Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Poetry Book Giveaway: You Can't Lose

Here's another wonderful idea: po-blogger Kelli Russell Agodon has launched a poetry book giveaway to coordinate with National Poetry Month (that's April, y'all). I'm happy to participate. Click here for Kelli's full post/explanation on her blog.

I will be giving away one copy of my book, Survivable World, and one hardcover copy of F. Daniel Rzicznek's Neck of the World (winner of the May Swenson Poetry Award and published in 2007).

All you have to do is write a response to this blog post (this one, right here, the one you are reading right now) before midnight on April 30th. On May 1st, I will randomly select two of the comment posters; each will be mailed one of the books. (So if you post, be sure that I have a way of reaching you in case I need your mailing address.) You don't pay a thing.

Let's play!

Update, 4/06: I've decided to sweeten the odds. For every five persons who respond to this blog post, I'll add a chapbook from my micropress. Right now, we have fifteen comments, so I'm adding three chapbooks to the giveaway pile: reliquary, by Boyer Rickel; The book of small treasures, by Christine Klocek-Lim; and Still, by Deborah Burnham. Feel free to spread the word!

4/19 update: We've surpassed 25 comments, which means two more chapbooks are up for grabs: Round Trip, collaborative poems by Kevin McLellan and fifteen poets, and Notes from the Red Zone, by Christina Pacosz. Thanks for spreading the word, y'all.

4/24 update: Keep the comments coming! With 30 folks responding, I'm adding a copy of Matthew Hittinger's Platos de Sal.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

On top of everything...

. . . On top of everything else I have to get done, I'm throwing my hand in with the poets for the month of April. Yep, I'm gonna try to write (and post) a poem a day for this year's NaPoWriMo. I'll try to get 'em up during my lunch hour (no guarantees) and ::bloop:: they'll vanish from the blog by midnight.

If you've never heard of NaPoWriMo, click here. There's still time to join us!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Winter boarder: begonia grandis

Winter boarder: Begonia grandis bulbils sprouting from a pot of dieffenbachia that I kept outside all summer and fall and overwintered in the laundry room. I'm always astonished at the capacity of this plant to propagate from the tiniest, most negligible-looking bulbil: some are smaller than a BB; some grow to maybe pea-sized. And all of them--all of them, if given half a chance (tossed nonchalantly into this pot, for example, not planted with any purpose or worry about light or water), will grow.

What you don't see here is the gorgeous deep pink of the leaves' underside, a large part of what makes them so beautiful all summer and fall in the garden: the afternoon light through the leaves is spectacular. The plants don't blossom until late in the year, and though the flowers are worth the wait--deep pink, cascading from multibranched stems--it's the leaves that make this hardy begonia a standout in the shade beneath our crabapple tree, in the shade beneath the pines, in the narrow alley between our house and the neighbors' where there is literally only a two-inch-wide space to dig in between our flagstone and their sidewalk. It also performs well in full sun, as long as its base is well-mulched.

These tiny plants are up early: they're the last to arise in the outdoor garden, later even than the notoriously is-it-still-there-or-not balloon flowers. When this small, they're easy to tease out of the soil and pot up in their own containers, though lately I've come to play more with companion planting: christmas cactus cuttings interplanted with an ornamental pepper; spider plants in the same pot with the bushy poinsettia that I've kept going for three years now; and (later, once it's safe to garden outside again) heartsease and oregano in the giant pots we use for growing tomatoes.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Air Empathy

On the red-eye from Seattle, a two-year-old
in the seat behind me screeches

his miniature guts out. Instead of dreaming
of stuffing a wad of duct tape into his mouth,

I envy him, how he lets his pain spurt
into the open. I wish I could drill

a pipeline into the fields of ache, tap
a howl. How long would I need to sob

before the lady beside me dropped
her fashion rag, dipped a palm

into the puddle of me? How many
whimpers before another passenger

joined in? Soon the stewardess
hunched over the drink cart, the pilot

gushing into the controls, the entire plane:
an arrow of grief quivering through the sky.

:: Jeffrey McDaniel, The Endarkenment