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A writer who grew up wearing flip-flops...

Hello, all!  Here's my (still) much neglected web site of all things Mel.  Life is still chaotic (with me joining the ranks of motherhood and feverishly working on my dissertation), and I realize I haven't been updating myself here the way I should.  I'll try to do better in 2012.
Thanks for visiting!
P.S.  Buy my book! 

Monday, April 23, 2007

Is it spring finally?
The past few days have been great.  Temperatures in the 70s.  Sunshine.  Definitely sockless weather.  No more confining cloth around my toes!  No more huddling under seven layers of blankets every night!  No more lugging a twenty-pound, synthetic-down-filled coat everywhere!  Yay!
In other news: two of my very favorite poems of mine, "Pearl" and "Dorrit on Santorini" are finally being re-published in the summer issue of the Adirondack Review.  Here's the link for the journal:
In other, other news: as everyone else has this past week, I've been following the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings.  My ex-boyfriend's dad is a professor at VT, so at first I was watching just to see if he was all right.  (He was, thankfully.)  Then the whole story--the hypnotic repetition on all the cable news channels, the photos of everyone that was lost, the ever-accreting information on the shooter--sucked me in, and I've done a lot of thinking about it since.  Along with everyone else in the country, I extend my deepest sympathies to all the students, professors, staff, and family members affected by what happened on April 16th.  I honestly can't believe something so terrible could take place on such a quiet, unassuming university campus.  I seem to remember going to visit my ex's dad one day as my ex and I drove from our school in suburban Philly to his family's place in Johnson City, Tennessee.  At the time, VT struck me as a typical state university in a sleepy little college town--open spaces, stone buildings, sprawling grounds and the like.  We ate lunch in Blacksburg, at a barbeque place if I remember correctly, and we discussed big, sprawling, scientific issues like global warming and ecosystems and how long humanity has left to save itself before the sun goes nova.  Even though the topics were anxiety provoking, the talk we had was laid back in that abstract, academic way.  It was a conversation not unlike the ones I'd been having with my school chums for years.
I can't imagine how such an open, relaxed place bred so much hatred in Cho Seung-Hui, but then it sounds like his anger started long ago.  He probably was so absorbed in his own psychic landscape that he didn't realize his surroundings had changed once he arrived at VT.  Clearly, he wasn't able to recognize kindness even when his fellow students offered it to him.  I want to make sense of him, make sense of the whole incident, just like everyone else.  But of course, we're going to run out of little illuminating details at some point.  We're going to have to admit we'll never know for sure.  (I'm not even convinced that Cho fully understood what he was doing.)  So all I can say is, I'm sorry.
10:56 am pdt

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Whence my freed Soul to her bright Sphere shall fly,
Through boundless Orbs, eternal Regions spy,
And like the Sun, be All one glorious Eye.
--Nahum Tate, King Lear

Jumping on the Internet bandwagon at last...