Tuesday, November 27, 2007

they're here! they're here!

i'll start sending them out soon. :)

song of the day: sanssouci by rufus wainwright.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

lazy sunday afternoon

first of all, thanks everyone for the birthday wishes that reached me via email, blog comments, e-cards, phone, and in person! you made my day. :)

i cannot quite believe it, but my six weeks in amstetten are over! it's been fun, the commuting was not bad, actually, and i will miss some of my students. we went out for lunch on friday, which was very nice - there was a lot of laughter and teasing. thanks to nathan, one of my open mic acquaintances, i heard about a job teaching english here in vienna, and i got it! i am starting tomorrow. it's 21 hours per week, until the end of january. that's almost too good to be true, i was getting really worried, because i had nothing for the rest of the year. that's one load off my shoulders for a little while. (and no, it certainly isn't for the company who still owe me all that money!)

i am still feeling nauseous quite often, due to the meds, but at least i have not had a panic attack in a while. i do feel anxious at times, but i can control it better. i have now begun with progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), a technique developed by edmund jacobson. too soon to say anything about effects, but i'll certainly blog about it some more.

poetry-wise: nothing. :( i am supposed to be sending out subs today, but i am feeling a little blah: sore throat, tired, temperature is a bit higher than it should be. but then, nothing is wrong with a lazy day, right?

here's a cool song:

song of the day: trophy by bat for lashes.

Friday, November 23, 2007

rufus rules!

tonight he does. just got back from listening to / watching rufus wainwright who played a very, very good solo concert at one of vienna's better, more intimate venues - in leather trousers (though this time the tyrolean hat was missing)!

the guy is an absolute cutie, incredibly talented, and truly funny. he told little anecdotes and stories in between songs, being chatty and laughing at himself. very endearing.

the songs were a mix of old and new, extra points for playing leonard cohen's hallelujah, vibrate, and cigarettes and chocolate milk - and also for the schubert song he played as a second encore. he was about to play greek song at one point (which i love), but then broke off and said he felt like playing something else. and why not. *s*

here's one of his new songs, going to a town; i have to post the lyrics, they're worth reading.

I'm going to a town that has already been burned down
I'm going to a place that has already been disgraced
I'm gonna see some folks who have already been let down.
I'm so tired of America

I'm gonna make it up for all of the Sunday Times
I'm gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I'm so tired of you America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I got a life to lead America
I got a life to lead

Tell me do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me and not for thinking every thing that you've done is good
(I really need to know)
After soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood

I'm so tired of America
(I really need to know)

I may just never see you again or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down
I'm so tired of you America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I got a life to lead America
I got a life to lead
I got a soul to feed
I got a dream to heed
And that's all I need

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I'm going to a town that has already been burned down

Rufus Wainwright

song of the day: going to a town by rufus wainwright.

do you know what bob hewis said tonight?

"it's all suck and no blow in this job."

of course he was talking about a song he performed, and the harmonica he was playing. what were YOU thinking? *rolling eyes*

i am glad i went to see bob - an open mic acquaintance - play "dustbowl ballads" (songs by woodie guthrie & friends) despite being quite tired. among the songs: stagger lee, john henry, goodnight irene, the ghost of tom joad, hobo's lullabye, tom joad.

if you are in vienna on 13 december, bob is playing johnny cash that night.

song of the day: stagger lee as performed by bob hewis.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


yes. well. how did that happen? *g*

song of the day: happy birthday to me by bright eyes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

gotta love this woman!

if you are familiar with nellie mckay, you'll know why. if you are not, don't miss out, check her out.

here are the lyrics.

song of the day: mother of pearl by nellie mckay.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

a not-so-very-exciting blog post

i saw the doctor again on tuesday, and we agreed that i'll try one sertralin in the morning and see how that goes, whether the nausea will gradually become less of a problem. it's strange, for a few days this week, it was better, but yesterday i felt sick all morning. still, the attacks are happening a lot less often, and that is good. i've just been really tired this week, and not very bouncy either. rather sad and subdued, and that worries me. i know people mean well when they say that an ending is always a new beginning and i should look forward to my "new life", enjoying single life, etc, but it is too soon. i cannot enjoy it now. i'm scared, too. i've had to deal with too much crap this year, i am worried sick over my finances, and it would be lovely to have someone by my side. in addition to my amazing friends, that is. *s*

so, still no money from that company, despite another promise to expect payment around 16 november, and several letters. also, this is my last week in amstetten, and i haven't got anything for december yet. not good.

winter struck much too soon this year - lots of snow on friday, between 15 and 40 cm (6 to 16 in) in/around vienna! my train was really late that morning - 30 minutes. when i got home, i quickly dropped off my work stuff, put some warm clothes on, and went to central cemetery again to take pics. i hope to have them edited and up soon.

my chapbooks still haven't arrived, but the good news is that even before i have the 45 copies i'm getting, they're all already spoken for! i am swapping with quite a few poets whose chapbooks i've been wanting to read (i like this idea of chapbooks as a kind of currency *s*), giving some to close friends as presents, and selling the rest. i'll have to order more soon. :) i'll present the chapbook at the next open mic, on 7 december.

i'm still not writing, and i miss it. i really, really miss it. not sending out many subs either these days, too busy, and waiting to hear back from some journals that don't take sim subs. allen itz has been kind enough to ask for some of my photos and a poem to feature on his blog - one of the pictures and a secret meaning poem can be viewed there.

i went to a film premiere last night, a short film (30 min) called three old men, because my friend sabine knows the guy who edited the film, christoffer. interesting, though maybe a couple of parts were a bit over the top. the actors were very good.

not very exciting, all this, but that's okay. :)

song of the day: haiti by the arcade fire.

Friday, November 16, 2007

frozen roses, a pale blue angel & a neon grave

quoth the raven ...

"that's nothing to be ashamed of, you know!"

actually, it might not have been the raven at all, but martin, aka homemade gordon banks, last sunday, in reply to my "no, i'm not ill, i got divorced on wednesday!"

which of course meant that he was voted mr insensitive (tm) by hillary, monika, jean, carlota, and me.

then *he* was ashamed. as he should be. *g*

song of the day: shame, shame, shame by shirley & company.

Monday, November 12, 2007


   And if the snow buries my,
   my neighborhood.
   And if my parents are crying
   then I'll dig a tunnel
   from my window to yours

-- The Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)

song of the day: neighborhood #1 (tunnels) by the arcade fire.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Sleeping is giving in / no matter what the time is"

what an excellent concert! the arcade fire really are a brilliant live band, and i am glad i decided to treat myself to a concert ticket the moment i heard they'd be playing in vienna.

the funeral was such a great album, and neon bible is at least as good - so there was not a song over the course of nearly two hours that was only so-so, and that the audience did not love. i have been to quite a few concerts over the last years, and viennese crowds can be a bit lame sometimes, or hard to get going. that certainly was not a problem tonight.

the band members really put their heart and soul into their music. that might be most obvious in lead singer/songwriter win and multi-instrumentalist/singer régine (who sings and plays and dances with an intensity that makes everything seem to be a matter of life and death), but i am sure it is equally true for the rest of the band.

i haven't found the set list yet, but i'll edit this post when i have it. the only song that i waited for in vain, was crown of love. maybe next time.

a p.s. - two things i always marvel at when i go to concerts:

a) if people want to discuss their lives, and bitch about everyone they ever knew, why don't they stay at home and put the cd on instead of babbling throughout a concert?

b) man has flown to the moon. man has invented the internet. man has conquered illnesses. but nobody seems to have been able to figure out a functioning system for cloakrooms. anyone up for the challenge?

song of the day: rebellion (lies) by the arcade fire.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

stuff (which is a very, very original headline)


in a comment on a recent blog post, sara asked this:

what is it about photography that seems to really attract poets? (including me) of all the other arts, it seems poets most gravitate to music and photography. music makes such obvious sense. but what is it, i wonder, about photography?
interesting, because i had been thinking about what *i* am looking for in photography, what attracts me when i am out to take pictures, what i am trying to capture, and i had been wondering about what poetry and photography have in common.

for one thing, it's imperfections that attract me: i'll choose a faded, wilting rose over a perfect blossom any day, because it tells a much more interesting story, and has more "character". i love trying to find beauty (and again, i am not talking about perfection) or a story in unlikely places, in cityscapes, in places that at a first glance might not be considered attractive, interesting, let alone beautiful. i am looking for contrasts, for something special in what we see every day. i am trying to find new angles of looking at things, details that others will not even notice.

and isn't all that what poets do? walk through the world with their eyes open, capturing things that many people might not see at all, or if they do, then look at them in a new, original way? and surely poets have to pay attention to detail.

sure, they are different media, but i think they have a lot more in common than one might assume.


it's been going well, i am enjoying the english class in amstetten, and i think so are my students. and of course i am learning a lot, too. i have quite a bit of prep work to do, but i get a lot done on the train. another two weeks to go. what worries me, is that i haven't got anything for december yet.


i had another appointment with the doctor on tuesday. he seemed a bit worried that the sertralin doesn't seem to be doing much except make me feel nauseous, and that i have not been sleeping as well as i used to. i said it might have to do with the divorce, which was on my mind a lot of the time, and which i was not exactly looking forward to (being scared of panic attacks, etc). so we decided that i continue as usual except wednesday, and the doctor left it up to me whether i wanted to take one sertralin instead of a half starting saturday. i decided to try, and it made me feel quite sick. we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

after my panic attack monday night, the doctor said to take a whole xanor on tuesday evening, perhaps a whole sertralin on wednesday, and another xanor on the way to court. and that is what i did. i cannot believe there are people who take up to 3 xanor daily. they must be completely subdued and kind of beside themselves. i felt really tired and a bit odd after all these pills. but at least i did not have any symptoms of anxiety.

i have another appointment on tuesday, and it is quite possible that we have to increase dosage of one thing or another. sigh.

i've lost quite a lot of weight lately, which is not bad in itself, but it has happened a little fast ... the other day i thought i was being very optimistic and tried on an old pair of jeans 3 sizes smaller than what i wore before the summer, and they fit.


i am at the arcade fire concert tonight, quite looking forward to it, and i am hoping that i won't feel too uncomfortable in the crowd (i always stay at the back or side anyway). the only thing i don't fancy is going outside again: it is chilly with a very fierce northerly wind, and it's wet, too. ugh.

egami rorrim

song of the day: no cars go by the arcade fire.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

autumn day


Herr: es ist Zeit. Der Sommer war sehr gross.
Leg deinen Schatten auf die Sonnenuhren,
und auf den Fluren lass die Winde los.

Befiehl den letzten Früchten voll zu sein;
gib ihnen noch zwei südlichere Tage,
dränge sie zur Vollendung hin und jage
die letzte Süsse in den schweren Wein.

Wer jetzt kein Haus hat, baut sich keines mehr.
Wer jetzt allein ist, wird es lange bleiben,
wird wachen, lesen, lange Briefe schreiben
und wird in den Alleen hin und her
unruhig wandern, wenn die Blätter treiben.

Rainer Maria Rilke

* * * * *

one of the many translations:

Autumn Day

Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

Galway Kinnell & Hannah Liebmann

song of the day: mirrors by sally oldfield.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

two new words in my vocabulary



Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes
I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again

song of the day: say goodbye to hollywood by billy joel.

Monday, November 05, 2007

a 12th thing that makes a girl feel good

one of her poems (after the fever) in the slip out the back, jack issue of the hiss quarterly.

song of the day: where you are by deine lakaien.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

11 things that make a girl feel good

1) walking along alte donau, making friends with a couple of ducks

2) a loooong weekend (thursday a public holiday, friday off)

3) the response to my chapbook announcement

4) going to an open mic, meeting nice people, meeting fun people, meeting people who care

5) reading two poems and having people clap even in between the poems

6) getting incredibly wonderful feedback on the two poems, especially Open Letter to A Poet (thank you again, bob!)

7) a long walk around central cemetery in search of photos (coming soon!), enjoying the colours of leaves, the warm sunshine, and the fact that i am above the ground

8) new shoes

9) 10 euro in my paypal account (prize i won in the poetry super highway competition)

10) the fact that i seem to have repaired my washing machine. am i genius or am i a genius? i have never been so thrilled about an armful of damp clothes!

11) the fact that i appear to be able to afford some procrastination

back wall of beach cabin, alte donau

str/ange/l, central cemetery

new shoes

song of the day: perfectly normal whirring sounds by my washing machine.