Tuesday, May 30, 2006

you stole my heart and that's what really hurts

Many things happening today:

1) I "finished" the newest video. I just need to tweak it a li'l bit and then we'll be all set to rock 'n' roll.

2) The Hunter and I are going to do a reading at Powell's at some point in the near/distant future. wee-ha.

3) I reconciled with an old friend whom I wronged almost 17 months ago. Sometimes saying "sorry" feels really very good.

4) I just discovered that many months ago that I had made the most wonderful mix and buried it on my computer. Currently, I am listening to "Maggie May" as sung by Rod Stewart before he was terrifically lame.

5) I'm a full blown smoker again. Ahh, yes, many many years ago, when I was a misguided youth I used to sneak smokes behind this shed/that shed. It wasn't uncommon for me to climb out of my bedroom window or, heck, walk out the back door and go for a late night stroll. Cigarette in hand. It was my dirty little secret. Made like I was lady non-smoker to all my friends. And then, all through college and the following years smoked maybe the total of a pack of cigarettes, maybe. But now, well, you know, I really like cigarettes.

Totally unrelated, or maybe completely related, some months ago I started work on a story ("Cigarettes Will Kill You" is the title) about a girl smoking cigarettes. I like this story very much so I will share a paragraph with you:

She likes a gentle cigarette. Something clean. So she can concentrate on what’s actually happening to her. Concentrate on the death of her lungs. On the pollution of the cells, the flesh that is dying from the inside out. The loss of bone density. The hardening arteries. The strangulation of her heart. Because she is old enough to know better, she focuses her attention on the effects of the poison that she so enthusiastically seeks out. She carefully considers the smoke that burns her eyes. A nice burn that makes her remember why she started to breathe like this in the first place. She watches the ash of her cigarette extend. Stay red and cling to the body of the stem, barely pinched between her index and middle finger. She gets a little dizzy. Her throat gets a little raw.

This is a post-it note on my wall, it reads "old enough to know better"

And also, here is a link to a wonderful essay by Jeremy Huggins. (This will open a pdf file. It is worth your time to open it.)

new radio dept.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

it's the thought that counts

I have to apologize for that last post (of May 17).
It was a pretty lame post.

The above notes are for the nail essay. I took out two of the portions in the above notes.

#2 reads "Once I had a friend." That's a note for:

Once I had a friend and the title that I gave her was Best. We wore this label etched on a silver heart broken in two. Those two parts looped on two delicate chains hung from our necks as jewelry. My read "st ends" and hers "be fri." This was our declaration of permanence.

#3 reads "I'm standing in the moonlight. I'm hanging from a streetlight." That's a note for:

I'm throwing stones at your window. Handfuls of pebbles that, when they hit the glass, make a sound like pat-a-tat-a-titter-dee-tat. But you don't wake up.
I throw rocks that, when they hit the glass, break through.
I throw sticks and fallen branches of various sizes. You don't come to the window. You don't look to see what's causing this racket.
I'm at the door. I'm climbing up the wall. I'm on the roof looking for my own way in. I'm standing in the moonlight. I'm hanging from a streetlight. I'm walking into you with the strangest intentions.
And when you finally do come to the door and take a sleepy step outside, you don't hesitate to ask, "who's there?"

I took them out of the essay because, even though the intention is there, the language isn't. The language is very much not there, but I do love the intention. So, soon enough, I'll figure out what to do with these little bits of prose.

Wow and Flutter, check 'em out.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Plus one is no minus

I can write on the bus. I can write on the train. I can write in my bedroom. I can write sitting under a tree. I can write in a coffeeshop. I can write at a music show. I can write in the shower. I can write just before I go to sleep. I can write when I'm sober. I can write when I'm not. I can write by the window. I can write on the street. I can write at work. I can write in the shampoo aisle. I can write in the kitchen. I can write while doing laundry. I can write while I make my lunch. I can write in a big notebook. I can write in a pocket notebook. I can write on a laptop. I can write on a post-it note. I can write in the morning. I can write late at night. I can write on paper. I can write on the wall. I can write in ink. I can write in condiments. I can write upside down and backwards. I can write cursive. I can type very fast. I can write in summer. I can write in snow. I can write in silence. And I can write in the middle of a very loud crowd. Point is, I can't not write.

wrote that on the 50 going north

  • Travis Morrison used to be the lead singer of the Dismemberment Plan.
  • He was always Travis Morrison.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

yellow balloon flying away

I just finished reading "The Singing Fish" by Peter Markus.
star rating?
I give it a Milky Way

and then what happened was this (on page 68)
"The moon rose like a balloon running away from the hand of a little girl who wanted to know what it would be like to see this balloon rise up and up until, in the sun's heat, it would get so close up, it would get so heated up, that it would break. It's true that the moon was rising up and away from the hand, from the head, of a girl, Girl, who did not eralize that the moon could actually break. When the moon in its rising up, when the moon got too up close to the sun, it was too late for us brothers to stop it from breaking. In the sun's molten light, in this blast furnace fire, the moon, it shattered into a billion pieces. Each broken piece became a star."

Fine example, I think, of writing without fear, yeah?

In my memory essay, I wrote a line "Yellow balloon flying away" and then I read this book and I thought, 'Wow, Markus wrote that same moment that I wrote.'

And it made my stomach tingle in a way like when you've just ordered dinner and at *that moment* you realize that you're really hungry.

I *love* that he wrote the moment of losing a balloon (such a small, simple, ridiculously painful moment) and made it beautiful.

I sure do love the prose.

A while ago I posted a little reading list that had been recommended to me by one Tyehimba Jess.

After reading an earlier Peter Markus book, "The Moon is a Lighthouse," I emailed Peter and asked him for some reading materials:

  • Noy Holland, "The Spectacle of the Body"
  • Rudy Wilson, "The Red Truck"
  • Ben Markus, "The Age of Wire and String"
  • Gertrude Stein, "Ida and To Do"
  • Victoria Redel, "Where the Road Bottoms Out"
  • Gary Lutz, "Stories in the Worst Way"
  • Dawn Raffel, "In the Year of Long Division"
  • David Markson, "Wittgenstein's Mistress"
Time for a song?

PS: There are new literary links! (look to the right of the screen)

Check out Opium Magazine, Elimae, and Sweet Fancy Moses.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

i know to you it might sound strange / i wish it would rain

I don't know why everyone is so afraid of being wrong.
Of being confused.
Of not understanding the first time around.
Of having to stop. Start. Start over again. Think on it for a minute. And continue.
Of not having it all s-p-e-l-l-e-d o-u-t.

I am wrong about most things.

[Today I did some revision.
and some de-revision.
de-leted what I was told to change.]

Go read "Nobody Knows My Name" by James Baldwin.

Mr.T and I saw Two Gallants perform the other night.
I may be a writer, but even I know when to shut up and let the music do the talking.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

something like this is words we never use

Happiness is sold in late night infomercials

and I buy into the idea that I am an

overenthusiastic actor in an ugly sweater

and you are some new invention that will

create juice like I've never seen before


You're the most spectacular thing that I've ever seen!(!!)

--you can't quote me on that--

quotes are what we use when we don't know what we mean
you know what I mean?

Notes in pocket:
  • a few days ago an 83 year old Korean woman started talking to me on the train
  • she told me to work hard becuase writing is "very hard...very hard"
  • A man cried in front of me today, becuase he had just gotten eye drops, but still
  • I stood really really very quite close to Jackson Pollack's "Greyed Rainbow" and I totally and completely understood

This is a still frame from a video I'm working on:

This song is quite appropriate to this evening (Thanks, Said the Gramophone):