Monday, June 26, 2006


The Oregon State Beavers won the College World Series! Michael and Max watched the game.

It has been hot here. Too hot to go running.

But it cooled down tonight around nine - finally. Cool enough to take the dogs for a walk, anyway. The lavender is in bloom in Portland! I noticed it everywhere tonight - and in my own backyard.

I have been reading Lug Your Careless Body Out of the Careful Dusk by Joshua Marie Wilkerson and enjoying it very much! And he will have poems in the new Caffeine Destiny, hooray.

The words on the woman in the lower left hand corner that can't be read very well here are:

The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;

by John Keats, from On the Grasshopper and the Cricket.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bowl of Lemons!

Okay, so maybe I had to tell you they were lemons before you knew ... But you can tell it's a bowl, right? I drew this today.

I ran six miles this morning. There was a nice breeze, although it's getting very hot. I"m so glad we have air conditioning.

I checked out some books about drawing. I like doing things in the summer I don't usually do. Drawing is fun. I like drawing when I first get up, as the newspaper is really not worth reading these days. I read the celebrity news and the opinion page and then I'm usually done.

Reading Karen Volkman's Spar again, and Megan Johnston's The Waiting. They both are so great - they push so hard on the language, I love that. I wrote a poem on Thursday that I was quite pleased with, and emailed it to some people to say "look what I did!" I'm trying to make the words do a lot of work - calisthentics for the words! And as Janine and I discussed the other day, don't forget the music of the poem! yes!

Max and Laura are going to a birthday party today. Both of their lessons went well yesterday. Max learned two chords. Max's teacher said he would find the music for Behind Blue Eyes by the Who for Max, since that's one of Max's favorite songs. Laura's teacher said yesterday she was a flute player with two sticks of wood in her hands, but she was going to become a drummer! Or something like that - I liked how he said it.

So right now I'm a poet with a pencil. I think I shall probably remain that, but it's fun to try new things.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


It feels like summer is really here now. I took the kids to Target today and they got new swimsuits. Then later they played out in the back in the sprinkler in them. Laura has an orange bikini and Max's suit is also a shade of orange - they looked cute, playing in the sprinkler in the back yard.

This afternoon Michael brought home a snare drum and drum stand and drumsticks for Laura. Her first percussion lesson is tomorrow. Max's guitar lesson is tomorrow too.

I am reading an Anita Brookner novel - I haven't read a book by her in a long time. I read an essay last night about Dare Wright, the woman who wrote the Edith the Lonely Doll books. I didn't know there were like fifteen Edith the Lonely Doll books. I had one when I was a kid. I bought the reprint for Laura a few years ago.

Tonight Laura and I went to Michael's Craft Store and I bought a sketchbook and some pencils. I bought some of those charcoal pencils, the dark ones that you have to peel. I remember my mom had those. I drew some chairs and flowers. It was fun.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First Week of Summer Vacation

For my kids anyway! They are a bit squirrely but seem to be adjusting to no school. I practiced football throwing and catching with Max last night. I have to get over my first impulse when I see a football heading for me - it doesn't help to duck! Max kept explaining to me that I should have all fingers lined up with the stitching when I throw the ball.

Max has his first guitar lesson on Friday, and Laura has her first percussion lesson Friday as well! She wants to be percussion next year in band, instead of the flute.

I don't know why I started thinking about this today, but I wonder: when did people start rolling their eyes as a facial expression? Did people in the Middle Ages roll their eyes? Not in a "I'm possessed by the devil!" kind of a way, but in a "geez I can't believe you said that!!" or "God you're stupid" manner? I will have to look into this.

I have been listening to Band of Horses a lot lately. They are coming to the Doug Fir on July 3rd and I think Michael and I are going.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

School's Out!

Tomorrow is Max's last day of fourth grade! Today was Laura's last day of sixth grade!!

Max also had a tux fitting today. As in, yes, tuxedo! He's going to be a ringbearer in my father-in-law''s wedding on Saturday. Laura is going to be a candlelighter, with her cousin Sonja.

My poetry students turned in their final projects today. It was fun to read their reflective memos at the beginning of their projects. I can think of things I will do differently next time, but I think some good things happened in that class.

I have been reading some of the Best American Essays 2005 this week. Michael gave it to me for my birthday in January, but I hadn't read many of them until this week. I read an essay about the Peanuts comic strip (and other things) by Jonathan Franzen, and an essay about memory by Ian Frazier. I would like to try to write an essay this summer. I make my students write them all the time - it seems only fair!

The sky was gorgeous tonight. My sweet peas are starting to bloom.

My contributor's copies of Faultline arrived today. I thought my poem looked nice.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Michael and I slept in until 10:30 this morning - we never sleep in that late!

Last night we watched Woody Allen's Match Point, which was good, and started A History of Violence, which was - surprise! - violent, but seems good so far.

Yesterday was the end of the season barbecue for Little League. Max had a lot of fun getting very wet in the dunk tank. Michael and I played in a ball game with other parents against the coaches. Michael was good, I was not so good, but I did actually manage to hit the ball on one of my times at bat. Pretty amazing for me!

Next week is the kid's last week of school. Max's class is going swimming Monday, and I think Tuesday is field day. I can remember field day from when I was in grade school. There's still something exciting about the last week of school!

It's been warm so the flowers are happy. My tomato plants have actual tomatos on them.

I stopped reading Black Swan Green, about thirty pages before it ended. I realized, I just didn't care how it ended. So I stopped. I want to read Antonya Nelson's new collection of short stories. I have been thinking about short stories lately.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


My poetry class at PSU is winding down, my new class at WSU has started! Six students registered, five were in class yesterday. They put us in a computer lab type of classroom, with tables grouped in fives. Each table has a huge monitor on it - it kind of hides their faces! Fine if I was teaching a typing class I suppose ... I can see how it would come in handy for in-class writing, but really, it seems like overkill.

Max is giving a speech today - his last of the year. He practiced it many times last night. He was supposed to write a speech that a patriot would give - as in Revolutionary War patriot. He convinced me! This morning he wore all blue, including his nice dress shoes and a button down shirt. And he brought his wooden sword as a prop. He says Patrick Henry had a sword too!

Sunday Michael and I went to the Art Museum. We saw the new Modern Art wing. I liked the Rothko. Some of it was too modern for me. The renaissance painting from Brecia was cool.