Friday, April 30, 2004

Au revoir Poetry Espresso. The press and website will
remain, and be revamped

some time this year.
(Sadness. Thirtieth birthday. Time for a walk.)

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Auden was talking about the necessity of love
for human survival.

What glues poems together? Maybe linguistic
cohesion is also necessary for survival.

Are they functionally interchangeable, in some
cases, in some poems?

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Poetry Espresso closes on April 30th
which is also my 30th birthday.

This coming Friday.

Mostly coincidence, partly a need for a milestone day
on the road

Saying goodbye to my twenties

(field strewn with coke bottles
a mystic haze)

and to the list

"We must love one another or die" powering up like a jeep
to greet whatever

comes next.

Jen Crawford, a longtime espresso contributer, has started a new
list, called Poneme.

(Poetry like green shoots through cracks in the concrete.)
Thanks Angela for all your hard work on foam:e. Metaphorical
champagne bottles broken over the hull of the foam:e boat,

to launch her

or another celebratory gesture

(many of them).

A new online journal! Angela Gardner writes, on poetry

"Dear All

the first issue of foam:e is now published at:

Please feel free to announce its arrival on blogs and lists as appropriate. I
have noticed that there isn't yet a link from poetryespresso so you'll have to
type/cut and paste the url until that happens.

Thanks to Cassie for poetryespresso and the environment that has created to support the creation of foam:e (and to Jen for poneme)

Please feel free to send feedback to me at

Angela "
Auden's line thundering through my head all day
and I finally looked up the poem.

I don't much like the poem as a whole. But that
line is stuck on replay, in my head,

and it is true.
Quote of the day

"We must love one another or die."

- W.H. Auden, from 'September 1, 1939'

Part 1: Life

I'm spending the afternoon wrangling with issues
such as:

-blocked toilet

-intractability of U.S. health care system

-kind people working to fill in gaps in this system (like roses growing
over a rickety old trellis)

-I need to find a closer post office

-I need some warmer clothes

-in small towns people really do remember you, so be nice

-the thermostat says 70 degrees but it's still cold in the apartment

-amusing scene when gracious and kind landlords, an elderly couple, try to explain very delicately that the older toilets only have a 1.5 gallon capacity and therefore require a double flush for greater 'loads'. "Now, I'm not accusing you of anything ..." said the landlord and I grinned broadly.

They lent us their plunger, because some folks need them, some folks don't,
with these old toilets.

- Last week I went for a massage and the New Yorker massage therapist asked me what I did for a living that could possibly make my neck this tense. I told him I was a writer. He gave a short laugh.

Part 2: Art

The afternoon produces words as a

- So long between poems there is moss there. It could become a National Park eventually, this expanse called 'not writing'.

- Paradoxically, a first book written. Soon to be sent out into the world.

- The way cold air feels against the skin. One feels 'sealed' by it. And opened up again when entering a heated room.

-Stephanie Young's first book, 'Telling the Future Off' soon to be published. Minds I can understand write poems, and this is the best flowing of the day (days flow in ways I understand.)

- Recognising that the impulse to walk for miles is also the impulse to write
and the impulse to eat chocolate cake

today at least.

- A well of recognition, sparks shooting off its surface

(solar flares leaping out
these instincts to communicate
but in what direction
do they fly?)

Sunday, April 25, 2004

New poems starting to grow through the cracks in
the sidewalk like green shoots.
Recently I gave up coffee and alcohol altogether for about 6 months. It was so nice to see what my mind said without them: calmer statements. Fewer statements.

Then, the week before the move, I took them up again and my mind flashed and sparkled because of their fuel. They powered my life like a speedboat all the way from one coast to the other. I water-skiid behind. It was exhilarating, but there was verbal overflow, wasted words.

Now I'm sullen in their company. There's no longer enough forward impetus -miles to travel - to use up all the extra fuel. I'm sitting in one spot trying to think.

I'm just not somebody who can drink these substances successfully, probably because I've already filled more than my lifetime quota of them.

This wagon I hoist myself back on to is, I think, where I belong.

Friday, April 23, 2004

As of today we're finally out of the hotel and into a
short-term rental. Relatively speaking, life is stable
and predictable.

Rochester is proving to be a great city for walking.
I just bought my first cell phone. Already I feel more
socially integrated.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Yesterday I found a beautiful,second hand leather jacket for
only $20!

Saturday, April 17, 2004

We have landed

(in Rochester).

This latest hotel is the best. I just ate a fresh berries and
yogurt parfait. We'll be here until our belongings arrive,
and we can move into our new place.

Our cat travelled independently and is now in kennels. My
last image of her was a hissing, meowing ball of fur. For
their own sakes, I hope the kennel staff love animals ...
a lot.

Walking outside the air is warm with a crisp edge to it. The
snow is finished for now.

Our rental is in the middle of town, near East Avenue and
University Avenue. We'll be huddling around the graduate
students and professors for warmth.

The buildings are so pretty. In spring, Rochester reminds
me of Adelaide, Australia. It has about the same sized
population too.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Back on the wagon.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Bright lights

I haven't had a hangover in a long time. I'm enjoying
feeling slightly delicate. The skin

made translucent like
sketching paper.

Feeling 'empowered'
by coffee. Sleep deprivation 'heightens' this.
All I did tonight

All I did tonight was go to a reading at Stephanie's house
and listen to Del Ray Cross's and Jim Behrle's poems

All I did tonight was decide to take up drinking and then
renounce it again as needed

All I did tonight was drink mango juice with rum

All I did tonight was dance with a room full of poets, though
I rarely dance, and have never before danced with poets

All I did tonight was decide to take up dancing

All I did tonight was recieve ten copies of a chapbook, handmade
and in a limited edition, called Smokers Die Younger, with a poem
of mine and one of Kasey's and others

All I did tonight was think

"To count up the last times, collect them in a suitcase and
turn to face the east"

and morbid thoughts about the last times, elsewhere,
that are absolutely final

Now the sirens in my mind are distant
and traffic lights

turn green

All I did tonight was think "I'll miss you".

Thursday, April 08, 2004


Now we have secured an entirely different place to stay. The '60s
townhouse fell through.

Then at the last minute we found an apartment - part of a huge,
sub-divided pre-war mansion. A nice address to have though
only a small corner of it will be ours.

I like the architecture in Rochester. And the oaks and other trees
bare and ghostly. Soon the town will burst into colour, and it'll be
nice to start our lives here with some sunlight.

The new landlord accepts cats. The cat, I think,
will accept the arrangement too.

What a palaver.

This world slightly unhinged by speed and changing distances
between my homes.

Back to California tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I'm losing track of my location somewhat. Its edges are blurry.

This Friday we fly back to California for a final weekend before
we move on the 14th April.

Fortunately I'll be able to make the Jim Behrle and Del Ray Cross
reading next Saturday night. Then a sad farewell to Bay Area
poetry, though

I'll return soon, I hope, to say hello.
Rochester is relatively warm this week. There was some snow on
the weekend but most of it had melted by the time we arrived. It
looks like we've found some temporary accomodation ... a little
townhouse with 1960s carpet, floors and cupboards and an open

It has a basement too.

Basements seem so novel to me. Australian houses don't have them

The plan is that we'll stay there for a few months until we decide on
somewhere more permanent.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Just back from a wonderful weekend spent in Santa Cruz. Thank you
to Stephanie Young for the road trip there and back, and to Carra for
the party.