Friday, March 02, 2007

Hey, I just found out I'm going to make actual money for something I wrote. Go to Malawi kind of money! I submitted an essay to More Magazine, a fairly slick mag for women over 40, and they are taking it. And paying 3.8 TIMES more than the New York Times!! Not that I'm calculating or anything. I guess all those fashion ads and cosmetics ads they run translate into something called real revenue.

So thank you again, Robbie, for this wonderful computer, on which I can do my work. I sent the essay (about swimming) to More after The Chronicle tentatively accepted it and then reneged. I sent the gay marriage piece to The Times after the Chron reneged on that one. The Chron reneging on me seems to be good for my career.

Last night I went to see Hector Aristizabal perform his piece Nightwind at Interplayce. Nightwind tells the story of his arrest and torture as a young man in Medellin Colombia. After that horrible experience, he came to the US and became a psychologist and an actor. Now he uses Theater of the Oppressed to help trauma victims and travels all over the world as an activist against torture. His web site is

We went out for coffee this morning and I helped him edit a monologue he's going to perform next week about an interrogator. The work for this project is sifting through pages of somewhat dry technical and eerily calm discourse about interrogation methods and trying to find the skin of the person on the other side of the mask so as to be able to burrow inside it. Hector's a sweet, intense man with very curly hair and kind eyes. He calls me "darling." (I have a feeling he calls a lot of people that.) He handed me ten pages of transcripts he had on this guy--a real person-- and I circled and numbered paragraphs and slashed and moved things around while he read my poems and chuckled. I think we're going to be friends.

Also: Tattoo Highway, an on-line journal is publishing "In the Teacher's Room," a poem I wrote in 2001. The Sun is probably going to take Insufficiently Caffeinated Poetry Teacher vs. The Big Questions, or some variation on that title, the essay that started as a rant in this blog, and is going to publish "Michael," the poem I wrote for my friend who died in January.

Last night I had a passionate dream about publishing a book that consisted of my two teaching poetry in the classroom essays plus a lot of poetry lesson plans that work for elementary school children. It would be boring methodical detail work getting the permissions to use the poems. But the dream seemed to be saying this is what my heart desires.

Meanwhile, I am going to copy Audre Lorde's "Uses of the Erotic" to bring into the Memoir class, as well as a chapter from Susan Parker's memoir, Tumbling After. The uses of my erotic energy seem to be directed towards work/creation--I'm aware of stirrings in that arena, yearnings toward actual people, followed by confusion: is this what I want? What would the implications be? Could I handle it?

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