Here’s my new interview on The Creative Nonfiction podcast with Brendan O’Meara:
The Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik wrote this in the middle of one of her poems in 1965 (when she was 29) and it made me think of the writing process:
“And there is, in this waiting,
a rumor of breaking lilac.
And there is, when the day arrives,
a division of the sun into smaller black suns.
And at night, always,
a tribe of mutilated words
looks for refuge in my throat…”
In Spanish, it’s a little different, but the same idea (for example, “espera” could mean “waiting” or “hoping” in this context, etc.):
“Hay, en la espera,
un rumor a lila rompiéndose.
Y hay, cuando viene el día,
una partición del sol en pequeños soles negros.
Y cuando es de noche, siempre,
una tribu de palabras mutiladas
busca asilo en mi garganta…”
I jumped off of a bridge into the Willamette River after school the other day. It was a cold water day – snow run-off – but some young people wanted to know a safe place to do a big jump into the water, so I showed them where a deep enough channel was. See the pics of that jump below.
This jump reminded me of a story, a failure story, and I told it at my reading at the University of Oregon. Click here to see me tell that story (just posted by my publisher, Ben Leroy, this morning).
Here’s a pic of five of us jumping at once (me on the right). Click to expand the pic:
And here’s the next pic when I’m out of the screen, the other four still in the air:
And finally, this is the swim out to the South bank into the cottonwoods, staying together because the water was cold:
My article on writing and ignoring failure was published by Writer’s Digest:
I just received a rejection from a literary journal, and although I only read the form-rejection email once, I’m pretty sure it went like this:
We just read your pathetic attempt at a story
At the end, three editors were snoring
We turned it around
Flipped the page upside down
Yet the manuscript was still incredibly boring.
Did Hemingway ever have a public reading where only his wife showed?
Did Faulker ever talk in front of a crowd that didn’t materialize?
Does Toni Morrison?
I know Sherman Alexie and David Sedaris pull huge crowds. Always.
But not me (Note: In Seattle).
New piece for Ampheta’Zine: