zirconium: mirliton = grinning squash from NOLA (mirliton)
... and I had an entire lane to myself at the pool last night. Reminding my broody self of happy things, I am.

"Mile of Smiles" and "Wa' Is Me, What Mun I Do?" are still occupying a sizable section of the earworm bed in my brain. Here's "Mile of Smiles" at the April 1 Playford Ball. I'm not visible in most of it, but what a fine tune it is, and I did enjoy that nice set-and-turn with Joan around 4:13:



I reread my Lessons from Country Dancing sermon from 2009 a few days ago. Methinks it has held up pretty well, and reminded me of some things I'd forgotten.

Autumn Sky Poetry published Reading the Sky - a "quasinelle" I wrote for [personal profile] okrablossom last month. One of these years I'll regain some semblance of systematic self-promotion, but in the meantime, the sun is shining, my shoes...
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
My week so far has included the rejection of eight poems (though one was a near-miss) and some aggravation (both of the near-to-firing-a-firm kind and the dammit-I-left-my-badge-on-the-piano variety), not to mention truly atrocious fantasy tennis results. But, I seem to be providing pleasure to assorted Kei Nishikori fans, there was plenty of butter and black pepper to mash into the neeps I boiled for supper, and I'm closing my evening with a glass of Beaujolais (slightly rough, but sanding down a bit of jag as I sip) and assorted phrases for pieces.

Also, Rattle published a poem on Sunday, both in text and audio form: "Look at that, you son of a bitch"

I also keep meaning to mention "Some Who Wander Become Lost," which the SFPA posted online a few months ago.

My calendars contain crossouts and calculations. So, for that matter, do the cards and scraps of paper containing what I might write or shape next. In the meantime, there are roses everywhere -- I saw some near a curb on Valentine's Day, just as I was about to cross White Station Road:

White Station Road, Memphis

The back of the card I picked up was blank. It has me wondering about roses not sent. It brings back memories of roses I have sent, and thrown, and pressed, and attempted to propagate (not yet successfully). Not every Emily Dickinson poem pairs up well with "Yellow Rose of Texas" ("So much of Heaven has gone from earth"? No), but it's not as if the ghosts of Amherst or Austin ever insisted on that. Perhaps the roses really want to grow. Perhaps the mallows will survive this morning's freezing fog. There is more than snow between the glass and the huge roses. There is more to work than work. Earlier this week, a colleague and I talked about trading plants later this year -- succulents for peppers. The dog knocked over one of my pots while I was away, and happily hoovered up asparagus stubs two nights ago. Cleaning. Digging. Dreaming.


A name for a new rose: Mozart.
That's what I'd call the first rose on the moon,
If I got there to grow it.

-- Robert Nye, "Travelling to My Second Marriage on the Day of the First Moonshot"
zirconium: Photo of graduated cylinder with black and blue feathers (measured 1)
Upper Rubber Boot prompt 18: spokesman

My copy of Jim Ottaviani's Suspended in Language is on loan to a friend, so you get this instead:

18 - spokesman

Sir Mark Oliphant, in Ann Mozley Moyal's Portraits in Science:

I was a member of a group that was led by Niels Bohr, after the test in Alamogordo, that was very much against the use of this new weapon on civilian cities. Niels Bohr, who was our spokesman -- which was a pity in some ways, because his English wasn't good and [laughs] his wife told me his Danish was almost as bad -- but he became our spokesman and was very very good and persistent in his approach.



Related:
  • Wikipedia's Pauli effect entry, which links to my sonnet about same

  • A Particular Truth--1941 - on Bohr and Heisenberg

  • At Teaching Resources, which obtained it via Moving Poems, which features Nic Sebastian's take as well: Othniel Smith's video remix of "Playing Duets with Heisenberg's Ghost"
  • zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
    Upper Rubber Boot Prompt 17: driving

    17. driving

    I have been working on the catalogue of next year's Italian car exhibition, so this book (the catalogue of an earlier exhibition curated by Ken Gross) has kept me company during some late nights the past month. This weekend's work-related reading is the catalogue for an exhibition about the House of Alba.

    In other news, Moonsick Magazine published my poem "Nowhere to Go" yesterday.

    The BYM came by for lunch, and then we went upstairs to the postcards exhibition. He was especially entertained by some of the Krampus cards, as well as a sexy Easter greeting.
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    Ruins
    zirconium: animated gift of cartoon woman flailing (gravity)
    When I first saw this tweet, I was like "huh"?




    ...since it showed up in my in-box before I'd seen what it was responding to:




    At any rate, I'm now saying "hmmmm..."


    not longer
    but stronger
    and stranger

    see how what
    you want to inhale
    sits just a letter
    or two
    or three

    apart from what
    your mouth
    first stretched
    toward drawing in

    not every balloon
    can glide toward escape

    not every breath
    will suffice for anchor

    but these are not
    reasons enough
    to abandon the study

    of possible ways
    to stay afloat




    balloonflower bud
    (Balloon flower about to bloom. More on those later.)
    zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
    [subject line from Matthew Arnold's Lines Written in Kensington Gardens, which correspond to a UU hymn set to a Thomas Tallis canon that I often play when in need of solace]

    Asheville Art Museum mural
    (The Writing on the Pharaoh's Wall (detail), Gabriel Shaffer, Asheville Art Museum)

    Hello, new month
    of maybes, maybeings,
    and wish-I-mays now here --
    behold how bedecked
    you already are
    with swirls of stitchery

    already a diary
    of crossouts and detours
    and acronymed prayers
    and half-rehearsed words
    and words for rehearsals.

    To tally today:
    how many angels
    in toeshoes on
    the sparkling tips
    of pinwheel spokes?

    Any minute now
    the rules that you thought
    were to keep you in line

    will vault
    with a vehemence
    over the handlebars.

    O brace yourself
    for the many-tongued wind

    its whipsharp accents
    its cloudblurred vowels

    you will grapple for years
    with what it has to say to you.

    ~pld
    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
    [Subject line from Chuck Berry's Memphis, Tennessee]

    Presley poodles
    Poodles at Graceland

    I'd like to be in Memphis. Or Morocco. Or Monterrey. Or Miami. Or Monticello. Or messing around my yard. But here in my kitchen is a pretty good place to be as well. The BYM and the dog were in here earlier, the tomato cuttings aren't dead yet, and I have poured for myself a glass of the wine [personal profile] dichroic sent in December, to go with the edamame-wasabi dip I just made.

    I am frustrated about a number of things, including not yet feeling well enough to sing or to resume practicing yoga, but happy happenings have been in abundance as well. The client to whom I delivered a commission this past Sunday was very pleased with it. ("We definitely got our money's worth.") I fashioned a pin for a friend while at the easel.

    The Poetry Storehouse now has audio for my poems "Novecento," "Schrodinger's Top Hat," "Even an Empty Life Can Hold Water," and "Lining Up." At Autumn Sky Poetry, Christine Klocek-Lim published my sestina "O Clouds Unfold" (which may look familiar to some of you, as I posted the first draft here just under a year ago). First Class accepted a poem.

    The lily in the bathroom has put forth new shoots. A longtime friend got married. My honorary mama celebrated her eighty-something-eth birthday. Mary sent a sprig from Wilbur's "Black Birch in Winter."

    And now I must turn back to paperwork and work-work.
    zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
    Published last week: my little poem about Hari-Kuyo, a festival that honors broken needles. [bio]

    Seen on yesterday's walk (several blocks apart):

    East Nashville

    East Nashville
    zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
    Last weekend's hard frost killed all the magnificent zinnias in front of my house, as expected, but to my surprise, one of the runts in the alley seems to be enjoying the cold:

    zinnia

    Some of the French hollyhocks and French marigolds are still in bloom, too. And the rogue rosebush -- as unpredictable as ever -- is showing off a fresh yellow bud amid the dead and wilted:

    also on the rogue rosebush rogue rose rogue rose

    I finally peeked at the seed exchange at the Inglewood branch of Nashville's public library. It was out of parsley, but I picked up packets for bok choy, chives, and three kinds of marigolds.

    Recent publications:
    "dicing up..." (tweet-sized poem) at 7x20
    "the resident ghost..." (tweet-sized poem) at 7x20
    "Ballad Breath" (audio and text versions) in Stone Telling 11
    zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle rear)
    Prague, May 2009

    amid and above
    the trinkets and the trudging

    Prague, May 2009

    (Snapshots from a walk around Prague, 14 May 2009)

    fruit gone

    Sep. 14th, 2014 11:28 am
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    So, that tomato I mentioned yesterday? By the middle of the afternoon, it had vanished. I'm side-eyeing the dog something major right now.

    On a more productive note, I'm the featured poet at the Houseboat this week: one interview, ten poems, and assorted photos. This has been in the works for over a year, and it's gratifying to share at last what Rose has selected from the words and images I sent to her. My thanks to her for all of her work, and -- as ever and always -- to you for reading.

    grinding

    Jul. 13th, 2014 08:43 am
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    For reals:
    grinding out some green

    Some other goings-on:

  • The 2015 Texas Poetry Calendar is now available. It includes my poem "Texas Instruments."

  • The Changeover published my essay "Accounting for Tennis Prize Money," and Sports Illustrated noticed.

  • Also now available: the 2014 Dwarf Stars anthology, which includes my poems "Even an Empty Life Can Hold Water," "Newest Amsterdam," and "Making Rice Dance."


  • Also, three rejections, the usual bug bites, half of my horses finishing third (which is useless when you're making win-place picks), and two hours in a waiting room with a TV on (but at least it was tuned to HGTV, which I find more tolerable than what's usually on). And a dress I bought just last month is not working out, but is already stained in multiple spots, so into the ragbag it went.

    But at least I figured the not-working-out on second wearing, which was a quicker scramble out of the denial swamp (aka making-do morass) than my usual wrangle with buyer's regret. Also, I won a gold medal in Green Acres (fantasy tennis tournament) and drafted a new poem on my phone while sipping a free glass of prosecco at a neighborhood bar. And now it's back to the drawing board...
    zirconium: Photo of Joyful V (racehorse) in stall (Joyful Victory)
    1. My poem Spelling "For Worse" is up at Goblin Fruit, in both text and audio formats.

    1a. I am keeping right fine company on that TOC. :-)

    2. Merrie Haskell wrote a novel called Castle behind Thorns. It's about to emerge, it has earned a starred review in Publisher's Weekly, and it will be a Junior Literary Guild selection. (Her second published novel has been collecting recommendations and awards, too, including "the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award winner for middle school for its depiction of a person with a disability.")

    3. The Velveteen Rabbi will be reading her poetry in Jerusalem. I am so excited for her!

    4. Making manuscripts reader-friendlier. Go me!

    4a. Having the chops and experience to recognize typos (especially in Spanish) I wouldn't have caught five years ago.

    5. Ripe cantaloupe and canned quail eggs. For when one works flat through dinner and then needs something that doesn't require cooking (i.e., stink up the kitchen) right before bedtime.

    6. The sumo tangerine I picked up at a store last week. It was an indulgence, but it was also a great conversation piece, and I am about to candy the peel.

    7. Having a dog that gleefully hoovers up vegetable scraps. (I am less enamored of her fondness for snacking on potting soil, but that's because it makes her wheeze.)

    8. It is sunny and 55 F here right now. I'll be spending most of the day with spreadsheets, but I think I'll first sneak out for a walk.

    9. Particle Fever! (And yes, I wore my CERN jacket to the showing.)
    zirconium: photo of bell tower seen on a walk to the Acropolis (athens bell tower)
    I was trying to string together something to do with garnets and gannets, thanks to this thread over at M'ris's LJ. But there was also this...




    ... so I'll have to give the gannets their due some other night. No, I don't understand my brain either. But stuff like this does have a history of happening after I eavesdrop on M'ris and Elise. (I will also add that some years ago Elise sent me some garnets as part of a gift from Dichroic, the other part being this poem. The world, it teems with treasure...)


    The month has started under water --
    a sense of too much to shove at or swallow:
    sprawling projects, tax returns ...
    To wield a spear like an Amazon,
    to hammer antique fears into a gleaming bow ---
    these aren't skills I can list on my present

    résumé, but what's needed at present
    is something like. To get out of the water --
    to haul my soggy rear back into the bow,
    spluttering out what I couldn't help but swallow --
    it isn't pretty, training to be an Amazon.
    I'm told such pangs will yield happy returns

    but some days I think of all the sad returns
    I boxed up back in the warehouse -- this unwanted present,
    that unhelped self. My wishlist at Amazon
    changes by the week, like flavors of water
    from a sportsdrink sales rep's cooler. Swallow
    this magic pill. Now take your bow

    on the Wonderland stage. in the Wonderland court.
    Tied up with a bow,
    neatly wrapped -- low risk, low returns.
    I know that, but the truth's still tough to swallow
    when the press of my weariness outweighs the present.
    I have to remember how petrels pierce the water,
    scaring off sharks with the skill of an Amazon.

    I've never longed to sail down the Amazon
    but then I never expected each night to bow
    my head with such thanks for running water,
    schooled by floods and droughts. The returns
    of every field, I now regard as a present.
    I've watched dying people, how they can't even swallow

    the thinnest dribble of water. Oh, when the swallow
    nests again by the bell, will we see the Amazon
    gliding into harbor as well? Will it present
    a dazzlement of gems -- the gold-bright bow,
    a garnet-studded scabbard? What returns
    isn't always what was cast upon the water --

    in some of my dreams, men in swallow-tails bow
    to Amazons as their equals. But waking returns
    me back to the present. I plunge back into the water.

    - pld


    ETA 8:40 pm: It never fails -- an edit making itself obvious after I press "post"...

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