29 Aug 2013, 10:29am
Thirteen Thursday

Local Newspapers

  1. Man Celebrates 20 years with Schizophrenia
  2. Bless the small town newspaper for their spin as the subjects want it told.
  3. A large media newspaper has the mandate: you need to buy us to know the worst thing going on in the world at the moment.
  4. A local newspaper, often delivered for free, has the mandate: this is what people you will meet are doing for our community.
  5. Why should one be a pawn for someone else’s priorities for their gains instead of your benefits?
  6. With more centralization, what matters to individuals doesn’t weigh as much as the aggregate. Local reppresentation loses to rubber necking competitions.
  7. When I taught ESL using a newspaper, I often used the local section.
  8. Partly I don’t want to stomach disaster at 9 a.m. Partly war refugees don’t need more triggers in the safe space of learning.
  9. Several times I got objections for my “soft news” angle. The class was often under 10% male to about 1/3 male but all the objections came from the guys. (Incidental gender of those people?)
  10. Local news is also timely but has less amnesia as the next thing washes up. The same direction over the city scape of low or high density housing can continue for years of articles. It debates on slow scale things that matter instead of presenting what’s already a done thing.
  11. Hidden Harvest Volunteers harvest apples, service berries and nut trees. About 10% of the food trees that could be used are on their list. The food goes to food programs in part.
  12. 160 people come to a street party and get the police permission to close off their street to socialize.
  13. Joa Anne Guimond is running a gratitude project called Dare to be Grateful.

See other Thursday 13s.

Quote: “Anything that increases the degree of difficulty in the poem’s making is to be sought out.” ~ Diane Lockward

28 Aug 2013, 9:38pm
1 comment

Sing the Heat

cicada on brick by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

Cicada-warm, and by evening’s cooler, cricket song.

Quote: “The most useful sound at or near the end of a line is one that shall be sounded again, in the first half of the subsequent line: a method of allowing sound to drive the poem, rather than the poet.” ~ Diane Lockward

27 Aug 2013, 6:39pm

Occupation, Various

Good Ways to Occupy Myself


Recycling newspapers without looking at them. For all the times I’ve torn an article out, have I ever used it?

Picking tomatoes in the garden.

Evicting moths. Especially the couple who landed on the counter in front of me mid-coitis. That’s not good for any of us.

Going to a reading. Which I hope to post about. Maybe next week.

Having supper with friends.

Arranging the spice jars so it’s less of a memory trick. (Let’s see, the blue magic markered lid that says coriander, I know to be fine herb, or is it the black magic marker that says Indian spice that is. No, that’s cumin.)

Contemplating whether seeing a silverfish is a gift from the universe of teeny tiny beauty, or a sign that torching the building is in order.

Making submissions go out into the world, far far away and hopefully not come back except with a yes. Unless they miss me. Then they can come home.

Clearing the desk onto another bookcase. Moving the desks so the office still functions with one more bookcase. (With heavy lifting done by hubby and my being in directorial role.)

Email tagging when it works.

Less Amusing Ways to Occupy Myself

Playing email tag when it doesn’t work.

Trying (think Pooh think) to remember the site password to train my memory and instead locking myself out. Again.

Using the floor as a wood/paper/pillow/what-is-that slalom and in the process trip and reach to prevent myself from landing head on desk, body on boxes, by grabbing to support myself with the you-guessed-it arm. Wowser, ball of nausea.

Maybe I should move the silverfish here. Or maybe it scooted over here by itself already.

Poem wrestling. Did the contract not say the poem was not to bring any weapons. Fist to fist alone. Poems breaks their own rules. And sometimes they break the poets. But mind wins over printed matter, usually. (Is there a CanLit bookie? There should be.)

Quote: “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, American author

21 Aug 2013, 11:36am
1 comment

Shouldering the Heavy Coat

It only hurts when I move.

That may sound melodramatic. Or like dry humour.

But actually, that’s a bit of gratefulness.

I tried to resume normal yesterday, except typing with my left, and being a particularly good pet-owner to myself and taking me for a couple walks, making sure I had water and nutritional food, and taken to the litter. I ensured I did not put any weight on the right arm and was attentive to posture. Yesterday felt a hard slog with much accomplished in the house, in the manuscripts, even with a balance of time for conversation.

But by night the arm was an aching cramp, partly fatigue, mostly from the awkward jangle of trying to extricate myself from clothes even with help. I couldn’t sleep for fear of waking up to the state of pre-cortisone shot into the joint. (Surely the effect couldn’t wear off that fast.)

I got used to counting on 2 or 3 times a day of a jolt out to fingertips of shoulder being evil. I got used to wave of nausea in the daily or so, so it wasn’t an alarm bell to attend to anymore than a security beep before the clerk waives you past anyway. A dull throb to sharp, nausea-inducing spike that was there day and night and was exacerbated by tensing the arm was normal for weeks, growing over months.

I got good at rethinking how to do daily as if I had no right arm. Partly because I’m bull-headed (and ascribe shame cubed to needing help, asking for help, getting help). If there’s something I excel at it’s workarounds. I forget you can do direct because I’m used to pitching in various ways to see what would stick this time because there’s no constancy of truth to what works. There’s success in learning how to get my left to do more, how to get into a jacket without reaching the right back. I started to tense up if anyone came near the arm, which in itself caused a flutter of spasms.

I began to forget before this frozen shoulder business.

Last fall to spring I had a break from chronic fatigue and pain and decided, woohoo, I’ve done some magic formula or the body in its Great Wondrous Randomness has worked itself out of penance and pain pennants, and I’m free.

So it was worse to find myself returning to the station but in a new location. A state as bad as slipped disk (1996, 2008) or trick knee (2002-04) or migraine (until last year). Life isn’t fair. Life is.

I suppose Joe Mariner would be surprised to find that I can still see his bearded face, 80s-big eyeglasses thumbing the nose and chanting “You don’t always get what you waa-aant” back at the heels-dragging grade 7 class. I bet he’d be surprised that I retained his telling the girls that if they didn’t shave their underarms it would grow long as their head hair and need to be braided, and that lipstick was made from ground up fish. This, this I remember? What did we learn of geography, history, English? No idea.

Of all the things my mind would choose to be able to access.

John Newlove by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com

John Newlove’s poem “Insect Hopes” and the shifting shadows of maples over A Long Continual Argument (Chaudiere, 2007)

“What nonsense we talk
What nonsense we’re told
What nonsense we are

But I wanted to tell you still how lovely we are”

Today I woke cautiously as a person who had fallen might first check by wiggling toes to see that the spine isn’t broken, run a mind’s eye over the limbs to see if nothing is calling for attention, and got up carefully not to slip to automatic and put weight on it or move wrong.

It feels more present than it should but back to tender instead of hurt. It’s another day of spring. Should I keep loitering in winter of last night? As Thoreau said, (yes, I am rarely in my own decade or century),

“In a pleasant spring morning all men’s sins are forgiven. Such a day is a truce to vice. While such a sun holds out to burn, the vilest sinner may return. Through our own recovered innocence we discern the innocence of our neighbors.

[…]There is not only an atmosphere of good will about him, but even a savor of holiness groping for expression, blindly and ineffectually perhaps, like a new-born instinct, and for a short hour the south hill-side echoes to no vulgar jest.”

Heady with a sense of extra energy, for an hour or a day or until it runs out, it feels a bit like a lottery of time resource freed up. I have a backlog to go through. Should I invest it measuredly, or do a I can do ANYthing, so trifle it?

A joy of working with less encumbrance than usual. Let’s go for that.

Quote: “Suddenly I realize / That if I stepped out of my body I would break / Into blossom.” ~James Wright

15 Aug 2013, 9:50am
Thirteen Thursday

Life Around Here

  1. P8049325
    Relentlessly new days dawn.
  2. Even with my “broken wing” (photo by sweet hubbykins at Purdyfest),
    photo by Brian
    and days before the doctor even receives xrays and ultrasound scans. Almost 4 months of this shoulder getting worse. (Impatient for “normal”.)
  3. Marriage habits of successful couples (rings true).
  4. What’s Writing for? my response is #7 in the On Writing series.
  5. Comedy minute: Are you a real writer? Check at the handy flowchart and If writers were paid like other professionals by Melanie Gillman.
  6. This could be handy: How to write a cover letter for a literary submission.
  7. water surface is this lake big enough for us?
    Is this lake big enough for us both? Yep, and no one is ever alone in the world. At a zoomed in level there are always so much life even in a water drop.
  8. An article on putting mental health on par with normalcy of other physical health.

  9. Today from the Garden by Pearl Pirie on 500px.com
    Our day’s garden harvest: scarlet runner beans, cherry tomatoes and our first pepper.
  10. Did you see this? Burglars steal computers. Police come. Non-profit workers worry. Another police call. Computers are returned with apology note.
  11. P8039267
    We float even when we dimple the surface where we sink.
  12. teen duck
    Things are duckier than it feels, even in the rain. Quacking in the rain…
  13. Literary Landscapes is tonight at 6:30 EST and I’ll be interviewing Steve Artelle.
  14. Thursday 13

    Quote: “Purity of mind and idleness are incompatible.” –Mahatma Gandhi

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