Monday, August 01, 2005

New arrivals...

... not necessarily in this order:

1. Paul Guest's collection The Resurrection of the Body and the Ruin of the World, from a book swap.

2. Poetry, July/August 2005, "The Humor Issue."

3. Our seldom-seen friends Greg and Jen Darland with their 19-month-old son, who is an absolute riot---our girls loved his little-legged trot! We enjoyed a Saturday evening grill-o-rama.

4. Owls and Other Fantasies: Poems and Essays by Mary Oliver, hardbound, a nice surprise.

5. Notification from Denver's uberstore, Tattered Cover Book Store, that they can't fit a reading in this year, but I'm welcome for the second Monday in January. Well... okay, looks like I'll be in Denver twice in the next five months. (That beats Boulder Book Store, which turned me down, much to my chagrin since I used to buy a lot of poetry books there, plus it's a great bookstore.)

6. The Apple that Astonished Paris by Billy Collins (I've become a real Collins fan in the last year, which makes me a late bloomer in that department I suppose).

7. An email this morning from Amy, a long-lost high school classmate (upon whom I had a considerable crush). I graduated from St. John Luthern High School in Ocala, Florida, and it's always great to get back in touch with people I likely wouldn't recognize nearly 20 years later!

8. A call from another good friend of mine, the acquaintance from the recent Incarceration posting in fact, who just returned from his own wedding in Italy.

9. A very well-kept used copy of Philip Appleman's New and Selected Poems, 1956-1996, from Blue Bike Books. I exchanged letters with Philip when I wrote my first Charles Darwin poem, back at college in 1990. Now he and I are swapping our newest books. Really an honor, as his work, and specific comments on my poem (the first I ever published, in fact) have been an inspiration to me!

10. A dozen samples of bamboo flooring and laminate from iFloor.com. We want to redo our floors, thanks in part to a recent refinancing on our house (yes, we're a dastardly part of that housing bubble/refinance craze that's just sweeping the nation!). I'll be doing the job myself, which is why we're leaning toward laminate (click-and-go), though much prefer the look and sound of real wood, be it bamboo or oak, etc. Still, the cushioning of laminate is not to be overlooked, especially when on solidly inflexible concrete floors such as ours.

11. Two new poems from my seven-year-old daughter today alone. I wish I could keep about 1/14th that pace, as of late.

12. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good." Harry Potter t-shirts for the Mrs. and me. "Mischief Managed" on the back. I think I'll wear mine to the reading this Friday.

13. A use-it-or-lose-it note from United Mileage Plus, followed a day later by a "Redeem Your Unused Mileage Plus Miles for Magazines" letter. Seriously folks, can't I just hold on to my measly 9,700 miles until I actually want to use them for travel? Do I really have to buy magazines or register to purchase something at Wine.com?

14. A nice note from British sculptor Bill Woodrow, who unfortunately cannot put together a submission for Terrain.org's next ARTerrain gallery, but will work on something for next year.

15. A sad note from C.E. Chaffin, venerable editor of The Melic Review, noting that Melic is taking submissions for its very last issue with the fitting theme of "Death." Melic was founded about the same times as Terrain.org, and is one of the original and still best online journals of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. I'm digging to see if I have something to meet the theme.

16. A tupperware container full of locally made medium/hot salsa arrived on my front porch this evening. Mmmm.

17. A free copy of the premier issue of the new magazine Lake Life, which I ordered about a year ago from a postcard somewhere. It's beautifully done, and having so much water in one portfolio is a Godsend in the desert, but I'll have to pass on a subscription, I'm afraid (unless, perhaps, I can get it with my United Mileage Plus miles?!).

18. This growing intrigue of plot in a poem, and this desire---which I've yet to fulfill---of plotting out a number of poems before I try to write them. Interesting, as I've not done anything like that before. Will it work? It may, but I've actually got to get around to doing it first. May report back....

19. A foursome of football tickets for the University of Arizona Wildcats this fall. I'll see the Cats play the Purdue Boilermakers (where my brother went to school---he's coming down from Indiana for the game), Oregon Ducks, and Washington Huskies. Unfortunately the latter two games may overlap two great Southeastern Conference matchups: Auburn at LSU and Auburn at Georgia. I graduated from Auburn University, so War Damn Eagle!

20. An inkling that if you've read this far, you must really like me or be really crazy, or both. So let's stop and save ourselves the uncomfortable awkward silence that must, inevitably, follow.

Good evening,

Simmons

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