Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Neighbors, Bed, Submissions

Our neighbors act as if nothing has happened. They have a court date this month but seem dismissive of it. I don't know if they've paid our landlord yet, but I try not to pry too much, balancing the traitor, the friend and the voyeur. I want to attend their next day in court to see if any of their stories hold water. I should think if they were wholly guilty of grand larceny they would have skedaddled by now. They are being evicted at the least, but who knows how long that takes in California, the victim's paradise?

They did manage to secure two old televisions from garage sales as soon as they were released, which are always on and usually too loud to talk over. In the meantime they owe us $45 for the cable bill we share. I want my mopney surely as the landlord wants his. Then they owe him $2500.

The great news is that OUR BED arrived today, shipped from Virginia, latex memory foam sure to make our achy-breaky joints more sanguine in the morning.


As for me, I have become more aggressive about achieving greater recognition for my verse. I didn't win the last ns. contest I entered, which received 651 mss. 651 mss. at $25 per means $16,325, much less than the monetary reward and cost of pubication the contest undertakes. Perhaps I should start my own ms. contest and live off the overage. Face it: most of the mss. entered are simply glanced at and put aside as kooky or amateurish. Maybe twenty deserve more attention. Hand the last five to the judge and voila! His prejudices decide the winner and the press makes a handy profit. The judge for the contest was Tim Seibles, whose style gave me little hope, but that's not the point. The point is to keep trying.

Yesterday I entered two manuscripts in Ohio State University's Morse Prize The manuscripts are Sine Wave (from which I've posted quite a few here) and Wear Me Like a River (Love Poems for Kathleen). I'm working on a third manuscript until I can submit three at once to contests, provided I can afford the entry fees. There's a sucker born every minute. I also submitted to Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and The New Yorker. No, I'm not holding my breath. But all three can be reached through online submissions, if you're curious.

The foam beds are gradually expanding from the rolls they came as as Kathleen and I toast each other on a bed worthy of our age and station with a cheap cabernet. Tomatoes and cucumbers and gourds are ripening my my garden. Peach and blood-red dahlias bloom there, too. And I've blathered enough for one uneventful day.

My anxiety has been better, so I'm posting a poem about anxiety below. My mood's OK, say 1 kilorat. I put myself in the negative still because no matter how content I may feel in the immediate, I still feel the power of depression curled within me, mocking my sanguine exterior.

Thine as always,



I am running. It is night.
A giant eye pursues me
through the dark forest
on silent pseudopodia.
Branches bend against
its malleable globe
but never snap, the sound
of their brushing enough
to spook the nightingale
that sang me to false safety.
I’m never safe.

I am running. It is night.
There is no ‘i’ in “eye,” is there?
Where is the white marble
with the dark bull's eye?
Hiding in blue-black between trees,
hissing past pine cones,
maintaining its distance?
How I wish it would close!
I’m never safe.

I am running. It is night.
Should I lie down
in this brief field
under the moonless sky and wait?
Will I be swallowed, sniffed,
inspected, prodded, analyzed?
Devoured, will I become
a cartoon on its retina?
There is no ‘i’ in “eye.”
It's my eye, isn’t it?
Well isn't it?
I’m never safe.

(Published in M.A.G. along with others)


  1. Oh, yes, anx -I-ity. Well described. And anyone who can use "silent psuedopodia" in a poem deserves respect.

    It also reminded me of a 4th grade art project. We were supposed to make coin banks by putting papier mache over a balloon form. Everybody made kitties and piggies. I made a giant bloodshot eyeball - an eye bank. My teacher was kind of taken aback. One of the themes for me this week is remembering that I was kind of a weird kid.

  2. Anonymous9:52 PM PDT

    well, I couldn't comment using my blogspot url, so I tried the "other" way, but it leaves off the url too, so now I'm trying the anonymous route. I won't do the multiple attempts in the future, once I figure out what works best.


  3. An eye bank? You should have called the Lions Club. I think most poets were dreamy, odd kids. I surely was.

    And Bessie, I added you to my links. I know this beta segregation is frustrating; I have the same problem on my end toward non-beta blogs. Google millionaires haven't fixed this glitch as yet.

  4. Anonymous9:24 AM PDT

    There are other good publications you can submit to online -- The Missouri Review is one, although I think there might be a charge -- a couple of dollars maybe.

    What is M.A. G. ?



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