Friday, April 30, 2010

The Composing Place--

(April 2010)

"THERE will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;

There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,

And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions..."

(T S Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock")

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Way Past Last Call--

(Huey's Midtown)

"LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:

Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”

Let us go and make our visit."

(T S Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock")

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

"Something" in my Pocket--

In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, New York City is hosting the 8th annual Poem In Your Pocket day on Thursday, April 29, 2010.

Join in the excitement TOMORROW by carrying a poem in your pocket.

You can write your own poem or borrow one from your favorite poet; just make sure to share it with your friends, family, and colleagues.

So if you get "poem-ed," it might be from me!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Act II:

(or the college years)
Miranda (The Tempest)
John William Waterhouse, 1916

I considered myself enough of a fan to take a upper division Shakespeare class relatively early in my very long college "career." I (in keeping with tradition) still have the syllabus and I'm embarrassed to say that I do not remember reading ALL of those plays.

Romeo & Juliet? Yes.
Othello? Yes.
The Tempest? Yes.
Midsummer Night's Dream? Yes.

The others? No. Especially none of the "Histories"...We read one of the Richards? Okay.

So Dr. Black (this was before he was at Amherst) was a great professor. He was practical and humorous (from what I can remember).

He taught me never to discount the sex in Shakespeare, because it is there. I wrote an innocent "reading" of Act 3, Scene 2 from Romeo & Juliet (sans modern translation) and although I hit upon many of the themes, I forgot a big one.

Hello, maidenhood.

My second major lesson upon Shakespeare was in the sonnet form via Dr. Phillips. We went through several of them (alongside learning the history and for whom they were possibly written).

Dark Lady? I'm sure you've heard of her--an older woman, but William on had a few of his sonnets for her...whoever she may be. the bulk of his poetry is written for a man. A younger man. A younger, more beautiful man.

I mention this NOT for its "shock value," (as it does shock some--and well, I am not in the category)--but it is interesting to here the murmurs in class when this is revealed.

And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
When that shall vade, by verse distills your truth.

His sonnet cycle is quite interesting and pushes the envelope.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Act I:

(academically speaking)

My first introduction to William happened my freshman year of high school. Ms. Moss had us reading Romeo & Juliet...

isn't this everyone's first Shakespeare?

We even got to spend two class periods watching the Franco Zeffirelli (1968) version.

LOVED IT! (own it)

Of course I had to endure the widespread giggling over the men in tights--which didn't compare to the widespread swooning. It was an event!

I'm quite sure I caught the film again that summer on TCM and watched it simultaneously on the phone (cord outstretched) with my best friend late one night.

Fast forward a year and we were reading Julius Caesar. I don't remember too much about that experience. We had three English teachers my sophomore year--you can't blame me for this one.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him...

That's all I got...except the Ides of March...beware, beware, beware!

We didn't read Shakespeare my junior year--it was all about American literature--but my senior year more than made up for it because we read two plays:

Hamlet-- which I usually claim as my favorite--it has my favorite tragic heroine, Ophelia.

I can still spout off several lines from memory (and STILL have my notes/work from Mrs. Halford's class, thank you very much).

The best screen adaptation in my opinion is the Franco Zeffirelli (1990) version. We didn't watch it in class (I don't think), but I own it...of course.


Macbeth-- another favorite, that has me swooning over evil, evil women!

Again, more lines are still in my memory (although the "line quiz" I still have in my possession reflects a horrible study moment--I didn't fail, but it was close).

Rounding off Act I is the film that came out after I graduated from high school (but the same year).

I saw it on opening weekend, have both soundtracks...

and then there are the little promotional postcards I collected from different magazines...

and they's such a great adaptation...SO VERY GOOD!

...the which if you with patient ears attend, what here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


Friday, April 23, 2010

To You, William--

If it were done when 'tis done,
then 'twere well it were done quickly.

(from Macbeth)

They know what day he was baptized (April 26, 1564)
and they know what day he died (April 23, 1616)...
his actual birthday is a bit tricky.

I think a Shakespeare "blog-a-thon" of sorts is in order.
Starting tonight (April 23) and running to Monday (April 26)
I will throw my Shakespeare thoughts your way.
I mean, The Bard deserves it.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

VIA Starbucks!

Not bad, not bad at all.

Although my method is a bit different...I mean, why follow instructions?

I use the "extra" bold little packet and 16 ounces of hot water (instead of 8 ounces)...this way my coffee lasts longer...and really I'm more of a "coffee-milk" drinker than a "coffee-coffee" drinker.

I hope this Revelation doesn't ruin my street cred.

So with 16 ounces I'm able to lessen the "extra" bold experience and add my frou-frou stuff.

(frou-frou stuff includes Splenda and fat-free milk or 2% or creamer or...)

I wish I had a picture of all the coffee tumblers I own (and use). I even got a new one yesterday (gift)...complete with little University of Memphis tigers all around it :)

Someone remind me to take a photo and I will...I promise, it's quite ridiculous.

So back to instant coffee, or the Starbucks VIA® Ready Brew (as it's officially known). The sweet lady at the drive thru window talked me into it (I got a sample pack) a few weeks ago and just tried it this morning.

Decent. It wasn't gritty. It fizzed a little bit (which was scary) but that was about it. Good aroma, good flavor. I could see adding a little packet to the next batch of brownies I make (and see if people notice).

Overall: ya done good (again) Starbucks!


Friday, April 16, 2010


Down beneath the impossible pain of our history
Beneath unknown bones
Beneath the bedrock of the mystery
Beneath the sewage systems and the PATH train...

Beneath the cobblestones and the water mains
Beneath the traffic of friendships and street deals
Beneath the screeching of kamikaze cab wheels
Beneath everything I can think of to think about...
Beneath it all, beneath all get out
Beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel
There's a fire just waiting for fuel...
There's a fire just waiting for fuel
There's a fire just waiting for fuel
There's a fire just waiting for fuel
Ani DiFranco

April 13, 2010
New Daisy Theatre
Memphis, Tennessee

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Righteous Babe--

"She is trying to evolve."
I remember the first time I heard Ani DiFranco, clearly as if it were yesterday.

(what a horrible cliche')

January 1999, picture it--Knoxville--and every time I ran past a certain room in my dorm I heard music...

Some of it I knew, some of it I didn't know...and some of it I knew I was supposed to know based on what I was listening to at the time...

"She's just trying to evolve."

I remember the girl who lived in that tiny dorm room. The blonde hair. The nose ring. She's one of my "oldest" friends now (hiya Sarah).

I remember my first album (Little Plastic Castle) and then my second (Up x6) and buying the next one when it was released at midnight at a little record shop (To The Teeth)...

You get the picture. I was obsessed. "I am trying to evolve."

There was the show in Knoxville, followed by the summer tour in Memphis. Add a couple more shows in Memphis followed by the "next day" trip to Nashville. She doesn't make the rounds here too frequently.

So I am beyond joyous to know we'll have the "lil' folksinger" (what she calls herself) downtown tonight.

"I'm just trying to evolve."

People ask me to describe her music, and I can't. Twenty albums in twenty years on your very own record label (RBR)...and you say what you feel and you sing your own words--while playing your own instruments as loud or as soft as you want.

"I got more and more to do, I got less and less to prove."

She is Ani DiFranco. She sounds like..."Ani DiFranco." She plays like..."Ani DiFranco." "You just have to see her live." That's how I answer the questions.

Or you can listen to one of her albums--with so many to chose from it's easy to find a song or two or 240 that move(s) you.

Her politics may scare you. Her openess may make you uncomfortable. The lyrical poetry may wrap around your heart and not let go. It is what it is. She is what she is.

Origami, multi-faceted and complex.

Expect pictures tomorrow.


Saturday, April 10, 2010


as opposed to ONLINE is not fun!

But as you can see/tell/assume, I (we) survived 24 hours without:

Cable (television)
Phone (related to the first two)

Makes you really think about all those bundle packages, doesn't it?

Survival included the famous BlackBerry (aka BosenBerry) keeping me abreast of news via Twitter and CNN Mobile....

Then there were books. I was almost able to complete In Cold Blood (by Truman Capote)...which I grabbed at a used bookstore because it was a classic AND I finally decided to read it because I was missing Criminal Minds so much last night.

I couldn't actually "research" the book until now. I knew the basic story behind it--Truman and Harper Lee went to Kansas after reading a blurb about the murder. They researched and interviewed locals about the family. THEN after the murderers were caught, Truman interviewed them as well.

I didn't know it was considered the first nonfiction crime novel. Journalism + Fiction writer = Creative Nonfiction? A "true crime" genre is now common place and this is where it began.

What's funny to me is, it was "assumed" that I was a reader of this genre when I turned in a story last year in a Fiction Workshop. Nope. I haven't read one "detective/crime" novel until NOW.

The story I had/have written revolved around a detective (and a crime) though. I guess I understand the connection--or I can appreciate the connection?

Either way I definitely appreciate the current cable connection!

Turns out that a city crew doing utility work on a major road (which I can see from my backyard) CUT the cable somehow (accidently? on purpose?) yesterday. We weren't the only ones affected.

It took two visits spread over several hours this afternoon for this reason to be discovered. Cable company said they are going to send the city(?) the bill for knocking out our little curly-q block of houses.


I've also started Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia--completely deserving of it's own blog entry (one day)...I have to catch up on television type stuff now!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Georgia on My Mind:

The stars have aligned...
it's about time I tell you the good news...

I shall be starting my Master of Fine Arts degree in August
working toward my thesis in Fiction at:
I can't believe I'm going to be "funded" to continue my education...
I can't believe it...STILL...

and I was officially offered an assistantship several days ago.
I have accepted even, but I keep thinking I'm going to wake up!

Stay tuned for Student: Revisited (the graduate school years)!



Sweet Pea & Vanilla
Cucumber Melon
Japanese Cherry Blossom

Am I naming off "scents" from my latest handmade soap purchasing frenzy?

Definitely Not! I prefer:
Silk & Cyanide

I am actually telling you about Buttercup's most recent trip to the Vet (in a round about way).

And more specifically the otic cleansing solution I just finished torturing her with....actually she handles it very well.

But honest to goodness it is "infused with essence of sweet pea and vanilla"...WHAT?

My smoosh-face Buttercup now smells like...that. Which may sound appealing, but you have to understand that she has a nasty ear infection right now. Nasty to the point of needing a combination steroid, antibacterial, and antifungal ointment instilled in her ears twice a day.

Professional websites (Vet) say that an infected dog ear smells "extremely foul" or have that "distinctive cheesy" smell...I'll leave the description up to the professionals because my adjectives are less appealing.

So Sweet Pea & Vanilla on top of extremely foul cheese? Think about it. REALLY think about it!

I guess after the ten days of ointment (which she handles like a pro) it will become more appealing. But right now it just seems strange. And it smells..."strange" too.

I appreciate the idea though. And it smells a lot better than Cucumber Melon (that was last year's solution). Although I can't stomach the idea of Japanese Cherry Blossom and cheese...

I can't imagine having to say, "No! Not the cherry blossom, we prefer the sweet pea." But I will!

(This is what happens when your best friend is prone to ear infections. You write blog entries that just don't smell right.)


Sunday, April 4, 2010

An Essay:

Bookworm by Natalie Dee

And then I read an article--an essay, if you will.
Maybe more like advice.
And I didn't JUST read this, I read it a while ago--
but finally I am sharing it.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hugs & Kisses in Reverse

(or why I love the Oxford American with every fibre of my soul)

(only ten copies visible, but the love is palpable)

On lunch break during the Spring of 2000, I noticed the one with the red and green train across the front (issue #32) cover. Even though I had never heard of the magazine before, I wanted to know what was the deal with that train. Seeing "John Grisham" along the top didn't hurt.

I grabbed it, paid for it, and took it to the break room. A love affair was born and has only grown to monumental proportions over the last ten years.

There have been "To send to the OA" files on my computer. I have yet to send anything--I'm not exactly worthy (in my humble opinion)...although the long-lost dream of a Summer Internship has recently been recycled.

We've gone through a lot of changes, "The Southern Magazine of Good Writing" & Me:

As you may have guessed, it used to be published in Oxford, MS. Then it moved to Little Rock and now Conway, Arkansas...refusing to become extinct it has risen from the literary ash and proven that there is a readership out there...

Of course I've attended a couple universities, before dropping out--then rose up and after a few classes at a local community college returned to a university before finally completely my B.A. in English (Creative Writing) this past December.


Often I find myself reading and re-reading articles and fiction between the pages of "old" issues. Recently it's been Issue #52 (2006) that's held my attention, the "private history" piece about F. Scott and his "romp" with a lady from Virginia, more specifically.

As I find myself at the beginning of graduate school--(funding, funding, funding) after being accepted into two MFA programs...the one a little further South has a firm grip on my heart--and even though I detest the heat...I love the sweet tea.

Glasses (mason jars) held high to toast...go get a copy, will ya?



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