Monday, December 20, 2004

New Books: Liu, Gizzi, Burk

I just got some new books in the mail:
Of Thee I Sing, by Timothy Liu
Some Values of Landscape and Weather, by Peter Gizzi
The Deer, chapbook by Wendy Burk
Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation
and
Mexican Ballads, Chicano Poems, edited by Jose E. Limon

I started reading Of Thee I Sing, and began to remember what Liu's voice is like, his rhythms, etc. I think this will be helpful to me in my recent efforts at writing. About 4 months ago, I was reading Lisa Jarnot's Black Dog Songs, which I loved, but I kept writing poems that had a regular rhythm and that rhymed. It's not something I felt like working with at the time, and though I loved reciting Land and Sea to myself at work, I'm glad those rhythms have left my mind for the time being.

I cannot wait to read Peter's new book. As my first poetry teacher, I'm so excited to see what he is doing now. I'd preordered Wendy Burk's The Deer. I read the first poem, and it was a beautiful surprise. I've known Wendy as a friend and had never read her poetry before this. I guess I was expecting something calmer, like how I felt when hanging out with Wendy and her husband Eric. What I found in this first poem was something daring and dynamic. I'm excited.

I'd heard of this new Asian American Poetry anthology from my friend, poet Ken Tanemura. I also have been enjoying Victoria Chang's (the editor) blog, though it looks like she doesn't have it up anymore, which is quite disappointing. For the past 5 or 6 years, I've really been focusing on reading Asian American poets, since in college I was only assigned one or two to read. I got the Chicano Poems book as a start on a new chapter for me. Now that I feel I have at least a basic knowledge of my history as an Asian American poet (as well, of course, as the history of white American poetry I learned in school), I feel I can branch out more to add to my poetry studies.

As for writing: Besides poetry, I've just started to edit and continue this story that I started writing when I was in the hospital in September 2003. Being a crazy person once in a while isn't so bad when something very creative comes out of it. Just kidding. :| But I'm really excited, because I didn't know I could write fiction. I think I just started off on the wrong foot when I wrote a story in junior high that my mother read and said it was kinda "slow," which to me meant "boring," which to me meant that I should never write a story again. I'm sensitive. But I guess I'm also determined, so I'm realizing that like in poetry, there are certain things that I'm good at and not good at in writing fiction. I need to use what I know to write as well as I can with the skills I have and from the unique way I see the world.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Create-A-Bed Pictures!!!


bed_open
Originally uploaded by hlnagami.
I'm finally putting up some pictures of the murphy bed that Bryan and I made over the last couple of months. Here is a picture of it open, and below is a picture of it closed. I still can barely believe we made it.
My mom slept in it when she visited us a week ago... and she didn't get flipped up into the wall. It's quite secure.

bed_closed


bed_closed
Originally uploaded by hlnagami.
Here is a picture of the murphy bed that Bryan and I made.