How Do I Get My Hands on This Book, You Ask?

Dear Readers,

Please go ahead and judge this book by its cover, which I like very much.

Please go ahead and judge this book by its cover, which I like very much.

As promised, I’ve figured out how to get my new chapbook of poems, Impossible Lessons, to you if you’d like a copy. Here are four ways:

1) If you live in Whatcom County, Village Books now has copies upstairs in the Poetry Section; look for the “Local Authors” display. *

2) If you can come to my book launch celebration at Village Books on July 10 (7:00 p.m.), I’ll sign your copy and probably also give you a hug.

3) If you live elsewhere in the U.S., please email me at jenniferbullis (at) comcast (dot) net and give me your mailing address. I’ll email you back with my mailing address; you mail me a check for $10, and I’ll mail you a signed copy. Postage is on me!

Please know that if you buy through Amazon, neither my publisher (MoonPath Press) nor I receive any income for the copy. That’s why I’m plugging these other options. However, I do encourage you to visit the Amazon page for Impossible Lessons so that you can browse the first several poems of the book and read the embarrassingly sweet blurbs that some poet-friends of mine wrote for the back cover.

4) If you live outside the U.S., please do order your copy through Amazon.com. Their magical international sourcing elves will ship it to you for much cheaper than I can arrange.

Thank you, dear readers, for all your support and enthusiasm about this book! I’m delighted that it’s finally here to share with you!

Cheers,
Jennifer

* If you live in Whatcom County and your name happens to be Lee, John S. (of John and Lee), John S. (the other John S.), Luci, Marya, Jeff, Sherri, Jeremy, or Carol–you all know who you are–don’t you dare buy a copy! I will be delivering yours to you in person.

OMG! My Chapbook! It’s Here!

Today I came home to a huge carton on my doorstep. From CreateSpace. Could it be–already?

Yes, Dear Readers. Yes it is.

My chapbook!

The front cover. Remember all that fuss over which of Mark's photos to use? (Yeah, me neither.)

The front cover. Remember all that fuss over which of Mark’s photos to use? (Yeah, me neither.)

I am, as you might guess, giddy. It is 43 pages of poems, elegantly arranged over 58 pages, Oreo-cookied between one of the loveliest photos ever taken of fall leaves in the Methow River and three of the most embarrassingly glowing blurbs ever to grace a back cover. I can hardly believe it.

I’m profoundly grateful to Lana Hechtman Ayers, editor and publisher of MoonPath Press in Kingston, WA for inviting me, exactly one year ago today, to submit my manuscript for her to consider publishing; for her artfully selecting and shaping the poems into sequence; and for her meticulous care and patience throughout the process of editing and producing the chapbook. I thank Tonya Namura, too, for designing the cover so beautifully and laying out the text. This is my dream come true!

And my thanks to you, Dear Readers, for your enthusiasm and encouragement about this project. It’s been fantastic to be able to share this great news with you throughout the process. I’ll post details soon about getting copies of the chapbook into your hands.

Cheers,
Jennifer

NaPoWriMo, Day … oh, dear.

Moving right along.

Today’s poem is prompted by Danielle Mitchell at Litnivorous (motto: “You Are What You Read”). In addition to offering brief prompts this month, she also has a full menu of very detailed writing exercises (see the menu bar at the top of the Home page) that fascinate me. My poem below responds to Prompt #7, Exercise #1. Thank you, Danielle, for this enjoyable workout of my “brain’s weirdness muscles.” And also, for the word “vodka.”

***

TO ONE WHO ESCAPED

This was the last time you would tell them
the water of their core aquarium did not meet
your requirement for prismatic frequencies.
Though they wooed you in Catalán, in Cantonese,
and Klingon, you inflected them back to themselves
in images of fizz and fenestration.

For a while, you tried your weirdest
to parlay their assertions into factual acres.
Your curiosity percolated like verdure.
Fluffed, it met with temporary merit.
But—peekaboo!—you found it impossible
to combobulate the spacious into something capable.

They wanted you to believe belief was everything
(the u-turns in the hairpins, the whirl of repentance).
At length, tremblingly, they offered you
a majestic ceramic and its liquid aphrodisiac.
But they weren’t prepared for the convergence
of your fineries. Or for the way you shouldered
that stoneware—so demure, so periodic.

When their methods uncornered the dribble
of their trial, you triumphed by splintering
the vodka of their maroon. Shhh… They want
you to believe your professed beliefs
are really true. Just because you’re pronoid
doesn’t mean they’re not favoring you.

NaPoWriMo, Day 5 (Whoa! Day 12 for everyone else)

A week late, but still in the game.

***

STILL LIFE WITH KUMQUAT

The French call it
nature morte, tartly
not living. Sordid, maybe,
but worthy of the eye’s
marveling at the last
glimmer of loveliness,
captured. The ovoid
kumquat, a curve
of driftwood, fished
from the tide, a billow
of yellow dillweed flowers:
a flight stilled, still live
enough.

NaPoWriMo Day 4 (Day 9 for Everyone Else)

Inspired by Maureen Thorson’s Day 9 prompt: “Noir” (but with a sort of non-urban twist) and by Doug’s flashback to clip-on earrings.

**

WINTER NOIR

The next one waits, polishing its incisors.
What willing thing would venture near, barefoot?
Some days, it doesn’t know itself
whether it preys or punishes. Or both.

Meanwhile, another clips earrings to her lobes.
She uses the pain to remind herself
of her worthiness. Please watch,
her ministrations seem to say.

Lifted to the level of her smile, each pearl ignites.
She draws the fur onto her shoulders
and against her neck. Outside, the moon
shows paw prints circling in the snow.

NaPoWriMo, Day 3 (Day 8 in other time zones)

Just to keep things confusing, I’m using Maureen Thorson’s Day 4 prompt–spaceship names from Iain M. Banks–as inspiration for this poem.

**

THE INTELLECTUAL AND THE DOMESTIC IMPULSES ENGAGE
IN A FRANK EXCHANGE OF VIEWS

Ordinarily, I suffer from an onslaught of abundance.

We need milk. We need postage stamps.

We need sandwich bread, bananas, and jam.

I refuse to fall victim to ambient distraction.

We need more frozen burritos,
the ones with not too much rice and just
the right amount of cheese.

Principally, each interruption is an apocalypse
of meaning.

Will you put your laundry in the basket?

Will you pick up those Legos from the floor, please?

Fortunately, some conflicts of interest
are grist for good thought.

We need sliced turkey and more applesauce.

Tissues. Peanut butter.

Did Tiresias have a family?
Would his wife have been a prophet, too,
or is one oracle per generation enough?

We need yogurt and a little more culture.

We could use beer and a little less fizz.

NaPoWriMo, Day 1 (Day 2 for Everyone Else)

Happy National Poetry Month! This April, I’m getting a bit of a late start with NaPoWriMo (though not as late a start as I did last year). I hope to write and post a new poem here every few days. In between, I plan to enjoy and comment on the poems posted by writer-friends who are also participating in this poem-a-day challenge.

My first poem is inspired by yesterday’s prompt from NaPoWriMo founder Maureen Thorson, to “write a poem that has the same first line as another poem,” and by David J. Bauman’s (a.k.a. The Dad Poet’s) lovely reading of Frank O’Hara’s poem “For Grace, After a Party.”  (Instead of following the instructions, however, I borrowed O’Hara’s title, not his first line.) Here we go:

POEM BORROWING A TITLE FROM FRANK O’HARA

For Grace, after a party is the best time
for getting back into dancing.

For Grace, after a party is never as sweet
as that span of time just as the second drink
is kicking in and everyone is beginning
to feel hopeful.

For Grace, after a party means she can stop
apologizing about her hair.

For Grace, after a party is a time to uncorral her feelings
and watch them buck and snort across the pasture.

For Grace, after a party is an interlude
for considering which loved one to forgive.

For Grace, after a party is the perfect time
to practice scrambling eggs and holding
the weather, warm and calm, in her spoon.