Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fall Season of “The Blood-Jet”!

I’ve been working towards compiling the fall season of “The Blood-Jet” and I’m excited!

I’m still trying to get more writers on the show, and it’s been an arduous process figuring out dates, review copies, etc with editors and writers, but very rewarding.   Thanks to Oscar Bermeo for suggesting Rachel McKibbens’ new collection of poems Pink Elephant. I’ve just started reading the PDF copy that Cypher Books sent me, and so far, it’s quite an honest and unforgiving collection, which I like.

Check out “The Blood-Jet” website.  And please, do suggest more writers for the show!

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Writing Marinade

The Emerging Voices Fellowship is over.

I haven’t lifted a finger towards my project in a month.  There’s something about a FINAL Reading that makes it seem so FINAL, especially when that thing you’ve been writing isn’t even done.  Oh yeah, and there’s that ‘living life’ stuff that happens too.

Instead of feeling guilty, I’ve come up with a list of writing goals for the next month or so that will help my project marinate.

  • Write a poem for every vacation day.  I’m headed off to France and Spain for about 10 days in September. I’ve never been to Europe before, so it’ll be a good way to revive my writing; being able to see cities with new eyes.
  • Be a reading series fan.  I want to find to follow a series, even if I don’t know all the poets or writers reading.  Tongue in Groove at Hotel Cafe, the Third Area at the Pharmaka, are a few that I’ve been to  in Los Angeles and I’m more interested in attending consistently.
  • Set up more author interviews for “The Blood-Jet.”  Anyone have any more suggestions?
  • Take a visual arts class at Santa Monica College.

My goals for the Aswang project are:

  • FINISH writing in October.  Ripe for Halloween.
  • FINISH revising by the end of December.

I’m excited about this, and have come to terms with not writing every second of the day.  Sometimes, everything needs to sit for awhile.

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Philippine American Writers and Artists Blog

Wrote a piece about my experience with the Emerging Voices Fellowship.

Now that the fellowship is over, writing this was a great way to process.

Check it out here.

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New Apartment

It has built-in bookshelves inside the closet! (I’m told they’re meant for clothes).

Nope, books.

I will have limited internet access for a bit, but I will try to steal some internet time at work!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on a post-Emerging Voices post for the PAWA blog, corresponding with authors and publishers for my radio show “The Blood-Jet” and unpacking.

So far, on the fall calendar for “The Blood-Jet,” I have Jayne Cortez and Kim Addonizio.

I’m still looking for more folks to interview.  Which writers do you recommend I bring on the radio show?  I’m open, and like a mixed bag of writers who’ve been around for a while and emerging writers.

Feel free to comment!

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Stolen Moments

As I prepare to move into my new place, interview for fall jobs, and start the school year, it appears to be a good-crazy time in my life.

Amidst the hustle, juggling the many jobs, I try to incorporate my writing and poetry in my downtime at work.  Instead of sitting in front of the television after the kid I was babysitting went to bed, I perused their family bookshelf.  Found a 19080s copy of the Norton Poetry Anthology.  As my tiny corner of the studio grows vertically with book-mess, I find it refreshing to read books, flip through anthologies, and write in other people’s spacious homes.  There’s also a sense of a time restriction, which makes you write fast, flip through more.

Tonight, I found this excellent A.R. Ammons poem, appropriately titled “Pet Panther” on the subject of attention, which I’ve been writing about lately.

Pet Panther By A.R. Ammons

My attention is a wild

animal: it will if idle

make trouble where there

was no harm: it will

sniff and scratch at the

breath’s sills:

it will wind itself tight

around the pulse

or, undistracted by

verbal toys, pommel the

heart frantic: it will

pounce on a stalled riddle

and wrestle the mind numb:

attention, fierce animal

I cry, as it coughs in my

face, dislodges boulders

in my belly, lie down, be

still, have mercy, here

is song, coils of song, play

it out, run with it.

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The World Stage

Since my move to L.A. last winter, I’ve felt an insistent pulse of community in writing and poetry through the PEN USA EV Fellowship, local workshops and spaces.

The World Stage in Leimert Park is one such space that encompasses community, where writers are able to take risks and receive feedback on new work, listen to a featured reader’s work, and participate in an open mic.  Unlike most open mics I’ve attended, The World Stage sets a time limit and features a “No Bullshit” sign hanging in front of the podium — a picture of a bull shitting with an X through it.

Last night, I was a featured reader, clocking in at 30 minutes and around 12 poems — definitely my longest reading yet.  The crowd was small, but intimate; lots of regulars who’ve been writing, workshopping and performing at The World Stage for years.  I read the Aswang poems, of course, poems from Suzanne Lummis’ class, a few from the old chapbook.  It was cool to read a variety of work, since I’ve been focused on reading and performing the Aswang stuff for a while now.

Community spaces are important, and to echo something Barbara Jane Reyes wrote in her blog, regarding these spaces, it’s not about being safe, but the ability to take risks in that space with other writers.  I found that at The World Stage, and I’m excited to continue looking for more of these literary venues in LA., in addition to creating my own with the EV Fellows post-EV.

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More EV Reflection

As I prepare to write a blog post for PAWA , I realize that I’ve filled up five notebooks with notes from Author Evenings, scribbled and stolen lines, free-writes during Laurel Ann Bogen’s workshops, drafts from Suzanne Lummis’ UCLA Ext. class.

I want to excavate these notebooks.  Piece together what inspired poems, the creation of this blog and other venues to publicly declare myself as a writer. These notebooks have spilled into the space above my desk in the form of post-its, postcards.

The following notes hang above my computer:

“Poetry is the language of suggestion, not the language of meaning.”

-Terrance Hayes

“Poetry is the blood-jet.  There is no stopping it.”

-Sylvia Plath

“What you do instead of your work has become your work.”

-a quote Suzanne Gardinier referenced from a friend.

“All is for the very best, so move forward happily and feel yourself as a part of the whole process of change.”

-Deepak Chopra

AND

my business card.  A lady in red, surely a poet.

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