Thursday, November 30, 2006

Fusion Poetry Slam-a-Thon

I took part in a very well run Internet (AOL) poetry "Slamathon" a few weeks ago......and got this really neat winner's shirt in the mail today. Thank you, Fusion Poetry People!! I wish I could have gone on to compete in the semi-finals but the final grand "Slam-Off" (should I have advanced that far in the second round) is being held on December 16th, which is Hanukkah for me and I'll be in Jersey celebrating with family. I didn't want to commit to something I couldn't participate in and so I didn't sign up for the extended rounds. Good luck to whoever wins, though - genuine cash prizes involved!!!

Lindsay Lohan and the Amazing Condolence Letter

It recently came to my attention that Lindsay Lohan released her "letter of condolence" to the Robert Altman family to the press.....and the press picked it up, word for tortured word, and reprinted it. I'm not sure why she wrote it and I'm less sure why she released it to the press and I'm not at all sure why the press went ahead and printed it. Unless, of course, they hate her.

Here it is - reprinted in all its misspelled glory and incoherent phrasing:

"I would like to send my condolences out to Catherine Altman, Robert Altmans wife, as well as all of his immediate family, close friends, co-workers, and all of his inner circle.

"I feel as if I've just had the wind knocked out of me and my heart aches.

"If not only my heart but the heart of Mr. Altman's wife and family and many fellow actors/artists that admire him for his work and love him for making people laugh whenever and however he could..

"Robert altman made dreams possible for many independent aspiring filmmakers, as well as creating roles for countless actors.

"I am lucky enough to of been able to work with Robert Altman amongst the other greats on a film that I can genuinely say created a turning point in my career.

"I learned so much from Altman and he was the closest thing to my father and grandfather that I really do believe I've had in several years.

"The point is, he made a difference.

"He left us with a legend that all of us have the ability to do.

"So every day when you wake up.

"Look in the mirror and thank god for every second you have and cherish all moments.

"The fighting, the anger, the drama is tedious.

"Please just take each moment day by day and consider yourself lucky to breathe and feel at all and smile. Be thankful.

"Life comes once, doesn't 'keep coming back' and we all take such advantage of what we have.

"When we shouldn't..... '
"Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourselves' (12st book) -everytime there's a triumph in the world a million souls hafta be trampled on.-altman Its true. But treasure each triumph as they come.

"If I can do anything for those who are in a very hard time right now, as I'm one of them with hearing this news, please take advantage of the fact that I'm just a phone call away.

God Bless, peace and love always.

Thank You,


Lindsay Lohan

Having been a "poetry judge" and a chat room host in a poetry room on AOL for several years, I can pretty well decode the spelling and decipher what she may have meant to say.......but that (12st book) thing really had me confused. At first I thought she was making a biblical reference, but afraid to trust my own judgement, I cheated and "googled" the phrase. It's from the AA 12 step program - and it's the fourth step in the recovery process.

That clears up that, I suppose.

What it doesn't clear up is "why?" Why release this to the press? I can understand her writing it in the first place.....the thought itself is kind and actually having the presence of mind and the grace to take the time to write a letter of condolence is more than I would have expected from the teenage actress ilk - but to release it to the press with no regard for spelling and/or coherence? Being regarded as a sex symbol is one thing - but do young girls really want to be viewed as nothing more than mindless senseless bimbos? As a woman I'm just fine with sexy - however, as a mother, I'm not so fine with stupid.

Here's a scary thought - maybe she never even realized it was poorly written.....according to The Los Angeles Times Ms. Lohan received straight A's from a public school located in Long Island. Maybe no one ever took the time to say "Look, Biatch, I don't care how pretty you are - this is just WRONG!!! You need to spend more time with your grammar and less time with your girlfriends." Sad to say, while it's shockingly incoherent and grossly misspelled, this letter is just not the worst I've ever read from a teenager.......and it's pretty much what I've come to expect. Doesn't mean I like it, of course, just means that it's prevalent and that I've become unhappily familiar with it.

Kinda makes you question the entire education system (as well as the parents) more than it does one poor misguided publicity-seeking young girl, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Art at Work

Came home from Thanksgiving Holiday to find an email from Paul Tulloch at telling me that a poem I had submitted back in April or May had been short-listed in their contest, Art at Work.

I barely remember entering it......which only goes to show I need to start writing this kinda stuff down somewhere again regardless of the fact that I submit very little anywhere anymore and I am convinced that due to sheer lack of volume that I will remember when I do (because obviously I don't.)

The interesting thing about the whole thing is this: The poem which was picked (out of three which were sent) is the one I was least sure had value. It's an old one and I remember workshopping it on Eratosphere some years ago to some really bad reviews. The general consensus was "too emotional, too overblown, too too" and "this is one to keep for yourself but not to show other people because it's poorly executed and you can do much better." And they're IS emotional, and it is overblown and perhaps I can do "much better" but "much better" means different things to different people. I've always wanted to write poetry which people other than poets would appreciate. I was pretty sure then (and I still think so now) that some times both of those groups can be reached by the same poem (although apparently I am often mistaken about that particular line of thought.)

I'm often caught in between two worlds - the gritty one I've lived and worked in, and the "other" one where people write beautiful words which mean essentially nothing to anyone but other well-educated and refined poets. I can mimic the refined and I can fake the well-educated but more and more I ask myself, "Why bother?" Truth is - I'm neither of those things and I'm not convinced that my poetry has to be either of those things in order to be successful.

They're breeding emotion out of poetry now days. Virtually every poem I read which is current ends up boring the shit out of me. It's either sleek and sophisticated or it's full of gimmicks - and either way, it's more often than not as dull as hell. I don't want to write safe clean poetry which isn't dripping blood - even if the blood I have to drip is my own. I don't write often for that reason. It's painful, it extracts too much from me and leaves me with virtually no protection. And yet, it feels too much like cheating when a poem is written without some sort of personal emotion being not only involved but expended.

So, in a sense, I feel somewhat personally vindicated by having
Paul Tulloch and the other judges of Living Work having picked the free verse poem "Bless the Babies" for their short-list over the other (and more formal) poems which I submitted to them. It means that I had the courage and the conviction (and yes, the ego) to still feel something was good even when I'd been told by some of the best formal poets around that it wasn't.
It's good to believe in yourself.
Really good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Happy Spanksgiving!!!!

Off on a road trip to Chicago to see 2 kids, 1 grandson, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 want-her-to-be daughter-in-law, 1 mother, 1 aunt, 1 sister, 3 nephews, 1 niece, some old friends, some old co-workers and a partridge in a pear tree. Back on Tuesday. Have a safe and happy holiday!!! Kiss someone special......make 'em know they are.

Monday, November 20, 2006

"If I Did It" - No One Wants to Read About It

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of News Corp. announced today that News Corp. has decided to cancel the upcoming O. J. Simpson book and television special "If I Did It."

Sometimes the people in this country really DO make a difference

Saturday, November 18, 2006

"If I Did It" O. J. Whatshisgame

I must echo Washington Post Op-Ed columnist, Ed Robinson and urge you to please, for the sake of all that's still decent in the world, please do not spend your money on O. J. Simpson's latest attempt at recapturing the limelight entitled, un-aptly enough, "If I Did It," or watch the Fox Television infomercial promoting said-travesty.

Ugh. I certainly hope that whatever money he makes off of the bozo's that buy this book miraculously ends up in the pockets of the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

I also hope there's a special place in hell for narcissistic ex-football players - along with their editors, publishers and press agents.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A Picture's Worth.....

The coffin of Marine Cpl. Michael H. Lasky, 22, of Sterling, Alaska, arrives at Arlington National Cemetery in the back of a pickup truck as requested by his family.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time for a Change

I've decided that it's difficult to take pink seriously....and so I've developed a new look. It's like getting a new haircut with subtle highlights or having a sophisticated set of french-tipped acrylic nails applied.......a face lift that I didn't have to leave the house to get. Unfortunately, my blog probably won't wear sophistication any better than I do - so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Etheree at Barnard

A few days ago I received a message from the Formalista group which was sent out by a rather well known professor from Barnard University. She was searching for information on a little known form called an Etheree.

In my response to the list, I took the liberty of including a link to an Etheree I had written a few years ago and which can be currently found at The Hypertexts. Apparently she liked it, because she then personally emailed me and asked me if she could please use my poem as an example when she assigned the form to her students.

I was sincerely flattered, I said "Of course" and "Thank you" and now that I'm done dancing I feel very much like what my children would refer to as a major "poser."

Most days it doesn't bother me a whit....but sometimes, when something like this occurs, I am sorely conscious of my own utter lack of education and I wonder what in the hell am I doing here and who in the hell am I fooling?

Dan says it's not "fooling" people at all. A good poem is a good poem is a good poem and it doesn't matter how much or how little the author of the poem was formally educated.

Perhaps he's right....perhaps a poem stands alone, apart from the poet's background and education. It's just that there's so much being said about MFA's and doctorates and what school what poet hails from and what university what poet is a full professor at that I just feel totally lost in the shuffle.

Ah well, at least a poem of mine made it to Barnard.

Next best thing to having been there myself, I suppose.

Which Poet Are You?

Gosh, thanks to Reb I now know I can (and should) give up wracking my brain attempting to write poetry.

My score onThe Which Famous Poet Are You Test:

William McGonagall!

"You are, without a doubt, the worst fucking poet who ever lived. You have all the charm of a bowl of peas. You do not know how to have a good time. You have no sense of rhythm. You do not have a way with words. Your rhymes are hackneyed, and your ideas are boring. You could use a stiff drink and a good fuck, but the thought of it makes you a little uncomfortable. You should stick to your day job, because la vie poetique is not for you. You do not have a masterpiece in you. I'm sorry."

Take it!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


the changeling child.
The insolate daughter
of the night. She is the sun's spawn.
She shines.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Celebrating Anne Sexton

Tapestry of Voices and the Forest Hills Educational Trust present


with poets Lois Ames, Suzanne Berger, Robert J. Clawson and Victor Howes.
Sunday, December 10 at 2 pm in Forsyth Chapel at historic Forest Hills
95 Forest Hills Avenue, Boston MA.

If she were alive, Anne Sexton would turn 78 this year. Many of her friends,

students, and colleagues are still around, though, and still celebrating
her as a poet and a force. This November 12, they’ll gather for a fifth
annual tribute at Forsyth Chapel, reading her iconoclastic poetry
and their own. The reading ends with a walk to Sexton’s burial site
on the surrounding grounds of Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain.

People who love Sexton’s poetry - her rawness, her energy, her way

with words - would do well to attend the celebration. This is a chance
to meetVictor Howes, who knew Anne as a member of the New England
Poetry Club; Lois Ames, who edited Sexton’s "Life in Letters";
Robert J. Clawson, who managed her band, "Anne Sexton and Her Kind";
and Suzanne Berger, oneof her students at B.U..

Anne Sexton stirred up trouble with her poetry, and in her personal life.

She was wild, transgressive, and wildly intelligent, a break-out
from the suburban middle class. Her poetry still exudes disturbance,
excitement, electricity. Its aggressive honesty still influences poetry today.

Admission: $5. Directions and details at
or 617.524.0128. PLENTY OF PARKING

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fun Stuff. - Give It A Try

Warning: Addictive as hell. Help A Drunk Home


The joys of being a Democrat in Virginia.....or how I learned to love voting in my first election.

Actually, I'm not too thrilled with Webb, either, he just seemed like the lesser of the two evils.....a possible misogynist vs a known bigot......Well, that and the fact that I just wanted to have an "In your face, President Bush" moment.

Arghhhhhh......will there ever come a day when we can vote for someone who's NOT the lesser of two evils but the better of two goods? Donald Rumsfeld

The collected poetry of Donald Rumsfeld.

Just an Old Fashioned Female

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


BOP shift

Of course, all is not won, oh no, all is not won. In my home state of Virginia there will be a recount in the hotly contested Allen vs Webb race.....and Virginia DID, unfortunately, vote in favor of the infamous "marriage ban," otherwise known as "Question 1" - which means that not only do gays not get any recognizable side benefits from living in a marriage-like situation, neither do Dan and I. Ah well, win some, lose some - as of this morning it looks like Allen is going to win, recount or no recount, it's just going to take until December to say so - and, in addition to winning The House and quite possibly The Senate as well, South Dakota voted against a ban on abortion so all is definatly not lost... in fact, most of it is WON!!!!!!

None of this is probably very good birthday news for my friend, Evonne but I'm happy with the election results. She got to gloat back in 2004 so it's only fitting that I have my turn in 2006.

Happy Birthday, Evonne, may you have a great and prosperous year to come and we'll argue politics again in 2008.

The Birthday Girl herself: (Can you believe this lovely woman is a Republican????}

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Go On....Get Out There


It's the one time in all times that you can make a difference. Most especially today with so many races so close.

I won't even tell you how to vote, you already know that.