Thursday, May 31, 2007

Poetry Television on Walt Whitman's Birthday

Another poem for the fiends among you who desire such wordstuffs, not as few and far between as some might imagine. There are those of us who look for poetry, who feed. I am one of them. We meet on the abandoned baseball diamond and, in a neon glow, hurl our star wishes further...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Still looking for a job. I wonder, sometimes, if what I put here negatively affects what could potentially happen elsewhere. Unfortunately, I'm not going to stop doing this.

I put a new e-book, with... con..., over there on the left. It's a wedding poem. The e-book is new, but it was first printed as a chapbook (in both Italian and English) last year when Angela and I got married. We gave copies to the guests at our wedding. I also have some new poems in Alice Blue. Stay tuned for one of my poetry videos...

Since Vito came home from the hospital, everything was sort of working in a well-oiled fashion. He was sleeping all night, at least, which is about as well-oiled as one could hope for with a newborn. Summer was also making a strong play to be the dominating season here and then everything snapped. It stormed a few days ago, dumping rain crazily down, and it has been windy, cloudy (I wrote cloudly, at first, which is nicer) and cool. The change in the weather coincided with a change in Vito's habits, as well.

He hasn't slept quite through the night in the past few days. Vito had a rash around his output and now has acne? around his input, mostly natural for babies, I am told. He also wasn't quite getting enough to eat from his mother, thus losing a little weight, so now he's on a half-and-half diet. Half from mom and half from the can.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Vito's Rattle & Daddy Rattles On...

Sweet CuddlesWe went for a walk today and bought Vito his first toy. He didn't have any toys, yet! It looked something like the picture here. Apparently, the model we purchased is not available in the states (I ripped the picture from the English site, not the Italian site). That or we bought a discontinued model. In either case, it wasn't any cheaper. Vito can't do very much with toys, though, but we're pleased that he now has one. I'm sure there will be many more to grow bored with in his future.

If you've had a baby of your own, you know that just about all they can do for a while is sleep, cry, feed and expel. Even if you don't have a baby, you've probably observed this. My wife has a clear role in things. She has to feed the baby. I try to make myself useful. I can change the baby without making too much of a mess, but I avoid this. In any case, I don't think my wife likes the way I do it.

I can do one thing fairly well, though. On a daily basis, I must hold Vito. It's a good job for me. It becomes a quest for the best position in which to hold Vito, the position in which he magically stops crying. It has happened once or twice and, on those occasions, there's no one happier than daddy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i-outlaw 2.5 featuring Charles Bernstein

Charles Bernstein
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Version 2.5 also features fine poetry by:
Ren Powell
Luis H. Valadez
Amy Bernier
K. Silem Mohammad
Amber Nelson
Steven Schroeder
Emmy Pérez
Erik Rzepka
Tim Martin
Shanna Compton
Spread the word far and wide. Don't forget to enter our contest to win a free book of poetry! Listen to i-outlaw now and find out how...

Charles Bernstein was born in New York City in 1950. In the 1970s, Bernstein co-founded the influential journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E. Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, Bernstein also serves as the Executive Editor, and co-founder, of The Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY-Buffalo and is also a member of the Poetics List Editorial Board.

Watch Neils Plenge's The Answer, a poetry video with Charles Bernstein filmed in Riverside Park, New York, 2003.Charles Bernstein

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Vito Gushing

We put Vito to sleep around 11:30PM last night and he didn't stir until about 7AM this morning. We were pretty amazed that we made it through the night undisturbed.

On the TownMom, dad and Vito got dressed this morning and went out with Vito. Not our first walk together (we walked home from the hospital, all downhill and quite pleasant), but this would be an adventure which involved a number of stops. Already raising the bar on the level of complexity in the daily routine.

It was too cold in the shade and too hot in the sun for his mother, by Vito seemed to bump along in the little carriage without too much trouble. As we crossed Via Roma, which is the main street in Putignano, Vito began crying and carried on for a few blocks. By the time we had reached our destination, he had stopped crying, but while waiting, he started again, hungry. Angela finished her business (she was choosing a doctor for the little man), found a bench in an out-of-the-way place, and began to feed him.

We were soon back on our journey and had to make two more stops before returning home for lunch. Nothing extraordinary happened. We bought taralli and diapers, and we returned back home without further incident. Were you expecting more?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Sleepless in Putignano

I'm going to have to wean myself off of blogging for a while. I'll still post, but perhaps with less frequency or just less abundantly. Seems like I don't have much time these days, as you might expect with the arrival of a new baby.

Nonetheless, I risk the wrath of my wife to write something brief before she knows what I'm doing. Angela's on the bed rocking the restless Vito who, well-fed and changed, resists the subtle suggestions and nudges of his mother to sleep.

We were warned by many about the lack of sleep, and experienced it yesterday as Vito carried us through the early morning hours until 5AM. Exhausted after that, all of us slept soundly until 10AM this morning.

I'm expecting a similar occurrence tonight, but who knows...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Pre-Vito, Postpartum & the Sound of New Life

The following is for my die-hards, best viewed near many bouquets of flowers.

Sunday evening, after Angela's contractions were coming about every seven minutes, we hopped in her sister's car and drove to the hospital. Angela was admitted and, as happens, the contractions increased in frequency and we thought Vito would be born that evening, which would have really been a proper mother's day gift! They continued at about that pace for a few hours. Eventually, Angela told me to go home, eat, and then return, and that's what I did. When I returned to the hospital, there was no one in the waiting room, and this is what it looked like...

Sadly, Angela said her contractions had subsided and weren't occurring as often. She said she was going to try to get some sleep and told me to go home and do the same, which I did, blissfully sleeping until 7AM the next morning.

About an hour after I left, the contractions returned more vigorously, and they moved her into the labor room where she labored until I arrived the next morning. The doctors let me visit with Angela, sent me out, let me back in, and so forth for the next three hours. At around 10AM the doctors sent me out and I waited in the lobby with Anna, Angela's mother as I had done before. A little after 10:45AM, the doctor came by and told us that Vito was born. I was crushed that I had missed it, but it turns out that there were some complications which required the assistance of other doctors and my voyeuristic presence was simply irrelevant. Details only Angela can explain well. Everything worked out, though, and everyone's happy and healthy now.

A doctor brought me in to see Angela, and I did, touching her arm briefly before whirling around to see my son wrapped in umbilical matter (part of the previously mentioned complications) underneath a bright lamp. Before I really knew what was going on, another doctor whisked me away to another room and asked me many questions while filling out some hospital form. I was still concerned about Angela and the baby, but happy to be doing something to contribute to the completion of this process. I could handle all of the Italian so that was a personal victory.

Madonna di Lourdes - PutignanoSoon, after we began, Vito arrived and the nurse began to wash him and do all of the mysterious things they do to babies when no one's looking, like testing the springiness of his arms and legs, measuring his length and weighing him. I was pretty tickled to see him in this situation and you can listen to Vito while all of this was going on.

The doctor asked me to go and get Vito's clothes so the nurse could dress him. I went to her room on clouds! Angela's sister and mother were preparing Vito's bed and both of them kissed me and, at that moment, it hit me. I returned with the clothes, beaming like a schoolboy, and then the doctor asked me to retrieve the results of my wife's blood test. I was ecstatic that I had another task to do!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Vito Sante Marcacci

Vito Sante MarcacciOur little man arrived at 10:45AM this morning. I realize that, at the posting of this message, it's not that late in California (or anywhere in America), but you can do your own math if you need to convert everything to your own timezone.

Born in the Saint Maria of the Angels (Santa Maria degli Angeli) Hospital in Putignano, Italy, Vito weighed in at 8lb. 10oz. (3.93kg) and stretched to 21in. (54cm). The only accurate numbers are the metric numbers as I did the conversion and, well, I'm an English teacher not a math teacher.

I came home to get something to eat, make phone calls and to catch up with all y'all. More coming soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

It's Saturday afternoon. My mother-in-law's canaries are going off on the balcony, and it's hot like Summer already.

Nothing new to report on the Vito front. He's still happily ensconced in wombage.

It's a little stressful, every day with no big change, taking notice of every alteration and contraction of the fetus that goes bump in the night. If he doesn't emerge of his own volition within the next two days, we're told that Monday will be the day of days.

It would be fun if he arrived tomorrow to throw a wrench into all of our Mother's Day plans. I don't know what those plans are at the moment, but I'm sure they involve going to the countryside.

Whatever happens, you'll be the first to know. Aside from those of you who are here in the flesh, that is...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bob's Your Uncle

Mild-mannered computer-goon soon-to-be-father by day, hooded poetry-wielding i-outlaw-in-the-raw by night. You know it's more than just alright. Use the force, wrywalker, and come on over to the dark source...

Monday, May 07, 2007

Baby Holding Pattern

Still no sign of Vito. Many of you are coming here for status reports (and there will surely be some highly informative interactive mention of the forthcoming event in the future) and, as a result, my statistics have been jumping off the charts.

I hope nothing goes down tomorrow evening as I'll be heading out to work around 6:30PM...

I'm done making predictions about his arrival, though. Lacking a new magic number, I'm surprisingly worry free now that we've gone beyond the date we had fixed in our minds for so long.

Angela has to meet with the doctor tomorrow for a little looksee. During the last visit, which was Saturday, the doctor said he was still riding a little high and, visually, to my untrained eye, it doesn't look like much has changed. He also told Angela to get herself tired so she insists on doing all the housework. I don't mind.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Baby Red Alert

Angela's snoozing blissfully at the moment. I haven't been able to lately, although afternoon naps are fairly regular occurrences in these parts for young, old and pregnant alike. The pregnancy has gone fairly smoothly, based on what little I know of women's pregnancies, and we've been happy for that. I'm sure Angela is happier about it than I am. I have been relatively unaffected aside from being on the receiving end of the mood-swings and other caprices of my better half.

We're just waiting impatiently for baby Vito to drop, now. We're hoping it will be tomorrow, which caps forty weeks of gestation and worry, but it's difficult to predict such things. All of us were certain it would happen after the next full moon.

Angela's sister's kids have been chicken poxed so they have not been coming over this week, and are unhappily quarantined in their apartment on the other side of town. Apparently, there's a serious risk to the health of newborn babies. It has added a layer of disappointment to things, but such is life. The chicken pox will fade away and everything will return to normal soon enough.

In the meanwhile, I'm ready to meet this event with all the digital technology I can muster. In case you were wondering, I'm ready to get involved with the parenting technology I was born with, as well, but more on that later.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007