Dog days of summer
August began on a fairly shitty note last night, with lightening striking my apartment building and short-circuiting the fire alarm. While the building sustained no damage, residents were driven out of their apartments because of the ear-splitting screech of the alarm. It took more than three hours to shut it off, and I took refuge at my office to finish my United States of Tara marathon. I've decided Toni Collette is pretty much the greatest actress working today. Okay, her and Helen Mirren.
I'm working on three travel articles about my recent adventures for a well-known travel website, and I managed to finish one of them before the storm hit. When I finally got back home, my Internet service was down because of a "network outage" that AT&T refused to elaborate on. They finally fixed it late afternoon today, but by then I was so done with the weekend, I went to a movie with my pal Cleo. We saw The Kids Are All Right with Annette Benning and Julianne Moore as a lesbian couple whose lives are turned upside down when their teenage children find their sperm donor. Annette (she make a classy, butch gayelle) and Julianne were brilliant and Mark Ruffalo as the babydaddy was dirty and sexy. If you want to see a movie about a real modern family, this is it.
I noticed that the workshops for AWP were announced for the 2011 conference in Washington D.C. I wasn't asked to sit on a panel (no shock there) and I didn't have time/energy/desperate need to submit one myself. No offense to those making the annual pilgrimage, but it looks like a lot of the usual suspects talking about the usual stuff. To be frank, I could give a shit about most of what is being discussed in poetry these days. I just want to read poetry that moves me, and it's been few and far between these days. I've been reading at a couple of award-winning collections over the last couple of weeks and while the poetry isn't bad, it all just seems safe and pedestrian – like it got manufactured in the same classroom with the same professor cracking the whip. Luckily, some good collections are coming, such as those by Barbara Jane Reyes, Justin Evans and C. Dale Young.
I have a full-length poetry manuscript sitting in my file cabinet right now that only needs a little reshuffling, a couple poems taken out and a few newer ones substituted, and it's ready for submission. More than 95 percent of the poems have already been published in journals. It's working up the energy to re-enter the fray that I can't seem to find.