Sunday, August 31, 2008

Staring into the sun at whales

Yesterday evening we droveagain to Funston, the cliffs overlooking the Pacific that are about 10 minutes away from our house, with the dog. I said, offhand, that since the fog was gone, it would be nice to see the sunset and whales. It's amazing how fast you can get used to something extraordinary!

Well, they were out there again! Lest you think I'm making this up or having flashbacks to an earlier more innocent time, here's corroboration.

You probably associate whale watching with wind and cold and sea spray and possibly getting seasick. Sitting on a nice warm sand dune with your dog beside you is a much more fun way to watch whales. And hang gliders. And pelicans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

View from here ....

I feel thoroughly put down and bested by the I-Can-Do-Anything-You-Can Do-Better barrage. I'm so not good at debate. It shoots me right back into my childhood and my father and brother ganging up to belittle me and make me unnerved by calling me "emotional." 

All I wanted to say was don't blame the victim in the Cider Press thing -- and sure, she should have been more careful early on, but hey, does this mean no competitions are legitimate? Yeah, they cost money (so do a good many of the "open" submissions -- and there are fewer and fewer of them, even so), but when people pay $4 for a Starbucks, is a $20 fee for a book contest so awful? I don't buy Starbucks and I brown-bag my lunch. So I enter some competitions -- not every damn one, but some.

All I said is self publishing smacks of desperation -- to me, for me. Yeah, a lot of crap gets published every which way, no argument there.

I'd like to publish a magazine, maybe, someday. But right now I spend my day working and driving to work. There's not a lot of time left for being human, let alone writing. That said, I'd better get back to my work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thar She Blows!

Whales! We were out at Funston with poochie, and there — so close you could almost touch 'em — were whales! Lots of 'em, breaching and blowing. We watched for about an hour. It was hard to tear ourselves away!

We've never seen whales from there or anywhere in San Francisco. We've recently seen dolphins from there, but these were definitely whales (John carries his binoculars, of course.) And it's not even migratory season.

I was pretty depressed this morning about stuff, but this helped take me out of myself.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Whoo-hoo! Yowza! Hurray!

Last night was the second opening of John's photography show, of characters in the San Francisco Opera. Last week was for the Bravo Club only; this week for everyone else. So the show has been up for eight (count 'em) days -- and he has sold eight prints! If you don't know how amazing that is, let me tell you: it is very amazing! But everyone has loved the work!

John has worked so long and hard for this, and I'm so happy for my sweetie! If you're in the neighborhood (Gallery 645, at Michael Thompson Framing, 647 & 645 7th Street, San Francisco CA, 94103), go see it! It will be up until September 25.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's Only Rock n' Roll ...

... but I like it! In fact, I loved it, really, the Rolling Stones move, "Shine A Light" that I saw last night on DVD. I was dancing around the living room, despite the fact that it embarrassed John and the dog. I want to see it again!

But I was up too late on a work day, and now I'm fighting off sleep.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Works for me

Greg and Leslie have written about their poetry "rules." I liked reading theirs. I'm not sure I really have rules, though I can generalize, somewhat, about what works or doesn't work for me.

First: endings. I rarely, if ever, know where a poem will end, which may be why so many of my poems end not with bangs but whimpers. Sometimes they don't end as much as they stop. But I confess that I think that's okay. If, in a sense, my poem takes the reader somewhere, I prefer not to announce that we've arrived.

Sound is important to me, as I've said here before. And texture. I like to use the syntax of the English sentence, working with breath and line endings for tension. So, an easy, colloquial speech, but not flatness. A mix of diction -- good crunchy words, but not arcane or archaic usage.

I lean to the lyric. Narrative elements are often present, but in most poems, they are subjugated to the lyrical impulse. The experience or the experiment is more important than the story.

I am very much one of the humankind of whom Eliot noted cannot bear too much reality.