What Poem Today big 13

Made some revisions to my plum poem. There was a line in it, "on my account let none be judged," which I came to realize emerged from the real-time context of my writing the poem. I was in the hot pool at Kabuki Hot Springs. This was the poem I wrote by composing while committing to memory each of three stanzas. I was annoyed by someone in the warm pool who was IMHO needlessly crowding my personal space. At last (and after already submitting the poem, I think to Poetry Magazine, aiming quite high), I realized the line wasn't serving the poem, so on my walk today through the city, I found a better option for lines 15 and 16. Still not going to publish this poem online though as I think I will find a home for it in a journal and some are sensitive about ANY prior appearance.

Polished my query letter to Cameron + Company and feel it's nearly ready. Going to let it incubate though, rather than fire it off next week. In the meantime, will look for my next potential publisher...

Heard nothing yet from McSweeney's...

Began hard work and research on a poem about Richmond. Found out a lot about its geography, that the city shape is far from a simple, closed curve, but includes four or more separate islands, depending on the map you look at, interloped by the city of San Pablo. It also has multiple boroughs, in addition to the Richmond Annex, which I'm still not clear about. I found out that in 2004, Richmond was listed as the 12th most dangerous city in the US, but it has dropped off the list altogether by now. I noticed on reading that that I do hear gunshots far, far less often than in the early days of our residence here. And the trees in my neighborhood are starting to grow quite full and lovely compared to move-in day, September 2001. Was reminded of the city motto: "A city of pride and purpose." And of course, there's Rosie, who gives me my working title, "One for Rosie."

Struggling to decide how much of my own politics to infuse in this poem. I don't think much. I would like to be able to deliver something that has both a 10,000-foot perspective on the city (and abstract enough entity) as well as the pride I have come to feel in my town. I also to be able to be personal, but also to represent the range of perspectives in this city of incredible diversity, on par with Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.

Received thanks for my guest-poet appearance at my daughter's poetry slam. I'm so proud of her. I pasted her poem into my notebook and sent copies to the grandparents...


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