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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blogging Finale at BAP

Guest Blogger Silano is almost no more, at least for the foreseeable future.

Wow, that was fun!

I don't think I've ever blogged seven days in a row. I am in awe of those who keep writing and putting it out there for public consumption day in and day out. I am winded, very winded, but perhaps this little lesson in wimpiness will help me to blog more than once every two weeks here at BP.

We are all tired of how much time mama has had to spend at the computer since last Sunday night, and I thought I was getting carpel tunnel at one point, but other than that I am unscathed. I am, in fact, pumped.

Thanks to all who read, commented, and/or spurred me on from the sidelines. And thanks most of all to David Lehman and Stacey Harwood, the big guns behind it all.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Guest Blogging this Week for the BAP Blog

This week I'm guest blogging at The Best American Poetry blog. My first post is an interview with 2009 guest editor David Wagoner, one of my very first poetry teachers. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

When the Wall Came Tumbling Down

Okay . . . let me see if I've got this right.

The Wall came down, and Czechs went wild with glee. Communism was awful. A living hell. The worst part was not being able to travel to places like Paris. (Okay, really: the worst part was being tortured.) Also, artists couldn't make art about their anger and frustrations, their oppression. They were completely censored. It sucked.

Soon after the Wall came down, artist David Cerny decided to paint a Prague statue of a WW II tank PINK. Now as a sort-of democracy and definite imperialism/consumerism become the norm (McDonalds and Benneton: Welcome to Prague), Cherny has unveiled a new sculpture titled "Brownnosers." Visitors to the National Gallery climb a 20-foot ladder "and stare into two giant sculpted fiberglass rectums as their giant white bodies melt into the wall. Inside each giant buttock sculpture is a video screen of someone wearing a puppet-like mask of [Vaclav] Klaus [the country's conservative president] gracefully spoon-feeding slop to the director of the Czech National Gallery, all to the rocking beat of Queen's 'We Are the Champions.'"

I have to say this sculpture tickled my funny bone. When I described it to my kids, they had a few laughs, then had a few questions: "Is poop spraying out of its butt"?

Three cheers to artists like Cerny. Three cheers to Gorbachev for not shooting the first brave souls who jumped the Wall, willing to die for their freedom.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cliff Mass, WA's weather guy extraordinaire, posted this morning about a huge series of waves coming toward the WA coast. Since then the wave action has begun, with swells over 30 feet.

30 feet waves. JEE-sus. That's like a 2-story-house wave. That's a wall of water. A wave like that could take you out to sea.

Meanwhile, here in Seattle we've had, since last night, graupel/hail, thunder/lightning, high winds, and rain like you read about, plus scattered power outages (thankfully, not yet in my hood).

I have to say I get this adrenalin rush about weather. People think when you talk about weather you're soooooo boring, but to me it's just the coolest.

Okay, and also especially cool when you're supposed to be grading papers.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sarah Sloat's "Training"



author photo

I’m thinking of living forever.
I think that way I might finally
get my gig straight and solve the crosswords.
I’m considering outlasting everyone
although I know I’d have a hard time
explaining not having read
past the first chapter.
I don’t care if death smells like nutmeg.
I don’t buy the plotline on eternal rest.
By staying alive someday
I might manage to hail a taxi,
and fulfill my father’s wish
of reaching town without a red light.
I couldn’t expect to avoid anger or brooding
or to make the journey with my beasts appeased.
But I might walk vast expanses
of earth and always be beginning
and I love beginning
or could learn
to love it.

Dear class,

Today's writing prompt: What are you training for? Name/describe your desired outcomes, along with your workout routine. What will you avoid by staying committed to your goals? What might your achievement unleash in you?