Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Waiting for callas

Last year we bought some lovely yellow callas. I can't remember how long they bloomed, but I was eager to try to keep them over the winter and see whether they'd repeat the show this year. Late in the fall, when the leaves had started yellowing, I brought them into the kitchen and tucked the pot (a rather large brass pot that I'd lined with a heavy plastic trash bag) against the corner of the kitchen table where it would be out of traffic. The remaining leaves died quickly and were gone within a week.

And that was that. I think I sprinkled a little water on it once over the whole winter.

Then, in early March or maybe even late February, I started getting curious. I watered the soil sparingly, then, a week later, more generously. And as soon as I saw the tiniest points of green emerging, I moved the pot to a bench in the laundry room--more susceptible to changing temperatures but also to steadily increasing sunlight.

And the plants have leafed out beautifully. I especially like the small translucent spots in the leaves. But so far, no blossoms. The pot sits on the corner of our back door stoop, where it gets bright light for most of the day and a couple hours of direct sun. I'm feeding and watering regularly. Are leaves all we can hope for this year? Did some process of "forcing" that the callas may have gone through in order to be sold at market last year render them "spent" for this year? Are they recovering the urge to bloom? Or am I just being hasty: are they waiting for high summer?

Will report back on any new developments.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1984: Friends don't let friends buy Ziggy cards

Oh, God.

I've been cleaning the upstairs bookcases at the rate of roughly one shelf per day. So many books to sort through--keep out? box away for now?--and then there are the binders. Binders dating way back. Binders containing every rejection slip I received for my poems. Binders full of correspondence. Binders of journals from high school. Binders documenting people (and years) I don't even remember.

Oh, God. Did I ever buy Ziggy cards? I think I did. And smarmy pastel Blue Mountain Arts cards with insipid verses by Susan Polis Schutz. I always thought it was Schultz. But no, here's a card copyrighted 1982, all salmon and purple, and it's Schutz: When the/world closes in/and lies so heavily upon you.../ remember that I care. (It goes on. I won't.)

Oh, God. Who was I?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

queer calls

June 27th is the deadline for this year's Oscar Wilde Award (Gival Press) for the best previously unpublished poem in English that best relates GLBT life. The reading fee is $5 per poem of any length, form, or style. The winning poem will be published on the Gival Press website and carries a prize of $100. Previous winners are Chino Mayrina, Stephen Mills, Pablo Miguel Martinez, Dante Michaux, Julie Marie Wade, Jeff Walt, and some guy named Ron Mohring. Visit the web site for complete details (click on "contests" and then "Oscar Wilde Award-Guidelines").

July 1 is the deadline for the anthology Queer Girls in Class: Lesbian Teachers and Students Tell Their Classroom Stories, a collection of personal narratives. . . For more information or to submit work, e-mail:

July 1 is also the deadline for entries to the Atlanta Queer Lit Fest's Broadside Contest. The winner will receive $200, 100 copies, and a keynote reading invite at the festival. Full details are at http://www/

[Thanks to Jameson Currier's queertype blog for this information.]

Saturday, June 12, 2010


[photo: peony, Mom's garden, May 2010]
I've spent time every day this month working on chapbooks: proofing pages, printing, folding and cutting and tying, mailing copies. I'm still not caught up with some of the copies I owe, but the new titles are coming along very well and I think I can stay on track with the summer schedule.
It's fulfilling work. It nourishes a part of me that exists mainly in solitude. I can't emphasize strongly enough how deeply I love this work.
What it doesn't do is pay the rent. June, June: Will you bring me a new job?