Monday, June 27, 2011

I know we're still in the honeymoon phase, but summer I think you might be the one.

Finally, a chance to put in some serious time on an ms I'm working on. I don't want to say too much about it, I'm superstitious that way, but this is the first poem in the ms (at least for now):


Leaving hour, how quick
it came. The train echoed
across the valley, over Tickfaw Creek,
trembled the ryegrass at the edge
of town, then further
still, beyond Black Mountain
clear to strange weather.
Now, six days from land
the compass has gone out of me.
These cursed waves thrash
like thieves, and what a mockery
of song the wind is making. Dearest,
the sea is another tongue
for loss, for misery, for coffin.
For grief: the rusty hinge of it,
the knife stab sudden of it.

(Thanks to Anti- for publishing this poem here: )

I'm also putting the final touches on Diode 4.3  It's a good'un.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer break, I know we just met, but I think I love you.

This is the first Sunday in a very long time that I didn't have to wrench myself out of bed at 5:30 am to get in some writing before heading off to work at 9:00. To celebrate, I slept in until 7:00. I worked out. I read Diode subs. I napped!

Summer, I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship.

I even had time to look at copyright free images, just for fun. This one is my favorite of the day:

Potential tattoos? Something to go with this perhaps:

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Tide Has Been Gathered

Three days ago, I got the proof for Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Gulf Poetry. A poet blogger who was reading submissions for a journal wrote on his blog awhile ago that when he saw editing an anthology on a cover letter it didn't register for him as a notable accomplishment. He didn't think it should be included on a cover letter at all. Ah, such ignorance. Khaled Mattawa gave me a great analogy for what it's like to edit an anthology. He said that when you set out you think it'll be like inviting a bunch of interesting people over for a pleasant dinner, but in reality it's like managing a large, incredibly busy restaurant, 24 hours a day. Khaled was right. Gathering the Tide weighs in at 400 pages, it took almost 3 years to complete, and it consumed just about everything in its path: time, relationships, my own writing. There are 45 poets in the anthology, almost as many translators, and 70% of the work in the anthology is original, and will appear in English for the first time. The project was difficult from the first moment to the last. One of the biggest hurdles was finding and contacting poets. Poets in the Gulf generally don't have Facebook accounts, and most of them don't work in universities. In Gathering, maybe 6 of the poets teach in a university, the rest are journalists, film makers, physicians, government ministers, business owners, and in one case, the Emir of Dubai. Translating, and editing translated work is slow, painstaking work. Translating from Arabic to English is particularly difficult. But now it's time to look forward not back, though as you can tell, that poet blogger's comment stuck in my craw, a bit. I'm proof-reading the anthology for the millionth, but last time, and that's a really, really good thing.