Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Spoils

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.

Dumpster Diving!!

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.


Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
Kundiman 2007's fabulous faculty.

My stunt double

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
"I am Patrick Rosal."

"No . . . I am Patrick Rosal."

Kundiman 2007

Originally uploaded by odelapaz.
We look like trouble, don't we?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ever since . . .

I got back from C'ville, my left eye's got the "winkies" and my mosquito bites have become extremely itchy.


Much laughter and tears at Kundiman year 4. My own stoic self broke down. I had prided myself on previous tearless retreats, but I didn't make it this year. It was just damn good to see folks who I hadn't seen in a number of years.

We "graduated" Margaret and Jennifer.

Both of the Kundiman panels I proposed were accepted for AWP 08.

We celebrated many new forthcoming books by staff members.

I learned about a new drink, "None of your goddamn business," concocted by Jennifer Chang. It's quite good.

When I get home, I'll post the group photo.


Summer session starts today. Eek and egad.

Shouldn't be too bad, though. It's the same course I taught in the Spring.


Home upgrades are forthcoming. I got back home and Meredith had already moved my dresser out of the bedroom. She had also moved all the tubs of primer, several gallons of paint, the ceiling scraper (to remove popcorn ceilings), several tarps, and various brushes and rollers.

My oh my.


I'm pumped about writing this summer. I'm going to try the poem a month thing again in August.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

More notes from the Kundiman front line

*The faculty reading was last night and the fellows read some fabulous stuff.

*Sleep deprivation's setting in. Lots of weary but happy poets around here.

*Margaret HATES iambic pentameter . . .

*The food from the cafeteria's been pretty bad. This is a new development, but I guess it shouldn't surprise me.

*Mosquitos! Mosquitos!

*Weather's been milder than past retreats, which is good. I can actually wear pants.

*More nicknames: Joseph=Anchored Angel. Sarah=Cherry Pie. Jen=8675. Me=N.W. Pat=Light Mac n' Cheese

*Soham sang about boogers last night.

*Lune-off, aka Lune-off Idol last night in the staff room bar. Kundiman=Rated R.

*Tucker Computer Lab was busy at 2AM

*Why the hell was I awake at 2AM?

*Jon Pineda arrives today.

*More to come . . .

Friday, June 22, 2007

Greetings from C'ville

The Kundiman retreat for 2007 is in full swing and there's been lots to talk about:

1. Seventeen brilliant fellows made the trip this year. We've got a ton of new fellows who are wonderful, talented, and silly.

2. Travel on Wednesday was nightmarish. Apparently United Air's computer system crashed, causing all sorts of travel delays. Poor Patrick and Prageeta got caught in the airtravel snarl as well as a few of our fellows. They finally made their way to Virginia, but there were headaches.

3. Open circle, where all the fellows, faculty, and staff members read there work, was amazing as it always is.

4. A PhD candidate came in and gave a talk about Myung Mi Kim's work. The discussion after the presentation was quite contentious, but I do believe the conference is better for it. The fellows are a lot closer and they talked about the event. It's hard to distill the emotions into words for a blog.

5. We've dubbed Vikas, "Jump". I won't explain why so that if you run into him, you'll have to ask him about it.

6. We played a game of dictionary craps. Fuzzy dice were rolled. The numbers corresponded with pages and word entries. The words selected are as follows:

bank note, picaresque, aster, grain, honor, bear, pecking order, chignon, air bag, gravimeter, secularist, lottery, shield, loud mouthed, apricot, mawkish, cleaver, dormouse, abstruse, abscissa, oscilloscope, along shore, lock, Taegu

Now everyone has to write a poem or poems using the words. By the end of the retreat, all the words need to be used up. Soham and Rona openly challenged me to write a poem after they had successfully completed my assignment.

I'm in trouble.

7. Regie Cabico made Myung Mi Kim howl with laughter.

8. We also caught Myung Mi dumpster diving. I have an image of it on film. It's true.

9. Of course, Patrick borrowed Jump's guitar, and everyone sang sappy 80's ballads.

More later. Right now I have to write this damn poem.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Yay Summer!

Summer is finally here for me. The quarter is finished (I just have one more class worth of portfolios to pick up). It was a good academic year, though it was quite a bit of work for me. I was a committee of one for the reading series. I had to chase down all the extra money for our terribly funded budget, and when you're the new guy, that's not easy.

Teaching-wise, it was good. I'm getting used to the quarter system and its rhythm. I still don't like it, but I'll be singing its praises when September rolls around and I won't have to go back to work until the end of the month.


Summer Plans:

1. Taking up where I left off on the third manuscript

2. Teaching a summer class

3. Working at the Kundiman retreat

4. Landscaping

5. Watching crappy movies

6. Exploring the area a bit more


My mother-in-law arrives today from Atlanta. . .


Meredith and I saw back to back movies in the past two days. We saw Ocean's Thirteen which was good, and Knocked Up which was also good. The popcorn was very good.


The raspberries are almost ripe. They're everywhere . . . I've got to cut back several bushes, otherwise, the whole property will get swallowed up. If only they were blueberry bushes.


We're having a Rufous Hummingbird turf war over our feeders. It sounds like a dozen Jedi Knights doing cartwheels . . .

Thursday, June 07, 2007

On top of . . .

. . . finishing up the quarter, we've been asked to pack up our offices. They're renovating my floor of the building, installing some badly needed carpeting and seismic bookshelves. Anyway, I'm one of the few who's already packed and ready to go. Of course, I hadn't brought all the books I had originally intended to bring to the office since I knew about the renovations. My colleagues are scurrying about. Every so often, you'll hear the stretch-scream of packing tape being unrolled.


Today's the last day of teaching for me, excluding finals. Yay me!


So for some reason they've let Paris out of jail. What's even more puzzling? Why I even know this . . .


I hear the sound of a chainsaw motor humming. That'll be me this weekend. Our neighbor, R, who was kind enough to down some of our problem trees, has left me the chore of de-limbing the beasties. I've got to get it all prepped before my mother-in-law comes on Tuesday.


I'm tired. My left eye has the "winkies."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Why is it

. . . that I get asked to submit work when my all my resources are tapped? Over the year I wrote maybe ten or twelve poems that I think are worthy of publication. They're gone. Either picked up by a journal or on someone's doorstep. Anyway, I keep getting asked for more work (which is great), but I don't have anything right now. Guess that means I better get off my ass and write, eh?


Turned in a grant application. THE worst thing to write is an Artist's Statement. When people ask me what it is I do, I can't very well answer it depends . . . or sometimes I'm not sure . . . or I play with a sentence or phrase for about two hours on my word processor then run my dog.

I managed to write a page, but the process was agony.


I am now officially the advisor for creative writing majors at WWU. Heaven help us.


NYFA announced its 2007 fellows. My good friend Sarah Gambito is one of the winners. Fellow blogger, Aaron Smith is also a winner.

Heh, I spent my money paying off CC bills. Hopefully these good folks get to spend that money on fun things.


Aimee's book arrived yesterday. So did this.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Aphorisms, sayings, and all that

The end of the quarter is here. My last day of teaching is this coming Thursday. The students are fried. I'm fried. I'm ready to begin some summer writing projects.

Jenni tagged me with a task that may help me kick start some writing:

“Give us at least 10 quotations pertaining to poetry - from 10 different writers &/or poets which best coincide with your philosophy vis a vis ars poetica. They can be posthumous or otherwise. The order is not important - unless it is to you.”

1. "Never put peeing elephants on opposing pages." Norman Dubie

2. "X. . . would like one to believe that a metaphor is a communication from heaven.
A metaphor is what happens when one looks in a certain way, just as a sneeze is what happens when one looks at the sun.
In what way? --You can feel it. One day, perhaps one will be able to say it precisely.
Do this and do that--and behold all the metaphors in the world . . ." Paul Valery

3. "I'm in the business of translating what cannot be translated: being and its silence." Charles Simic

4. "Worry is mental erosion, a disease like leprosy upon consciousness, contagious and ultimately, to the imagination, fatal." Garret Hongo

5. "When people praise a poem that I can't understand I always think they're lying." Stephen Dunn

6. "The truly new always looks truly wrong." Alice Fulton

7. "Most of my life has been spent not understanding, and I can assure you, it was not easy." Rilke

8. "My sins are not important." Theodore Roethke

9. "Many American poets seem to feel personally worthless unless they write. One can easily imagine that, given the conditions of the mind, the feelings of worthlessness may become indistinguishable from the impulse to write." Richard Hugo

10. "Our deepest wish is to prevent time." David Baker

And I hereby tag Mary B., Barbara Jane, CDY, Paul, and Corny.