Monday, October 23, 2006

drinky drinky makes you stinky stinky

Sorry that it's been a while since I've posted. I know all 4 of my readers are woefully upset. But I'm back!

The last 2ish weeks as been strange.

Here's why:

I can't figure out if I should be writing more
or less

and that's that.

Remember the robot angel that I hung outside my window?
It was just a robot drawn on a piece of lined legal paper.
It lasted through rain, snow, wind.
And then, just as the leaves all around this neighborhood are falling, the robot too fell. Hung out on the window sill for a few days and then, just kind of floated away.

Here's a rough little thing:

Let's consider, for instance, the death of trees.
Or just of the leaves.
Survival requires suffocation. The days turn cold. The sun scarce. And the ornamentation of the trees, once a channel for nourishment, become burdens. Chlorophyll drains from the veins and the reds, oranges, and yellows that had before been cloaked by green are now a show for postcards and tourists. In the last hours of significance they are on display and then they are let go.
Or do the jump? Do the leaves, with the knowledge that winter can be an angry neighbor, surrender and choose to fall? To become a compost for a new green. To wait to be recycled in the spring. Do the leaves choose to be mutilated an mangled by the worms that rustle the dirt and the nearly frozen earth? And do the trees mourn them? Their sacrificed children. Or do they simply concede that these leaves have made room for new faces, new blossoms, and new leaves? Do the trees resign themselves to dreams of the future of seasons and all of the possibilities of spring? And do they hesitate the letting go in that moment when the wind blows cold and the sun hides behind months of overcast skies?

Usually, this is where I add a link to a nifty song, but my computer is being wonky today. So I shall direct you to a myspace page for a band called "Best Actress"

Click on "Touch the Ground"

and dance around your bedroom in your stocking feet using a comb or hairbrush as your microphone.

Bup bup butta bah

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

But it’s the same sun that breaks through the same curtains from number 94 and who can blame me for being confused?

A friend of mine, also a writer, only a successful one, once told me, "I feel like every story I'm working on at the present moment is the best thing that I've ever written." (not verbatim)

I feel the same way, sometimes. Only, I feel I take it a step too far when I look at past prosey things and I think, well this is just crap.

I feel like my mind is working faster than I can keep up and I'm just really lost in the process of trying to make every little piece a strong, lovely little piece of butterscotch.

Currently, I've taken on a new video project. This one requires me to catalogue over 200 photos and use the text in them to write a story and then turn that story into a movie. It's going to take a long time. But it works, because it is requiring me to slow down.

Slow down.

Here is a blurb from a writing exercise I did for a class. I may turn it into something, eventually. What's holding me back is that the piece, when it's a whole piece, is really personal. Yikes.

I keep the keys from the old place, number 727. Little fragments of an old home. I could stop by any time I want, they didn’t change the locks. One day, you’ll ring my doorbell, the one that corresponds to #3 and on your way out I just might give you a parting gift. A small key that used to be my way to get home. One day, you may be walking an unfamiliar neighborhood and you may find, in the street, a small gold key. Pick it up and put it in your pocket. One day, it may take you home.

A while ago, I really dug David Ivar Herman Dune.
And then I forgot all about him.
And now I love him again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

time is on your side

One of the requirements to receive my MFA is that I take 6 credit hours a semester in Graduate Advising. This means I give my advisor (a faculty member) some writings and then every other week we meet for an hour to discuss what I've written.

Now, since a huge part of writing is the fact that you will not be in the room when the
writing is being read, a writer just can't interrupt when a person is interpreting a story/poem/play/etc. You can't say. "Okay, you read that wrong." You just have to sit back and say, well, that interpretation is very interesting.

I respect my advisors, I actually like them very much. I am referring to the fellows of the current semester as well as the fellows of previous semesters.

But sometimes, their interpretations of the prose can only be called interesting. There I said it!

Rough draft of something new:


You say that a turtle, flipped on its back, will suffocate unless it uses the muscles in its neck to right itself.

This one time I’m walking and my heel catches a break in the concrete and I stumble a little bit, I trip. I look around and hope that no one noticed me. But if they did, if anyone saw my break my rhythm, I have to keep walking like nothing happened. I keep up my pace and I go step-step-step down the road. My walk is so steady that any witness to my slip will think that their eyes were playing tricks on them. Because here I'm upright on two feet so consistent and so strong.

We listen to music down on the floor. You’re lying next to me, your arms stretched back and crossed under your head. My hands crossed over my stomach. The speakers face down next to us so the music is more than a sound. It is a vibration. It is a stuttered voice that speaks this floor. It is a shiver. It is shaking our skin, every little cell and every little flake of us is quivering with music. Tickling my neck. Tapping its trace into your arms.

Your thigh shivers and you can't stop it. You put my hand on your leg to feel the tremble that you can't control and I told you so. I told you not to buy that shit from a guy selling on Ash Wednesday. It’s just bad luck I told you and now weÂ’re at the bar and you can’t stop the quake in your leg so we drink until we forget that everything around us is in constant motion and all the way home I’m holding you up so you don’t fall down.

I push you. I push you down so the palms of your hands get cut by gravel. And I’m glad to see you get up and get away.

This one time I trip and this time I fall all the way down and I’m face to the concrete and I’m thinking about staying like this while feet tread on me. And trucks go by and I feel them bump and shiver over urban pavement. Cigarettes are twisted out under rubber soles on my neck. A glove is lost and I tuck it under my arm. Soda spills on me. Dogs piss on me and birds drop shit on me. And the snow gets me blue and shovels scrape me red and sun burns me brown and sun burns me black and rain drains me and wet leaves fall and hang on to my back and in the drought dry up until my skin is a paper mache of dirty golds and reds and brilliant, remarkable orange. Buildings rise around me and levees flood me and a broom sweeps me. Chalk lines are drawn on me and newspapers cover me and feet tread on me like I’m concrete.

You say that a turtle, flipped on its back, will suffocate unless it uses the muscles in its neck to right itself.

This one time I trip and I keep walking like nothing happened.

Lately, I feel like I have no time that is mine and mine alone. Time to just stare out the window. Time to look at the sky. Time to write notes down or to daydream. Time to be alone and be in my own head for a while.

168 hours
-37 hours work
-8 hours class
-14 hours commute
-42 hours sleep (never enough, can't wake up, alarms, ugh)
-7 hours prep
-2 hours "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives"
=58 hours

seems like plenty of time, to me