National Poetry Month — Just a Little Over a Week Left! (Until Next Year, That Is…)

Hey there.  Have you all written a poem or two in honor of April, National Poetry Month?  Maybe you’ve attended a poetry reading?  (I know some of you have, because I saw you at mine a few weeks ago.  Thanks!)  Or maybe you’ve gone out and purchased a book of poetry, thereby doing your small part to help stimulate the economy?  No? Hmm…we can fix that…

Go out and support a local independent bookstore this week by purchasing a book from them, ideally (since it’s still April), a book of poems.  If you don’t like to read poetry yourself, then get one as a gift for someone who does.  And for the next week or so, you can even find copies of one of my chapbooks of poetry, still available till the end of month, at Brazos Bookstore in Houston.  Here’s their website:  www.brazosbookstore.com.  (Perhaps if sales of it go well this month they’ll want to keep featuring it on their shelves.  Wouldn’t that be nice?  It could happen.)

The chapbook they have in stock right now will likely be out of print soon, so this might be one of your last chances to find it anywhere.  It’s entitled Barefoot on Marble:  Twenty Poems, 1995-2001.  I thought, for this weekend’s post, it might be nice to share with you a sampling from this volume.  Back in the late 90’s when I was living part of every year in Los Angeles, I had written a short series of poems which my friend and poetry colleague Greg Rea had dubbed “mermaid lit.”; this is one of the poems from that series, a sestina.  (And because of the vagaries of WordPress formatting, I’ve placed an asterisk each time there’s a stanza break, just to make it clear.  Sorry I had to do that, and if you WordPress bloggers out there know how to insert a space-break on here without having the formatting ripped out when the post gets published, I’d love the guidance.  Thanks.)

Enjoy!

***

Moving to Green Rain Island, Your Home

We’ve been sitting on the bed
in the place where it rains
every afternoon as a part
of the natural order of things.
The afternoons become evenings
quickly here under the rainy sky.

I recall an afternoon when a green sky
made me want to crawl into bed
and wait for the dark, wet evening
to clean the greenness away with rain.
The sky-light washed all of our things
in a pale green bath, and a part

of me wished we could make a departure
from this place, jump into the wet sky,
leaving all our things
in the house, piled on our bed
in case rains swallowed the land.  Blanket-cocooned, I trembled for rain
to wash the daylight out of the evening

air, but the green tint slid even
onto the darkness, partially
dripped in sheets by the rain,
partially a reflection on the sky
of the wet trees.  The window by the bed
shook with the wind, and little things

started to scare me.  I packed a few things
into a satchel in case we left for the evening
to sleep in your old bed
at your parents’ house.  They were never a part
of the plan, but even I could not resist the sky’s
thundering, the ugly greenness of rain.

Now, wrapped in the blanket, we watch the rain
dripping rivers on the window.  You reassure me our things
will be safe in this house, under this sky,
under our bed, and that we will stay home all evening.
I’m not wild about the weather here, but I guess it’s part
and parcel of being with you, together in this bed,

in this house, under this rainy sky,
on an island where people leave their things under their beds
and the evening is part of the afternoon.

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Best Commenter Awards

So I was recently awarded a Dodisharkicorn Best Commenter Award from the lovely ladies over at Snobbery.  (Yay!)

In fulfillment of this award, there are some things I must do.  First, proudly display my award badge, which I will do here:

Here it is! 🙂 The dodisharkicorn lives!

Next, I must answer the following questions:

  1. What is your third favourite colour?
  2. Would you rather be:  a Jedi, a Pokemon Master or a Wizard/Witch?  Choose ONE.
  3. Who is your favourite Doctor?
  4. Can you whistle?
  5. Would you name your child Sirius Albus?
  6. What is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything?
  7. Do you own a lawnmower?
  8. Do you think Legolas is a (very pretty) pansy?
  9. What’s the trashiest thing you’ve read in the last year?  Should we cover it for Trashy Tuesday?

My answers are below.

Next, I must announce my winners and pass them on to my Top 5 Commenters.  However, since the directive of the original award is to “spread it around like Nutella” and some of my commenters are tied for frequency, I’m giving it to more than five people.  Lucky them!  They are (drumroll…)

1.  Cindy and Seema tied for 1st place

2.  Kara in 2nd place

3.  Alanna, LouAnne, and Peggy tied for 3rd place

Now, this award is all about frequency.  Please rest assured that all my commenters are awesome in terms of quality!  And if you weren’t named this time for the award, you definitely have the chance to participate more on the blog to increase your chances for next time.  (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

So winners, please answer the questions!  You may do so in the comments here, so that we can all enjoy them, or if you have blogs of your own, please pay this award forward there and link back to this post.  (It’s just good for your karma to do so, and you know it.)

To set a shining example, I will now answer these difficult questions to the best of my ability.  Enjoy.

1.  My third favorite color is emerald green.

2.  What would I rather be?  It’s a very tough choice between a wizard/witch and a Jedi, but I think I’m going to have to go with Jedi Knight.  I once dressed up as one for work — I teach in a high school — for a themed costume day.  The theme was “Come Dressed As What You Want To Be When You Grow Up,” and when I was a kid, Jedi was high on my list.  My costume was awesome.

3.  My favorite Doctor is probably David Tenant because I like his other work.  Sadly, I missed the boat on Doctor Who decades ago and have only a fleeting familiarity with it.  Heresy, I know, and I hope you will all forgive me this severe cultural transgression.

4.  I cannot whistle and am thus an embarrassment to my family and to my species in general.

5.  I would name my child Sirius Albus if his father were Harry Potter.  Beyond that, this is an exclusively theoretical question, so I’ll just say, sure.  Why not.

6.  42.  This one’s almost too easy.  RIP Douglas Adams, you betoweled hoopy frood extraordinaire.

7.  I own a lawnmower in the sense that my husband has one, and what’s his is mine and what’s mine is his. But you’re not likely to see me lay a finger upon said lawnmower, unless it needs to be moved from behind my car before I back out of the driveway because my husband left it there.  Reciprocally, my husband has a collection of absolutely exquisite hats he wouldn’t touch with a thirty-nine-and-a-half-foot pole. I like to wear them when I go out for tea.

8.  Yup, I sure do.  Please observe this photograph from very shortly before Peter Jackson’s first LotR movie came out, of my darling husband who is as unpansyish as a man can get and still be intellectual and liberal, and of his cat who is no longer with us.  For further evidence of his unpansyishness, see the note about the hats, above.

My cute hubby with his cat Sarah Jane: He looks sort of like Beowulf, don’t you think?

9.  Although there’s a tough competition between this and any of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, I think the trashiest thing I’ve read lately must be A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole.  Please feel free to cover it for Trashy Tuesday.  I’m not sure I could do it TT justice myself, although I might blog about it at some point in the future.  I promise, I do read quality stuff, too, most of the time!  In fact, Cole’s book really didn’t have much competition here.

So that’s all!  Have a good week.  Award winners, comment here with your answers and demonstrate just how awesome you are, and how sincerely you deserve this award!

March Poetry Contest Results

Hello!  It was a ridiculously hard decision to make, as you can perhaps surmise from how long it took me to post results on this contest, but the winner of the March Poetry Contest is SCOTT BENNER for his poem “And Again.”

Scott, congratulations!  Please send me a message with your mailing address in it, and I’ll get in touch with you about your prize.

Everyone stay tuned for more contests and other interactive participation type posts in the future.  And thanks again to all who entered.  I really enjoyed reading all the responses!

National Poetry Month (That Would Be April)

I know you’re eagerly awaiting the news of who won the March Poetry Contest, but the entries are all really good, and I’m not going to be announcing the winner till this weekend.  Sorry!  But I do have some other exciting news.

Tomorrow night — Thursday, April 5th — Brazos Bookstore will be kicking off their National Poetry Month festivities with a reception honoring and reading by several local Houston poets.  The store will be featuring these authors’ books the whole month.

Guess what?  I’m one of them.  Wheee!

Come on out Thursday evening at 7:00 for the reading, and stay to buy some books and get them signed by their authors.  The book I’ll have available is Barefoot on Marble:  Twenty Poems, 1995-2001.  I’m not sure yet what all I’ll be reading, but I suspect my selections will be from all three books (the two already published and the one I’m still working on).

Here’s the store’s website for more information:  http://www.brazosbookstore.com/

I hope to see you there!