Saturday, September 29, 2007

how things are

i haven't been doing too well lately. for the past three weeks i've been having anxiety / panic attacks. i had a few earlier this year, but once every three months did not worry me all that much - and i was not even sure what they were. daily attacks, however, are a different matter. and of course by now i am scared all the time that i might have another one. the really bad ones all happened at home, or at friends' places, but i have had them at work, on public transport, at a supermarket, and while out walking. my friends both here in vienna and around the world have been absolutely amazing. they listen, they look after me, they offer places to stay (an offer i have accepted many times these past two weeks), and are quite simply there whenever i need them. i know i need professional help, but the trouble is that in my current financial situation (yes, the company still owes me quite a bit of money) i cannot really afford long-term therapy, so i am looking into other options, places i can turn to that offer free counselling, or professional help at little cost.

i am glad that the two groups i have been teaching the past three weeks are rather lovely, and i don't think my performance at work has suffered. i only find that work wears me out a lot more than it normally does, but i am still rather grateful i have a reason to get up in the morning.

liz and sarah have sort of dragged me over to itws' 10:10 forum, which means i am trying to write ten poems within ten days. i am on day six, but have not written today's poem yet. i am not entirely sure it was a good idea to start this round, because while it *is* a distraction, writing daily also adds stress. but i think i got a couple of good poems out of the round already.

titles so far:

01 Cinderella's Soliloquy
02 i kissed someone i shouldn't have kissed
03 wednesday’s foolish love song
04 words : mine, yours
05 For what it's worth, I miss you, too

i received kelli russell agodon's wonderful chapbook geography in the mail this week, and am enjoying it immensely. this morning i fell in love with her poem Venice which you can read here, and which begins

Rusty church bells don't sound,
instead we listen to the cathedral
eroding, remains from ailing statues
dropping in the canals
pouring over—

speaking of being in love with words: i have listened to joanna newsom's this side of the blue about a dozen times today. my favourite lines from the terrific lyrics:
While across the sky sheet the impossible birds
In a steady, illiterate movement homewards
here's a great live version i found on youtube.

song of the day: this side of the blue (live) by joanna newsom.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I hope you're feeling happy now
I see you feel no pain at all it seems
I wonder what you're doin' now
I wonder if you think of me at all
do you still play the same moves now
or are those special moods for someone else
I hope you're feeling happy now

just because you feel good
doesn't make you right, oh no
just because you feel good
still want you here tonight

does laughter still discover you
I see through all the smiles that look so right
do you still have the same friends now
to smoke away your problems and your life
and how do you remember me
the one that made you laugh until you cried
I hope you're feeling happy now

just because you feel good
doesn't make you right, oh no
just because you feel good
still want you here tonight, want you ...

oh no ...!

just because you feel good
doesn't make you right, oh no
just because you feel good
still want you here tonight, want you ...

I wonder what you're doing now
I hope you're feeling happy now
I wonder what you're doing now
I hope you're feeling happy now

Skunk Anansie

song of the day: hedonism by skunk anansie.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


a short bio note about me can now be read in defenestration magazine. you find it below my abecedarian poem thirteen things to do while waiting for your lover.

song of the day: hallelujah by rufus wainwright.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

real live poets

real live poet #1:

sarah sloat, one of my ITWS poetry forum friends, was in vienna last week, so i lured her to my gingerbread house. we had never met before, but i certainly hope we'll meet again. we had time for pizza and red wine (thanks, sarah!), chatting about poetry, people, and life in general and in particular. at the end of the evening we even read each other some poetry.

here's a pic of us two poetry goddesses. not. :)

real live poet #2:

beat poet and jack kerouac school of disembodied poetics co-founder anne waldman was in vienna last week. she gave a reading on tuesday which i missed, because i was at the adam green concert, but on sunday morning i went to a performance she took part in: colors in the mechanism of concealment, a collaboration with musician pia palme. apart from waldman, the ensemble consisted of gina mattiello (voice), pia palme (bass recorder, electronics), bernd thurner (percussion), and clementine gasser (5-string cello). the performance was quite intense, and some parts really got to me in that they made me feel anxious and tense, but the blue chill-out part did calm me.

i bumped into a few people i know from readings / open mics, and went along to lunch with them, ms waldman, and three of the musicians.

here are a few pics of the performance:

song of the day: mannen i den vita hatten by kent.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I'll remember it
And Dublin in a rainstorm
And sitting in the long grass in summer
Keeping warm
I'll remember it
Every restless night
We were so young then
We thought that everything
We could possibly do were the right
Then we moved
Stolen from our very eyes
And I wondered where you went to
Tell me when did the light die
You will rise
You'll return
The phoenix from the flame
You will learn
You will rise
You'll return
Being what you are
There is no other Troy
For you to burn

And I never meant to hurt you
I swear I didn't mean
Those things I said
I never meant to do that to you
Next time I'll keep my hands to myself instead
Oh, does she love you
What do you want to do?
Does she need you like I do?
Do you love her?
Is she good for you?
Does she hold you like I do?

Do you want me?
Should I leave?
I know you're always telling me
That you love me
Just sometimes I wonder
If I should believe
Oh, I love you
God, I love you
I'd kill a dragon for you
I'll die
But I will rise
And I will return
The Phoenix from the flame
I have learned
I will rise
And you'll see me return
Being what I am
There is no other Troy
For me to burn

And you should've left the light on
You should've left the light on
Then I wouldn't have tried
And you'd never have known
And I wouldn't have pulled you tighter
No I wouldn't have pulled you close
I wouldn't have screamed
No I can't let you go
And the door wasn't closed
No I wouldn't have pulled you to me
No I wouldn't have kissed your face
You wouldn't have begged me to hold you
If we hadn't been there in the first place
Ah but I know you wanted me to be there oh oh
Every look that you threw told me so
But you should've left the light on
You should've left the light on
And the flames burned away
But you're still spitting fire
Make no difference what you say
You're still a liar
You're still a liar
You're still a lawyer

Sinéad O'Connor

song of the day: troy by sinéad o'connor.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Don't Forget

Summer comes and rain falls away
But the very next day it seems
The snow comes to stay

And you too will go just like the dog days do
I'll put on my hat, my gloves, my scarf
To keep the cold apart

But there are no hats, gloves, scarves for the heart
Just a cold wind that leaves its frosted mark

Don't forget that I will always love you
Just a reminder to help you pave your pathway
Fall it cools, winter it snows,
Spring it rains, summer comes
And you go

And in my silly mind I've gotten married to you
You're across town, don't even have a clue
Or these images that in ten years
I'll run into you and fall right back inside of you

Don't forget that I will always love you
Just a reminder to help you pave your pathway
Fall it cools, winter it snows
Spring it rains, summer comes
And you go

Don't forget that I will always love you
Just a reminder to help you pave your pathway
Fall it cools, winter it snows
Spring it rains, summer comes
And you go

So when will we meet next and where will it be
On a platform track in an old movie
Cause time moves in circles and can leave you anywhere
Fall it cools, winter it snows
Spring it rains, summer comes
And you go

Martha Wainwright

song of the day: don't forget by martha wainwright.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

just when you think it can't get any worse ...

... it does.

love is a scary, scary thing sometimes.

goodbye, n.

song of the day: the blower's daughter by damien rice.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

two acceptances

got two acceptance notes today:

stone table review accepted a fairly new poem, nocturnal triptych from room 116, for their october issue.

my friend annette m. hyder had asked me for some poems for in the fray magazine, and she accepted two for the october issue: october rules of conduct, and cobalt (co) - the story of blue mondays and a three-quarter moon, one of the earlier periodic table pieces, inspired by a miró painting.

both submissions were sent on 12 september, so - very short response time.

song of the day: impossible by the shout out louds.

defenestration, poetry in the park, and roses

funniest acceptance note award of the year goes to defenestration for this:

We here at Defenestration would like to say the following in limerick form:

Dear author who to us submitted:
Your stuff is astounding! ADMITTED!
We'll publish it, STAT
(You know all about that).
And yes, we should all be committed.
thirteen things to do while waiting for your lover, an abecedarian, will appear in their october issue.

yesterday afternoon, i went to the third (and last for this year) poetry in the park event. not too many people there this time, but i had promised to read something, and i did. i actually had two slots and read five poems: oxygen (o) - first kiss, Triptych from Water Canyon Coffee Co., Promethium (Pm) - The day I fell in love with a thief, iota, Virginia. had some lovely feedback from people i knew, and people i did not know. i enjoyed poetry by hillary keel and bernhard widder, and the jazzy music in between.

after the event, hillary and i decided to go for a drink. bernhard joined us for half an hour, but us girls stayed till well past 10, and on our way to the underground got us some ice cream, and walked around the city for a bit. we had a lovely chat - about poetry, people, and life in general and in particular.

and here are some pictures taken at volksgarten before the reading:

song of the day: loch lomond (live) by runrig.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

best of the web

kaleidowhirl has nominated my poem Promethium (Pm) - The day I fell in love with a thief for the Best of the Web 2007 anthology to be published by Dzanc Books in spring 2008. yay!

song of the day: fluorescent adolescent by the arctic monkeys.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

hanging in there

the last few days have been rather tough. i think i had some sort of nervous breakdown on friday. it's mainly my financial situation that's worrying me - the company i have been working for owes me around €6500 ($8500) by now, and - surprise surprise! - a girl has bills to pay. it's especially tough this year as i was out of work for three months from dec to feb. sure, the company has a reason: their client, the AMS (austrian public employment service), isn't paying them. it's only about 2 million euro. [insert sarcastic laugh here.] i was informed that the whole affair has been taken to the ministry and the AMS was supposed to pay the company 3 weeks ago - doesn't look like they did. the thing is, a teacher like me can't really do anything about it. the likes of me are the weakest links. bottom of the food chain. even if it's my account that's overdrawn. even if it's me who's charged interest for that overdraft. even if i did a bloody good job, even if i showed up at work when i was sick. i cannot even begin to express how angry i am.

the weather suits my mood, i've been sleeping badly, and i've been running a temperature for a couple of days now as well (probably all that stress). that meant that i could not go to see attwenger, a terrific austrian duo, last night with my friend sabine. :(

it's back to work on tuesday - ask me how motivated i am. yep. that much. and that's no good, because it is not the students' fault, and i always expect myself to give at least 100%.

the good news is: one acceptance note from eclectica (a collaboration piece), and one from cahoots magazine (two elements prose poems) - i had given up on them, because i sent the sub in february. i'll post the links when the poems are online.

justine henin won the us open again, she's been playing amazing tennis. austrian julian knowle won the men's doubles with his swedish partner simon aspelin - that is SOOO cool! tonight's final between roger federer and novak djokovic should be interesting.

i am getting addicted to the music challenge on colleen was right - it does take over your life, that site!

i've seen quite a bit of my friend gudrun and her boys lately - here are a few pics:

another song of the day: you suck by the murmurs.

arrivederci luciano!

a little late, i know. too many other things on my mind these past few days. but i couldn't not say anything. pavarotti could move me to tears with some of the arias and songs he made *his* over the years.

Nessun dorma,
nessun dorma ...
Tu pure, o Principessa,
Nella tua fredda stanza,
Guardi le stelle
Che tremano d'amore
E di speranza.

Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me,
Il nome mio nessun saprà, no, no,
Sulla tua bocca,
io lo dirò
Quando la luce

Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio
Che ti fa mia.

Il nome suo nessun saprà
E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir...

Dilegua, notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All'alba vincerò!

Giacomo Puccini

contrary to the last lines of the aria - "All'alba vincerò! - At daybreak, I'll win!" - luciano pavarotti had to surrender on the morning of september 6th.

song of the day: nessun dorma by luciano pavarotti.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

summer's over

- an expected high of 13C (56F) for the next two days makes this pretty clear. *shiver* i have a few days off and will stay indoors reading, watching tennis, and perhaps doing a little prep work and getting my next chapbook ms ready. or almost-ready. *g*


Jag spelar Haydn efter en svart dag
och känner en enkel värme i händerna.

Tangenterna vill. Milda hammare slår.
Klangen är grön, livlig och stilla.

Klangen säger att friheten finns
och att någon inte ger kejsaren skatt.

Jag kör ner händerna i mina haydnfickor
och härmar en som ser lugnt på världen.

Jag hissar haydnflaggan - det betyder:
"Vi ger oss inte, men vill fred."

Musiken är ett glashus på sluttningen
där stenarna flyger, stenarna rullar.

Och stenarna rullar tvärs igenom
men varje ruta förblir hel.

* * * * *

After a black day, I play Haydn,
and feel a little warmth in my hands.

The keys are ready. Kind hammers fall.
The sound is spirited, green, and full of silence.

The sound says that freedom exists
and someone pays no taxes to Caesar.

I shove my hands in my haydnpockets
and act like a man who is calm about it all.

I raise my haydnflag. The signal is:
“We do not surrender. But want peace.”

The music is a house of glass standing on a slope;
rocks are flying, rocks are rolling.

The rocks roll straight through the house
but every pane of glass is still whole.

-- Tomas Tranströmer (transl. Robert Bly)

song of the day: she's the one by robbie williams.