January 12: Starting the year off right, Jacob inserts a craft bead into his ear. Fortunately, it falls out after a single night. Hooray for ear wax, that unsung hero.
January 15-18: My fifth year at the Cape May Winter Getaway, where I start seriously thinking about my manuscript. Also where I start the habit of disappearing to Borders nearly every weekend for a few hours for dedicated writing time.
February 2: “Martha Stewart,” the little poem that could, is selected as a Dzanc Boooks Best of the Web 2010 poem, which ultimately leads to my first featured reading in New York City.
February 22: I mistakenly think I have identified myself on Awkward Family Photos. Awkward.
March 31: “The Apiary,” my favorite of the Imprimatur poems, is selected by PATRICIA FUCKING SMITH for includsion in the Sundress Publications Best of the Net 2010 anthology. I am still excited by this, 9 months later.
April 14: Amid the chaos of NaPoMo, I find out that Jennifer Knapp comes out.
May 31-June 6: I attend the Norman Mailer Writers Colony Summer Poetry Workshop, led by Dean Young. DEAN YOUNG, people. DEAN YOUNG. It is amazing and wonderful and I love every moment of it. Even the moments I don’t love.
June 18: I see EvelynEvelyn at the TLA in Philadelphia, and it is awesome. Inventive. Inspiring.
July 2: I slice my finger open with a large knife and visit the local ER.
July 3: Jacob returns home from his first trip to overnight camp. I stop having nervous breakdowns and realize that he is actually growing up.
July 4-11: Donna, Jacob and I spend a week in California, (re)connecting with old friends and family.
September 23: I start kickboxing classes, to the chagrin of would-be muggers of Rachel everywhere.
October 17: I start geocaching, to the chagrin of my lovely girlfriend.
November 20: Friendsgiving.
December 5: I finish the manuscript I started in January.
December 22: President Obama signs the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell into law.
December 25: Family.
Voices we’ll miss:
Lucille Clifton, poet
JD Salinger, author
Alex McQueen, fashion designer
Lena Horne, singer and actor
Dennis Hopper, actor
Corey Haim, actor
Sally Menke, film editor
Barbara Billingsley, actor
Leslie Nielsen, actor
Elizabeth Edwards, activist
Teena Marie, singer
Geraldine Doyle, inspiration for Rosie the Riveter
There’s probably more I could talk about here, but it’s late. It was a long, good year. I’m greeting 2011 with optimism and excitement. I hope you are, too.
Every year I say I’m going to chart the books I finish reading that year. I never really make it past February. This year I’m totally going to try. Again.
A few things I need/want to read this year:
Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
Nothing Left to Burn, Jay Varner
Winter’s Bone, Daniel Woodrell
Palo Alto, James Franco*
everything Aimee Bender has written that’s not Willful Creatures and Lemon Cake
(*seriously, I intend to read this, if only to be more intelligent about my bitterness)
What else are you recommending?
I saw this on YouTube this morning, and it’s so delightful I had to share it.
I could spend all day watching poems. I can’t decide which lines in this poem are the best:
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary
and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it
Here’s a link to the text of this poem.
Looks like our love affair is coming to an end. Clearly you just don’t know me at all.
I mean, really: Dark Day in the Deep Sea? Don’t you know I have a primal, deep-seated fear of the ocean? I don’t even know what this book is about, but already I’m feeling the wave of nausea that comes with thinking too much about the infinite space of the ocean.
And Room? Come on now. I know it’s supposed to be amazing, but you should know by now that the child-in-peril genre gives me such incredible anxiety. My overly-empathetic mind can’t take it anymore.
The only one I can understand is Mark Twain – but I would think you, of all bookstores, would remember how I sweated through that Mark Twain paper in the spring, only to be told by the professor that I needed to rewrite. Do you really want to remind me of that pain?
I don’t know, Borders. I think we just need some time apart.
I’ll call you.
p.s. – and stop trying to make it up to me with your 50% off coupons. I told you, I just need a little space.
If you have already heard the news, please forgive me for repeating it. But just in case you haven’t:
Dean Young, a wonderful poet who also happens to be a lovely and generous person, is in need of some help. You can read the details here; I urge you to give what you can, if you can. In a country like ours, where so many freedoms are guaranteed, it’s hurtful to think that Dean might be delivered the heart he needs, immediately followed by a whopping set of medical bills.
If you’re able to give, please be sure to scroll to the bottom of Dean’s page and follow the instructions for donation.
If you’re not able to make a donation, please grab the link and spread the news. Dean has been unfailingly kind to me, among many other emerging writers, and I think it’s only fair we try to show him some of the same kindness.
Plus, I want him to meet me in Provincetown again. Those oysters won’t pay for themselves, folks.