Sunday, January 31, 2010

the lady of the poems

it occurred to me today that my poetic life over the past 3-4 years kind of fits the lord of the rings trilogy:

I - the fellowship of ITWS: my poem-a-day times at inside the writer's studio poetry board
II - the two lost years: as good as nothing happening between end of 2007 and end of 2009
III - the return of the muse: looks like "it" is back - whatever "it" is that makes me want to write, that makes me find the words, that channels my ideas. i am beginning to trust this/myself again, which is, well: terrific! :)

other news:

autralian open: justine henin lost her comeback grand slam to serena williams - no fairy tale ending there, but many flashes of brilliance. good to have her back. roger federer did it again ... andy murray just was no match for him.

i was unfaithful to my hairdresser. so far, no regrets.

i'm not surprised that my students seem to have given me some bug - i found out 2 hours ago that i have a temperature. this does not make me particularly happy.

i'm hooked on sarah blasko, it seems (song of the day - brilliant, brilliant cover version of a 1980s cold chisel song). and checking out clare & the reasons.

song of the day: flame trees by sarah blasko.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


shortly after i posted a note re: swapping chapbooks on facebook, steve meador (editor of hanging moss journal) set up a group called the chapbook & literary journal exchange. i invited all my poet friends and acquaintances, and hope they are spreading the word. if you are not one of my contacts and happen to read this - do join. i've now exchanged books with ken pobo, rachel dacus, and valerie fox, and i only have one copy of "small confessions and pebbles of regret" left. i am more of a chapbook swapper than buyer - part of the reason is that i don't live in the usa, but mainly i love the idea of those books being some sort of special currency that buys you somebody else's words. i'm wondering why nobody else i know (including me!) had the fantastic idea of setting up such an exchange group. sometimes you gotta love the web. :)

so anyway: top of my reading list: ken pobo's trina and the sky (love the title!), rachel dacus's another circle of delight, valerie fox's the rorschach factory and valerie fox & arlene ang's bundles of letters including a, v and epsilon.

yesterday while putting new sheets on the bed, this line came to me out of nowhere: "nothing bad can happen to a girl with a goldfish voice". i sat down at the computer, wrote down some random words, turned to eclectica magazine for more random words (they have a special challenge in every issue, check it out!), did some research on element 113 - ununtrium - and began to write. the words just flowed. it was just like back in the good old days when i wrote a poem every day. it's such a fabulous feeling, and i know why i've missed it so badly. the new poem is called alice gets lost on her way to wonderland, and the first line i had is the final line of the poem - as happens so often with me. however, i changed "voice" to "mouth".

maybe i should change the sheets more often. :)

music-wise, i am quite smitten with sarah blasko at the moment - a great singer/songwriter from australia. check her out. i have my friend rachael to thank for the recommendation.

song of the day: all i want by sarah blasko.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

with my return to teaching, getting to know a new group and - of course - prep work, writing was pushed aside a bit this week. however, i've been working on a poem that i find quite difficult to handle, a poem in which recently uncovered issues in connection with my childhood and my mother are the main theme. the working title is "Portrait of Mother in Eleven Questions". i think i've got almost all i want to say, but am tinkering with the lines and words on and off. we'll see where it takes me / i take it.

nice/good/happy things this week: work. nice feedback. a colleague who'd obviously missed me. not as much chocolate. hooking up with an old school friend i had not seen in 10 years. a walk in sunshine & snow. a good film (winds of sand, women of rock) with a good friend. a farmville extension. a 27 page letter from my dear aussie friend rachael - always a treat. an interesting therapy session. a pineapple - cheap and juicy. a dream in which george clooney flirted with me in german and english. heinz.

song of the day: rock like a baby by elizabeth harper.

Monday, January 18, 2010

terms of endearment

ah. just watched "terms of endearment", which i had not seen for ages. you gotta love shirley maclaine!

here: me. today.

song of the day: path of thorns (terms of endearment) by sarah mclachlan.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


i have two spare copies of my chapbox "the secret meanings of greek letters" (dancing girl press, 2007, sold out) and of my collaboration project with alex stolis "small confessions and pebbles of regret" (rubicon press, 2008, sold out). is anybody interested in swapping chapbooks? if so, leave a comment on this post, email me, or contact me on facebook.

for more info, see these blog posts:
small confessions ...
secret meanings ...

song of the day: samson by regina spektor.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


so it's been nearly ten months since my last blog post: if i made any new year resolutions, one of them would be to blog more regularly this year!

i think one reason why i did not blog as much as i used to is the fact that nothing was happening with my writing: almost nothing new, no submissions sent out, no publication. i've been quite far from poetry (makes a nice title, doesn't it?) these past two years. over the last ten days, however, i have written five poems - that is two more than in 2009! they are all for my "elemental" project, the poems based on the elements of the perdiodic table. it is tough, trying to get back into the habit of writing regularly. today was the first time that i actually thoroughly enjoyed working on a poem again, it was like a flicker of how it used to be. i've also done a lot of research on the elements i still need to deal with - and it seems as if i have done most of the really inspiring, interesting ones. *s*

"there, between / heifer and cup-bearer, beloved of the god: the veiled bride, mistress// of the night. beneath the netting, her freckles seem to shift, like/constellations."

(from: europium (eu) - between io and ganymede, eleven minutes to six)

i don't want to dwell on the past too much, but in a nutshell: it was a good year, well, most of it.

moving was stressful, but it's great to live with heinz! i had expected to miss my old flat, at least occasionally, but i didn't. of course, the place is not big enough in the long run - so flat/house hunting is one of the major projects of 2010.

work: lots of lovely students, challening and highly interesting translation project (encyclopedia of western european languages) - although there seems to be hardly any freelance job without a fight for the money. i am going back to work on monday - finally! it has been too long.

we took a few short(ish) trips: croatia in may, carinthia (around my hometown) in july, south tyrol in september. lots of nature, hiking, swimming, tons of photos.

my social life suffered a little when i had lots of work on my plate and i turned into some kind of recluse for a while. fortunately i managed to break the habit in autumn, with the viennale film festival coming in handy.

what i found hard to deal with was the fact that i had to increase the dose of SSRI again in autumn, following some anxiety/panic incidents. i had a couple of hallucinations, too. i am sure that this was partly due to my confronting some of the demons from my past, and partly due to being worried about work (it was uncertain whether the english teaching project would be continues). i am seeing my therapist regularly, and we have tackled a few tough issues. but i have been feeling much better over the last couple of weeks or so. heinz has been a source of constant support and encouragement. :)

other stuff includes: farmville addiction (decreasing!), scrabble addiction, christmas in carinthia and styria, bob hewis's unexpected death, loved the book "the book thief", miss the writing community, 72nd out of about 1400 in the vienna photo marathon, boy group: otto, pruno & heinrich, facebook addiction, photography, the untimely death of one of my favourite singers - lhasa de sela, aunt resi's 100th birthday, puzzle addiction (reactivated), concerts: leonard cohen (#2!), bruce springsteen (#4), tori amos (#5, i believe), regina spektor.

here are some pictures (moving; croatia with the boy group; hiking in carinthia; h&m with aunt resi (100); leonard cohen & band; succulent; michi & alex with heinrich; michi with livia; ladybird):

song of the day: haiti by the arcade fire.