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Archive for April, 2007

So much to talk about, but I’ll give everyone the shortest version possible:

My condo in Florida, which has been on the market since April of last year, finally closed. I have a contract on a house in Charlotte, NC that is my white picket fence dream home. And while some may scoff at a mere 2000 sq ft single family home on .38 acres -living in a concrete jungle my entire life, I’m enamored. I’ll post pictures, soon.

My husband became extremely ill last week from some horrid stomach flu. In the midst of the attack on his body, he gurgled “Rachel, I think I’m dying”. There’s no other feeling in the world than what I felt at that moment because rarely does my husband call me Rachel – he calls me “honey” even when we argue. But there was something about “Rachel” at that moment – I became a physical person instead of an affection. I became something he needed to physically hold on to – something tangible – instead of a feeling.

My ear hurts – badly. It started out earlier this week with my inner-ear feeling cloudy and I heard everything with an echo. It went away for 2 days then came back. Today, it feels like there are five knives stabbing my inner-ear. Thank goodness for that bottle of Vicodin I keep around. Doctor’s visit is in store for tomorrow. I’ve never had an ear infection in my adult life, but had “swimmer’s ear” as a child. I’ve been taking a lot of baths lately, so this may be the reason. I’m kind-of obsessive about showers and baths and have been known to take four a day for no good reason.

I feel like my whole household has been sick lately. I blame it on this crap-tastic condo I live in. It’s evil, I say.

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And it was time to update the look of my blog. I get bored easily so I will use any excuse to change something.

Soprano’s are moving along – slowwwllyy. Before it’s all over, everyone in the NY family will be dead, apparently. I guess that’s what happens when you eat off of Phil’s plate. Snicker.

Mannequin Envy has released their first print anthology, TRIM, – a compilation of their best work published between 2003 – 2006. In it, you’ll find my poem Confessional. You’ll also find poetry by Michaela A. Gabriel and Arlene Ang. You can download a free copy but I encourage everyone to purchase the paper back version.

Updating the blog also encouraged me to finally link directly to the poems that I have had published online instead of taking visitors to the journal’s index page. As I was doing this, I noticed that the poem I had published in Clean Sheets in early 2005 had not been archived by them. I searched and searched to no avail so I sent the editor an email asking him to look into it for me. I hope they find it.

Still waiting to hear back from The Hat. I sent them an inquiry almost a month ago regarding my submission and they haven’t responded to that, either. *sigh*.

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blah

I’m writing this blog feeling almost like death – I know what my imagined death feels like. I ate Icelandic Charr last night – a type of fish, while having dinner with my husband, his father and brother at Bonefish Grill. I’m a fish eater. Living in Florida for almost my entire life and being Italian, fish is something I eat often. But never, have I had an experience like this. Five minutes after getting up from the table, I thought my stomach was eating itself. I spent the entire night either in the restroom or sweating as if I had a fever, in my bed. I called Bonefish to inform them of my experience and, of course, they immediately became defensive. I simply wanted them to be aware that there might be some problem with their fish.

Lina is going to see P. Buckley Moss this afternoon with my mother-in-law, to get a book signed and have some pictures taken with her. Lina drew her a picture. P. Buckley’s art isn’t my style, though she has a few pieces that I like. It will be a great experience for Lina – Lina’s artwork has already been in one art show at her school and she is on the after-school newspaper committee as an illustrator. She’s six! I really hope this keeps up, I do as much as possible to encourage her to create art.

Well, that’s all for today. I’m going to work up the nerve to possibly eat some soup and rest, rest, rest.

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So, I’ve changed my mind, I feel compelled to continue talking about the tragedy at V. Tech on this blog, because if we don’t keep talking, there won’t be a solution. That’s not to say I have the solution, because I don’t.

What I think I do know is this: Cho’s writing (I read the two plays) is disturbing not because of the subject matter, but because of the way in which he wrote about the subject matter. There have long been scripts written about disturbing, and for a lot of people, unviewable subject matters – if you don’t believe me, check out Gummo or Happiness.

What his writing does suggest is that his capacity to express himself emotionally was infantile. Here is someone who is a Senior at Virginia Tech. I’m going out on a limb and I’m going to say that one can’t be a dummy to get that far at that kind of school. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this kid was smart yet he lacked the basic skills to cope socially and personally.

I think it is extremely important that we recognize the difference between writing about “disturbing” subject matters and the person who is doing the writing.

There is such a fine line that we are walking here with regards to a “patients rights”. These must be revisited. Mentally ill people need other people looking out for them because they CAN NOT do it by themselves.

And I just want to say that when I had my “other” blog, the one that talked about a lot of personal things, there was someone who emailed me a few times, gave me their number and told me to call them anytime to talk. I only know this person via cyber-space. I never did call, but the gesture meant a lot to me.

Yes, a few people tried to befriend this very mentally ill individual. But obviously, that wasn’t enough. Maybe someone needed to try harder. I’m not blaming specific individuals here, I’m blaming our culture. The short-term solution culture. The me, me, me, culture.

And while Giovanni did what she needed to do to protect her class, I hold her to higher standards – why? Because she is a poet, because she prides herself on understanding how those who are being oppressed feel. And yet all she could muster up about Cho was that his writing was intimidating and that she felt he was mean. How can one be a poet and look at someone else with such a surface-level view. I’ve lost all respect for her.

I hope after the news cameras have left that we, as a community, find some alternative to the various problems defining this tragedy – gun control and how we deal with those who are mentally ill- because they need our help.

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If you need an escape

You must play this loudly. I keep playing this song over and over in my car.


No Cars Go – Arcade Fire

We know a place where no planes go
We know a place where no ships go

(Hey!) No cars go
(Hey!) No cars go
Where we know

We know a place no space ships go
We know a place where no subs go

(Hey!) No cars go
(Hey!) No cars go
Where we know

(Mom!)
(Dad!)
(No go!)

(Hey!) Us kids know
(Hey!) No cars go
Where we know

Between the click of the light and the start of the dream [4x]

I don’t want any pushing,
and I don’t want any shoving.
We’re gonna do this in an orderly manner.
Women and children!
Women and children!
Women and children, let’s go!
Old folks, let’s go!
Babies needing cribs, let’s go!

And now, a few words from Kurt Vonnegut from, “A Man Without A Country”:

I wanted all
things to seem to
make some sense,
so we could all be
happy, yes, instead
of tense. And I
made up lies, so
they all fit nice,
and I made this
sad world a
paradise.

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Pissed Off

I will make this short and sweet and this will probably be the only time I talk about the tragedy at Virginia Tech on this blog.

First off, f&*@ the media – CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, Fox, all of them. This is like a gift from God to them.

Secondly, all I’ve heard about is how “weird” the killer was – how he had imaginary girlfriends and took pictures of random girls pretending that they were his girlfriends, how he stalked people, how he talked about wanting to commit suicide, how Nikki Giovanni kicked him out of her class for writing disturbing poetry.

And yet, from the information that I’ve been able to gather, no one did anything. His parents did nothing. His roomates did nothing. Nikki Giovanni did NOTHING but kick him out of her class, because she wasn’t going to deal with that kind of writing in “my class”. I’m taking the one book I own of hers and throwing it in the trash.

The kid needed serious psychological HELP. I blame everyone who came in contact with him and KNEW about his actions, his disturbing emotional state, and yet did NOTHING.

Because that’s what we do. We sit back and mock people, talk about how weird they are, how the things they do are completely off the wall, it becomes entertainment for those watching on the sidelines and yet do nothing. And now look at what we’re watching.

Shame on everyone.

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To My Surprise

I received an email yesterday from MiPo announcing the winner of their chapbook contest, who was Christine Hamm, but to my great surprise, my chapbook manuscript Inside Bone There’s Always Marrow made the final 10 list. Not only is this my first manuscript but MiPo was my first (and only) attempt at publishing it. I’m going to do some editing to the manuscript and once I have some extra cash to spare, send it to a few more places. If anyone has any advise regarding the construction of chapbook manuscripts, I’d love to hear them. I’m pretty much clueless when it comes to putting together a manuscript.

A publishing question: When submistting poems to journals, if you have a poem that was previously published and that poem has been revised since then, is that poem still considered “previously published”?

Edit to add:

Early draft of a new poem. The latest one I posted and this new one I am going to work into the manuscript.

An Open Poem To God From One Atheist

Dear God, there has always been this:
marrow inside of bone. Those retarded
cells that drive nonage to adultery. Elizabeth’s
cancerous swollen lips. Me foolishly
forgetting the wild dog story only to imagine
a new one: confused bees pollinating
in early spring as she watered
blooming azaleas; she, too, a Queen
whose royalty was misunderstood.
That’s how I see it –
boiling down to sex.
Mother’s boney knees beneath
motel sheets while I stared off
into bending brush strokes,
art pinned to tacky walls
and the anonymity of those painters
like my mother’s lovers
who became famous to me. There is forgetting
or the inability to do so. Dear God, if I believe
in anything it is this: bones
and that which runs through them.

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