Wednesday, May 30, 2007

this is what you get ...

... when you enjoy what you do, and you - apparently - do something right:

"woman of the year"

this is what my students (sandra, renate, margit, piroska, nadine, uschi, hilde, susanne, sabina, irene and michi) awarded me today, last day of class. what a lovely idea, i was both tickled pink and touched. they also gave me a book with photos and poems, a chocolate bar, and a card which they did not simply sign, but in which they left a few personal messages. it's wonderful to touch people's lives like that.

song of the day: 1234 by feist.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

central cemetery

i set out to finally go to vienna's cemetery of the nameless, situated on the danube, near the city limits, but when i got to the bus stop it turned out that the information i had been given online was wrong. instead of waiting for ages, i decided to spend some time at the nearby central cemetery. it was sizzling hot (32C/90F), so the trees in the jewish section were rather welcome. of course, the "some time" turned into over three and a half hours, and i took 205 pictures of the jewish section, statues, and the wonderful church. here is a selection - for more, follow the link.

song of the day: lili marleen by marlene dietrich.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

more john siddique

i was at john siddique's poetry workshop this afternoon - quite a few participants (among them some familiar faces: sylvia petter, nathan horowitz, jean kremlicka, and of course vienna lit's julia novak), and some very useful tips and ideas from john. we did three exercises, and i think there is at least one poem in my notes. john used poems by helen dunmore (Glad of these times), raymond carver (Jean's TV), and galway kinnell (Daybreak) as starting points for the exercises. some day i'd love to do a longer workshop with john - a couple of hours just isn't enough.

john had asked me to read a particular poem at his reading - how to bury the dead, which was published in poetry salzburg review last autumn. and who am i to say no to such a request? jean kremlicka read first, a response poem to john's Yes. john read from The Prize, Poems from a Northern Soul, his book of poetry for young people Don't wear it on your head, don't stick it down your pants, and unpublished material. he included two of my favourite of his poems, Variola and Cheap Moisturiser.

a bunch of vienna lit people, john and i went for ice cream afterwards. john's leaving tomorrow, and he is not happy about it. i'm sure i'm not the only one who's hoping he'll be back soon.

quote of the day: embrace the madness! (john s.)

sound of the day: cheap moisturiser by john siddique.

Friday, May 25, 2007

an evening out with ...

... the lovely, very fun and in-love-with-vienna john siddique, fellow poet and star in *his* own soap opera (ie life). apparently i saved him from being "bored stupid" in his tiny viennese hotel room on tuesday by joining him for dinner and conversation. amazingly enough (not!), we had lots to talk about - not all words used up in writing, it seems: we've both had a rather tough year, with lots going on, a few major changes, and the craziest things happening. we had a good laugh about life in general, and ourselves in particular, and toasted some rather unusual things. of course we did talk poetry, too: i made a few notes of must-read-books, we talked about john's new book poems from a northern soul, workshops, our poetic heroes and heroines, and john signed my copy of his latest, while i signed my chapbook for him. i'll be at his workshop and reading tomorrow afternoon, and am looking forward to both.

mr siddique has stolen my halo

almost like a pro ;)

i finished another round of 10:10 on wednesday - so effectively, i have done another 30:30, because i did three consecutive rounds. here are the last five titles:

06. another entry in the bedroom book of lies
07. potassium (k) - final
08. bios
09. august:
10. today, i don't like poetry

got a short rejection note from caffeine destiny, and one from tupelo press; i badly need to send out more subs, and am waiting to hear back from quite a few zines.

check out ms ang & co's latest baby: press 1, it looks gooooood!

i still have not uploaded the poetry in the park pictures, but here are a couple taken on tuesday evening:

gum, anyone?

pain in the neck?! *g*

the fact that i have worn a skirt twice this week can only mean one thing: it is summer.

and ... since a girl has got to have secrets - i've got another one! :-p

song of the day: california dreamin' by the mamas & the papas.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

poetry in the park

since the weather was lovely again yesterday, i went to volksgarten, one of the beautiful inner city parks, for the poetry in the park event. several poets from latin america were reading, as this was the closing event of the latin american poetry festival in vienna, graz & munich. i don't speak spanish, but understand some of it, but of course german translations were provided, and it is still enjoyable to hear poets read in their own language. the writers group labyrinth were also performing, there was music, and they had two open mic slots. i was asked to read, but for some reason i was not in the mood. i particularly enjoyed the poems by pura lópez colomé, daniel muxica, evelyn holloway, and one performed by homemade gordon banks and peter waugh.

the most wonderful thing however, was a little girl who, clearly curious and fascinated by camilo antonio's performance, began to clap her hands and did some little dance - arms raised, knees bending, head bobbing - in perfect rhythm, apparently oblivious of the audience.

i'd brought my camera, so here are some pictures of the reading, and the gorgeous roses (and their sometimes odd names - i got a kick out of the one called "nationalstolz" (national pride) being all crooked *L*):

jean & homemade gordon banks

edwin madrid

poetry is rhythm -
camilo antonio and his young fan

the venue - theseustempel @ volksgarten

red & white beauty

homemade gordon banks smelling the roses

pink delight

i'll upload more pics to my website or yahoo album asap.

song of the day: good year for the roses by elvis costello.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

poem & picture post

doing another round of 10:10 - so if i finish this one (and i will, if it is the last thing i do *lol*), i will effectively have done a 30:30. ha. titles so far:

01. serial eve
02. report with headache (that was my migraine day ...)
03. onion (still very much work in progress)
04. paradeisos
05. carbon (c) - adamant

here's today's poem:

carbon (c)

this is
their first
night : a distant
star blinks its blessing : clouds nudge
one another past the scene : the garden becomes a whisper :
         a split tongue healing with soft sounds : adamas :
rounded & red : like unplucked apples : who conquers whom :

his breath her hair : her hair his spine : he sees daughters in
         eve's eyes : blueprints in the dazzling half-moons of
her fingernails : pupils dilate : hands become aware of all the
secrets that lie in the rising & falling :
but the naming of
things can

i'm really enjoying this form. :)

had a note from trillium that two of my poems made it to the final round - keep your fingers crossed!

received steve mueske's a mnemonic for desire, and the digerati anthology. enjoying them a lot so far.

and here's one of the first pics taken with the new camera (changed the colour in photoshop, of course):

and something good happened today. but hey, a girl has got to have her secrets. ;)

song of the day: i'm so excited by the pointer sisters.

Monday, May 14, 2007

grinning happily

john vick made my day late last week when he sent me a note saying he had chosen me/my work for the quarterly award at the adroitly placed word. it is official now, so i am sharing the good news. i am honoured, thrilled, and busy trying to decide which books to spend the $50 gift certificate on. big hug to john for all the work he does, and for being a lovely guy. do send him your work, too.

oh, and you can still read and listen to my poetry there.

song of the day: my moon my man by feist.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

poetry, a graduation, and a new toy

my poem what is the sound of one hand clapping? can now be read at juked. i am in excellent company there, so make sure you have a good look around.

i am finishing my second round of 10 days - 10 poems today. these are the titles:

01. ain't misbehavin'
02. Rubidium (Rb) - The day I fell in love with a rock
03. his mouth says no, his heart says
04. harold (From Mrs M Garbage's Mencyclopaedia Austriaca)
05. ainigma
06. ekleipsis
07. summetros
08. hypnos
09. nitrogen (n) - dissolution
10. Fluorine (F) - The day I fell in love with an urban legend
(still working on this one, i must confess)

here's one of them - thanks to the ever-busy ms ang for inspiration. i nicked her form. :)


in riddles :
sing votives : nail
the sharp snap of vinyl : ainissesthai
you whisper : moon swim across a skylight : moon become
        our skylight : spark to straw to flame : like a tongue
cut off in a fishmouth : the silence of arousal : folds that cease

to murmur : a widowed heart turns purple in secret in heat
        indicting a wax leak : find me cherry red : find me
relentless : adam adam : trade me in for a fable : a leap out
of the fish bowl : fingers fold desire
like a paper swan &
it floats : oh
it floats

i was out of town for a couple of days - caught a very early train to klagenfurt on friday, the town where my brother martin recently finished his master's degree in history, and where he is now studying for his ph.d. they held the graduation ceremony at 12 on friday. my other brother markus and his girlfriend came, and of course my parents, and lots of martin's friends. the ceremony itself was nice, martin read out the vows. his friends and some of the professors also came along for a drink afterwards, and even to the meal at lovely maria loreto on the shore of wörthersee (carinthia's biggest lake). martin's friends are really lovely - and they must like him a lot, and obviously think highly of him. so yes, i was a proud older sister! it was fun, and it was a shame that i could not go out with the lot at night, but it would have been too complicated to get back to my hometown from there.

here are a few pics, there are many more - of family, friends, and the scenery - on my website.

brother & sister

family: markus, martin, me, mom, dad

playboy bunny?!

almost like the sea

maria loreto

and my dad proved to be very, very generous: he gave me one of his digital cameras, because he is not using it. and i am not talking about one of those little pocket things. i am talking about this - the fuji finepix s9500:

we were talking photography (my dad's *really* good), and he mentioned it, and i said i wished i could afford one of those, and well - basically he said "you can have it". wow. i am soooooo looking forward to playing with it! i think i'll be out and about a lot when i have time off work in june! watch this space for results.

song of the day: another sunny day by belle & sebastian.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

lola & gilda

yesterday afternoon, der blaue engel (the blue angel) was on tv. i don't remember having seen the entire film before, but i am sure i must have at some point in my childhood/teens. i doubt i'll forget it again. i think what fascinated me most, were the two clowns, particularly professor rath (emil jannings) as the clown during the last half hour or so. that look on his face - haunting. as is his crowing on stage. no words could have conveyed his despair any better. and of course, lola (marlene dietrich) - her reaction to his marriage proposal, and her eyes. they're showing a dietrich documentary tonight (on the 15th anniversary of her death) which i am going to watch.

by coincidence i switched on the tv at 00:30 last night, and the movie gilda was just about to start. i had not seen it in ages, so i stayed up watching it. how could anyone not love it? i adore the guitar scene, where gilda (rita hayworth) sits singing put the blame on mame to uncle pio before johnny (glenn ford) wakes up.

so many scenes in this movie simply sizzle. not just the hair-tossing scene.

song of the day: put the blame on mame by rita hayworth. what else.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

the written & spoken word

yay! kaleidowhirl accepted one of my periodic table prose poems, Promethium (Pm) - The day I fell in love with a thief for their june issue. i'm happy! :)

even though i was totally knackered, i dragged myself to the open mic last night. i had already missed two, and thought it was about time the people got to hear my voice again. not. ;) i read my abecedarian still life with blue voice, and the sonnenizio on a line from neruda - Waking. people were still coming in when i read the abecedarian, and it was a little noisy, but i think i had everyone's attention when i read the sonnenizio. i think i did a much better job on that one.

karin kaminker was featured poet, and i enjoyed her work a lot. a montreal-based performance poet stood out, excellent, and fun. i talked to a few people during the break and afterwards, staying a lot longer than intended.

round 2 of 10:10 started with a poem called ain't misbehavin'. we'll see what happens next.

it's raining in vienna today, and i think i deserve a lazy day.

song of the day: please baby don't by sergio mendes feat john legend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


i finished my round of 10 days - 10 poems today. these are the titles:

01. Vows for a Cancelled Wedding
02. you've been flirting again (courtesy of bjørk)
03. snails, worms, and other losses (courtesy of tupelo press)
04. blue
05. after the rift
06. Silicon (Si) - The day I fell in love with a semiconductor
07. still #3 : ties
08. still #2 : equinox
09. still #1 : collision
10. wordspread (for nicole)

sarah also finished her round of wonderful poetry today - congrats!

i am not sure i will do another round immediately, though i probably should, once i am at it.

song of the day: santa maria da feira by devendra banhart.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


day 7 in my round of 10 days, 10 poems:

.....still #1 : ties

my hair ought to be in braids, two
...............thick ropes to bind
..........the desire he cross-
..............................stitched into my heart
...............before leaving me

....................a pawn, tripped up,
..........face down, useless arms tied a past

.....that appears lilac,
..........emerald, red grape
.........................- all shades unblue -
only from a distance lips should blister, not
freeze in the shape of his name whispered during

..........a time of pin point
...............pupils, eyes wide open
.....before i became

.........................this blind angel mending
..........slashed calico wings, trapped my dollhouse
...............of grief

song of the day: give me one reason by tracy chapman.