Monday, February 26, 2007

so i didn't win ...

an academy award, but two of my poems were accepted by tattoo highway for their soon-to-be-published 14th issue:

we'd like to include both "poem with possibilities and uncertain outcome (a multiple choice poem)" and "lester lewis takes inventory after the shipwreck" in TH/14. lester was one of a very few unanimous choices. we're happy to have them both.
sojourn sent a rejection note a few days ago, and i am waiting to hear back from quite a few places.

i am still writing every day, but am feeling somewhat burned out. while arlene was here, there was some silly writing going on, but at least i kept going. here are poem titles 151 - 169:
day 151 - playing god : woman
day 152 - he says (fib)
day 153 - Thorium (Th) - þrúðvangr, between sunrise and noon
day 154 - Tungsten (W) - The day I fell in love with a light bulb
day 155 - Californium (Cf) - The day I fell in love with an invisible man
day 156 - report with bookmark
day 157 - Plutonium (Pu) - The day I fell in love with a dwarf
day 158 - Valentine
day 159 - Neptunium (Np) - The day I fell in love with a giant
day 160 - report with tombstone
day 161 - Two Donkeys (fib)
day 162 - bovine report
day 163 - sleeping beauty's first morning (fib)
day 164 - Jigsaw (fib)
day 165 - Strontium (Sr) - The day I fell in love with a Catherine wheel
day 166 - System Failure (working title)
day 167 - Yttrium (Y) - The day I fell in love with a microwave
day 168 - report with morning call
day 169 - [untitled, and top secret] (and no, this is *not* the title *G*)
my own poetry aside –

for some reason it snowed last night – i have no idea how that happened after a day that seemed like spring. some of the white stuff is still there, but thank goodness not much.

i was up all night half-watching the oscars, happy for helen mirren – she accepted her award in style, as one would expect of her. what are your impressions of the night?

i found out that tori amos is playing a concert in vienna in june – not happy with the location, not at all, but at least that wonderwoman is coming back here!

i have a job interview on wednesday – cross everything you can (yes, n, that includes your eyes).

i'm reading ilya kaminsky's dancing in odessa, c d wright's steal away, anne carson's the beauty of the husband, jane hirshfield's nine gates, and rereading wislawa szymborska's view with a grain of sand.

if you need a good laugh (and are over 18), do visit carl bryant's and my dear second spouse's blogs. you'll see why. :)

last but not least: happy birthday to a wonderful woman - my friend gudrun. we were pretty much inseparable throughout our teens and for some reason she still hasn't had enough of me. big *hug* and thank you for being there. have a great one, and we'll make up for the lack of drinks when jakob's a little older!

the sign says petting zoo.

song of the day: the long way home by tom waits.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

happy 100th ...

to wystan hugh auden! did you know he spent his last years living in the austrian countryside, just outside vienna, and that he died in vienna in 1973? if you ever come to visit, i'll show you where. :)

here's one of his poems:

O Tell Me The Truth About Love

Some say love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

song of the day: wednesday by tori amos.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

udder madness

it's awfully quiet here today - must have something to do with the return of the lush to her home in bella italia. :) what can i say - it's been fun fun fun. apart from discussing the political situation in approximately 78 countries and the pros and cons of inviting paris hilton to the vienna opera ball, there was a lot of girl talk, drinking, packing/reading innuendoes into every sentence and definitely a massive amount of giggling; as well as some udder things. :)

the trip to the vienna central cemetery on friday was rather chilly - but the tombstones (erect and all) and decomposing composers (© monty python's) made up for that. we had a look around st borromaeus church - my favourite in vienna, a beautiful jugendstil building with terrific detail and the most breath-taking starry dome - and especially enjoyed confession (a. being the priestess, of course).

the baby cemetery is as heartbreaking as the old jewish section is beautiful and enchanting. ms photographer will hopefully blog some of her pics.

we checked out the new open mic at café die feile on friday evening after kaiserschmarren and writing tombstone poetry for dinner. we had some interesting company - mr lenin was sitting on our table. not looking his best, but ... what do you expect, the guy's been dead a good while. ;) things were rather quiet, especially compared to the other open mics, but i hope it'll be better next time. arlene did it for the first time - read, that is. we were the only ones reading in english (i read oxygen - first kiss and thirteen things to do while waiting for your lover, arlene read a poem from her book, Transfiguration), so it was somewhat more fun for me. but - we got a free drink, so who are we to complain?

saturday was a gorgeous sunny day - not many clouds, not too much wind, and pleasant temperatures. perfect day for an educational visit to the zoo at schönbrunn. our favourites were the two white donkeys: one of them kept jumping the other, and we were rather surprised when we found out that both of them were male. as soon as we had noticed that, they stopped doing that, and turned their backs on each other like two pouting boys. too funny. there were also a depressed buffalo, a sunbathing seal, surprisingly active pandas, munching koalas (i'd never even seen them awake), elephants extending their trunks to feel up the walls looking for food, a marathon-swimming hippo, the cutest furry penguin baby and fun primates. oh, and a kissable frog. unfortunately for my dear guest, the petting zoo was closed. she'll just have to come again some other time.

another frog prince ms a. wanted me to marry ...

educational programme part II: monty python's. now the lush has fallen in love with the lumberjack and his, um, rather odd dress sense. figures. she has a thing for ... um, things. weird things. very weird things. like ... (okay, listen, you'll have to pay first.)

in the name of intercultural relations i had to introduce adrenaline to dsf's awful sexy sports clips (the challenge is: spot the tiny, tiny connection to sports!) on tv late at night, and we had an interesting conversation about painting bald spots, hair-removal creams tested on men whose backs look like shag carpets, and the voices of women on sex commercials. not that there was any drinking involved ... *hic*

after our sunday brunch, we went around the ring by tram: i am sure ms alien was adequately impressed with all the huge buildings (opera house, hofburg, the twin museums, city hall, theater, university, ...). :) something colourful after that: a visit to kunsthaus wien and hundertwasserhaus. and then the highlight - getting all touchy-feely with the sphinxes at belvedere palace! by the time we were finished with them, quite a few people were probably wondering where we'd escaped from ...

(photo by angene arl)

we had a few friends over on sunday afternoon/evening, in honor of my wife, of course. sepp's legendary mulled wine was served, and AA was kind enough to leave a little of it for the rest of us. we played a card game and then ended up talking about riding cows and udder experiences (a's choice, naturally. she barely ever speaks about udder things anymore). quite a riot. :)

will you look at the size of her cup? (no, not *that* - the drinking cup!)

BAM! (babs - arlene - michi)

i had to go to work on monday - am filling in for someone this week, which is good. i'm just not used to getting up at 6.30 ... it was actually rather a boring morning, but most things seem rather boring after several days in ms angela's company! *G* we spent some more hours chatting happily before i took ms a to the airport. her flight was cancelled (not sure how much she paid them to try and make it look like an accident - she'd never admit that she *wanted* to stay with mememe) which meant that she had to wait around a lot longer for the next flight. we had time for some health food (hot choc and ice cream) and more silliness until the final goodbye. *sob sob*

and i am sure there is only one way of interpreting her *accidentally* leaving her bunny slippers in vienna: she. will. be. back. waaaaahhhhh! yaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!

most used words of the last few days, in no particular order: lush, udder, mad, sick, weird, long, filth, dirty, lumberjack, it, baaaaaad.

oh and: udder madness is just anudder expression for mad cow disease. ;)

* * * * *

i went to the decemberists concert last night. i was rather tired, and not really in the mood, and when i got there, the place was soooo packed that i was way at the back, and i was surrounded by people who kept chatting throughout the concert. i really don't get it. why go to a concert and then spend all the time gossipping? the sound was not too good anyway, and sometimes i could barely hear the singing! and the weirdest part was that these people kept complaining that they could not really hear the band ... go figure. they played some of my favourite songs though, i particularly love yankee bayonet and valencia, though they did not play i was meant for the stage and los angeles i'm yours.

song of the day: the lumberjack song by monty python's.

Friday, February 16, 2007


she's here! she's here! my dear ms angela has arrived! surprisingly she was walking upright when i picked her up at the airport yesterday evening - the flight must have been too short. you can only drink so many little bottles of red on the way from venice to vienna. *G* our first evening together was loooong, but of course it was all verrrry innocent and no poems were rewritten in any way, nor was there any loud laughter or hysterical giggling. unlike yesterday, the weather was not exactly nice, so we stayed in and chatted about, um, very serious matters until i had to go and teach my new english class. ms a. and i did not go anywhere tonight, but we're going to an open mic tomorrow evening. and i hope the rain stops - we have a cemetery to go to. it just makes a couple of girls feel so much more alive.

more good news: my fib (short poem of 1-1-2-3-5-8 syllables) to forget him won second place in flashquake's less is more contest! i'm thrilled! apart from eternal fame (*G*) it also means a $50 prize. the poem will be published in the march issue - i'll post a link when it's up. i am curious to find out who the other winners are.

further good news: john siddique is returning to austria for workshops and a reading in may! he's got a new book (Poems from a Northern Soul) out too, so if you are looking for some excellent poetry to read ... what are you waiting for?

and yes - i am still writing every day.

song of the day: unforgettable by natalie & nat king cole.

Friday, February 09, 2007

mostly poetry

gangway guest editors gabriele poetscher and walter hoelbling have accepted all five poems i sent them for the myself and others issue due out soon! gangway was the first e-zine to ever publish my work, waaaaay back in 1998 or so.

kaleidowhirl sent a rather nice rejection letter. the editor mentioned a particular poem she liked, saying that she only had a problem with one line. so, that's encouraging. i'll try again next time.

i'm still "at it". here are poem titles 141 - 150:

day 141 - The Longing of the Long-Distance Lover
day 142 - molybdenum (mo) - northeast of europa, thirteen seconds past the beginning of time
day 143 - Xenon (Xe) - The day I fell in love with a Geissler tube
day 144 - Promethium (Pm) - The day I fell in love with a thief
day 145 - Caesium (Cs) - The day I fell in love with an atomic clock
day 146 - Tantalum (Ta) - The day I fell in love with a smoke detector
day 147 - At full moon (fib)
day 148 - Uranium (U) - The day I fell in love with a little boy
day 149 - Bismuth (Bi) - The day I fell in love with a sinker
day 150 - Mercury (Hg) - The day I fell in love with a barometer

i am participating in steve mueske's poetry workshop, and i find myself reading nietzsche in my spare time. go figure. :)

i had a job interview today which went rather well. we'll see what happens.

song of the day: don't stop me now by queen.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


YES! she finally said yes! um. the one and only ms angst that is. she is indeed coming to see me - and soooooon! (i guess, the truth is that now she gets italian citizenship, they want her out of the country again really quickly. *L*) the best part is, she is NOT coming by car! *phew* so in about 2 weeks, watch this spot for updates, and pics!

i am becoming a regular at the first-friday-of-the-month open mics at café kafka. i read eva to adam today, and mr mcclam's response, adam to eva, and greek girl in the market square, both poems from my chapbook. not such a big crowd today, but it was still good. tonight's special guest was philip meersman from belgium - very cool performance.

day 146 of a-poem-a-day. the madness continues.

song of the day: hey there delilah by the plain white t's.