Monday, January 29, 2007

Quite Busy

I haven't gotten a chance to check my DVR. I know I recorded this Sunday's BSG episode. I've just been very very busy these days.


The house has been a flurry of activity. As I mentioned in a previous post, the ugly root ball is gone, but now there are big muddy divots in our front lawn. I've got to re-seed some time, but the ground's a bit too cold. Also, the chimney guy came by and re-mortared our decaying chimney. Apparently mortar doesn't last forever. Anyway, the mortar's been the culprit behind our leaky roof. So he sealed it right up and he'll weather proof it later. We also bought new shower doors to replace our old ones which fall off track and are a hideous gold color. We also called a re-finisher to sand blast our current shower liner which is an awful taupe.

Homeownership sucks. I am poor.


I've got a bucket of Jelly Belly jelly beans on my desk. My current favorite: buttered popcorn.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pen in hand

My copy-edited manuscript came in the mail today. Now I've got to go over the copy-edit marks. Wow. It's really happening. Just quickly scanning the thing, I'm seeing several "oh gosh, I did that?" errors. How embarassing.


My knee hurts, but I'm off the diet from hell and I can start taking my medicine again. I should be back to my "normal" self in no time. One of the first things I did to celebrate--I ate pizza and ice cream.

There are some noticeable changes to my physical being. I can't tolerate the cold, though before I'd overheat rather easily. I'm tired by 9PM, though I'm used to going to bed at midnight. I can't wake up as easily, though I'm used to getting up at around 6AM.


The root ball is gone! Neighbors rock. One of our neighbors knew a guy who had a big-ass excavator. They worked on the tree and the root ball when I was at work. Now it's nice and flat! Yay!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Kundiman Retreat 2007



The University of Virginia, Charlottesville
June 20 – 24, 2007

In order to help mentor the next generation of Asian-American poets, Kundiman is sponsoring an annual Poetry Retreat at The University of Virginia. During the Retreat, nationally renowned Asian American poets will conduct workshops and provide one-on-one mentorship sessions with participants. Readings and informal social gatherings will also be scheduled. Through this Retreat, Kundiman hopes to provide a safe and instructive environment that identifies and addresses the unique
challenges faced by emerging Asian American poets. This 5-day Retreat will take place from Wednesday to Sunday. Workshops will be conducted from Thursday to Saturday. Workshops will not exceed six students.


Myung Mi Kim’s books of poems include Commons (University of California Press), DURA (Sun & Moon), The Bounty (Chax Press), and Under Flag, winner of the Multicultural Publisher’s Exchange Award (Kelsey St. Press). Anthology appearances in Asian-American Literature: An Anthology, Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, Premonitions: The
Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, Primary Trouble: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and other collections. Honors include a residency at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and awards from The Fund for Poetry. She is Professor of English at SUNY-Buffalo.

Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won top prizes in the 1993, 1994 and 1997 National Poetry Slams. His work appears in over 30 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets CafĂ©, Spoken Word Revolution and Slam. He has appeared on two seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, PBS’ “In The Life” and MTV’s “Free Your Mind” Spoken Word Tour. Regie is the recipient of the 10th annual Writers for Writers Award sponsored by Poets & Writers and has received three New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships for Poetry and Multi-Disciplinary Performance.

Prageeta Sharma is the author of Bliss to Fill (subpress books, 2000) and The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004). Her work has also appeared in Agni, Art Asia Pacific, Boston Review, Combo, Fence, Indiana Review, Women’s Review of Books and other periodicals. She received her MFA in poetry from Brown University and an MA in Media Studies from The New School.


To keep the cost of the retreat low for all participants, fees are not charged for workshops or programming. Thus, all accepted applicants are given an automatic tuition scholarship. Room and Board for the entire retreat is $300.

Application Process

Send five to seven (5-7) paginated, stapled pages of poetry, with your name included on each page. Include a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, e-mail address and a brief paragraph describing what you would like to accomplish at the Kundiman Asian American Poets’ Retreat. Include a SAS postcard if you want an application receipt. Manuscripts will not be returned. No electronic submissions, please.

Mail application to:

245 Eighth Avenue #151
New York, NY 10011

Submissions must be postmarked by March 1, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Poems of Mine Online

The Drunken Boat was kind enough to take a few poems of mine.

Check out how many Kundiman folks are there! Wowzers!


I've been drinking lots of water as the doctor ordered. Don't worry. I'll not do this.


I've been peering through Philip Dacy and David Jauss's Strong Measures: Contemporary American Poetry in Traditional Forms. It's a fabulous anthology. Unfortunately, I think it's out of print. Look at the price tag and the copyright.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

20 Years to Life

I'll be quarantined this weekend. I'm not allowed to go anywhere, see anyone, touch anyone. I suppose it's a good excuse to play many hours of XBox, though I should be writing.

The geiger counters will click with each step I take.


Ronald Johnson's "ARK" just arrived today. I had to buy a used copy because the local distributors can't seem to locate it.

Can you imagine working on the same poem for twenty years? I don't know if I could do it. I'm pretty sure I'd go mad, though some say I already am.

Anyway, the charming thing about this copy is the notes someone had crafted in the margins. Here's a sample of some of the scrawlings:

Be O Make

Be=Eastern Religion
OM=chant that reflects the sound of creation
Be & Make, O connects the two

--what it means to see
--disorder, yet everything works

dicotemies (sp) of vowel & constant (sp)

--human body is also this
--sense and scale

Every kind
of making
is justified
b/k it's an
attempt to
build a "ladder"
to the divine


People have asked what I meant about Rube Goldberg poetics from my interview with Kate Greenstreet. A thing about Rube Goldberg poetics that I haven't gotten a chance to answer--the goal of the machine needs to be determined at the onset, but the steps towards that goal can vary. The narrative of the poem functions as the tracks of the machine. You can throw in a lead pipe. A parrot. A man yearning for a sandwich. A mustang. A song by Neil Diamond. They're all present along the track, but they must have a sufficient transition to them in order for them to have an effect on the momentum of the Rube Goldberg machine. If one of the elements fails (is not resolved within the machinery of the narrative), the poem fails. The pipe must wake the parrot. The parrot must tug at the cracker attached to the string. The string must lower the sandwich to the man's mouth. The motion from the hands holding the sandwich to the man's mouth must set the mustang running. The motion of the horse's trot must set the needle to the record. And ultimately, Neil Diamond must sing about "Coming to America." The machine is delightfully complicated for a seemingly mundane task. The process is, thus, the most interesting aspect of the journey in these poems.


I'm going to watch a few more BSG episodes tonight. A question for you fans . . . is the population count at the opening going down, up, or a combination of the two?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Worst Diet Ever.

I am now on the Worst Diet Ever.

The good news is I've shed some pounds on this diet. The bad news is I'll probably be on the diet for a few more weeks.

No chocolate. No dairy. No baked goods. No seafood.

Just oatmeal oatmeal oatmeal and oatmeal.


I finished my WWU Magnum Opus: my semi-annual tenure review dossier. This go around felt very weighty. I filled a large 3-ring binder. When I taught at Utica College, I don't remember filling such a big binder.


Tree guys came by to give an estimate on the damage. It's not looking good for our checkbooks. I may just have to clean up the mess myself.


I haven't been writing much poetry these days, which is okay. I've been thinking a lot about form. Seems my students are enjoying the challenge. We'll see how long THAT lasts . . . MUWAHAHA!

Friday, January 12, 2007

More poems of mine online

Nick Carbo guest edited this issue of

Lots of cool folks listed, so check it out!


On a side note, I need to do a better job of logging my poems.


Marathon day of watching Battlestar Galactica, Season 1 while doing laundry and waiting for the "tree guy" to report. So far the "tree guy" hasn't come, even though he was supposed to check in this morning.

Meanwhile, I'm getting sucked deeper and deeper into BSG. I've fallen in a hole and can't get out.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

First day of the quarter

. . . was yesterday. I "quizzed" my students on their scansion abilities. They were pretty sharp (many of 'em had me before, so they remembered their lessons).

One debate they had: How do you scan the word "Viennese"?

How do YOU scan "Viennese"?


Two classes this quarter, ENG 453, which is my advanced undergraduate poetry seminar, and ENG 504, which is my graduate level seminar.

For 453, we'll be writing entirely in forms, in the following order: Sonnet, Heroic Couplet, Ballad, Pantoum, Ghazal, Villanelle, and Sestina.

I'll be using "The Making of a Poem" by Strand and Boland as my text.

Why am I teaching an advanced workshop completely in forms? Because no one else is.

For my 504 class, we'll be trying to construct a manuscript of poetry, and I'll be giving them exercises for the realization of a book. I've got grad students who need to start thinking about a thesis, so this'll jump-start the process.

Books we'll look at: "Asylum," by Quan Berry, "Poeta en San Francisco," by Barbara Jane Reyes, "Descent of Alette," by Alice Notley, "Ark" by Ronald Johnson, and "Hoops" by Major Jackson. I want to teach more books, but we're on the quarter system and I don't want to bankrupt my poor students.


Other things . . . I'm on a low sodium diet and it sucks.

Another big tree fell. This one's our neighbor's, but it fell over the road between us, blocking our driveway.

I'm up for my 2-year tenure review, so I've got to cull together everything I've done in the past two years. I've done these before at Utica, so I know the drill.

I snowed and there are about eight inches on the ground.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hungry Bird

Hungry Bird
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Still, we carry on. We'll get this whole mess cleaned up by the summer, and we'll have plenty of fire wood for the next winter. Meredith snapped this photo of a birdie grabbing a winter snack.

Big Downed Trees Near the House

Big Downed Trees Near the House
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
This is a better view of the three big trees that fell during the first wind storm. The rain eroded the base surrounding the root ball. Three trees had grown in a clump and when one got forced over, they all got forced over. The height of the root ball from ground to sky is about fifteen feet and there's a five-foot deep pit where the root hand once rested. The biggest of the three trees, a hemlock, is over three feet in diameter. the other two, a pine and a cedar, are only about a foot and a half in diameter each. Still, the trees were our shade in the summer and they were perches for Pileated Woodpeckers.

You can see how close the tree is to our house and we were fortunate that the winds were from the south instead of the north.

Downed Trees Blocking the Trail

Downed Trees Blocking the Trail
Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
I'd been complaining about the fallen trees on our property. The sheer magnitude of the loss is hard to capture in a two-dimensional photograph. We had a logger come by to give us some idea of what it'd cost us to clean up the mess. We're talking about some valuable trees, both aesthetically and commerically.

Anyway, here are two downed cedars. I had to chop them up to free up the trail head. You can't see it, but to the right of these trees are two or three other fallen pines. This roughly a half-acre plot, so the loss of a few trees in an already thinning plot is quite noticeable.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Some Poems

Do I sound like that in real life?

Love to Fishouse once again.


How has your experience been with the new blogger? I'm thinking about making the shift when I visit the office to do some work. Good? Bad?


It's windy and rainy again, and I'm nervous about our pine trees. It's been raining a lot and lots of rain + poor drainage + wind = toppling trees.


Can you believe Boise St.'s win last night? Lovely article about it courtesy of Janet's link to Pat Forde's article