Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Skinny

On this final day of National Poetry Month, I thought I'd share some reflections on my poetry.

Yes, some of it was bad--downright "yucky" as my son would say. But I'm so glad I forced myself to write. I wrote 22 poems, posted around 15, and was happy with five. That's five more poems I didn't think I'd have by the end. The whole idea was to get motivated about writing. Mission accomplished.

But the biggest surprise was blogging. I never fancied myself an exhibitionist (well, not since I hit my 30s), but I love the idea that people can comment on my work. And I like posting the rough, unfinished stuff. Even if it's bad, it's still a poem in progress. Another surprise was the amount of good poetry blogs. I've managed to discover other writers living in my little corner of the world, as well as keep up with the business of poetry. Not an easy feat when you're raising two kids under the age of three.

I'm a bit sad that NPM is over, because that means I have to start doing all those things I put off: exercise, reading, swapping winter clothes for summer wear, talking to my family (just kidding--mommy loves you!). It also means having to break up chores and tasks into manageable chunks. I really hate that. I prefer having long stretches when I can work uninterrupted. Alas, such is life.

So in May and hereafter, I'll post as much as I can. Maybe I'll aim for a poem every few days. And I'll continue to share my thoughts on this subject I love so much.

Have you kissed a poet today? It's not too late. You have time.

Friday, April 28, 2006

It's a GOOD Thing

As a writer, you have to celebrate the successes in your community. So I'm celebrating my dear friend Erin Dionne, a winner of the PEN New England Children's Book Caucus. She'll be reading from her award-winning manuscript, Beauty Binge:

Sunday, April 30
Simmons College
6:30 p.m.

Click here for the press release.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

New Poem

Rough Country

Sweet Baby, I have imagined your death
every day since the day we met,
Some horrific tragedy that begins with me at work
getting the call. You're the victim:
the devil's plaything sandwiched between
the cabs of two tractor trailers,
fodder for rubberneckers
and a story for the evening news,
or a slip of the chainsaw while sawing wood,
or worse, an escaped convict finds the chainsaw
making you victim #1 in his murderous rampage.
Or maybe it's something simpler: salmonella,
falling through a sidewalk grate,
walking pneumonia (my personal favorite),
a piano falling out of the sky. And always
I am locked away in a moment of numbness
like smashing my thumb with a hammer,
the perpetual moment that never ends.
So, as our children sleep unaware in their room,
as I touch your strong, worn face,
kiss the lips I have kissed a thousand times,
my senses begin again to commit you to memory,
only to be reborn, back into the same rough country
weighing inside my brain like an anvil.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

New Poem

Five Bucks

The money I spend lines the register drawers
of the coffee shop, where the beveragista
thanks me for my patronage.
My crisp, newly minted five-dollar-bill
was placed next to the other currency
given to get something else. Soon, my latte will be gone.
The money I spend feeds another family,
keeps police on the streets, greases the wheels
of the political machine. Sometimes, the money I spend
works against me, some public works project
keeping inmates busy picking up trash by the side
of the road (oh, see how lovely the off-ramp looks today).
My discarded coffee cup helps the greater good. I pay to
keep America beautiful. Most days I’m convinced
the money I spend, the money that should go to charity,
topples non-English-speaking governments,
and tortures local taxi drivers for information they do not have.
There is not enough money in the world to make the world better
—it’s the law of averages. Or attrition. It’s Murphy
and his brothers Broke, Desperate, and Stupid in charge.
Will the money I spend keep the bean farmer
out of bankruptcy? Will that five bucks stretch
over the mortgage, lights, food for the family?
I open my wallet and hand the cashier my peccadilloes.
I can’t have it all, I can’t save anyone,
and I must come to terms with getting more than I deserve
but just what I expected. I have more than most
for better or for worse and for that I am sorry.
May I have another cup of coffee please?



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Sunday, April 23, 2006

New Poem

Cows at Richardson’s Farm

They are dumb,
I think.
All those years behind
gates and stalls,
Eating silage.
Getting milked.
Females
listening to the voices
of feeders and milkers,
recovering phrases
the way mothers
overhear conversations
that rise from the backseat of the car.
What do cows do? My son asks.
They live out there in the green fields.
All they have to do is eat grass
and moo all day
and take care of their babies,
I say.
And maybe that’s all
kids in back seats
need to know
about what we do--
we give milk
we have babies
we stand up a lot
we give ice cream
and look at the big sky
all day.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Authenticity

I took a day off from blogging for two reasons. My kids drove me crazy and I needed some distance so I could post objectively (HA!). And, today I attended the Simmons School of Management's Leadership Conference in Boston. I knew I would have a lot to blog about. Strangely, the two have a lot in common.

So yesterday, I had the bright idea to take my kids to work for a few hours. What was I thinking? While, on the whole, they were their cute, charming, lovely selves, they are not made to be confined to a space where they have to be quiet. On my way home, the wheels in my frazzled brain came to the conclusion that I have perfect children, I'm just not a perfect mommy.

They are doing what's in their nature to do; in effect, they are being their authentic selves. When they zig and I zag, it's usually because we have competing goals. That's how it is with young kids. So I try to adapt and cater to their needs. One day, it won't be like this but until then, it is what it is. I understand that and it's okay.

Friday made me appreciate Saturday even more. I thoroughly enjoyed the conference. The overall theme I took away is to be true to yourself. Honor your authentic self. And I kept thinking how different things are from just a few years ago when people said you can have it all. Now, everyone tries to do more with less yet we are losing ourselves in the process. Multitasking is out, personal time is back in vogue.

As for the speakers, I heard and thoroughly enjoyed personal finance expert Michelle Singletary, organizer Julie Morgenstern, news anchor Soledad O'Brien, and actress Alfrie Woodard. There were others in attendance, but the ones listed spoke to my interests. You have to think entrepreneurially about your life and career, even if you don't own your own business. You have to make time for the important stuff. Also, you don't need as much stuff as you think you do.

Blogging enables me to honor my authentic self. I am a poet, so when I decided to blog and write poems in April, something shifted in my life. Everything shifted. I write because I enjoy it. It gives me energy, which allows me to be more creative and give something back to the people in my lives. That discovery is a happy accident, but is the most authentic thing I have learned this National Poetry Month.

Friday, April 21, 2006

New Poem

Service

The military needed cheap labor
to move office furniture
into the newly remodeled Pentagon,
so they had the grunts do the work.
My father made the 300-mile round-trip
for 5 weeks to get the job done. Sometimes he gave
rides to other enlisteds, charging a small fee
to those who needed a lift. My father,
who in 1969 would have done anything
for his wife and newborn daughter,
put desks together for generals and elite brass
in the sweltering summer heat. One day,
he said, the higher-ups will realize
that the world is put together by men like me
.

I can see him plain as day:
slim build, slight muscles--
a catch, my mother would tell me.
He knew what it meant to put food on the table
No matter how he had to do it.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Too Many Writers, Not Enough Readers

Articles like this make me sad for the future of poetry. This article,
The Law of Diminishing Readership, in the Trends section of Poets and Writers magazine by Joseph Bednarik, I think is dead on. While there's a proliferation of MFA programs producing several hundred new poets a year, readership of poetry in the U.S. is steadily declining.

Why the disconnect? The author supposes that people like to write poetry more than read it.

From a practical standpoint, I wonder if colleges and universities are teaching students of literature how to turn their creative interests into liberal arts careers. If you're a poet, can you take a class in how to publish, how to self-publish, how to market yourself, how to start a reading series, or how to develop an online magazine? I don't think things have changed since I graduated from NYU 10 years ago. But I wish there had been a business course available to liberal arts on how to manage money, and to learn how to think of poetry more entrepreneurially.

Nobody like to think of poetry as a business, but it is. The only way poetry, and literature in general, can flourish is if poets who write support the industry: buy a poetry book. But poets need to think about how to turn writers into readers. How can we create more avenues to have the work bought, ultimately, by new audiences? This is not rocket science, just business.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Life Lines

If you’re like me, there are a few lines from poems that you carry around. Maybe they inspire you, or maybe they’re your mantra. Whatever the reason, you should check out Life Lines from the Academy of American Poets. Read about what inspires poets and readers alike, what bring a smile to their faces, and what helps them cope. If you’re inspired, submit your own favorites.

Two poems that carry favorite lines for me:

We all have reasons
for moving
I move
to keep things whole.

(Mark Strand, “Keeping Things Whole”)

AND

I'll get back
to the poem. I'll get back to being
a woman. But for now
there’s a shirt, a giant shirt
in my hands, and somewhere a small girl
standing next to her mother
watching to see how it’s done.

(Tess Gallagher, “I Stop Writing the Poem”)

The Mark Strand poem usually gets me through a bad day at work, while the Tess Gallagher poem helps me during the rough spots at home when there’s not enough time in the day.

New Poem

Ella

1.

Queen of the queen-sized bed,
she sleeps between us
arms outstretched like a plus sign

Then she rolls to her side,
back facing her true north father
Her fat foot buttressing my jiggly belly

Somehow she latches onto sleep, never fearing
that I could crush the life right out of her
with the body that gave it.

No—her snoring is a mother’s aria
filling the room
with her sweet music.


2.

Round midnight
She’s gumming for me,
nudging for a swig of warm milk

I let down and she takes me in,
cupping her hands around
my milk-full breast.

And when she falls asleep,
crazy drunk, I pull away—
she continues to suck

as if I am still there.
The next morning,
her jagged little teeth rub me awake.

Under my blouse
my sore, cracked nipple
is a jewel of pain.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Monday, April 17, 2006

Simplify

Happy Patriots Day!

It was quite chaotic tonight trying to get the kids settled. Dinnertime often turns into the witching hour in the O'Neil household. Alex gets wound up and then crashes, and Ella follows suit. Both seem to be going through loud phases, which doesn't help. But tonight, it turns out that the chaos was caused by lack of sleep from the Easter festivities from the day before. Who knew they were acting out at 6 p.m. because they're exhausted. Usually, they are awake until 8 p.m.

All of this activity left me distressed about tomorrow. I'm pretty diligent about getting everyone ready for work and day care. But I'm just pooped. So in the next few weeks, Tim and I will be looking for ways to simplify our lives and making it easier on everyone. We're throwing out all sorts of ideas: getting rid of clothes, toys, and books we don't use; asking family for a little more help; and trying to let go of our routines a bit more so we can really enjoy our time with the kids. Also, we're looking for ways to spend more together as a couple.

Do you ever feel the need to shed much of what you have to get down to what you need? I know I have more that enough, but some of that stuff defines me. I have books I haven't read since high school, and clothes that haven't seen the light of day since the early 90s. And now the kids have more stuff that we can keep up with.

I tend to collect ticket stubs from movies and concerts. I think I have a shoebox full of them. Not sure why I hold onto them, maybe because some of my best memories are associated with the experiences. But I never look at them. As I type, I feel a little pack-ratty, even though I'm not. Those stubs define a part of me--but if I keep them in a box, what does THAT mean? Ugh.

Simplify Simplify Simplify keeps running through my head. I need to do more with less.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Beware of the Dog

A few weeks ago, I went to a poetry reading sponsored by Cave Canem (http://www.cavecanempoets.org), a group of which I am a fellow. The members are celebrating 10 years of African American poets and poetry with a new anthology called Gathering Ground. This is some of the best writing being produced by contemporary poets in the U.S. today.

The strength of this group is the camaraderie among poets. For the last 10 years, we have created a community poem by poem, which I think is especially important for black poets, and for poets in general. In addition, there is an annual, weeklong retreat, along with poetry readings, online listservs, and lots of opportunities to collaborate and get information. Many fellows have published books, won contests, received grants and awards, and taken on prominent teaching assignments.

Cave Canem, or "beware of the dog" in Italian, is becoming a known entity among poets. But the remarkable part is that it brought people together and made us better writers. There's something to be said for strength in numbers. I can send a poem to the group via e-mail and instantly get 10 critiques for my work. Or I can find out the current hot topics in the literary world. Cave Canem is there for me whenever I have questions about my literary career.

No matter how large or small, belonging to a group can make a difference in your literary life. If you're blogging, you know exactly what I mean.

New Poem

Something I Needed

Dig deep, my husband says.
I look to him as subject because
I am empty. So I reach back to when

the writing came easy, when poems
fell like tree branches in a storm
and it was always raining.

Young and single, we started
when he asked me to dance
and I said yes.

Spinning on F&M’s pool table until 4 a.m.,
we ate alligator nuggets and Crawfish Monica
in the jazz of a crescent city.

Now, he dares me to make our suburbia poetic.
Yet I long for a time without prudence,
biting into beignets at the Café Du Monde.

Even as my son rejects a peanut butter sandwich,
the sandwich I stop writing the poem to make
I am flummoxed,

as if I couldn’t put my mind on something I needed,
so that everything I imagined to say
might be tethered to this rough tongue forever.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Friday, April 14, 2006

Take a Poet to Lunch

I don't know why The Academy of American Poets doesn't add this tenet to the whole constitution of National Poetry Month.

Poets, do you live your day-to-day lives as a poet? Do you tell people it's National Poetry Month? What kind of responses do you get? ("Uhmmm ... No, I didn't" -- I'm sure you get a lot of that.) But after the initial bewilderment, what happens next? Do you explain what happens during the month? Do you start conversations by your water cooler or at the checkout line? Do you inspire dialogue about the meaning of the month? If people ask you, "why April?" do you have the right answer?

My small contribution to the national dialogue about National Poetry Month starts with hanging a new poem outside of my office door weekly. Someone always drops in to offer an opinion. Then the conversation leads to "I once wrote a poem." Or, "my favorite poem growing up was...." Most poets I know cringe when they hear such sophomoric conversations around the high art. But I love it. My job as a poet is to bridge the disconnect between old ideas about poetry and what's going on now. I love it when people share their favorite poems, because they are sharing a part of themselves.

So, how do you celebrate National Poetry Month? Do you write a poem a day? Do you read poetry or attend readings. Do you participate in open mics and slams? How's that working for you? Tell me about it.

Poets, get your coworkers to take you to lunch. We are a special breed and need to be celebrated and revered.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Food Exercise

This is an exercise I used when I taught classes many moons ago. Thought I would try it again. I'll post the result in a few days.

Create a 12-line poem describing a food without naming it. You can use the name in the title. Try to use all five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound). Here's an example:

The Traveling Onion
When I think how far the onion has traveled
just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise
all small forgotten miracles,
crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,
pearly layers in smooth agreement,
the way knife enters onion
and onion falls apart on the chopping block,
a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion
for causing tears.
It is right that tears fall
for something small and forgotten.
How at meal, we sit to eat,
commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma
but never on the translucence of onion,
now limp, now divided,
or its traditionally honorable career:
For the sake of others,
disappear.

--Naomi Shihab Nye

(Yes, I know this example doesn't follow the proper format, but the point is to try. Don't worry so much about the details. My poem, "Teacup," posted a few days ago, is such an attempt.)

New Poem

Poem About Nuts

Dear sweet scrota. You have suffered in my jokes
and for that I am sorry. Little nut bags, I have subjected you
to jokes about shrinkage and rhymes about size. Those colorful nicknames
you have in the modern vernacular—kibbles & bits, bangers & mash,
red bliss potatoes—always make me smile. How rude of me!
You serve a purpose, which is more than I can say for the appendix,
the avocado, and the giraffe. You are servants to your master,
who doesn’t always think with his head. And that joke I made
about the boys on their way to see the Pope … my apologies.
That was just wrong.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Poetic License

I feel like I have to say something about the poem "Contrition." As with all of my work, please don't assume the author of the poem and the speaker in the poem are the same person.

This is the only time I'll attach a disclaimer to a poem.

New Poem

Contrition

My son asks me how to write a poem
I tell him that I do not know how
Sometimes the poem writes me.
I tell him the story about the woman
Who feeds her son oatmeal, he doesn’t want it
But she doesn’t see that—or maybe she does,
Jamming the spoon into his clenched mouth
Until she hears it clang against his
Chipped teeth. He cries, says he’s sorry.
She puts him in Time Out where
he sits facing the wall for hours,
days, years, threatens to throw him
into the middle of next week if he turns around.
He sits there until he faces her as a man. She asks,
“do you remember the color of the oatmeal bowl?”
Now you’re ready to write a poem.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

If a blog falls in the forest ...

will anyone hear it post?

To poets and writers everywhere:

If you write for a living or write for fun, ARE YOU HAPPY? Are you doing enough in your creative life to shake things up, or are you writing about the same topics over and over again? Do you write for yourself or write to be heard? How do you shake up the status quo? Are you in a rut? Are you staring at a blank screen or blank sheet of paper? Or, are you looking to start your next great work?

Whatever the answer is, I want to know. How do you push the envelope? When is good not good enough? Tell me. I'm sure others would like to know.

New Poem

Teacup

I pour the whole
of my experiences
into a teacup.
The pleasant aroma
is deceptive.
Bitterness resides throughout
and it seems as if
no amount of sugar or lemon
can bring the flavor to the surface.
I’d see myself reflected
in the brown, tainted water
searching for the bottom,
only creating
ripples.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The writing continues ...

Because I've been writing poetry for the past week, I feel like I'm great poetry shape. I'm in the zone! The work is flowing, but is in need of revision.

Drat! Ella just threw up while she was sleeping. She started coughing and caught her gag reflex. Ah, the joys of motherhood. She's working on her second tooth so I think that has something to do with her restlessness. Nothing like projectile vomiting to bring you back down to earth.

On a good note, Tim and I saw "The Inside Man" today. So happy to see Spike Lee do something commercial. I think the public needs to be reminded how versatile he is as a director. Thought Denzel was great, as usual, but thought this was a great role for Jodie Foster. She played a power broker extraordinaire. I liked seeing her in something other than victim-turned-hero roles. She was "a magnificent c**t" (that was a quote from the movie).

Saturday, April 08, 2006

New Poem

The Emperor Gets His Photo Taken

The photographer says—
I take pictures of CEOs all the time
Mostly men, they’re not perfect,
Insecure, more so than women
They are fidgety and self-conscious.
Sometimes you get someone who doesn’t like
To get his photo taken. He’s a CEO,
Doesn’t like standing around in public
Especially around his underlings.
He feels naked because he has to reveal
Himself to the lens. So we use softer lights
Take advantage of the angles in the space
Make him appear warm and caring
Like your grandfather, someone
Who couldn’t possibly fire you.
Every once in a while
One will come up to me and ask
‘Can you do something about this …?’
Pointing to the paunch in his physique
Or the jowls, wattled neck like a turkey’s gobbler. And I say yeah
I’ll shoot you from above, cover up that bald spot.
I can even make your toupee look authentic.




Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

In search of the Muse

I have written eight poems since National Poetry Month started--woo hoo. Most of them are bad, but I will continue to post (one is up already) throughout the month.

What has surprised me the most is that I enjoy blogging. Didn't think it would leave me enough creativity for anything else, but I was wrong. This month, I decided that I would make writing my priority. Rather, I stopped trying to do everything on my to do list. I stopped going to the gym, stopped reading my book, stopped trying to keep the house spotless--all in an effort to focus on something I seem to do in fits and starts.

In the next few days, in addition to poems, I'll share some writing exercises and post my attempts. Feel free to attempt a writing exercise, and leave behind a technique that has worked for you.

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Poem

April Fools

Today we turned back the clocks
And put our coats away,
Blessed with a 60-degree day
It is as much a surprise to us
As to the robins that decided
Our giant oak would be the perfect spot to roost.
Purple crocuses push their way
Through the still-cold earth, through last year’s
Pine needles and dried leaves collected
In the corner of the yard. On a day like today
You don’t ask for much more than
more mustard for your hot dog
at the season’s first cookout.
You listen close for the laughter of neighborhood
Kids, tucking their joy someplace safe.
Save those crumbs for tomorrow
When the taxman comes to call
And the trash man takes it all
And the distant sun steals away your glow.
The cold is still there, just as it always has been—
under your breath as it disappears
before your very eyes.



Copyright 2006 January G. O'Neil

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

DEBT

I am obsessed with debt. Specifically, I am obsessed with how people afford their lives, and how best to afford mine. We live in a culture that never delays gratification. If we want something now, we buy it. And if we don't have the money, we charge it. Credit is the accepted norm. Most of my friends have more racked up on credit cards than in their savings accounts. I should know--I've been there.

This month, I am paying off the last little bit of my $35K student loan nine years later. Was it worth every penny? Absolutely. But if I had to go to NYU all over again, I'd figure out another way to finance my education.

My mother helped me get my first credit card when I was 16. She was a cosigner and we used it as a way to establish credit. Now, I never had a lot of debt--no more than $8K as a single adult. And I have always been able to pay it off. But it saddens me to think about all the things I've bought and discarded. I remember having my credit limit raised so that I could buy at $400 outfit. I think I only wore the outfit once.

Now, I am married with kids, and we're now doing things that will improve our financial situation so that we're not in debt for life. Because when you're not paying credit card bills, car loans, and student loans, you can actually save money. Hello!!! When you save money you make smarter choices. You can pay cash for things. You can invest. You can give. It changes your outlook on everything. You make better career choices because you're not working just for the money. You don't have to worry about whether an $8 lunch will put you into reserve credit (yes, that's debt, too). And, here's the best part ... Having more money allows you to be more creative.

Writers barely make any money. And if you're a poet, don't quit your day job. Poetry books are the worst selling books on the market, unless you're Billy Collins or Maya Angelou. BUT, if you're in good financial shape, you can feed your creativity by working for yourself. You can mix up low-paying or part-time jobs with work that keeps food on the table. You can self publish and promote your book, and do it debt free.

So by the end of summer, I hope to be and stay debt free. I believe "everything is everything." I believe parts of your life influence other parts. This summer, I will be able to take a few more risks (attend a workshop) because I can afford to do it. I can go back to teaching at a community center because I want to--not because I need the extra cash. And I'll have more time to write and spend time with my family because I'll be able to focus on what I have instead of what I need.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Today I found out that Tim and I are getting a tax refund!

For the last few years, we've owed taxes, which has sucked royally. But, this year the tide is turning on our favor. Woo Hoo.

So I was planning on writing this huge diatribe on debt and how it's the bane of my existence, but we celebrated with champagne. In other words, I'm not as clear headed as I'd like to be. Besides, it's such an important topic that I don't want to give it short shrift. So tomorrow may be the day I go off on the credit card industry...

Tonight, we're doing the happy dance!

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm writing this entry from work--which is an interesting dynamic in itself.

I thought that working as a writer/editor would encourage my creative nature. That's a big, fat NO! Most nights, I come home tired and worn out. And when I do get to write, I can't turn off the editor in me. Why use three words when you can use one. Yet, that's the best part of poetry, capturing words in a sophisticated manner. Finding the write meter to hold onto a moment, the right stretch of words to fill out a thought--that's poetry!

Hope to post new work soon. A poem a day--sounds easier than it is.

On a separate note, today is Opening Day for baseball. Only in the greater Boston area is Opening Day considered a holiday. The Red Sox have a good team this year. Heck, since they won the World Series in 2004, they get a pass for the next few years. Management can do (almost) no wrong in my book. I mean, after they traded "Nomah," I thought the end of civilization was at hand. But, I was proven wrong.

Cool.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

National Poetry Month is 10 years old. And while I think it's a good thing, I wonder if it has damaged poetry. April feels like a cattle call for poets to give readings and lectures. Everybody reads in April and then there's no good poetry around until the fall. In Boston, with so many colleges and universities around, you would think that there would be an organization or publication that would report all of the literary happenings in the area. Well, I haven't found a good source yet.

If all politics are local, and poetry is a vehicle for the political, then I should be doing my part. My writing group has been on hiatus for the last 6 months. I'd like to get up and running again. We had a core group of two people, and a revolving of people who talk about writing but who have trouble committing.

In any case, I am due to write my second poem of the month. My first poem was lame--with any luck the next will be better. Writing, not writing...This is the life, isn't it?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Wow. Second post. I suck.

Anyway, Ella Rose was born on August 4. She had some health problems in her first two weeks but she is all better now and is thriving!

So, it's April 1, National Poetry Month, so I thought for the month I'll give the blog thing a try.

Since my last post I have applied for a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. In the meantime, I'm looking for new publications to send to. I like print vs. Web so if you have a suggestion, please let me know.

This month, I'm writing a poem a day, a la Robert Bly. It's time to jump-start my writing, since what I've been doing hasn't been working. So once I have some new stuff to try out I'll share. Feel free to share your work with me as well.

My son wants to watch The Wiggles now. *sigh*

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