S. Jane Sloat's Blog

January 24, 2017

Things that kept me awake: whether my alarm clock would work, whether my back-up alarm clock would work, a lie my husband may be telling me, my daughter's education and future, my son's education and future, my doctor's appointment, the dog's broken claw, a story I'd edited perhaps with an error, the source of certain information (I got out of bed to check this), the story I had to write the next morning, dry skin, my son's sleeping hours, whether I should go to the bathroom (I did), whether...
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Published on January 24, 2017 13:02 • 34 views

January 21, 2017

One of the found poems I wrote using Stephen King's Misery, The Wreck, is up at Sixth Finch.
I'm still working on this project, but am thinking of moving on soon, maybe to another book. A motivating factor behind Misery was I had to do it - it was my assignment as part of a larger group. I worry that if I choose the book, I might give up too easily when I hit a rough spot.
So far I've done about 40 Misery poems, half of which are worth submitting. Five of those have already been accepted somewh...
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Published on January 21, 2017 00:29 • 28 views

January 19, 2017

When we got to the last station this morning I found a personless backpack at my feet. I thought, whoops, pretty sad to forget your backpack on the UBahn. My second thought was, well, this is an "unattended baggage" problem that doesn't need to be mine.

But then it was, & I hadn't sat next to anyone shady -- a 20-something woman listening to music, then a middle-aged man head over heels in love with his companion, headed out of town judging by their bags. But I was engrossed in a Kent Haru...
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Published on January 19, 2017 11:08 • 26 views

January 2, 2017

I was early for an appointment so I went to the English section of the bookstore, which I was sorry to see had shrunk, yielding to a stupid section of Frankfurt paraphenalia. My eyesight has grown so poor I have to keep taking my glasses off and putting them back on - on to scan the bookshelf, off to peruse the book in my hand. I found a short story collection by Lucia Berlin - such a European name, though it looks like she never left America. She grew up somewhere obscure and moved to Texas...
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Published on January 02, 2017 14:04 • 32 views

January 1, 2017

I’m thinking of living forever.
I think that way I might finally
get my gig straight and solve the crosswords.
I’m considering outlasting everyone
although I know I’d have a hard time
explaining not having read Ulysses
past the first chapter.
I don’t care if death smells like nutmeg.
I don’t buy the plotline on eternal rest.
By staying alive someday
I might manage to hail a taxi,
and fulfill my father’s wish
of reaching town without a red light.
I couldn’t expect to avoid anger or brooding...
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Published on January 01, 2017 05:09 • 11 views

December 31, 2016

I had a good year of reading, with a number of terrific books rolling through in December alone. I've been putting off making my list with the notion I might be able to stuff just one more in, but with 14 hours of 2016 left, it's not going to happen.
It wasn't a great year as politics goes, but Bob Dylan did win the Nobel Prize and I will never forget sitting at my desk flushed with surprise and delight, then spending days rebutting the naysayers. I found out I don't like Elena Ferrante, nor d...
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Published on December 31, 2016 05:23 • 21 views

December 28, 2016

We had a lovely Christmas with my mother here. As usual, everyone got many presents and if anyone complains they will be duly smacked. A highlight was driving up the Rhine on Monday to a restaurant overlooking the vineyards and river. There was a sun shower and lots of wind and our brunch was horrendously expensive but I’d do it again. 
In writing news, I’ve got two poems up at Ghost Proposal: “Gestures in a Landscape” and “Rome Postcard.” I really enjoyed the issue and hope you’ll s...
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Published on December 28, 2016 11:53 • 32 views

December 14, 2016

This year, so far, I’ve read three outstanding poetry books. Forced to pick a favorite I’m going with Brenda Hillman’s “Death Tractates.” It wasn’t written this year —it’s rare I read books the year they come out— but in 1992.
It has a dullsville cover, and the title makes it sound like some kind of plodding, ancient tome. I didn’t have high expectations, though I’d loved Hillman’s “Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire” a year ago. (That one I bought that on a whim and after opening it was like...
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Published on December 14, 2016 11:42 • 15 views

December 8, 2016

My husband and daughter went to Italy for a long weekend. My son has school, and I’ve taken the day off to lounge around and stare at the walls.

Ha, I wish. I have to paint a wall, buy the paint, finish a story for work (get back to me, people), and pick up a small chair that’s been reupholstered. Black. 
My first Misery poem is up at concis. It’s simply called “Misery 31.” 
I think a recorded reading of a poem can ruin it. The poem on the page is expansive and porous. A voice pierces...
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Published on December 08, 2016 23:44 • 25 views

December 4, 2016

Since my trip to the states I’ve been on a writing hiatus. I did poke around in poems in progress but haven’t started anything new. Fall was dominated by the Misery project. I haven’t abandoned it yet, but I know when I pick it up again I’ll be leaving this peaceful period, whether it’s Misery or another book.

This wasn’t my first time doing found poetry but I did spend more time with Misery, and my approach made creation feel very intimate - sewing paper with thread, cutting and dissecting pa...
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Published on December 04, 2016 05:34 • 32 views