Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Storms and an Anniversary

I’m getting lazy again – it's been 3 weeks since my last blog post.  Summer is in full swing, brutal temperatures and all.  My neighborhood flirted with 100 degrees for a couple of days, and before that we were just missed by a nasty storm that ripped through much of the Mid-Atlantic region – a “derecho”, they called it, a line of thunderstorms with straight line winds (some over 90 m.p.h.) that tore down trees and left something like a million people without power for days.  One of the most astonishing things was how quickly this storm moved across the country, forming in northern Indiana around 2 p.m., then gaining speed and power, hitting the East Coast by about 10 or 11 p.m.  Even though we were spared here, it still inspired a poem. Things have settled down somewhat since then. 

Yesterday I celebrated 39 years of marriage to my college sweetheart.  In some ways it was a normal day, and in other ways it was special. Actually, with our teenager away at camp this week we have the house to ourselves, so we can continue the celebration all week.  I mentioned in the last blog that I had to skip the closing festivities of the Marge Piercy workshop to attend a wedding back home. Well, it was a wonderful event.  Congratulations to my daugher-in-law's beautiful sister and her great husband - i hope they have at least as many happy years together as we have.

In poetry news, I finally heard from the editor of Lucid Rhythms, who said he was having tech problems on his journal webpage, but he accepted two of my poems, “Dancing with the Muse” and “Minnesota Sonnet: MIA” for his upcoming July issue.  I also entered the Naugatuck Review’s annual poetry contest (the editor was a member of my workshop with Marge Piercy), and I hope to enter Rattle’s annual contest too.  I’m starting to get more proactive with submissions – there are a few other journals I have my eye on too.

Baseball: Stick a fork in the Phillies, they're done - at least for this year.  They're on a pace to lose 95-100 games - no playoffs this year unless they pull off a miracle comeback.  With their awful bullpen (with the exception of Papelbon), and subpar performances from just about everyone but Hamels and Ruiz, that's not gonna happen.

Poem of the Week(?):  I'm reprising a poem I wrote and posted in April in honor of our anniversary.

A Day in July

I won’t apologize for the weather,
one of the hottest days of the summer.
I won’t apologize for the venue either,
a little chapel on campus, not some
cavernous cathedral. I won’t apologize
for our shoestring budget - the lack of a limo,
how we went to the reception in her dad’s
old Pontiac, with her friend from next door
as chauffeur. I have no regrets for the music
I stayed up all night to tape, despite a lack
of tunes you could dance to. I’m not sorry
for the snafus – forgetting the marriage license,
her reciting my vows in her nervousness.
I won’t even make excuses for the fact that
my fly was open through half of the reception.
All I know is the ends justify the means,
and looking back from a perspective
of thirty-nine years, the day couldn’t
have been more perfect.

July 16 - THIS JUST IN:
I just got word from Tilt-a-Whirl, the online journal for repeating forms, that my poem "Careful in the Fog" has been accepted for their next issue.  That's particuarly gratifying because it's in a form I created, the "pan-ku".