Sunday, September 9, 2007

September Transitions

It's a significant month in my house for two reasons: (1) my youngest started middle school this past week, and (2) my second-oldest is finally cutting the cord and getting his own place. My sixth-grader seems to like his new school (the Catholic school at my wife's parish), and I hope it will be a comfortable fit - he's a kid who does better in a structured environment, and he and his mom have been active in the parish for some time now. My second-oldest got a nice roomy two-bedroom apartment about two miles from home and is rooming with his old high-school buddy. But it's been a long gradual transition as he moves all his stuff out of the house.

Poetry: Still not much going on poetry-wise. I'm becoming very annoyed with myself for my lack of production. And I still haven't heard from Poetry Magazine, which has me worried. I thought I would have heard from them by now, one way or the other. I submitted in mid-June and they were supposed to respond within 6-8 weeks. I just wish if they were going to reject me they'd just let me know, because they're holding what I consider four of my best unpublished poems. I've heard from one of the editors of US1 Worksheets, though, and she wanted me to send her more poems. It was her nice way of saying they didn't like the first five enough to publish them - at least I'm getting a second chance. She said I "spoiled" them with "Chocolate and Tylenol" last year (see previous post), which may be the best sonnet I ever wrote.

Music: Not much here lately either, but I did get Yo La Tengo's I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass recently from Freaking brilliant album! A lot of folks thought it was one of 2006's best, and I see why. In my opinion, they do what Wilco have been trying to do on their last three albums.

Top Ten: Combining my two favorite topics - songs about poets or poetry:

1. Poetry Man - Phoebe Snow
2. Walt Whitman's Niece - Billy Bragg and Wilco
3. The Dangling Conversation - Simon and Garfunkel
("And you read your Emily Dickinson/And I my Robert Frost...")
4. Tangled Up in Blue - Bob Dylan
("Then she opened up a book of poems/And handed it to me/Written by an Italian poet/
From the thirteenth century....")
5. Cemetery Gates - The Smiths
("So I meet you at the cemetery gates/Keats and Yeats are on your side/While Wilde is on mine....")
6. Poets - The Tragically Hip
7. Poet - Sly and The Family Stone
8. Sylvia Plath - Ryan Adams
9. Bukowski - Modest Mouse
10. Desolation Row - Bob Dylan
("And Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot
Fighting in the captain's tower
While calypso singers laugh at them
And fishermen hold flowers....")

Poem of the Week: Here's my most recent haiku (actually a senryu), returning to my original topic.

new clothes and backpack
a big smile on the face
of his mother

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