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So I opened up submissions to Rabbit Heart last night,* and check it out – first thing in the morning, there was already a submission! From across the Atlantic, even! How cool is that??

I am deeply excited about the festival this year – I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing more international entries than last year, and I’m stoked to see what comes across my desk. I had no idea (no idea!) that poetry films (or videopoems, as I’m hearing them called more often) were such a big deal – apparently in Europe, they’re a really big deal, with 15 or 20 festivals going on through the year.** I jumped into this because I just got tired of not seeing people do anything with poetry aside from performance videos. Who knew?! Well, the Europeans, clearly.

All this to say, submissions are open for the Rabbit Heart 2015 Poetry Film Festival, and please feel free to send in your (non-performance, under 4 minutes) poetry film. ::MWAH!::
*It officially opened up today, but by 10:30, it was clear that there was no way I was going to make it ’til midnight last night. Omg, sleep.
**Aside from Rabbit Heart, I’ve only found one in the US, and their website is down, so I’m not sure if they’re around or not anymore. I really hope they’re still around.

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Update from the office: I am stunned. Absolutely stunned. Kneeling in the middle of a valley of chaos, attempting to coax our most reluctant cat out from under the sofa

The office is a wreck. Every carefully stacked pile has been toppled. We will have to replace a carpet. Houseplants have been de-potted and there is dirt in every crevice. Gunther is under the sofa growling and moaning something like no-no-no-no-no, and it roughly translates into I’m Never Ever Coming Out From This Safe Place Ever Again. #catladyproblems

HO Tanager has been here.

It’s not so much HO – really, I’m sure she’s a very nice person – but that she stormed the office to drop off promo material* and a copy of her new book,** and apparently it was Bring Your Badger to Work Day, and no one notified me in advance. Did you know that badgers bark? And did you know, also, that cats do not appreciate badgers?

A badger! She has a badger – on a leash! Or, rather, she had a badger on a leash. Well, technically, the badger stayed on the leash, but the leash did not stay in her hand, and #omigod, sweet #motherofgawd, this office will never be the same.

Needless to say, I won’t be heading into Cambridge tonight, as I’ll be piecing the place back together. #truestory But you can catch up with her at the Cantab tonight, as I hear she’s going to see Cheryl Maddalena perform. #youarewelcome

HO has left for time being. Right now, I think I’m just going to pour more coffee on it.  #soblessed

***

*Please note, Doublebunny Press is not her publisher.
**Autograph Penis. Actually quite good. Did you miss 2011 Nats in Cambridge? It’s all right here, in living, vivid color.

Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival was huge, and beautiful, and there were no tech hiccups, and there were glamorous gowns and Tony wore a tux, and the venue was perfect, and people came in from New York and San Francisco, and omigod omigod omigod, I am over the moon. Bursting with gratitude to the filmmakers and the people who made it happen, and the people who came out to see it. Over. The. Moon. It was exquisite to watch these films again, and now on the big screen – I saw things that I had missed in previous viewings, I got chills, even. Because look! Look! Look at what happened! Look at what happens when poems and films collide!

This took years for me. It took something like two years worth of just thinking about it before something snapped in me last winter and I pushed my shoulder into it to make it real – just like that. I decided to say yes. Hello, we have a film festival. I am still astounded, and gleefully gobsmacked. No really – I don’t know how to put the words in order.

One of my favorite things about last night was that I got to sit with the filmmakers and the poets after the show was over. And it wasn’t just the finalists – people came in from all over to see the screenings. It was a bar full of people who live art.

At one point I found myself at a table with Josh and Chris, who had come in from New York, Carolyn, who just moved back from the Cape, Lauren, who had come down from NH, and my brother, and I realized, Hey – this is how it happens. Here I am at a table with filmmakers, poets, musicians, dancers, and book-binders. Here I am with the makers. And it is SO good. I was relaxed like I rarely get to feel, and right with the world.

This afternoon I am exhausted. Last night I came home late from the show and did about a zillion web updates before rolling into bed, then got up early to work on a grant app, and have been knee-deep in it all day – there’s still a LOT to do before Wednesday’s postmark – but I don’t feel gross. I feel good on so many levels. Tired, indeed, but honored to be in the work.

What’s say we do this again next year? Yes?
Yes.

Good morning, Get Shit Done day! I’m low on coffee,* high in spirits, and Windows Movie Maker is rendering at the speed of tar.

I’ve done the dishes and set up some tee shirts to dye that I waxed last week and then forgot about. I’ve handled correspondence and cleaned out my email. Cleaned the desk (which is a Really Good Thing, considering the state it was in**). Found my prescription under the pile & renewed it. Started curating the show for Rabbit Heart  (hence the rendering stuff). Packed up goods for the mail, both for Apple Batiks products and for the film festival. Ok, GO.

This is kinda wonderful, being in this space today, and I’m stupid grateful for it. I spent the last week in a bit of a slump, dealing with pain management and some psychic turmoil that had me feeling caged. But yesterday the pain started to lift (Tuesday was shot day \o/), and I had the car during the day, and I started to feel like I was more in gear – that lasted until dinnertime, when I just wanted a finished meal to spring forth fully formed from my brow like another coming of Athena, and then gave up and made some ramen. And then this morning, I’m more like me again, equipped with a big can of FUCK YEH. I’m totally ok with that. I let a lot of stuff slide last week while I was uncomfortable, and it’s nice to see it get taken care of. Tonight I may even make some rice stuffed tomatoes and we can sit together and eat like a family.

And I’m blessing the timing on this – September has just begin, and that means I’m moving into crunch time. With the film festival right around the corner, there’s a bunch of bits and pieces that I need to take care of before October comes to knock and things get really real – the show curating is my biggest concern, and it feels good to be digging in after a solid month of being freaked out about all the how-tos associated with it. (What order should I show the films? Who’s going to run the computer? Can I make all the films in each category into one uninterrupted film? What software should I use? How do I use said software??) File under T for Things That Would Suck: having a full house (we’re sold out! OMG!), and not having something beautiful to present. Now that I’m in the thick of it, I’m less anxious, which makes the process easier, and I’ve started far enough ahead that I have time for The Process to work out if/when things get hinky. If I can manage this part, then all I have to do is get the trophies in order.

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Hello, hello! I am arrived home from NPS 2013. Dearest Will and I spent two days (that’s what we could afford for hotel) out in Cambridge. This was a huge decision, not just because it was expensive monetarily, but because it’s expensive emotionally – I’m anxious in cities and always afraid of getting lost or left behind, bars freak me out (and both our bouts were in bars), and slam judges frequently disappoint me. But it turned out to be a good couple days, in spite of the judges and the traffic and the booze

Favorite frames from the last couple days:

Karen G hugs. Omg, Karen G hugs when she arrived at our hotel room.

The Tribute reading: Weeping silently through the whole thing. Matt Richards reading for Ken Hunt. Talking with Gerry Hardesty about Brenda Moossy. Bill realizing that he was wearing Jack’s socks.

The tiny tiny rabbit in the courtyard eating grass as three of us tried for photographs – and then Dearest Will  pointed at Liz’ tattoo for Gabrielle, and we all gasped.

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(x-posted to the Poets Asylum)

And they’re beautiful! Check out these babies –

We’ll be selling them at the Sunday reading (you know about the Poets Asylum reading, right? ‘Cos it’s been around for, like, 14 years, and if you haven’t been, you should totally come check it out) starting this weekend. If you’re out of town and would like one (or two, or three, or five, or ten), you can order one from the Doublebunny Press store – we’ll mail it right to your mailbox.

4″ round, vinyl, $3 each (+shipping and handling for mailing, natch), with all profits going to defray hotel and registration costs  associated with getting the 2013 Worcester Slam team to NPS in August. And it almost goes without saying that one of these will totally fancy up whatever you put it on.

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Oh, November, how full you have been!

The biggest part of the month, of course, has been the annual gathering of the family at our place for Thanksgiving. As a blended family that isn’t terrifically religious, it was fairly easy to split up the holidays when Will Dearest and I got hitched – his family would get Christmas, and my family would get Thanksgiving. When my brother lived in FL, it made the most sense for our little household to get our bags packed and head down for a long weekend, and we’d all share a dinner together there. But then my brother moved up here, found the love of his life, and they had kids, and travel became a little less simple across the board. Now it’s much easier for our parents to fly up here and our auntie in NJ to drive up. Also there are perks to this arrangement – when my family comes into town, it means that Will’s family, who are all local, can join us too. It’s a mighty bit of something, a table for 18 (when all the kids are accounted for), and I’m pleased to make it.

The nicest thing about this year was that the cousins are all in the same age range, and all pretty much out of the parallel play dynamic. So there were four of them, and they were all able to really sort of meet each other this year. And by “meet,” I mean to say, run around the open-layout apartment, squealing at each other and giggling their little heads off. They had so much fun, I’m tempted to set up a play date for all four of them at our house again.

This beautiful sort of coming together is the highlight of autumn for me. I look forward to it, really, from August*, when I start the planning. I really like looking across the big tables that we set up in the living room/office, and looking at everyone together over the meal. I love that things have worked out so everyone is together, when we’re a little scattered and living our own separate stuff all the rest of the year.

So coming back together has been a big part of things this month. Can we talk poetry for a minute? Because it’s happened there for me, too.

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Should I begin with the part where I found out yesterday that I’d been overpaying on a bill for fourteen years?* Or the part where last summer I paid the rent amount to the cable provider by accident? Or the October when we didn’t have to make a car payment because I’d accidentally overpaid on it the entire year before? Or should I focus instead on the part where I have a stack of medical bills that I can’t fathom how to work the budget to pay for? Or maybe the inevitable last week of every month where I put off Man Cub’s allowance until the coming Monday and scrape quarters out of the maneki neko to cover a pack of cigarettes while trying to figure out when I’ll next be able to buy ink for the printer?

I don’t open my bank statements if a poke into our on-line banking will do.  I don’t open the statements from Man Cub’s college fund account more than once or twice a year because the market’s been awful and I’m afraid of what I might find.** I have a text alert set up with the bank so that I know when the balance on the account dips below $200 so that I know when to panic properly. Once a month I pay the bills and the rent, and I feel like a grownup – a very broke grownup, but a grownup nonetheless. Then I talk to my brother, who works for Fidelity, and I feel like a kid who has to fill out paperwork once a week so the temp agency will send me my allowance.

The money is weird.

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Earlier today I posted up about my new camera (phone), and in the notes at the bottom, I mentioned that I’ve been working on Something. And I’ve made that Something.

I’ve desired for a while to make poetry videos that are not performance based (meaning videos that do not focus on the poet reading to the camera or the audience). And now that I have the camera (ok, phone), I’ve had the chance to try it. I started this project thinking that I would shoot some footage of the area around No. 208, have some friends climb up on the roof, and film them, blah blah blah. But I struggled with it, and it didn’t turn out. In a fit of aggravation, I turned to what I know best: my scraps table. I currently* know little to nothing about shooting a video, but I do know how to make a collage. And so that’s what I did.**

Here it is; I humbly offer you my very first video –

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todays

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