Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014

Umbrella Revolution Wall 2014
Admiralty, Umbrella Revolution 2014

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Day in the Life

Today--Make oatmeal, Hemingway prep, pilates class, sing a "Bushel and a Peck" 15 times, deal with Keohi's poo in undies two times, read over Rhetoric quiz questions, read one chapter Anil's Ghost, read article on the short story, skim bio on Hemingway, answer emails, work on two lines of poetry, play "Wicked Uncle" from Flying Carpet book which involves chasing Keohi around the dining room table with his stinky green blanket in need of washing, make 8 yogurt popsicles, call tailor, call doctor, think over English teaching, attempt a cup of tea and a sitdown--fail--drink standing up in four gulps, clean toilet, host playdate, go over medical stuff, go to library, weed garden for exactly 7 minutes (Brought on by rain loosening earth and suddenly thinking of Stephen slaving away every weekend and brief enthusiasm/guilt sets in--until mosquitoes descend. Enthusiasm dampens. Go inside.) Tape twenty large pieces of paper over sliding glass windows due to curtain rod collapse, read The Grinch, read book on dental visits, read Magic Carpet book, play legos, read Small Knight and George book 4 times, flinch and warn plastic ax wielding 3 year old not to hit, plan brunch menu,talk to swimming teacher, read essay onlne. Wipe up floor in bathroom, wipe up water on wooden stairs, sing short bastardized version of Italian art song, give massage to child, rest in dark for 15 minutes cramped on small Ikea bed that is certain to collapse in another few months...

And now, more Hemingway...long day. Long typical day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Planetarium

I gaze, project up to the black arc,
arm drapes a chair, hand pats a small knee.
Life is short; he is young.
Everything new in the universe.
Our harnessed awe stormed by currents—fused.
Careful calibrations, certain calculations,
dials, knobs, switches, steel, glass and plastic.
Tricks of mirror and light.
Dwarfed: I smell his hair,
wonder at the sky, tremble unconsoled.
Matter and atoms, we return to dust,
ascend to emptiness.
A slow crawl to perish.
Inevitable, this earth and space.
Sink closer to scatter further
meriting neither wink nor wrinkle.

My child follows the camera’s slow pan
to galaxies beyond.
Enraptured. Fearless.
I have no offering or belief.
What is the loveliness of our being?
Hope: kicks in the dark, cool metal arm rests,
fabric scratching behind bare legs,
night dazzling in the afternoon.
This darkened temple, a coffin retreat
from a burning star.
Rehearsal for shattering, decay, loss,
a long flight to memory.
Oh, stars, feel my embrace,
a surrender of all that I know.

Copyright 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Strange Cargo and Emerging Voices

Thought I'd link to a good friend and fellow writer's website--Renee Simms. Also in Strange Cargo and part of the PEN anthology...

Her blog really explains the Emerging Voices program. So click on the title of this blog!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Emerging Voices PEN USA anthology

Hey--it came out! I am so pleased to be a part of this anthology. My experience with PEN West Emerging Voices was by far the best out of all of the many writers workshops I have participated in over the years. The writers were and are smart and interesting. Their purpose and their passions far more intense than the majority of people I met in the MFA or MA programs. I respect their work. They really are writers, artists...the real deal.

I am also please to say that my story included in this anthology "The Third Hostage" was resoundingly rejected by a variety of literary journals and was met by some in my MFA workshop, with a stony silence--(well, there were a lot of Republicans there, if I recall). I wrote it this story in anger and disbelief as I watched Bush get re-elected. I was so mad I could hardly stand it. (Yes, there were MFA students who VOTED for that guy! Incredible!) Rejection wise, I remember I got a one line note from ESQUIRE magazine (obviously irked enough that they even wrote back) that said something to the effect of "This is only one opinion of the war" (In Iraq). I got also this from Story Quarterly.

Here is part of it:

This is magnificently written and
sorely tempted me. I must tell you I spent a few
nights obsession over the experience of reading it. We
do, lately, get quite a few stories related to war,
certainly that express a political stand on current
wars. This is a difficult decision for any of us, no
matter how fervently we agree with the point of a
particular piece. there is always the fear of
exploting a bad situation, or worse, contributing to
an increasinly polarized debate about it.

Time has passed. Iraq is a mess and that is now an international indisputable consensus (though it was not when this was written in 2004, and I wrote this as planes flew overhead on their way to the Mideast from Arizona, where I was living). There is always fear of exploiting a bad situation? You mean writing about war when there is a war going on? A polarized debate?

Weapons of mass destruction. Anyone remember that as our reason for entering Iraq?

I stand by this story and feel now, in 2010, belatedly vindicated for my beliefs and outspoken attitude about the war. The story and how it was rejected has long left me, but I write this for my own record, to remember to persevere in the face of countless slips of rejection. To write despite disapproval and condemnation and narrow minded responses that tell you that what you write is not important, especially if it contrary to the status quo. And to me it serves as a reminder that if you write for personal reasons and strong convictions, and if you write the piece well, it will eventually (6 years later) be heard.

It ain't over yet... and this comes as a good kick in the ass for me. Time to pull out the novel and take another pass.

And now, back to some poetry...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lao Tse in the HK Museum of Space

Went with my son, the aspiring astronaut, to the HK space museum. The race to space. The race to control outer galaxies. To ascend...I wish I could say this was simply about the desire to see and explore the possibilities of the unknown.

Then I saw the prototype in a photo of what could possibly harness more energy to keep up with our rapacious energy consumption. If we could simply learn to live with less and to live more harmoniously. Amazing how modern Western oriented ways of consumption and life have led to this situation with our natural resources.

Doomed, we are...yes. For sure. You can send all the things and people you want to space, but the desire to control and manipulate is one that exists here, fundamental to who we are, and this is what determines the essence of how we live and function, and is the reason for our destruction.

On the road to extinction, but on the way, always small moments of light...

Saw this in the screening room of the loop on constellations---

There is a thing confusedly formed
Born before heaven and earth
Silent and void
It stands alone and does not change
It is capable of being the mother of the world
I know not its name
So I style it “The Way”
I give it the makeshift name of The Great
Being great, it is further described as receding
Receding, it is described as far away
Being far away it is described as turning back.