Archive for the ‘Pillow Booking’ Category

Today four below zero, with a low of negative fourteen.

Tomorrow, seven below, with a low of negative twenty-two.

Shivery-braille-of-goosebumps-rising-under-three-fleece-blankets-in-the-morning cold.

A sandwich your chilled lunchmeat of self with a heating pad in back, the hot toasted breath of a space heater in front, garnished and condimented with four pudgy cats kind of cold.

Car-battery-dying-a-quiet-death-in-the-middle-of-dinner cold. Frozen blue corrosion like a blueberry slushie spilled around the battery cable terminal.

Cold snap means a heaving lake of ice tinkling a song of clear glass wind chimes and broken champagne flutes.

The nylon of your down coat crackles like brittle sheets of aluminum foil.

The cartilage inside your nostrils stiffens to hard cold rubber.

Your blood slows, your thoughts turn sluggish and you misplace your phone, despairingly search through the alley trash, raw and pink as any unfurred thing in the snow.

So much ache and sting; this numb, stale freezer burn.

Such a brutal hostage taking: this confessional spill of the body’s most intimate heat and light, this non-consensual vulnerability.

Read Full Post »

Che Vuoi???

For the past month, in my Panda Planner, under “passion project” I’ve been writing down “Resurrect Blog???” I’m not sure what’s up with the question marks . . . perhaps it has something to do with too-many ongoing priorities, the constant feeling of overcommitment and overwhelm, the coming to terms with dwindling reserves of energy. Yet I’ve been stubbornly writing it down every week as something I want to do for myself: something I want to do for myself as a writer, as a person.

The question marks, though. They seem a little bit wistful to me. So much of 2017 has been conducted in Emergency Crisis Mode. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis and surgery in April. Eight weeks post-surgery having to return to Wyoming to help my elderly parents (after they stopped speaking to me three years ago, following the publication of my book, Dandarians), followed by a mad dash back to Vermillion several days before the fall semester started  to hit the floor running in the most ungraceful possible way for a busy and chaotic semester: behind, unprepared, stressed, tired, preoccupied, cancer experience completely unprocessed.

At the time, I felt that the late start was worth it, though, because I thought that I’d managed to get things squared away for my parents well enough that they would at least be in a temporarily safe holding pattern: house much cleaner and in better working order, adaptive equipment purchased, contractor hired to make accessibility renovations, home healthcare in place. After my father returned home from the care center, though, where he had spent the summer rehabbing a broken hip, my parents immediately began refusing their home healthcare services, and in a matter of weeks, everything came unraveled: my father was driving again against doctors’ orders, my parents were both losing too much weight, they were having trouble with meals and bills and dates and prescriptions, failure to thrive, failure to thrive, failure to thrive.

My father went back into the hospital in early December, is now back in the care center, and my Japanese mother’s alone in the house again for the second time in their 62-year marriage. On top of a constant clusterfuck of professional commitments and deadlines, there’s now a veritable tsunami of daily problems that need to be solved: legal, financial, medical, domestic.

I’m the only child, and also now the only one in the family who currently has the capacity to think clearly, and it feels lonely.

Facebook feels hollow and lonely, too, in certain ways. I miss the potential for nuance, for complexity, that seems more possible in the blogosphere.

Resurrect blog???

I think of the ways in which blogging played a role in the genesis of my third and fourth books of poetry. Of the ways in which blogging helped me to write my way into becoming a budding essayist. Of the ways in which blogging was so formative to creating a sense of writerly/poetic community during times that I felt isolated or lonely in the SoDakian Tundra.

Everything right now feels so ???: the constant hideous uncertainties and instabilities perpetrated by a cruel and corrupt administration, ever-looming ecocide, coming to terms with one’s parents’ mortality, coming to terms with one’s own mortality.

Maybe the tentativeness of Resurrect blog??? is about feeling simultaneously embroiled in a flurry of overcommitment and hopelessly stymied/paralyzed. Feeling overstimmed to the point of numbness. Like the helicopter-wing thrum of dragonfly wings stilled in amber.

And it’s not that I wish for certainty, which strikes me as being much too rigid, and inflexible, anyhow.

Maybe I just want more quiet space to articulate my own ??? Or perhaps to see if any of you are feeling ??? as well. Or to hear possible responses to this sense of ???


Read Full Post »

the holland tunnel
a long shiny paper towel tube
(if paper towel tubes
were like the insides of abalone)
streaked by a graffiti
of red headlights
i tried to cut my bangs
with cuticle scissors
in front of the mirror
at hotel 17
which is never a good idea
but i had a sudden
and terrible desire
for them to be somehow
more kathleen hanna-esque
i bought hello kitty ugly dolls
and the infinite wait
at forbidden planet, plus
tons of bendis and ellis
it’s sad to wake up at home
alone in a hungover fog
of jetlag and ativan and pokemon
i can hear the cats busily licking
condensation from the shower curtain
in the next room, hello?

Read Full Post »

In the sixth night of Natsume Soseki’s Ten Nights’ Dreams, Unkei the Sculptor is carving a Nio, a temple guardian, in front of spectators. Unkei’s sculpting technique is diffident, offhand, unconcerned, yet exquisitely confident. The dreamer wonders how Unkei does this, and is told that Unkei merely digs out the Nio that’s been buried all along in the wood. It’s like digging stones out of the ground, another onlooker says. He cannot make a mistake.

And so what, I wonder, might be hidden inside a page? Or inside this screen? Inside your screen?

What does my Nio look like? What does yours?

What if my Nio is simply the stones themselves? Virtual stones, at that. Virtual stones, for the metaphorical stones, for the metaphysical Nio.

But I like the stones.

I’ll make a small pile of them here. Like gold new potatoes.

And then later I’ll cook them with rasins and cumin and ginger and snap peas and cinnamon.

Read Full Post »


an irrational, inconsolable loneliness scoops one out with the brisk silver efficiency of a melon-baller until one’s nothing more than a thin, flimsy rind.

Maybe the rain will help?

Read Full Post »



Kaydids and cicadas busying the night horizon. Dizzy filigree, gritty sandpaper. Hovercrafting sphinx moths a burred hummingbirdish buzz, plundering the long corollas of flowers. Perseids welder’s-torch the sky.


I woke this morning to painters, having scaled my second-floor balcony on their ladders, pounding at my balcony door. I stumbled out of bed, wild-haired, and befuddledly nattered with the sliding-bolt lock for a minute or two, as if attempting to safecrack a bank vault . Sorry to wake you, the Head Pounder in Charge said, not particularly apologetically, once I’d managed to open the door. He looked at me in dubious askancement. In fact, he seemed — I hate to say it — downright judgey. Was it the fact that I was still sound asleep — clearly with full intent of sleeping on in a delicious infinity — at 8:30 a.m.? Or was it the sartorial debacle of my Go Yotes shirt paired with the Santa Claws pajama bottoms featuring lobsters in sleighs wearing santa hats?


Today the first Monarch of the season outside the coffee shop a harried bright scrap of orange cartwheeling into yet another flung-down year. Noontime downtown swells with cars, open-mouthed moving vans line the sidestreets. Ink peppers my day-calendar and my in-box ripens. I am unwilling. I am filled with unfulfilled intentions. I am aswill with incorrigibilities.

Read Full Post »


How to crack open this brand new blog space? After such an extended blog hiatus, and a decampment to a new blog platform, it seems as if there is simultaneously much too much, and nearly not enough, to say? Plus, how to redefine/reclaim/recoordinate the blog space in the midst of all my (seemingly) incessant FaceBooking, FaceBook Status Updating, and Tweeting? We are all such virtual warblers, lately!

But for today I’ll keep it simple, and stick to some basic news items:

First of all, and it seems impossible that I’ve neglected to mention this on my blog yet, because it’s over-the-moonish news — d’oh! — but my third book! Is coming out this fall! On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year was selected as an Editor’s Choice selection in the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, and will be published by the wonderful folks at Southern Illinois University Press, who did such a lovely job with my second book! The pub date is currently set for October 1, and the book is now available for preorder at Amazon, et al. You can also check out the listing in the Southern Illinois University Press Fall/Winter 2009 Catalogue (see page 9).

Also? Here I am as Featured Poet #27, at the marvelous online journal, Anti-.

Also? In April, my short story Prodigies appeared in the (also marvelous!) online journal, Stone’s Throw Magazine.

Also? All the windows to my apartment have been Saran-wrapped shut with some sort of cling-wrappish sheeting while a phalanx of painters hack and scrape and paint. Occasionally, they peel back one of the windows and peer inside at me while on their ladders. I’m not sure, in the sealed-in duskiness of my light-deprived apartment, if I should start entering in 4, 8, 15, 16, 43, 42 EXE every 108 minutes into my laptop or not?

Also? One of the painters? Every so often sporadically bursts into song — loudly, tunelessly. Here’s what he sings: My car’s got nothing to prove. (Then hollering) Earl! Yeah, my car’s got nothing to prove.

Read Full Post »


It’s been brought to my attention that my blogging has been particularly slackerly as of late and yes, I’m afraid it’s true.

Some of this has been due to the end-of-the-semester maelstrom. Some of this is about being out of town. Some of this is about the holidays — otherwise known as The Season of Despicable Mental Hygiene. Some of this is about being sucked down the blackblack hole that is Crackbook. Some of this is about being preoccupied with meatspace issues. Some of this is about having written myself into a blogging corner in which I’ve abandoned the more casual, conversational posts in favor of drafting, poeming, and conversing with my Japanese Mother to the point that I feel kind of weird/self-conscious about writing the casual, conversational post about nothing.

So, um . . . yeah.

Here’s a partial compilation of what’s been going on with me:

I was totally distracted and forgot to make a New Year’s resolution this year. Is it too late? What should I resolve? Perhaps it should really be something about procrastination? [meta tag] But I’m not ready to make a resolution yet, so will think about it for awhile longer. Perhaps by the Lunar New Year? [ / meta tag]

The Gaslight Lounge in Soo Foo is, just for the record, the consummate blend of kitsch and squalor. I ❤ it!

I attempted to throw an Absinthe Party following the departmental X-mas potluck, but as it turned out, everyone became distracted by mezcal instead. Power tools were left behind, which engendered a lot of saucy post-party badinage on Crackbook. Drill eventually exchanged for cupcakes in complex hostage negotiation at Carey’s bar. Absinthe Party? Still on the horizon.

Crashing a wedding at the Eagle’s Lounge with girlfriends will concomitantly lead to such epistemological concerns as whether or not the correct version of the chicken dance involves a do-si-do or no and whether or not Stacy’s mom has got it going on.

During the winter months, I adore acorn squash with a love that is irrational, obsessive, and — quite frankly? — just a little bit unholy.

I spent ten days in residency at the lovely Lied Lodge over X-mas break with wonderful colleagues and students, teaching for the University of Nebraska low-res M.F.A. When I returned home, I discovered that my friend John had left a hibernating Fairy Queen(?) insect in my refrigerator for me in a plastic baggie — wings enfolded down into a clever, compact origami. What could be better than that?

I have been trying to stretch and learn and grow in certain key areas. I have been trying not to let my past blindly dictate my future. I have been trying to arise to challenges that I would not have been able to rise to before. It’s hard. And scary. And painful. But there’s a kind of joyous openness to all of this, too. And I think it might also be, ultimately, very very good for me?

What’s new with you, oh blogosphere???

Read Full Post »

What I Wish I Was Doing this Afternoon:

1. Writing, writing, writing

2. Reading Murakami

3. Confessing all my secrets to the river, and secretly trysting with the sky

4. Sipping absinthe in the bathtub while listening to Thelonious Monk humming in the bright gilded spaces underneath the keys

5. Transgressing

What I Wish I Wasn’t Doing this Afternoon:

1. Preparing an important, but frankly-sort-of-completely-fucking-boring document

2. Grading and commenting, and grading and commenting some more

3. Procrastinating grading and commenting, and grading and commenting some more

4. Self-flagellating in completely tedious/predictable/not-even-vaguely scintillant way re: procrastination of grading and commenting, and grading and commenting some more

5. Resisting transgressing

* * *

Recent Linky-Lou Who’s:

Interview with Superstition Review

Poems in Fall 2008 Issue of diode

Poems in coconut 14

Read Full Post »


Only the day before, air bristling with Japanese beetles, all metallic ping and pinch.

Grasshoppers Jiffy Popping under the sky’s blue aluminum dome.

On the walking path, one of the last of the dog day cicadas stranded on its back and rattling its dry gourd of a body until I righted it. Small mechanical wind-up toy’s stutter and twitch.

All of this rescinded after a single morning’s chilled rain. Leafprints scored into asphalt. An immolation of orange and yellow burnings stilled to silhouetted ash and char.

Imprint of your body fading too quickly from my bed.

Is it an erasure, or is it a swallowing?

Or perhaps the turning of a purse inside out to reveal the silky lining?

Leaves glisten. The drizzle-slick dock shines. Sky an uncertain pearling of abalone.

And yes. I have been turned utterly inside out.

And so I ask you, what other choice is there, if not to give oneself up to the rain–to glisten, shine, and pearl into this very absence, this ache, this lambent and indefinite quiet?

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »