Gemini: A zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere between Taurus and Cancer on the ecliptic.
With my moon in Gemini I want at least two of everything.
With my sun in Virgo "There was too much for one person to do."
You can also find me at & on Twitter @trippweavepoet

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The mystery of NEA applications

NEA; the renown NEA. Years ago, when I was studying my undergraduate in Creative Writing with Audre Lorde, I interviewed Fay Kicknosway. Audre recommended her to me because our work had some similarities: surrealist qualities. Fay told me she applied to the NEA 16 times before she was awarded. 16 times, and this award is every other year!

More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.
—Jane Hirshfield

So, here I am for my first time applying to the ominous NEA and I am in the dark. What do they want?
What do I want? The easy answer is money to write. But, what are the tricks to applying for a federal grant award?
I've not been successful with any of my grant applications yet. I have to say, yet.

They want publishing information. They want addresses and phone numbers. Some journals have no phone number listed. And with online journals there are hardly even addresses. How serious are they about phone numbers? Will they throw my appl into the recycling container?

So like many send to journals blind, I will send an application blindly to and most likely will receive a rejection at the end of this year. For writers rejections are frequent and common. We send out our work, we try to learn the journals and where our work might fit. We send and we send. We get used to rejections. Eventually we might have more work accepted. If we don't quit. I've taken time outs but have always come back. I've had lots of help.

Help: poetry groups.
Help: poetry friends on the same path to share accomplishments & learn from.
Help: a supportive partner.
Help: strong belief in one's own work.
Help: to celebrate each acceptance.
Help: to not take rejection personally.

How about you?

I collect quotes to help me stay inspired. I've included two today for you to enjoy.

There are people who put their dreams in a little box and say, "Yes, I've got dreams, of course I've got dreams." Then they put the box away and bring it out once in a while to look in it, and yep, they're still there. These are great dreams, but they never even get out of the box. It takes an uncommon amount of guts to put your dreams on the line, to hold them up and say, "How good or how bad am I?" That's where courage comes in. —Erma Bombeck

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm now listed on Poetry Speaks in their Spoken Word section.

Come find me! You can listen to the opening of my poem "This is Not My Beautiful Life" read with guitar backup by Paul Getzel.

It is available for purchase to download!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Our inconsistencies

minute-to-minute. Here's a quote my partner found to share this Solstice:

"It is educational for me to be confronted (as I often am by my wife) with assertions I made in the recent past but have just contradicted as erroneous, wrongheaded or wholly insane. This momentarily gives me a healthy sense of my own motion in time, a sense of my approximate rather than absolute being, a reminder that the person I am at any given moment is neither identical to the persons of other moments nor to the larger identity which is supposed to endure through the sum of moments. It is never amiss to be reminded of one's inconsistencies, especially since hypocrisy, the champion vice, is often born of no more than inconsistency and forgetfulness." (page 50)

Robert Grudin, Time and the Art of Living, 1981, Ticknor & Fields, NY

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reading Francis Bacon

In The Gilded Gutter Life of Francis Bacon," a memoir published after his death by his friend Daniel Farson, Francis says, "Well, I don't think you can be interested in whether people understand your paintings or not. It's only due to your own nervous system that you can paint at all. And you know—this is pehaps an aside, but there was a very interesting thing that Valery said about modern art, and it's very true. He said that modern artists want the grin without the cat, and by that he meant that they want the sensation of life without the boredom of conveyance. One of the things that is very interesting is that in the last five years people—all the movements—have been the thing is, how can I draw one more veil away from life and present what is called the living sensation more nearly on the nervous system and more violently?"

Our nervous system makes our art whether it be painting, music, writing. We are receptive beings who through perturbation and the waves of the universe bring cosmic consciousness through our tiny earthling nervous systems and process what is life.

I am here to perturb , to make a mess, to smash, to shuffle, to observe and let my nervous system do it's work. May it have it's effect on the world, on you.

Thank you for finding my blog.