Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Great click-action to the survey in my previous post. Hundreds of people, believe it or not, were apparently quite interested in the results of the survey and came here to peek at the results, even though there were only a few more than 20 responses.

I just finished Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and have moved on to another book, which you can find in the sidebar at your left. I feel like preserving something about the books I've left behind here, which has become a place for me to preserve so many other things. Although I won't say much about it in the way of criticism, and I'm not very good at it anyway, I'll give you a little bit from the story:
Everything was brightness, or dark. The walls, the blazing colours of the flowers in the garden, the nuns' habits were bright, but their veils, the Crucifix hanging from their waists, the shadow of the trees, were black. That was how it was, light and dark, sun and shadow, Heaven and Hell, for one of the nuns knew all about Hell and who does not? But another one knew about Heaven and the attributes of the blessed, of which the least is transcendent beauty. The very least. I could hardly wait for all this ecstasy and once I prayed for a long time to be dead. Then remembered that this was a sin. It's presumption or despair, I forget which, but a mortal sin. So I prayed for a long time about that too, but the thought came, so many things are sins, why? Another sin, to think that. However, happily, Sister Marie Augustine says thoughts are not sins, if they are driven away at once. You say Lord save me I perish. I find it very comforting to know exactly what must be done. All the same, I did not pray so often after that and soon, hardly at all. I felt bolder, happier, more free. But not so safe.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Results of the 2006 Print/Online Journal Survey

Curious about which are the most respected venues for online and print poetry publication, I asked folks to mention to where they returned regularly. Without which publications can't they live?

I sent the survey to five e-mail listserves: Buffalo Poetics, Imitation Poetics, New Poetry, Women's Poetry and Wryting-L. By no means comprehensive. I received 21 responses, all from people who hadn't responded to the previous survey. I'm incredibly pleased to have received more than the twelve responses I received last year. Also, at this time last year, I was a member of the Lucifer Poetry list, which has since privatized itself, and A Company of Poets. I wasn't a member of the Woman's Poetry list then, either. These changes had a big impact on the results, but I won't cut it any finer than that.

Diagram and Valparaiso Poetry Review received the most votes, closely followed by Drunken Boat. All of these publications, listed alphabetically, received more than one mention:
42Opus / Big Bridge / Blackbird / Born / Conduit
Conjunctions / Del Sol Review / Diagram
Drunken Boat / Fence / FIELD / The Georgia Review
The Iowa Review / Mad Hatters Review
Mid-American Review / Minimalist Concrete Poetry
Perihelion / Poetry Southeast / Prairie Schooner
Shenandoah / Taurpalin Sky / UBUweb
Valparaiso Poetry Review
The publications listed below all received, at least, one mention:
3rd Bed / 5_trope / Abe / Action / After Hours / AGNI
Alaska Quarterly Review / American Letters & Commentary
Anemone Sidecar / Ascent / Astronomy Picture of the Day
Backwards City / Beloit Poetry Journal / Aaron Belz
Blue Fifth Review / Ana Bozicevic-Bowling / Bywords
Café Irreal / Calyx / can we have our ball back? / Canary
Cezanne's Carrot / David-Baptiste Chirot / Court Green
Crab Orchard / Craig's List / Cue / Dirt / DMQ Review
Double Change / dusie / eBay / elimae /
The Gettysburg Review / Bob Grumman / Craig Hill / HOW2
Inkwell / Iodine Poetry Journal / Jacket / Pierre Joris
The Kenyon Review / Bill Knott / The Laurel Review
ListenLight / LIT / Locus Novus / Margie / Rob McClennan
Melancholia's Tremulous Dreadlocks
Mississippi Review / Moria / Muse Apprentice Guild
The National Poetry Review / New American Writing / New Verse News / No Tell Motel
North American Review / Notre Dame Review / Octavo
Octopus / The Page / PennSound / Past Simple / Perigree
Pleiades / Poetry International / Public Space / Rain Taxi
RealPoetik / Sentence / Sitaudis / Spoon River Poetry Review
Story South / Tar Wolf Review / Third Coast / Tony Tost
Triquarterly / Unpleasant Event Schedule /
Verse Daily / Yankee Pot Roast / Yes / xStream / Zafusy
Not all of these sites are exclusive to poetry, but I thought I would include them anyway. Aren't some of these dead? *shrugs* Lots of UNIrags, which says a little bit about the audience, perhaps. Of particular note, there are a number of blogs listed above (in fact, some of the publications above could be considered blogzines). I was surprised that no one mentioned he-who-blogs-ron.

That's about it for my limited analysis. Draw your own conclusions. Hopefully, it has some interest for some of you. Thanks to everyone for sending me your responses and comments! Let's do it again next year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blogger and such seem to be working well for the past few days. Crossing my fingers that it will continue. Anyhow, taking advantage of the availability and making some small e-changes here and there. The new book I'm reading, for example, and a few new links.

Our Beijing Duck Thanksgiving dinner was a bust. The dinner came off splendidly, with a total of twelve of us which included a Norwegian and a Canadian, although we couldn't order the famous dish we had planned on ordering. For some reason, it wasn't being served. Nonetheless, both the food and the cheer were excellent. Surprisingly, a couple of teachers brought pumpkin pie, and we all had a slice after the meal.

Chinese Funeral Procession Accoutrements IIYesterday, there was a giant green mess tent outside my apartment building and what appeared to be another funeral. It was already full of people cracking sunflower seeds, eating and chatting when I got home from work. Nothing extraordinary about that and I've previously told you about these wakes in more detail, although I couldn't locate the post. Maybe you'll have better luck. What makes this one special is that I captured some nice pictures of the... well, I'm not sure what they are. Many people will carry these things down the street in a kind of parade. Actually, when we returned home from our dinner, the procession was just beginning and we stopped to watch as the mourners marched up the street to the sounds of cymbal crashing and drumming before returning to our apartment.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I couldn't be happier or more thankful for such a wonderful year. If the rest of my years are anything like this one, I'll probably die from sheer exhaustion. What exactly happened, you ask? Well, you can click through the archive and take a look, if you're so inclined...

I really miss the food and family that go with Thanksgiving, and want to wish everyone the best as this really kicks off the holiday season in my mind.

Tomorrow I plan to play some touch football with my colleagues after work. It will be a prelude to the Beijing duck dinner of which we're planning to partake. It's not exactly turkey, but it's bird. Gobble gobble. Afterwards, I am planning to go in search of football on television. My attempt last year was unsuccessful in this regard. I get very few chances to actually watch a football game here in Beijing due to the lack of satellite TV in my apartment and the time difference, but Thanksgiving is one of them and I plan to take advantage of it. Wish me luck...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Conversations with Myself

As things remain well censured in the three-dot cybercensorship which is big C e-China, I sadly can't respond to you if you leave a comment here. Happy to receive your comments, tho, and look forward to more of them. The continuing e-saga and relatively boring dramalogue of me and you who read me and who? On to less confusing subjects...

When I have to traverse the city, which is occasionally, this brings me into unmediated (read: without Angela) contact with Chinese people. I only know a handful of words and phrases in Chinese. Almost no one understands me, especially starting from my neighborhood which is really in a suburb of Beijing on the western outskirts of the city. It's difficult to order food without a point-n-cluck photo menu. In other words, there aren't so many English speaking types around. Nevertheless, movement is necessary, with or without my language bodyguard.

So I have these conversations with myself. I find myself talking to Chinese people who don't understand me, particularly when my position is about to be compromised, like when I have to get on a bus. "We're not going to leave without you," I say over my shoulder to the man who's trying to push past me to get on the bus. "Chill!" He says something to me in Chinese. Neither of us look very happy about it.

In a taxi, I usually know my destination, but can't go beyond that, which is where it usually goes after stating something with any amount of precision. I'm pretty good at saying one or two words together but after that I'm useless.

Other times (they're not all bad), in the elevator, for example, I can have a conversation with someone, or something like a conversation. Mine in English and the other in Chinese, neither of us understanding anything beyond our best intentions, but we do it with a smile. Often, a number of people will talk about me, lots of head nodding and gesticulating until one of them turns and pitches an interrogative at me. When we reach the ground floor, the door opens and we go our different directions.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Dayoff Friday

Happily happening day away from work, now looking out the window at Beijing
whiteout which has returned to take the edge off of the string of sunny
ecstacy we've been enjoying. After a little housekeep and personal upkeep,
I'll venture out into it. For now, enjoying this quality time with the

Completely forgot about Thanksgiving next week. I actually thought it was in
two weeks. Is there some methodology behind when Thanksgiving occurs? I've
forgotten. You lose track of these things when you live in a place where
they are insignificant.

Well, I guess it's time to get something productive done...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Countdown #17

powered by ODEOYou can listen to The Countdown #17. This week's show highlights Langston Hughes, but also features poetry by Robert Bohm, Brian Boutwell, Ash Bowen, Mackenzie Carignan, Christine Klocek-Lim, John Korn, Lilith Nassuri, Luc Simonic & Harry K. Stammer. Take a listen and let me know what you think!

Now on to the commonplace. Experiencing a rash of charming weather here in the Chinese nether with beautifully clear sunny day-upon-day of cool crisp late Autumn spectacular. I can't recall such wonderful weather in Beijing.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Wasting Time

Used the bathroom as one might. Listened to the banging and hammering going
on upstairs directly over the toilet, which has been going on for days.
There was something unsettling about doing this while they were doing that.
It seemed like they would burst through the ceiling at any moment. It's hard
to imagine anything left to destroy or otherwise deface since they've been
working so long on the apartment above us. It really just makes it hard to

More e-woes: the number of proxy servers I must use to simply view websites
(blogs) is increasing. The sites I used to use don't seems to respond now.
Unfortunately, yesterday, I couldn't view my site using any proxy server,
which made it difficult to get work done for the new The Countdown.

Noticed something unusual about a week ago. There's a truck parked outside
our apartment complex. It's quite large and, aside from its size, stands out
for another reason. There should be a picture in the usual place soon...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blog Do & Don't

Don't repost an article from another publication on your blog. Unless you're
parading recycleblog, that is, and I know there are a few of those. Just set
the link down and I'll click-and-go on my own. Saying something interesting
about your fictional link would probably compel me to do what you want, too.

Anyway, still booting content via e-mail. There's a lot less ceremony, but
it gets right into the vein, at least...

Monday, November 06, 2006


Here be the acronym of my fantasy football league, JRFL, short for Junior
Robert Football League. If I muss the URL, difficult in the cyberworld of
auto-fill, I get redirected to this place:
>, which is kind of scary.
Reduced to updating by e-mail makes the whole process of blogging easier and
faster. I suppose I could still be doing something more constructive...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Updating by E-mail

Which is a drag. Not a banner way to begin my fourth year, but one must roll
with the punches in e-China. I've been trying to post something over the
past four days and nothing is working.

Have a new series of poems, Alphabliss or Non-Nursery Rhymes, beginning
today at Logolalia, or an outgrowth therefrom,
<>, and lasting for the
next 25 days, which is one day for every letter of the alphabet. Quite happy
to have all of the poems appearing together.

Took a bus with my colleagues and Angela to Jing Dong da Xia Gu, which
translates to something like Great Eastern Gorges. Spent Friday afternoon
hiking around the gorge there. In the evening we bowled and sang karaoke at
our hotel at the base of a dam. Saturday, we spent the morning wandering
around the lake and dam resort, Jinhai Hou, which was somewhat depressing.
Many new pictures in the usual location...

Now, nursing a cough and a nasty cold that has taken hold of me. Thought I
was fighting it off last week as I seemed to begin to take ill at the end of
each working day, but would wake up the next morning fine. It caught up with
me Saturday morning.

Staying inside today and trying to catch up on outstanding computer stuff
and housework. The weather continues to be splendid and crystal clear
outside. Today it is fiercely windy, rattling the doors and blinds, and
icily cold. Winter is coming with its loudest knock yet...