I haven’t been around much lately. Here’s some classic Carly Simon to make up for it.
Hey! My very talented friend Jessica Piazza has a book of poetry coming out with Red Hen Press, and you can preorder it now if you click the link!
If you want a taste of the book, here’s a little excerpt to get you excited.
Love of things that falsely represent a sentient being
You married a marionette for the lumbering way
that she succumbs to teeth. You saw; she sways
and says okay. And she admires the daze
you move in, hydroplaning days away:
exultant accidents. Instead of me,
a blissful wooden girl; a wooden knee
submitted for exhibit. Deadened trees:
the shelter you inhabit. And didn’t we
expect it, eking out animatronic
epochs on the sofa? Both electric—
me with boredom; you ran programs: tricks
for trenchant eyes. Disguised, the lists you ticked
led straight to this. Your love nest: nuts and bolts,
no musts. No lust. No faults, and no one’s fault.
Oh, and there’s a great video interpretation of that poem if you’re the type who likes to watch.
The controversy [over whether cosmic rays consisted of charged particles or not] inspired European scientists to measure cosmic ray intensities in the most diverse locations and the highest altitudes … The development of pressurized balloon cabins allowed physicists to bob up to unprecedented altitudes in search of cosmic rays. The first balloon flight to the stratosphere occurred on May 27, 1931, when Auguste Piccard, a former pupil of Einstein, and Charles Kipfer, his assistant, took an electroscope up from Augsburg, now part of West Germany. When the hot sun of the heights baked the seven-foot cabin, the crew survived by licking drops of water off the walls. Italian poet Gabriele d’Annunzio, moved by the thought of courting death in the name of knowledge, begged Piccard to be taken on a flight; never one to miss the opportunity for an extravagant gesture, D’Annunzio announced his readiness to be thrown overboard as ballast if necessary. Far better to die the noble death of being tossed from a balloon, the poet said, than to pass away ‘shamefully between two sheets.’
Such flights contributed to little except the romance of science.
As the two theorists [Werner Heisenberg and Wolfgang Pauli] worked on their long and painful proof of the relativistic invariance of quantum electrodynamics they began to suspect the existence of new, more intractable infinities. The prospect was so dark that Pauli threatened to quit physics and live in the countryside, writing utopian novels.
Robert P. Crease and Charles C. Mann, The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-Century Physics.
You know a situation is dark when Career As Utopian Novelist is threatened.
Going through a drawer I found the submissions/applications log I’ve kept off and on over the years. Just in case you think it’s all been roses I’d like to report that Yaddo rejected me (as recently as 2011). McDowell rejected me. Hedgebrook rejected me twice. The Georgia Review rejected me and Ploughshares rejected me and Tin House rejected me, as did about twenty other journals and magazines. Both The Sun and The Missouri Review rejected me before I appeared in their pages. Literary Arts declined to give me a fellowship three times before I won one. I’ve applied for an NEA five times and it’s always been a no. Harper’s magazine never even bothered to reply. I say it all the time but I’ll say it again: keep on writing. Never give up. Rejection is part of a writer’s life. Then, now, always.