Fence, Winter 2011: A Poem

Self was going to post excerpts taken from another poem, but while she was waiting for the “New Post” page to come up, she kept reading the Winter 2011 issue of Fence and landed on another poem, almost as funny.

This one’s by John Kinsella, and self thinks it is hilarious, because it keeps repeating this line:

My epics lack history and action.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:


(an excerpt)

My epics lack history and action.
Why do you think I listen to Joy Division:
dispersal of politics, you are form

and system enough — I don’t need
to tell you how to read as you’ll force
all to the pattern if not to your liking.

And now, self will resume her reading of Fence.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.


Since returning from Hawthornden (early July), self has:

Sent her stories out (not including contests) 66 times (including one small press publisher) . . .  Of these submissions, 13 were by regular mail.

She’s received, so far, 10 rejections (all form)

and one acceptance

Most of these submissions were sent late at night —  very late, when she loses herself in the worldwide web.  Using Submittable, of course.

The fastest rejection was from anderbo (1 day).

July already feels like another country . . .

Evenings are chilly.

Stay tuned.

Parabola, Fall 2012: “The Unknown”

“Sought, it will not be found; watched, it is not seen.”  —  Longchenpa

According to the article in Parabola, “Longchenpa is one of the great exemplars of Tibetan esoteric mysticism . . .  His writing grounds the reader in the here and now as the field of mystery that cannot be explained, but only inhabited.”  He was a sage who practiced “the Great Perfection tradition known as Dzogchen.”

In August 2011, the writer of the article, J. M. White, traveled to Tibet and visited a monastery associated with Longchenpa, the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, in an area of the city called the Barkhor.  Here are a few of his observations:

  • “In Lhasa, and in many of the major cities of Tibet, the Chinese outnumber the Tibetans five to one.”
  • The Jokhang temple houses a statue called Jowo Sakyamuni, “the most famous and most revered statue in Tibet.  The building has been destroyed and rebuilt at least five times, but there are parts of the interior and the foundation that are believed to date back to the seventh century.  It was seriously desecrated by the Chinese in the 1960s, when for a while they used it as a pigsty.”
  • “The most famous statement in Tibetan Buddhism” is this one, which Longchenpa claims to have “heard in a vision:  All form is void, all void is form.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Today, Third Thursday of September (2012): Class Visit, Skyline College

It was very cold and foggy on the Skyline College Campus.  The last time self was here was almost a year ago, November, reading with Zack.

Now, she was visiting two of Prof. Liza Erpelo’s classes.  Liza is an Associate Professor in Skyline’s Language Arts Division, and Coordinator of the Kababayan Program.  She is absolutely tireless.  Self loves her vision, her energy, and her smarts.  Self learned today, from Liza’s introduction of her, that Liza credits Jaime Jacinto with inspiring her to bring Filipino writers into the classroom.  She said that one of the writers Jaime invited was self!  Oh, she remembers!  It was shortly after Calyx Press published her first book, Ginseng and Other Tales From Manila!  How wonderful Jaime was, and all the Filipino writers who welcomed her with wide open arms into their little community:  Lou Syquia, Virginia Cerenio, Oscar and Luisa Peñaranda.

As self is always fascinated by interiors, here’s a peek inside Liza’s office, for the benefit of dear blog readers:

Liza is an avid San Francisco Giants fan, as anyone can tell from this little arrangement:

The little green and white box contains a Posey figure! In the framed photograph: Liza’s husband Jeremy and their daughter Aubrey.

The Giants won again today!  The magic number is dwindling (Self believes it’s now 4).

Would you believe, after speaking to two classes and having a fabulous lunch at Tribu with Liza and her new Fulbright (who, of all things, turns out to be from Bacolod!), self dashed to her car, took a wrong turn somewhere, and ended up in Half Moon Bay.  But it was a beautiful day!  And the beaches were gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

Coda:  The book the students had to read and write a paper on was self’s Mayor of the Roses.  A young man (not Filipino —  interesting that they sign up for this Kababayan class anyway) asked self a question about “Extinction” (This is her one ZYZZYVA story.  Howard Junker sent it back to her with a scribbled note:  “Needs to be MORE wild!”) which, self was bemused to learn, was not one of the stories Liza had assigned.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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