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Another fine poem by K.A. Hays

"All of us, every one,
will be dissolved not long from now.

Meanwhile we tuck away the winter's claims,
put photos in a box, look elsewhere."

[Read the entire poem here]

Three poems find homes--

--or rather, one home, and a wonderful one at that: just heard from Patty Paine that three of my new poems will appear in the January issue of diode. I'm absolutely thrilled.