Friday, August 30, 2013

Mea Culpa

Have I mentioned my origami brain lately? There's just too much folded into it. I am behind on reading and book reviewing over at Escape Into Life, behind on new poems, and a little behind on submissions, but I got a few out in the past few days. But I did just re-read Joe Wilkins beautiful book, Notes from the Journey Westward, White Pine Press Poetry Prize, Volume 17. So it'll be next to be reviewed, and was first received, back in late 2012, as I recall. Mea culpa.

Plus, it's too darn hot. It's 95 degrees out there, people, and feels even hotter. I think I made a wise decision not to do my usual 3-mile walk today, choosing an efficient route of errands-by-car instead. So I declare a Cranky Doodle Day in the blog.

And in the larger world, alas. Alas.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Earth and Sky

Well, peeps, I am busy. Working in the theatre again, this time as dramaturg and assistant director for Earth and Sky, by Douglas Post. The poster and postcard have his playwright name, "Douglas." This is the Heartland Theatre website image, with his, well, volleyball name, as in, "Spike it, Doug!"

So, yes, I used to play volleyball with Doug, in Lincoln Park, the section of the park with the totem pole, out where the grass meets the rocks piled up for Lake Michigan to crash up against. Those rocks and that lake are in this play!

But no volleyball. It's a murder mystery. A "poetic thriller."

And it is a thrill!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Words on Quilts

Here's a cool thing going on tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, along with a bike race and the sweet corn festival: Words on Quilts, a poetry reading connected with the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County, Illinois.

Events happen from 9:00-2:00 at the David Davis Mansion in Bloomington, with the Master of Ceremonies kicking things off at 10 and the poetry reading at 10:15.

As happened last year, five poets will read ten poems (two each) composed in response to barn quilt squares (based on actual cloth quilt patterns) mounted on local barns and corn cribs.  Plus, food, a barn quilt auction, barn dancing, and plenty more fun!

Here's the WGLT Poetry Radio page, with 1) an interview about the Words on Quilts event 2) a poem from the event, "What We Can See," by Irene Taylor (with music by T-Bone Burnett) and 2) a poem, "The Right Choice," by Peg Kirk, my mom, read by me.

The interview is excerpted from the new local WGLT news and ideas program, Sound Ideas.

Listen local, as I like to say (ungrammatically).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wolf Centos

OK, I was gone so long I thought I had forgotten my blog password. But I hadn't. And I've only been gone--from this blog--for a week. It's just that time stretches out weirdly 1) in summer 2) when you drop your daughter off at college and it seems to be the end of childhood. Childhood. Hers, your own, everybody's. See what I mean?

But I see that I posted here the last time I posted a new poetry feature at Escape Into Life, so it's a Poetry Wednesday (at EIL) as well as a Poetry Someday here in the blog. It's been a very canine month at EIL, with, first, Dog Days (poems with dogs in them), next, The Dog Star (more poems with dogs in them), and now Wolf Centos, by Simone Muench. I told her I wanted to get her feature up in time for the poems to howl at the full Dog Days moon, which is also, technically, a Blue Moon (so I'll make this a Blue Monday in the blog, too.)

In the yard, morning glories are opening, day after day, finally! Speaking of childhood being over, my son, who works in Chicago, is also going to be teaching a course at his alma mater this fall. Holy Moly! He took this picture of a morning glory for his dear old mom.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Siriusly, the Dog Star

Well, the weather has been gorgeous and cool thus far this August, not wilty and muggy and hot, but we are still celebrating the Dog Days of summer over at Escape Into Life, today with The Dog Star, featuring several more poems with dogs in them, and fabulous mixed media art with various animals by Martine Roch! Here's one of them, the dog star herself! (With equal time for cats below...)

Seriously, the dog days are associated with Sirius, the Dog Star, which got its name, Wikipedia tells us, from being the brightest star in the sky (seirious = "glowing" or "scorcher") and its nickname from being part of the constellation Canis Major (Greater Dog). For the Egyptians, the appearance of Sirius coincided with the flooding of the Nile, a good thing; for the Greeks, it announced the potentially hot, dry days of summer; for lots of us, by now, it has come to be associated with those long, hot, muggy or dry days of summer when even the dogs are too tired to get up. And, as man's best friend in the car, there's Sirius satellite radio.

I love the connection of Sirius, the Dog Star, with Isis, the Goddess associated with Cleopatra, a recent obsession of mine! And the Egyptians, of course, loved cats!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Grocery Store at Night

A while back (September 28, 2011), I wrote a rambling reader response to a (then) forthcoming novel by Mark Wisniewski, called Show Up, Look Good. Great title! (I was trying to be a little like the book's narrator in the way I wrote, but I was also my usual randomly rambling self.) Anyhoo, an incident in the book stuck with me, a cashier hoping to retrieve for herself a vintage dime that came her way in the checkout line.

It turned up in this poem, "Grocery Store at Night," published July 31 in Referential Magazine, while I was away in Pure Michigan. I love Referential. Each poem "refers" to another: my grocery store/vintage dime refers not just to the novel but to the phrase "little actual money" in the poem "Soon" by Helen Losse, and so on. Each time I visit Referential, I get pulled in to all the connections. What a wonderful reading experience. So I am extra glad to be a part of it now in this way! Not only as reader but as a contributor.

And I do always like the grocery store at night. I've been there for the buffer, and I've been there for the 1% milk!

If you love dogs, and if you love poems, please visit the latest poetry feature at Escape Into Life, called Dog Days. All the poems have dogs in them! And one of the paintings has a dog in it. The paintings are by Kate Pugsley, who has the perfect name.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More Pure Michigan

Here's a bit more about our lovely time in Pure Michigan: Mom and Dad beside flower boxes full of impatiens and begonias on the pool patio of a house called "Paradise." The house had a glass wall that looked onto the lake. Just lovely in all weathers!

And here they are with the Midwestern grandkids. What a wonderful gathering. Thanks to my sis for the pix!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Where I Was

Well, what happens in Pure Michigan stays in Pure Michigan, but I think it's OK to say we painted our toenails. Hmm, possibly some of these toenails weren't painted just yet, but we all had on our toe rings.

Yes, I was in Michigan!

Lovely week with family in a house called "Paradise," watching the lake in all kinds of weather and sometimes getting out in it, or walking the beach, or swimming laps in the little pool.

Lovely closing weekend with friends, first in Michigan and then in Chicago, that I only get to see once or twice a year. Rode a bike to the beach on busy Montrose Avenue (wore a helmet!), played some sand volleyball, and drank what was in these bottles.

It's always sad to say goodbye but always good to get home.