January 29, 2009
Then, I realized that if I was going to publish a book, there was no point in having a blog that anyone could see, but that I thought no one was going to read -- which meant awful posts/posts that I wouldn't want the general public to see.
So...at the end of October, I deleted every single post I had. I decided I was going to restart this blog, act as if it were new, fresh...and my blog was still very new at that point.
Stupid Google Reader. It kept track of every single post I ever posted. Everything. Even the posts I didn't want ANYONE to see.
Naturally, I was shocked when I figured out that I had TEN subscribers on Google Reader. Rather ecstatic, but shocked, too. Nine other people were going to see those old posts.
My point? I'd be delighted if you subscribed on Google Reader, and you can take a look at those old posts for entertainment, but that's not my REAL REAL blogging -- they're not the posts you see here, now.
January 26, 2009
To pass the time, here's a screenshot of my desktop background.
My favorite quote ever is from my dad. He said, "Human life is like a factory," and that phrase has stuck in my head and is officially my favorite quote. It's so true.
People are up round the clock, driving, going places...life really is a factory. Or, a wheel that never stops spinning.
January 24, 2009
I've decided that the best place to sing your heart out is in the garage. And it's the best place to work. It's cold, quiet, and separate from everyone else. Plus, you'll be surrounded by shoes.
I finished reading through Apologies to an Apple, cover-to-cover, and it's perfect. I love it. It'll be available for purchase at my website soon. Stay tuned.
And Emily Ruth, I'll post up pics soon. Promise.
January 23, 2009
The first copy of my book apparently arrived this morning. The tapping on my shoulder, shaking me out of my homework, led to my favorite cake on a table, bearing words in purple, my favorite color.
Eons after it arrived, I got to hold and read my own book. I can't describe the feeling -- you have to experience it to know it. But it was simply magical.
I'm completely at a loss for words right now.
January 21, 2009
A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration
by Elizabeth Alexander
Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.
All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.
Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.
We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what's on the other side.
I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,
picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.
Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?
Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,
praise song for walking forward in that light.
Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth Alexander. All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. A chapbook edition of Praise Song for the Day will be published on February 6, 2009.
January 20, 2009
She took the suitcase -
the dark blue one
from its place on the bottom.
Loud voices. Tears. Crash.
Five minutes later she was gone.
Where her clothes would hang
on the floor of the closet
that whisper her name,
sounding out notes
that remind me.
light and airy
are a fleeting memory.
I shut it out.
Close my eyes.
Small gasping breaths.
In out, in out.
Only my ears remain.
Block it out.
CD’s, and useless chatter fill the air…
I run until I too am gone.
reprinted with permission
January 19, 2009
January 18, 2009
The Rules of the Interview
1. Leave me a comment saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I'll email you five questions, of my determination not yours!
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
This is difficult. I've got so many favorites! But I think I'll go with a poem called "Don't Know Linen," which, by the way, you'll find in Apologies to an Apple.
2. If you could pick a perfect day on which to write, what would it be (weather, location, etc?)
It'll be a slightly breezy day, a little cold...and evening, so the sun should be setting. And the sky will be a gorgeous orange-pink. I'd be outside on the deck, sitting at a round silver table with a book of poetry and my laptop on the table.
3. You get to meet one author (dead or alive) for lunch. Who is it? Where do you meet?
Tough one! Too many favorites. I'll say J.K. Rowling, because I love Harry Potter. We'd meet at the dock, and we would walk through the dreary woods till we came to the rainy city.
4. Skydiving or Bungee jumping?
Skydiving all the way. Super cool.
5. Currently, what are your five favorite songs?
“We’re Young and Beautiful,” Carrie Underwood
“You and Me,” Lifehouse
“Breakaway,” Kelly Clarkson
“New Strings,” Miranda Lambert
“Good is Good,” Sheryl Crow
January 17, 2009
Oh, and also --
what are some of your favorite blogs?
She could hear it -- the rain splish-splashing against the window, tiptoeing across the roof. She shivered. It wasn't her fault that it was so cold outside.
She tucked her legs closer to her chest, tugging on the thin blanket, squeezing her shoulders close together. Too tired to think about anything except the freezing cold and sleep, she closed her eyes slowly.
It was then that she heard the sirens.
She jerked awake and lay there in the dark for a few moments, her breathing rapid. There was a heavy silence.
Then she heard it again. Ambulance, she thought.
January 16, 2009
Just because it was so interesting to write, here's another one:
Wisps of chill
slip in through the cracks.
Humming the song
I don't know what these are called -- poems, tidbits...I like to call them "snapshots". How would you classify them?
January 15, 2009
January 13, 2009
Anyway, I was talking to a couple of people yesterday and the topic of "what's good music?" came up. And I had an idea.
If you're reading, do respond! It'd be lovely to hear from you. It won't take long, I promise.
Here are a few questions about your personality/preferences. I'm just curious to know:
1. What's your favorite genre of music?
2. Do you prefer being alone or in the company of others?
3. If the president asked you to send a picture of yourself to him (yeah, right), would it be black-and-white or in color?
4. If you had a thousand dollars to spend on music (only IF), what would be the first song/album/artist you would buy?
January 10, 2009
The not-so-good news: I've only written six poems since September (or maybe earlier). I've been really slow lately. It's been a fight to get words onto paper. I wonder if there's an epidemic of "dead writing" going around, since I've heard from a few friends who say that the writing's going s-l-o-w.
Maybe there's something inspirational about indulging in things you love. After listening to a little music and changing my desktop wallpaper (I love looking at that black-and-white cityscape, I bet I could stare at it forever and not get bored), the inspiration started flowing fast. So maybe doing the things you love to do somehow gets the creativity running.
I'm planning for the next manuscript. I discovered that I love writing manuscripts way more than I love writing poetry without a goal. Adding the word "manuscript" to the task makes it a whole lot more exciting.
I won't spill the working title, but all I have to say is that I love the book title I have in mind.
January 09, 2009
A thank-you to EVERYONE (and I mean EVERYONE, even if you've only visited once) who visited -- or still visits -- my blog. And an even bigger thank-you to everyone who comments. Even the smallest of comments is an immediate smile-maker.
THANK YOU to everyone who's complimented me, or wished me good luck, with my book. I can't wait for you guys to read it -- I really hope you'll like it, if you're planning to pick up a copy. Each compliment or good-luck wish means so much to me, and I can't thank you all enough.
And finally, a huge thank-you to YOU for reading this!
January 07, 2009
Now, to commemorate that missing half (see post title), here we go:
Endorsements from Lorie Ann Grover, Janet Lee Carey, Carolyne Wright, Kelli Russell Agodon, Suma Subramaniam, and Margaret D. Smith (inside).
(Here's the front cover, if you missed it.)
January 03, 2009
I took this one (you can see my arm reaching out the side of the photo) on the 29th or something. I felt super-guilty that I wasn't writing or preparing submissions. Oh well.
So I've decided that, for 2009, I'm going to submit more, stop taking pictures of myself at 9:30 pm just because, and try to write more. I haven't written much ever since I finished writing for Apologies to an Apple.
Now I'm mainly working on submissions while Apologies comes out. I'll probably put together the next manuscript later in the year or sometime next year using poems I've submitted. On the poetry front, I'm looking at a busy year.
January 01, 2009
It's time to start from scratch again, to put the dream into action. It's time to run like you've never run before.
Taylor Swift writes in her song "Change":
It was the night things changed
Do you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back fell down
It's a revolution, throw your hands up
Cause we never gave in
And we'll sing hallelujah, we sang hallelujah
The time has come. It's "the night things changed".