Like Hammer Time but with Less Cardio, It’s Galley Time!

Arte Publico Press has issued the galleys for my upcoming poetry book, Falling in Love with Fellow Prisoners (September 2013!).

This book’s release is similar emotionally, for me, to that of the first book I wrote, which was a short prose collection, because:

1. It’s made up of small works, so readers delve into it faster and give feedback faster.

2. Reader feedback contains disclosure of favorite pieces, and so far, everyone has different favorites. That makes me very happy. (Because if everyone liked the same few, I’d assume it’s because those were the only decent ones.)

3. I imagine that other people read collections the way I do – flipping through and stopping on the pieces that resonate with them, skipping the others for “later.”

4. The pieces display comparable levels of horrifying intimacy and therefore vulnerability. So I’m afraid for people to read them. But, because of points one through three above, I can tell myself that people are only thoroughly reading the parts they relate to. And they wouldn’t relate to my intimate thoughts unless they shared them on some level. And realizing that others share your thoughts is the purpose of writing and reading. Therefore, I am safe and should stop worrying.

We are moving.

I sold my house and we bought another one, and we’re moving in three weeks, and we’re very excited about it. We believe that the new house represents a higher level of happiness in our lives. It will usher in a new era for us, basically.

I’m a tiny bit sad because, during the pest inspection, we found out that the new house had carpenter ants. Not termites, but carpenter ants. No, not carpenter bees–carpenter ants. At first I was disgusted by them. But then, as I learned more about carpenter ants in general and our population of them in particular, I came to admire them. Apparently, the ones who live at our house are pretty good at property development. They built a subdivision (in our walls) walking distance from a crape myrtle tree that contains particularly tasty sap and fat aphids. We were joking that they advertised it as “convenient to excellent restaurants.” They also built a little cemetery in a corner of our ceiling, because burying their dead is something they do. Their leader is a queen, and she lives in a tree in our yard.

We’re going to have them all killed. I asked if it was possible to remove them from our house without killing them, but I was told no.

I feel bad about killing them, but that’s real estate. And our new era of happiness requires some sacrifice in order to keep balance in the universe, apparently. So I’m honoring the carpenter ants now, in my mind and on this Internet. Raise your glass to them, if you happen to be drinking. I’ll raise a few later at our bitchin’ new wet bar.

Our Sad Pets

We don’t have babies or toddlers to worry about, but we have these cats, who are almost worse when it comes to a move. They don’t understand anything. They live in constant fear that we’re going to suddenly stop caring for them and turn to murderous sadists. We had to day-board them several times throughout the house-selling process, and that scared them to death. Starbuck, in particular, thought she was in mortal danger and went postal on a teenaged kennel worker.

I can’t explain to them what’s happening. We keep trying. We tell them we’re going to a new house and they’re going to be happy there. But they don’t listen, or they don’t understand English, or something. They won’t be reasonable. They refuse to understand.

There are two more car trips planned for them: one to a new boarding place, near the new house, so that they’ll be safe during the move. Then there’s the trip to their new home. I get stressed just thinking about because I know how they’ll cry in their carriers in the backseat. But then I think about how much they’ll like the new house, and I know it’ll all be worth it.

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Posted in books, cats, domestic, insects, writing on 07/02/2013 09:17 am

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