In the waiting room at John Kenyon for my eye followup. The doctor who saw me last week is not in the office today; I’ll be seeing someone else. Eventually.
Two women next to me talking loudly. One of them pulls out her cell phone to call her daughter, asking her for psychologist referrals: No, he’s the pits! We’ve been there, done that!
Stooped old woman pouring fresh coffee into the urn, rearranging magazines, adjusts a lamp an inch or so on a table.
I should have eaten.
Large “E” projected on the corridor wall from an open exam room.
Received new books from the Poetry Book Club the other day, including the new gay anthology. Very disappointing: 85% is composed of the same names, people with published books, like Mark Doty, Justin Chin, and the ubiquitous Tim Liu. I wonder how much research _______ did, whether he (or anyone) scanned journals, looked hard to find new voices? One new (to me) voice is Mark Bibbins, who I think I’ve read in the old James White Review. I haven’t read his work in the anthology yet. I still want to create a chapbook series. Maybe one way to do this is to solicit work for an anthology series, new gay voices, the writers outside the loop (whatever constitutes “the loop”). Were I editing, I’d have asked each of the names in this collection to put me in touch with five good poets I’d never heard of.
floating title: Vermilion. (journal?)
Sent Rudy Kikel a long email yesterday. Was The World In Us the anthology he felt left out of? Asked him for names, contacts, “unknown” poets. I really want to do something to start a queer journal.
Sunday evening, 08.13:
I sat with Sadie under the box elder tree
in the park, he says. We were gone
a whole hour, did you miss us?
Acer negundo, the white trash of the maple
family. Warty skin, bagworms dangling, straggly
green twigs always catching parking lot
refuse blown by wind. He’d do well to leave
his baggage there, I think, but say
instead I was writing, I thought it was quiet
downstairs. I guess this is a test; you’re trying
to show me how it’s going to feel
when you go away to write, he says. But I’m
always doing that, I think, and he turns
the TV on, Is this bothering you? Too late,
too late, whatever I was trying to chase–
Billy, I’m lonely, I say to the wall.
I get this odd feeling you’re not going to call.
[notes on waking]
Great wheels, he said, holding open
be walking, she spat, buzzing past.
Email from Frank ____ at White Eagle Coffee Store Press in response to my query yesterday: contest results are just in, and my chapbook manuscript (The David Museum) placed second. Will let me know if the first-place ms. is unavailable. Well, damn.
Project idea: a sonnet sequence, Love in Time. Resonates with GM’s Love in the Time of Cholera, I know, but still. Love in time of war. My almost-sonnet, “Living in Fear with You.” Finding love while there is still time. Each last line repeats as the first line of the next poem. I really think I could do this.
Woke thinking, the oracle tree. What is that?
Ficus benjamina? I chose a tree that weeps.
I don’t know.
Yesterday when we got home from lunch there was a phone message from a nice-sounding man at the Centrum Center; I’d written for application guidelines and he was calling to say the deadline was an August 30 postmark. R asked, What is Centrum? and I said it’s an arts center in Washington State that awards one-month residencies. He looked pained. He sat at his computer and said, morosely, This is never going to end, is it?