I added a third section to my new ms. It’s a set of earlier poems that I think, inherently, communicate with the poems I’d already collected into the volume. This gives me three sections (*snore*) but it does bring my page count up to 70, which is, I think, the middle ground for most contests.

The unofficial section titles are

Little Burning Edens
The Heart, Like a Window
Sad Divas

I’m not a fan of section titles, but I do think of them as having titles in my own head.

I’ve created 21 journal submission packets over the weekend. They’re sitting in a stack on my desk with “Post Office” written all over their desperate little faces.

Keep your fingers crossed.


“And whether this is true or not, certainly I was going to be a writer, because that is what I have become.”
       —Russell Edson

Double Your Pleasure

Tonight I attended the E. L. Doctorow reading, the capstone event to his two-week residency at ASU. I wasn’t familiar with is work, so I didn’t know what to expect. He read a short story from his most recent collection, Sweet Land Stories. I don’t remember the title, but it was about a girl named Jolene. And it was fabulous. I mean, it was probably the best piece of fiction I’ve ever heard read aloud.

It broke a lot of narrative rules without sacrificing any of the story’s heart or relevance, and it maintained this strange rhythm and cadence throughout—a sort of crude, comfortable folksiness.

Afterward, I had the (doubled) pleasure of enjoying a post-reading dinner with Mr. Doctorow and some guests. He is such an interesting person—he doesn’t take shit, really, and I admire that about him. He also provided some great relationship advice on how to make marriage work: “Disagree on everything for as long as you possibly can.”

I’m going to add his book City of God to my reading list and get it in the queue. It sounds like something right up my alley (like Unbearable Lightness of Being, perhaps? Has anyone read this Doctorow book?)

It was a cool way to close out my Thursday.

And yesterday I phoned C. D. Wright. I feel as cool as the guy who knows all the famous people but is himself of very little consequence.

Lost Cities

Last night as I walked back from yoga, night had just started–it was dark, the streetlamps were on, and the slow movement of evening traffic stopped and started at intersections. There was a cool breeze from the side of town where all our ethnic restaurants are, filling the air with its myriad smells, and it suddenly made me think of

San Francisco

and the nights I’ve experienced there when the breeze is just like that–not warm, not cold, and the sound of the city is so insulated in itself. It’s one of those cities I don’t forget, whose feel is familiar to me whenever I visit. In fact, now that I think of it, I’ve been there more than any other city in the country.

I love it. And I miss it. And if it wasn’t so damned expensive, maybe I’d live there.