at times it seems like this small town can be hopping, it might be the trains, or just the convergence of lots of things on a single friday night, but tonight for example i'm driving my bandmate around listening to african music and she points out all the planets in line, up above a sliver moon, right above town, i'd have seen them and not even known which planets, or even that they were planets.
it's been stray dog holiday
all over town all week, this is a long tradition in illinois, where, when they first announced presidents' day, back when i was a kid, illinois didn't want to give up abe's day, and wouldn't give up abe's day, so nobody knew when to put out their garbage, abe's day or presidents' day, and the garbage would stay out an extra day on both days, or the trucks would come by and have nothing to pick up, whatever, lots of extra garbage for the stray dogs. and finally nobody could relate to presidents' day either, it wasn't like we were slighting george, or abe, or either one, when we simply traded it away for king day, or maybe vet's day, or something that seemed more urgent at the time. so voila, another stray dog holiday
i'm playing african music as i drive around town and that's good because it's lively with an interesting beat and the town is looking bleak, and brown, and all the windows are shut and everyone's in a hurry & tired of being out of money and driving quite poorly. a lively beat that's getting livelier will at least keep the kids at bay for a minute, much better than say a semi full of squealing pigs, and give us all a lift for the school days ahead. patience is wearing thin on the school front. kids are wishing they could just move on to the next grade. i'm wishing there was
a next grade.
the poetry reading was a success, and that's not just because it raised some money, but also because increasing identity as a poet has given me a kind of celebrity and people not only liked the book but also said they wanted more as they knew people who would like them, etc., which meant it had some popularity, a little jump, at least in my own tiny community. made me want to print more, eliminate the typo & mistakes, get the cover right, etc. and do it fast; orders are coming in. the pressure's on. all of a sudden, i need to have a few of them around. brings up the next dilemma; i have about a hundred more. should i make e pluribus 2012
with those hundred, or just reprint what i've got, and make a bigger, expanded e pluribus
later? i'm impatient; i'm leaning toward the 2012 version soon. 100 more is hard not to just put out there, and call it the best i've got for the moment. about 670 of them, a fair collection.
all the sites need overhauls; i need a publicity stunt; i need lots of web pointers going to my site and then for example to go out there and raise some ruckus to point people to it. for example you can go out on haiku street (#haiku), the most pedestrian of places, but with a wide variety of different poets putting it out there, and i feel kind of silly, because i still don't even have a picture on my poet twitter, and no followers, no followees, no nothing, but i write haiku and go out on the #haiku street, and it's kind of like see & be seen, write haiku about whatever, and let it sit there. i open up these news articles & write haiku from them, it's like capturing a moment out there in news land. but my twitter has no face, it goes nowhere, it's just an empty shell putting haiku out into the wind. organize! time for the dance.
the one i'm most inspired to do is entirely about this small town, with every little business, every park, every corner represented, every turn of the weather, every day of budding flowers, every recognizable thing. the street curb where everyone eats ice cream, the liquor store, you name it. i named this one a few years ago, boxcars on walnut
, even gave it a website, then let the site turn into pictures and links as the haiku moved on to other places.
rushed home tonight to skype the granddaughter and there she was, speaking whole sentences and telling her mom about what she saw and what she wanted. it's like having an extended family, being able to see them and talk to them almost any time yet not exactly living with them. they are a constant presence, in that i can skype them so often and actually miss them if i don't, for a few days in a row. it's wild, it's a new paradigm. a new kind of family life. they might move to georgia, that would be something, but who knows? anything could happen. it's good to see them now
whopper of a cold came through this week and i got it maybe monday, still had it on thursday when my wife got it even worse, and said, you take the kids, get 'em up, feed 'em, dress 'em, get 'em off to school. i did 'cause i could, i teach even when i'm sick, i go to school no matter what, even if i'm about to drop over dead. i was pushing it a little there toward the end. almost keeled over. it's the way it goes.
my poet twitter is @ramblintom, check it out. my normal one is @tlev. sometimes i tweet on one, retweet on the other. i actually don't get up there much. but i've figured out, if you have something, you have to get out there and say it. not much point in letting it just sit there....