by Ann Bogle
The Cool Report
August 3, 2006
another girl to figure out (2)
no reason to break here/
want to tell her kinship to it
blue save them walked past
phone legs of dead Lady
black woman save them
victim standing just inside
betrayed her gray cherry
comfortable guilty long name
configuration of all mother
beautiful shades of protective
touches head lay nose whites
know French therapy bill
college man strong enough
August 3, 2006
In a message dated 8/3/06 2:05:45 AM Central Daylight Time, talan@ORG writes:
I do apologize for forwarding those emails. That it went off list was disturbing, which motivated me to forward them to the list.
Again, I apologize.
I've been thinking about this for a day or two. I wondered whether to tell my boyfriend about it—that people had gone abusive on one of my email lists—that c was in use and mfa. That I called men a b. I am a mfa, after all, a master of fine arts. Which my boyfriend isn't. I did ask him what he thought about Mel Gibson going wacko upon his dui arrest, and he said he didn't have time to think about Mel Gibson. We were looking at the fields near his house. We went to a county fair with rides and livestock. The cattle were furious. I thought of their lives. They were angry men, basically, slated to be killed and eaten. His little boys, 3 and 5, were having fun on the rides.
There was and is a lot of bad language around town. We heard it on the Fourth. The girls were saying, f me baby, f me in the butt. Who talks that way? A whole group of kids.
So for now, I just forget about it.
I think Mel Gibson should have called a producers' meeting after The Passion of the Christ, once he was rumored to be an anti-semite, then had a press conference about it. Instead of blowing up later upon arrest.
At our school, the gist was that sexism and even misogyny were acceptable or at least tolerable. I liked that school least of all my schools. At the other ones, none of the ism's was acceptable or tolerable, and we had these noticeable gaps: like not enough black students in our courses.
August 2, 2006
In a message dated 8/2/06 12:21:56 PM Central Daylight Time, tsavagebar@COM writes:
If you wake up every two or three hours, you may have sleep apnea. ... You should see a sleep specialist if you think this might be the case.
Today I went to the office of my Lebanese psychiatrist. There was a pamphlet in the waiting room warning parents about a practice called “pharming”—the young people are buying rxs without rxs over the internet and taking them for recreation. This is really too bad that drugs are so everywhere. I really think “drugs finance wars,” but the connections are mysterious (of course). I am working on helping a very good public speaker who was a drug addict try to help combat addiction at the school level. We are making some progress that way. And I knew a wonderful American exec in Japan who quit drinking (saki) who now helps meth addicts in Oregon—what a strange world. But I'm sure he's very good at it, enlightened. There was another article in the doc's office about snoring. If you snore, it could be sleep apnea. Thanks for recommending that anyone with sleep issues get them checked.
August 2, 2006
another girl to figure out
no reason to break here
want to tell her kinship to it
blue save them walked past
phone legs of dead Lady
black woman save them
standing just inside
betrayed me gray cherry
guilty long name
configuration of all mother
beautiful shades of protective touches
head lay whites
nose know French
therapy bill college
man gone me
strong enough heart
August 2, 2006
It gets better after this ... all back channel of course …
On Wed, 2 Aug 2006 02:08:13 EDT AnnBogle1@COM wrote:
>In a message dated 8/2/06 12:55:03 AM Central Daylight Time,
>> On Tue, 1 Aug 2006 22:48:57 -0700
>> “August” wrote:
>> >fuck u cunt
>>you crowded bitch.
Re: Forward these remarks pussy ass:
At 11:28 PM -0700 8/1/06, Talan wrote:
>Since August seems to think this is COOL!,
>I am forwarding ...
>his latest, greatest work!
On Tue, 1 Aug 2006 23:25:47 -0700
> “August” wrote:
>>Forward these remarks u straight-up ho:
>>Ya better run boy
>>i'll dump a shell in your chest
>>keep it very cool
>>or i will bury you
>>u are not hot
>>i've got the top spot
>>and it will not stop
>>mother-fucker, this is personal
>>you're a bitch and straight-up ho
>>i mean this and i said this
>>i'll take u to the streets and get gangster with it
August 2, 2006
There is a drug made in Japan called ABILIFY. It is very expensive: $300 for a month's worth or more. I've tried that and other new anti-psychotics, and it's the best one (Geodon, Zyprexa, Seroquel are others); I like it better than those due to the fact that I experience no side-effects on it, just a little drowsiness. It feels, in other words, completely normal to be on it, yet I believe it has helped stabilize me physically when I couldn't do that on my own—my weight was too low before I went on Abilify. It doesn't actually make me stop thinking on the dose I take (10 mg.), but I bet if you took a higher dose, you might be able to quiet rowdy thought. I have profoundly mixed feelings about med's, especially due to my recent realization that the med's probably finance world war, and I'm against war, and the med's could hurt your liver and kidneys—though mine are still fine, but I also went three years without being able to stabilize myself or my own weight without a low-dose tranq. Without anti-dep's, my brain turns to a pile of vegetable peels in the sink. This is all very sad. I used to be just fine without any medications.
How did I end up back on Wryting-L? I had unsubscribed then all of a sudden I'm getting posts again. That's all right. I'll read the list for a while.
July 28, 2006
I wrote short stories steadily until 1991, at the advent of the Gulf War, and would have continued, certainly—one of the war stories from ‘91, “What Kiss,” was published in ‘93 in Gulf Coast—except that a boyfriend of three months assailed me and threatened me on an answering machine tape then took a position in my department, despite a kind of quiet protest coming from my corner. It is, I think, obvious how hard it would be to protest anything successfully. The upshot for me was that my relationship with my own writing was threatened, never to return to the steady flow I had enjoyed with it. I have only written two short stories since then but have written other things. My weblog is a notebook of mixing genres, something I was pioneering then, in ‘91.
At a party at school, our “head of class,” not the best writer or the worst, a gal, really, announced to my table that my voice was glamorous and that my friend was cool. We are still in this condition. She is cool; my voice is kind of nice or sweet.
My writing voice, however, is male, often, authoritative, sometimes.
I would make a reading tape, but I don't have audio on my pc.
We were popular in fourth grade, that group of girls, and then I was again at 25 (up to 25, more childish attacks had threatened my becoming)—and then again at 35. By 35, I was only popular in A.A.
It was very strange and happy to meet up with someone (the Jewish man) in a rec room in a little side town in A.A., who had published a poem in The New Yorker when he was only nineteen. He had lived for eighteen years as an international business exec in Japan and was then fifty. His wife had vetoed a poetry career. I couldn't agree with her decision. He was really a very wonderful friend and knowledgeable about literature and religion and not in any way a cw program man. He was intending to write fantasy now that he was divorcing. I'd like to know when I think about it—if cool is what he was. He was more mature and well-liked. He gave the impression of being someone who had taken the stairs down fifty flights away from a downsizing; then there was nothing corporate for him to do here in the U.S., our nation's logic. I think he was more cool upon reflection.
Even if he did not like my friend, the Jewish woman in our group, I was her ally; I was his, too. (I think it worried him that someone might try to matchmake them since both were divorcing, and I could see it not working that way, since he was more conservative and she was more reform.) Then he left town to take a job, and the group got really horrid without him there. It was like a Tarrantino movie with lots of death.
One night when she wasn't there I stood up for her and was hit, at my car, and the police interrogated me after I called them.
July 27, 2006
Error on Ron Silliman's Blog
This mislinking at Silliman's weblog has led me to read something from the voice of an outsider, for a change, and I'm glad of it, even though Carlo Parcelli mostly steps on toes in his piece. The prose, instead of seeming too strange to read, strikes me as being strong—it's some sort of lit crit tapdancing—and reminds me of reading at Baraka's website. I was impressed by such extended use of analogy throughout a lengthy essay even if it does rely on outsider terminology. It is so thorough in its dismissal of so many writers: Perhaps it is supposed to be a seminal critique. John Gardner's ON MORAL FICTION, though certainly polite, stepped on toes, too, albeit a different set than this does. And it goes to show that no matter how politely one goes about it, it is a difficult thing to suggest bias. Remember that Gardner chose Guy Davenport as one of the best writers then living, while simultaneously dismissing many of the fashionable crowd of the day (1982).
July 26, 2006
“House Nigga and Field Nigga” (Flashpoint) by Carlo Parcelli:
Paraphrase: by terms of Parcelli's essay, I myself am a paranoid field nigga who reads mentally stable house niggas most. You might say that is a good thing, too. Sometimes I do read a fellow yellow field nigga or, better yet, a red free nigga (I wish he had given a fuller bibliographic list of those). In fact, workshop consists in reading field niggas' work. One or two of those will advance from the barn to the house. The rest will leave the barn and go back out to the field, temporarily stoked on field niggas' fallible styles and untested awareness, to try to survive reading life outside comfortable halls and rooms.
This might seem too rude to mention: an alcoholic man actually called me a “niggy” once because I'd been cleared out of A.A. for trying to stand by the Jewish mom in there who was getting evicted from her real house and torn away from custody of her daughters by her ice-cream-snarfing, woman-hating, fat dreck of a husband from Wyoming. Standing up for someone who is in the right, against public resistance, is the opposite of selling out. Weird thing is, later, there really is no world outside of A.A.—by house masters' terms—poetic A.A.s want in the house, too; and there are only a few places for ex-barn fallows like us to shelter. May go ask the fox.
It's understood that pharmaceutical co's have picked up in U financing where the Cold War trickle down left off, but I wouldn't have known that in 1991.
June 29, 2006
This just in from “Absolute Resolutions Corp”: a balance due of $48.54, passed on to ARC by CIRCA POETRY, another debt management concern. I owe them for a hardcover copy of TOUCH OF TOMORROW, published by The International Library of Poets, that featured my poem, “Florence's Weekend” on the first page. I signed off permission for another poem “It's the end of a cycle” without requesting a copy of that volume, THE BEST POEMS AND POETS OF 2005.
I decided to try vanity press with my first-ever published poems due to the fact that I was avoiding giving the appearance of competing with M.F.A. and Ph.D. poets I had gone to graduate school with in Houston. They had known me as a short story writer and somewhat hasty essayist (most of the writers there wrote VERY slowly).
With the help of a friend, I had paid off a pile of my bills one year: it equaled six years' worth of hefty interest, medical costs, clothes from Target, toiletries, other incidentals, etc. The cards charged off (“R9”) on the indeterminate day before my friend and I paid the tab. That means in credit terminology, the banks (six of them) took a tax write off because my payments were seven months late, then on the following day the banks received their payment in full, including nasty “legal fees” not needed to collect from me. My credit rating is still too low due to the R9s even to rent an apartment, though I owed nothing. This is a far cry from where my credit was ten years after I started as a worker; still, there's little I can do except write letters to the bureaus. I'm feeling proud that I have wrecked my credit further due to a poem.
The job I had from February to June of this year I gave to the next person, without being fired, for my near-catatonic inability to get out of the car and go into the stores where I was scheduled to start gathering retail data. My boss and supervisor were nice beyond compare when I told them I was suffering a fear of leaving my car. Agoraphobia—fear of the marketplace—fear of open spaces. I was earning much needed extra income from that job. The boss was so nice, in fact, he invited me to call back in August when I might feel a little better. What caused my near inability to leave my car? It isn't poetry, but it might be writing-related.
Google Adsense disabled my account due to my invalid clicks but left these blank patches on my weblog where the ads for how to blog used to be. I wrote to THEM, too, and told them that many of my readers are sophisticated bloggers themselves, more sophisticated than I, who will not click on ads for how to blog. I learned that Google was getting paid at least $1 for each of those, yet I was getting paid closer to a penny a day. I see that my friend, Robin Reagler, advocates for wonderful poetry books at her weblog, Big Window. That's for the best.
June 24, 2006
Praise to Vernon Frazer for his letter.
Thanks to mIEKAL aND for asking, “how many potato peelers and window washers are there on this list?”
Hats to Ken Wolman, a fellow SUNYionian.
Regards to the writer on S.S.I., the winner who worked as a custodian, and all those who write because they say they have to and feel that economic questioning, necessity, and reality make for reasonable debate.
Quite a number mentioned scamming; one man at his weblog quoted my letter headed by the statement that I ought to be smacked.
Women on the list are apparently unconcerned with how to earn $10,000 per year, which is both a good indicator and for some reason not good for my morale.
After jobhunting every fall for eight years, I got an offer to teach in China. I adored the man who offered me the job. He said he liked my credentials and c.v. I reflected about what was listed there—the courses I had taken, including women writers and modernism, but not only—forty courses and seminars in English alone, covering three degrees, German proficiency, creative writing, and liberal arts. I didn't go to China, however. I would have gone there in debt wearing their clothing. I was afraid to owe even $4,000 (what I still owe) living overseas.
So, again, if I get up to solvency, options I don't have now might open up, but it has been a very long haul. My health is good. The unemployment started at age 32.
No one suggested, as they did in chunking out the community college jobs in Houston: women can just get married. Considering that those men were looking for heiresses and lawyers to marry themselves, I don't know which men they thought might marry us: creative writers making $3,000 per semester teaching four nights a week.
A crazy geographer I went on a date with told me, among other things, that he is a Marxist, that I am “too thin for farm life,” that he had been his family's breadwinner, that his wife stayed at home until the divorce then became a well-paid R.N. He said he had never met another woman like me in comparable financial circumstances—I am seemingly set in a comfortable house in a beautiful part of the metro area but am staggeringly poor. He had had to refinance his farm when his wife wanted to go her separate way, and it left him feeling against the community property law in his state. He needs a housekeeper and told me to be a waitress after I had sent him my c.v. He said there was someone teaching English at his U who couldn't speak English. ETC.
One of my brainstorms has been to study housekeeping. You who do are smart to teach reading—I used to do that and liked it better than teaching writing. If someone were to teach house cleaning locally, I would sign up. To be really good and content at that would possibly get me somewhere.
It makes me uncomfortable that so many people I know (three?) know Bush but no one I know knows the Clintons, Gores, Kerrys or Wellstones.
June 22, 2006
Dear bloggers and visitors to blogs,
What about advertising? I am not presently in a position to have sit-down (face-to-face) conversations with other bloggers, but I have done a little reading. I recently signed up for Adsense with Google. On my first day, I clicked on my own ads so many times, I temporarily shut down a little church website on how to blog. I felt stunned and horrible for doing so; then I read the policies and learned that clicking on my own ads is strictly prohibited. Nonetheless, I earned $40 that day, which lasted fifteen hours, a little better than $2 per hour. Yesterday, I followed policy closely and earned just under $3 for the whole day. Today I have earned zip. Also yesterday, I ate a rather lousy sandwich that cost $34. How could it have cost so much? The beers (I drank almost 3 Coronas since they didn't have Rolling Rock) cost $5 each. My friend's Miller Lites cost $4. How could beer cost that much? How could advertising on my website cost so little? My blogging days tend to run long. I usually stay at it on a simple day for three hours, a harder day for ten. If I were earning $10/hour for advertising, I would be content and also would feel nicely employed. That would equal $240 per day.
$250 per classroom hour is what our least-well paid teachers at U of Houston were earning. Each made $18,000 for the semester s/he taught one undergraduate and one graduate workshop. It was one of those teachers who regarded me as one of the best writers currently in attendance at the school. Not best I would have thought since I am a Democrat. We were earning $21 per contract hour to teach and grade undergraduates fifteen hours per week. Typically, I put in thirty hours—we had 54 students apiece—so undercut my own pay by half in order to do a more thorough job grading student papers. Today, I would be very lucky indeed if an organization offered to pay me at graduate school wages.
In Minnesota, where I have lived for ten years, pay is usually $10 per hour, up from $7.50 ten years ago. Those jobs require a high school diploma. Housing and food have gone up dramatically. Much teaching here is done on a voluntary basis. It may be possible to win more than a p-t class or two and therefore earn more than $4,000 per year. To tutor, which I prefer, I need to advertise. I need to wait to do so until the school year starts.
I am hoping to earn $10,000 per year that I now lack, and this has been true for seven years running. Creative writing as an enterprise is leaving me feeling genuinely put out and fatigued. I have so far foregone $400,000 in earnings due to having chosen to study cw as a field, and that number is only going to go up. I am dependent on the government for health insurance and family for sustenance.
My informal rank at Wisconsin, was top 2 or 3 then in attendance as an undergraduate; at SUNY-Binghamton, it was ONE going in, based on writing sample. At Houston, I got the fiction fellowship going in. Politically and aesthetically I was a little left and a little offbeat.
I would like to hear from anyone who has figured out a good way to earn $10,000 per year. I have had thirty jobs and don't really want just another one.
June 21, 2006
re: feminists with low-cut blouses
In a message dated 6/21/06 8:48:59 AM Central Daylight Time, sumaurer@COM writes:
> marfa and austin
W'assup with Marfa? (That's pussy backwards in Texas.)
I was the sixth of seven editors, the last only a man, who worked for J.B. Poindexter after my graduation in ‘94 from U of Houston cwp on an account of a ranch he had renovated near Marfa. The account was Mr. Poindexter's own, a fascinating and already-well-written tale about llamas and hand-cut adobe. I did the editing work without ever visiting the ranch. The rooms in the b & b went for $400 per night. He met me sometimes in the kitchen of my little garage apartment, with the full light coming in on four sides, to go over the editing changes; sometimes in his palatial condominium just outside the 610 Loop; and sometimes in his office suite in a downtown skyscraper. The brass plaque outside the suite door read J.B. Poindexter, Corporate Raider. I was acting fanatical about use of the semi-colon, probably due to what C. Michael Curtis had written about the semi-colon, and C. Michael Curtis had liked some of my short stories in the 1980s. My phone rang at 8 a.m., and it would be Mr. Poindexter calling about a particular semi-colon in the 120-page document—I had made liberal, but correct, use of them throughout the text, like sprinkling it with a minced bunch of Cilantro. How bizarre to hear a message about semi-colons from such a prosperous and busy man first thing in the morning; I had a new boyfriend, myself, and not one who'd pondered the use of the semi-colon much; he thought in songs himself. I earned $30 per hour for doing that good work.
May 26, 2006
Speak Then Read
What you never had
for your sorrow
for the work you do
Got you love enough
to be content?
Who but you
can argue for yourself?
I've got the troubles
of mine to suffer too.
We are in a boat alike
When we say yes
We are in a boat alike.
. . .
Speek den Reed
Wut ne had yoo
fore yer sarro
fore de work yoo doo
Gott yoo luv
eenuf fore to bee
hoo but yoo kan
argyoo fore yoreself
ai gott de trubbels uv
mine too suffer too
wee arr inn a bote alike
wenn wee say yess
wee arr inn a bote alike
(Madison, WI, 1982)
All rights reserved.
Published at Mad Hatters' Review 13, May 1, 2012:
John Minichillo mentions "The Cool Report" in his edition of Editor's Eye, at Fictionaut, January 31, 2012:
[Note from Jan. 24, 2012]: I am requesting constructive criticism of this piece. I recently hired an editor who advised cutting it from my prospective collection of stories, mainly due to use of the "n" word inside paraphrase. Carlo Parcelli riffs in the referenced essay on Malcolm X, something I don't note. The story (if it is one) is a transcript formed of emails I sent to the Buffalo Poetics Listserv in 2006. One thread of the document is composed of emails sent between me and two other people at the Wryting-L Listserv. The pattern follows reverse chronological order. I hesitate to explain too much because I want to know how it works for the reader.