Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some days I'm in love with poetry.

Some days I'm in love with poets. Today, this interview with Jorie Graham in The Spectator is exactly what I needed. Incredibly satiating.

A Weekend in Madison

Well, this is the first (and sadly one of the last) weekends in Madison for a long while, so I will brag about all of the great things there are to do in Madison on a summer weekend.

My weekend kicked off with an evening of sitting around a little living room with people excited enough about poetry to spend an evening reading it aloud.  My friend, Chloe (who makes wonderful jewelry and is a wonderful person and also a wonderful writer), read from Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red. I'd read it as an undergad, but I'd forgotten why I was so excited about it.  So, I'm glad to have remembered and will be reading it again soon.

Saturday started with a little bike ride to yoga, followed by a bike ride to pick up the CSA, followed by a few episodes of Lost, followed by the Summer Solstice Bonfire and Procession of the Species at Olbrich Park. We didn't actually stick around for the bonfire, because we forgot to eat dinner, but the Procession was good fun. I'm a sucker for community gatherings. 

And today I'll be at Absolutely Art, trading in all of my old paper and beads and fabric for someone else's old craft-things at the Re-Art Swap.

There should be more weekends in the summer, so one can do all of these things AND spend a day hiking at Devil's Lake.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

And so concludes my brief investigation of the paranormal

I've returned all the paranormal books. You can only read so many before you realize they all say the same thing about being human and little about anything real. The most interesting book I happened to grab was a book of photos by a woman who found "ghosts" in the shadows of "haunted houses." The way she captured light and color in some of the spaces emphasized the formerly living occupants of the space, so while there was nobody in the picture, you could almost see someone in the picture. (I mean, she made it easy to imagine someone in the picture if you were looking for someone-- and this was what these books say about being human).  I like that sort of thing. (Though there've been many times I thought I'd found Waldo, but it turned out to be a barber pole...)

I traded the books in for 8 books on vegetable gardening, 2 DVDs of short films, a book about Mary Shelley (who is my favorite person/writer), The Tiger's Wife, and Lucky Jim.  After reading Hardy's Jude the Obscure last summer (fall? Was that just this spring?), I've been desperate to find a funny book that might pop up on a GRE English Subject Test. Alas! I've found one. So far, the best line comes after Dixon kicks a stone and it hits an English professor: "At the moment of impact he'd turned and began to walk down the drive, but knew well enough that he was the only visible entity capable of stone propulsion." Such good stuff! The book also cashes in on a significant number of GRE vocab words for which I recently made flashcards, so I feel like I'm killing 2 birds with one stone as it were.

Today, I could talk about books until dark. But, off to work for me, where I will think about reading books and then come home to read them. Or read them on my lunch break...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Northern Harrier vs. Bunny

Carter came out of his room yelling for me. He'd heard squealing & screeching, then a thump against his bedroom window-- A Northern Harrier had dropped the tiniest baby bunny. It landed in the neighbor's driveway.

We went outside to urge the bunny into a safer, less-concrete place. The Harrier watched from a tree 20 feet above us. Then, the bunny was beneath the porch. We went for a walk.

I couldn't help but wonder if we'd done the right thing. As noted previously, the abundance of bunnies in my neighborhood makes me uncomfortable. I don't think there is an abundance of Harriers. Maybe the Harrier had little bills to fill...

After the walk, a bunny lay in a suspicious way on the side of the house. I assumed it to be the baby's mother. But what do I know about bunnies?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Poem "Itch" Reviewed a Little at New Pages!

Hazel Foster mentions my poem, "Itch" in her review of Cimarron Review at New Pages-- check it out!

Cimarron Review coverCimarron Review

Issue 178
Winter 2012
Review by Hazel Foster
Cimarron Review, with its clean, slim design, wants to be read. The cover art speaks of rural America, and the pages blister with the richest poetry. The fiction and nonfiction, while skillful, act like a gap-stuffer, filling out the space between poems... 
“Itch” by Angela Voras-Hills, another spectacular poem, steps away from the literal. In these lines, bugs swarm and devour apocalyptically...

Hello Books, I'm Home

I went to the library a half hour before they closed to pay my over $20 fine so I can check out books and put them on hold again. Of course their computers were down when I got there, but they let me check some out anyway. This was nice of them, but what does one grab in the final fifteen minutes of library hours? Lots of books on the paranormal, apparently. I picked up a book of real-life stories of haunted houses, Haunted America, that I had to stop reading.  At this point, I only have one book left in my pile of 20 that is still appealing to me: The Girls' History and Culture Reader. This isn't paranormal, but has a pretty cover. I went straight for paranormal or pretty.

Mostly, I wanted to pay my fine.  I love having books in my library cart & in my hold queue-- I feel very empty without a long list of books knowing they are wanted.  I'll have to go back tonight to return these paranormal books & pay my fine.

I miss books. Good books. Especially good books with poems inside.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I can never keep it together in the beginning of summer. All of my sentences trail off. A baby bunny chews the grass I just planted. A hot pink poster-board sign tells me to say goodbye to the old oak, the one in which the Screech Owls live. A cat digs up the pansies I just planted and shits in their dirt... See? Before one thought ends, something happens, and I've alighted onto some other branch, someone else's front porch.

Yesterday, I bought a new notebook and registered for the GRE.  All of this and rhubarb crumbles and crisps and strawberries. I've been meaning to write about my CSA produce, because it's wonderful, and, let's face it, some kind of blogger right of passage.  But each time I sit down to talk about my amazing fruits & veggies, I end up in the backyard, staring at things. Or suddenly I'm on my bicycle. Where am I going all the time in the sun? 

Well, today I went to the polls. I can't even talk about it yet. There is all sorts of good yelling going on in Madison. I can hear it from the Square. It makes me want to sit in my car & honk... it also makes me nervous. 30 minutes left.