30 December 2008

Mama G.

I'm planning next semester's Rhetoric class fiasco. I've decided that our text will be the Necronomicon (pictured above), with a few grimoires thrown in as supplemental texts. If things go well, by the end of the semester we'll have overthrown the linear-machinist matri-world and reinstated Mama Gaia's Dada Pure Land Chicken Shack!

29 December 2008

Her Calves

I'm back in my bourgeoisie rented home here in the I.C., after a thousand+ mile journey to the Great North Woods with my family and dog (who is family). And five minutes ago Ma Mayor showed up on my doorstep, wielding an "official warning" that, if I don't removed the 4" of ice from my sidewalk out front within 24 hours, they'd slap a $50 fine on me "so quick it's not even funny." And so I said, "word," grabbed a bucket of salt and commenced to salting and chipping, hacking and cursing for the next two hours. "Eff this," I decided, emptying out the last of the toxic ice, "I'm going inside and listen to the new Dylan." Outside, the salt worked its mojo while ice calves sauntered down into the drainage ditch to the click-click of Ma Mayor's boot heels.

16 December 2008


It's four degrees outside...four degrees.

13 December 2008

End O' The Semester Missive

The semester is over & done with. And it doesn't matter that I have a tall stack of final papers awaiting grades, or 44 Final Grades to dispense. Somehow it all feels incidental, no big deal, a simple chore.

Going up again was really fun this time around. My story sparked lots of lively discourse about the old "dividing line between prose and poetry" and so on. Someone called my latest story "a failed experiment." Someone else said it was "impressive." Another person said "I hope you don't get lost in your own voice." And so on.

Afterwards, we all ate together. And I brought some homebrews and a giant salad with pine nuts. Around 8:45 p.m. or so, after my gut was filled with Bolognese, I said, "Gotta git, y'all" (as I tend to really miss Janelle & Ella when I'm away for too long). Something about being surrounded by all these young, vibrant, beguiling writers. It makes me happy for them, and also thankful that I'm where I'm at in life. (I was worried about this at the outset. I wondered, "Jesus, surrounded by all these young, vibrant, beguiling writers, will I feel useless and spent?" Answer: No. Not so much. Young geniuses don't appear that different from youngsters in general, whose time is a time of energy, but also a time of trial and error and more errors and still more errors. And it's all one big trial...ultimately, it's not that interesting.)

There are untold wonders in this little settlement of ours - wonders that dwarf anything I ever read in any book or poem. I'm glad we came to Iowa. There are many good things here, now that I stop to look around.

07 December 2008

Holy Ghost Building

Revisions, revisions, revisions. My latest story is complete & in the hopper for next week's (final) workshop. It's a weird story about a real-life lynching that happened in Mobile in 1981. I added some schizophrenia, a few baby alligators, a dude named "Country," and a son thirsting for a fatherly connection. The story ("Portrait") went through many revisions, iterations, and permutations. Finally, I distilled it all into something that flows and feels right. We'll see what the Workshop has to say about it next Tuesday. Until then, I'm coasting on an "end of the semester" vibe, and working on some poems.