Tuesday, January 29, 2008

today ...

... i've been called crazy (in a good way. i think.), wonderful, lovely, (very nice), supportive, fun, a super trainer, the best. i've been hugged. someone made me laugh at 06.40 a.m. and my lovely students, the group i'd been teaching for 8 weeks, gave me this:

flowers from andreas, renate, robert, reinhard, henry, regina, dariusz, franz, birgit, johanna, nadine, martha, irene, karin.

i was/am not as sad as i often am on the last day, because i will see half of my students again next monday when english III starts, so i will see them again for another eight weeks. it was absolutely touching to see how happy they were when they heard they could all join my next class! :)

and happy birthday to my friend and colleague nathan! :)

song of the day: you ain't seen nothing yet by bachman turner overdrive.

Monday, January 28, 2008

(chap)books are piling up ...

... in casa michi! in the mail today: jayne pupek's Forms of Intercession; jared michael wahlgren's chariots of flame; steve mueske's Whatever the Story Requires. now all i need is time ...

apart from weekends being a) too short, b) filled with work, c) incredibly stormy and rainy, they also sometimes start with a trip to the dentist. had to go friday evening, because one of the teeth that had caused problems a couple of years ago was definitely not alright. things are made difficult by my dodgy, tight root canals, and the doctor said that if what she tried on friday won't work ... well, it might have to come out. and my teeth don't just "come out". my teeth need to be dug out. torn out. drilled out. i don't even want to think about the agony i went through a couple of years ago. enough to last me a lifetime!

nine hours in class today, pretty much non-stop. two groups. we watched an episode of blackadder this morning, and monty python's quest for the holy grail, and we listened to monty python songs. it's my last day with that group tomorrow. :(

little miss m is knackered and will watch grey's anatomy now.

song of the day: running for our lives by marianne faithfull.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

it's 7 a.m.

... and i have already smiled five times, and laughed twice. :)

thanks to simone muench who chose my poem beta from the secret meanings of greek letters as poem of the week over at sharkforum.org!

song of the day: steven smith by the organ.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


click to enlarge this full, round beauty:

ps: gooooood news re work yesterday! i will be teaching english at least 21 hours per week most of the year, at the place where i am working now. (same company i used to teach computer classes for from early 2004 to end of 2006. and yes, they pay.) one weight off my shoulders. i will also be teaching two MS word classes on two march/april weekends for the adult education centre where i teach my thursday evening english class; could have had more classes, but it would all have been too much. february will be crazy, teaching between 34.5 and 42.5 hours per week! and then there's prep work, too ... but i will manage. and i may not be young, but i still need the money! :)

song of the day: spellbound by siouxsie & the banshees.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

one toothbrush in the tooth mug looks lonely

so do i buy another one to keep it company, or will that only make it worse? would that make me a sad person like the people who buy relaxing music for their cats or dogs (i am not kidding you, i thought i had misread when i first saw them in a store yesterday)? is it normal to write down lines from an episode of men in trees, because it feels as if marin were talking about me? how do you get used to being single? how do you know whether you like it or not? how do i come to terms with the fact that i am totally disappointed in the man i was very much in love with, by how he handles (or does not handle) the situation now? do i worry about myself because i switch off my mobile when i get home, and don't switch it on at all on a saturday? am i hiding behind work? can one night stands be an option when you miss sex but are making lists of what consequences they might have, what further complications they might bring? how do i stop asking questions, especially since i can't even have red wine to go with them?

apart from obviously thinking too much, i have been working - my morning class is really going well; i only have seven more days with this group, and i know i will miss them. it's been fun. i have also started to teach some afternoons - over the next 10 weeks or so i will have 7 different groups of people who only work from spring until fall (people working in catering, outdoor pools, etc). i have had a first lesson (4 hrs) with two of the groups, the first is quite okay, apart from the inevitable sexist jokes you get in classes of mostly men; but they seem to want to learn. the second group is very different: many of the students are absolute beginners because they come from mongolia, croatia, iraq, etc while some of them are quite good and are pissed off about having to take these classes (they are not just doing english, but different training modules), and one woman actually got mad and told me to "finally leave [her] alone with this!" i talked to her and two others trying to work out a solution where everybody gets some of what they want - them, the weaker students, and me. this week will be tough - 5 mornings, 3 afternoons, 1 evening. wish me luck.

medication: i was on 1.5 sertralin for a while longer than planned, because the pills really made/make me feel sick, and i didn't want to increase dosage on those two long teaching days. so instead of wednesday, yesterday was the first day i took 2. of course i have been feeling nauseous, and my stomach seems pretty upset. i don't feel like eating most of the time. blah.

i've been playing scrabulous quite a bit and hope they won't really have to shut it down (copyright stuff). i'm also spending way too much time on facebook.

i've also printed out, cut and folded 100 copies of my poem Open Letter to A Poet for dancing girl press' love letter project, and i have finally sent out all those copies of my chapbox that i still owed people.

and i continue to be very impressed with simone muench's orange girl. if you would like a copy, you can order one from dancing girl press.

thanks again to the one and only nic-olé for her music mixes. that's where today's song of the day comes from.

song of the day: ruby blue by roisin murphy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

two cds and another chapbook!

what could be nicer than coming home on a friday afternoon - a bit tired and braindead after this week, especially the 9.5 hrs of teaching yesterday - to find nic-mail in the mailbox?! yes, that means the wait is over and i have got ms nicole cartwright-denison's recovering the body in my hands, plus i will soon have "her" music in my ears. thanks, sweetness!

song of the day: portions for foxes by rilo kiley.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

two chapbooks

in exchange for my chapbox, i received two chapbooks that are rich in vitamins: simone muench's orange girl, and cati porter's small fruit songs. i got cati's book today and have not started reading yet, and i only had time to read the first poem in simone's book - but i already know i am going to love it. how can you not love a book whose opening lines are:

master wear a mask when you break out the leather
the whip's encounter loosens the back to plumage

this might be the kind of collection that makes me sit down and write again.

another song of the day: roads by portishead.

can a day turn out to be really bad when ...

... the first email a girl reads tells her that her poem what is the sound of one hand clapping? (published in juked) will be included in the best of the net anthology 2007? i hope not! :)

song of the day: all for this by the walkabouts.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

press 1 ...

... and you'll get to read poetry and prose! the brand-new issue contains my mini-series of three poems, stills 1-3: collision, equinox, and ties. i'm happy to be part of the zine!

* * *

the not quite so good news concerns my medication: my doctor and i decided that i am going to a) try herbal medicine in addition to the 75mg of trittico at night, because i have had trouble falling asleep (and if that does not work, more trittico), and b) take one and a half sertralin for a week, then two (instead of the one i have been on for weeks). he said i should be feeling less anxious by now, so we'll have to increase the dosage. i had expected it after the look on his face when i last saw him. so, this will probably mean feeling sick again every morning. what fun.

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

Sunday, January 06, 2008

late to the party ...

the new year is almost a week old, and i am finally getting around to writing my end-of-2007 post. how pathetic is that. and even though i have had more time to think about it, i still find myself sitting here wondering what to say. now THAT is even more pathetic. *g*

we already know it was not a good year: my divorce from sepp, the financial disaster caused by venetia, all the heartache that came with my affair with nathan, the panic attacks and depression, falling out with my mother, the computer breakdown, the stolen purse and other, smaller troubles.

but of course it was not all bad.

the best thing was that so many people showed me they care. and how. my friends in vienna provided the best support a girl could wish for. my friends abroad sent me good vibes, virtual hugs and messages that occasionally made me wonder whether they were still talking about me. people i barely knew shared their experiences with me and became new friends. i don't even want to begin to imagine what i would have done without all that. so thank you. you know who you are.

of course there was something good in that love affair, though at the moment i am finding it a bit hard to see that. and that's okay, too. i still know many good poems were inspired by it, some of the music will stay with me as well, and one day i will be able to look back on the lovely days without bitterness or anger.

45 poems were published in 2007, a handful were accepted for publication in 2008; in addition to that, the 24 secret meanings of greek letters poems in my chapbox. and of course alex's and my collaboration was accepted in the summer. one of my fibs placed second in the flashquake competition, and john vick awarded me a gift certificate. the elements series is about halfway done. i did not write nearly as much as in 2006, and i have been totally blocked since late september when the panic attacks began. but i am quite happy with some of my work.

the year also saw the publication of some photographs - the first one in lily, then in the fray published four. i really hope to place some more this year.

i read a lot of poetry, particularly enjoyed galway kinnell's collection, thomas tranströmer's collection, the digerati anthology, teresa white's full-length collection and most of the chapbooks that i swapped / bought (among them, kelli russell agodon, ryan murphy, arlene ang). as for novels: jasper fforde still rules. so does terry pratchett.

like almost any other year, i have made quite a few musical discoveries and been to some terrific concerts.

among the year's new favourites are regina spektor, bat for lashes, devendra banhart, pink martini, cat power, the yeah yeah yeahs, james morrison, beirut, deine lakaien, the editors, the pipettes, kristin hersh (re-discovered), scott walker (re-discovered), laura veirs.

i got to see tori amos again, loved the arcade fire and rufus wainwright concerts.

not sure what i listened to most this year, but certainly a lot of arcade fire, nellie mckay, rufus wainwright, martha wainwright, tom waits, feist, walkabouts, abba, georg danzer, muse, amy winehouse, attwenger, decemberists, belle & sebastian, billy joel, jenny lewis, kaiser chiefs, richard hawley, jarvis cocker, o brother where art thou soundtrack.

among my songs of the year (not necessarily new songs) - for all sorts of reasons:

chasing cars (snow patrol) ~ down boy (the yeah yeah yeahs) ~ trophy (bat for lashes) ~ fidelity (regina spektor) ~ the blower's daughter (damien rice) ~ your ghost (kristin hersh & michael stipe) ~ dis quand reviendras-tu (martha wainwright) ~ hey there delilah (the plain white t's) ~ diferente (gotan project) ~ santa maria da feira (devendra banhart) ~ this side of the blue (joanna newsom) ~ going to a town (rufus wainwright) ~ back to black (amy winehouse) ~ revival (the soulsavers with mark lanegan) ~ tell it to me (tom waits) ~ i see a darkness (bonnie prince billy) ~ velvet revolution (tori amos) ~ landed (ben folds) ~ 36 grad (2raumwohnung) ~ beyond the sea (robbie williams) ~ antichrist television blues (arcade fire) ~ paths of victory (cat power) ~ green fields (the good the bad & the queen) ~ majesty (madrugada) ~ please baby don't (sergio mendes feat john legend) ~ louis, louis (teitur) ~ troy (sinead o'connor) ~ tonight i have to leave it (shout oud louds) ~ young folks (peter bjorn & john with victoria bergsman).
favourite memories of 2007 include arlene's visit, hiking with my dad in the mountains near my hometown, a thunderstorm on the flight from chicago to l.a., my walks at central cemetery, holding gudrun's new baby boy for the first time, reading Open Letter to A Poet at café kafka, holding my new chapbox in my hands, meeting sarah.

i did not go to the cinema very often this year, but loved the queen, notes on a scandal, scott walker - 30th century man and savage grace. and it was great to see the third man again in the summer.

new addictions: facebook, scrabulous (very recent), grey's anatomy, nellie mckay, progressive muscle relaxation.
old addictions: gilmore girls, chocolate, photography.

and so, where am i now? this whole end-of-year-beginning-of-new-year business did not really do me good. for days around new year's, i felt like crying most of the time, especially when i was on my own. i want to believe that this year will be better, but i can't, not really. not yet, maybe. and i realised that at the age of 36 i am, for the first time in my life, scared of falling in love.

song of the day: young folks by peter bjorn & john with victoria bergsman.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

4 + 1

four of my poems can now be read in the brand-new issue of loch raven review. you will also find poems by gary blankenship, jim corner, corey mesler, s thomas summers et al. as well as essays, fiction and book reviews.

and my photo death bugs is now online in qarrtsiluni's insecta issue.

wedding bells

one of my favourite girls in the world, my friend lotta in northern sweden, is getting married today. (i was actually invited, but due to my severe financial crisis i could not go. i'm really sad. *sob*) we met in a chatroom over ten years ago when she was lisa, and i was moonie, and we have seen each other three times (1998, 2004, 2005). in 2005, this pic was taken in jokkmokk:

you see, practice makes perfect! i am sure today lotta won't have to drag janne down the aisle. :)

all the best to you two! i'll be thinking of you.

song of the day: going to the chapel by the dixie cups.

Friday, January 04, 2008

more thrills

julia novak, director of the vienna lit fest, has invited me to present my latest chapbook at the second lit fest on april 17. a friend of mine, sylvia petter (austr(al)ia), will be reading from her collection of stories, and sandra huber (canada) will be presenting some of her work. i am honoured and thrilled and excited, and already a little nervous. :)

song of the day: lay lady lay by bob dylan.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

i'm absolutely thrilled ...

... to be part of dancing girl press's love letters project - a box full of poetic goodies, no doubt - due to be released on valentine's day. i'll definitely post an update closer to the release date; it will be a limited edition (100 boxes with "love letters" by 14 different female poets), so you'd better be quick if you want one. and you know you do. :)

two poems in cahoots magazine

the first online only issue of cahoots magazine is now available, with lots of articles, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry - including my two poems plutonium and neptunium.

and i don't seem to get around to writing my end-of-year post ...

song of the day: yes sir that's my baby by al jolson.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

01 01 08, 03.10am

not feeling too great over the last few days, i decided not to follow babs and andi to lunz, about 120km outside vienna. my temperature was certainly not normal yesterday either, but i did not want to spend this particular evening sitting at home on my own.

so i joined sabine and a few of her friends and sister for something "different": they showed a silent movie at künstlerhaus and had a band called 78plus playing music to go with that (shellac samples, cello, percussion, vocals, etc) - excellent! the movie was called "asphalt" (1929), the story of a policeman who falls for a beautiful thief and all the drama that ensues.

after the film, music from the 1920s to 1950s was played, all old, carefully digitalised shellacs. of course it is impossible to sit/stand still with that kind of music playing, so dance we did until 02.40. it was snowing on the way home. i stood in the park across the street from my place for a few minutes, catching snowflakes. a few deep breaths - this year better be good.

song of the day: brazil by pink martini.