(no subject)

I want to see 500 Days of Summer so badly. Or maybe I just have the misconception that I am very much like Zooey Deschanel. In any case, the trailer gave me shivers.

I am thinking a lot about permission, sexual evolution, choices, possibilities, embodiment. Simultaneously beginning to have sort of an idea about why Lust has been considered a sin in some religions. Reading The History of God by Karen Armstrong and feeling constantly as if the top of my head were expanding.

Leaving today, in about an hour, for a week long trip to Virginia, and then North Carolina, with Tait & his family. Hello green hills, hello ocean.
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    there she goes again - velvet underground

Wound like drowning

He lies first, says the swollen eye's from play-fighting. Look at me, she says, take your sunglasses off. When he does, he looks in the mirror, looks away, replaces the glasses. The eye is nearly swollen shut, she's seen, she blinks a thousand times for strength, focuses on traffic lights. What are you afraid of, he asks, and she says, I'm afraid that you're using again, I'm afraid there's something about you that you won't touch. He turns to watch pedestrians outside the hospital with a numb quiet, then it's time for his appointment & he is gone. He lies second, says ok, here's the truth:  it's from falling face first on a metal dog crate, I'm sorry I lied. A dog crate shaped like a fist, she thinks, a fist shaped like a lie shaped like a resentment shaped like a raft on which one floats away from God. He's sleepless in all cities, sleepless in himself. He finds a new friend to disappear inside. She closes her hand, cries into dusk on a folding chair amidst strangers. Somebody gives her a tissue crushed into the pocket of a purse. Brother, she thinks, I cannot help you. Go where you must go. Come back if you can.

(no subject)

I'm more interested in the fact that the house of representatives passed a climate change bill than I am in the death of Michael Jackson.  Of course, i will never forget where I was when i heard that he died - sitting in a slowly filling auditorium in Amherst, reading Bruno Schulz, slightly sunburned.  The climate change bill  just seems, oh, i don't know, like it has an impact that stretches far beyond the confines of any individual's life. This is not to say that Jackson was not, is not, deeply interesting & strange, a genius, a type of monster and certainly, a figure that changed our culture. This is not to say that he wasn't a human who shouldn't be properly mourned. i guess global warming isn't as sudden as human death, and certainly, nobody besides maybe a few thousand scientists and Elizabeth Kolbert are keeping track of how many species are becoming extinct each day. it's been happening for YEARS! No biggie.

My insomnia is rampant. I have been given a biography of Hart Crane. Tomorrow's the last day of Mark Doty's workshop, which has been an incredible gift. Then sunday &  back to Pittsburgh, to Bridget to Tait to children to swimming to dance to song. To home to keep what I have learned & no longer comprimise the space that poetry wants within my life.


(no subject)

i am in such such such a good mood today. but this picture is from yesterday (a dress I bought from with a birthday gift certificate from my mum) , guess i was in a good mood then too, after taking an incredible pilates fusion class with Gia, who's about 45, a little bumbershoot, all muscle & used to dance with Martha Graham. I'm going to make the class a regular thing, fridays & sundays (and one other day?), to balance african dance tuesdays & saturdays. I should make swimming a more regular wednesday workout. Crysila, who sometimes teaches African dance, was talking last week about having a dancehall team & I expressed my interest with the disclaimer that I have no freaking clue about dancehall, but I'd like to learn. Disappointed that I can't go to the African arts conference in FL next week, but I simply don't have the money. Last night Tait & I ate nachos & went to Gist Street, which is always fun no matter who is reading what. Looking forward to next month's cookout (even though Autumn House is the featured press). Had freaking crazy dreams about my mother & some other things I forget now, possiblly due to talking to MA about cancer & then finishing a flash fiction anthology directly before going to sleep. I wrote a poem at breakfast at the Quiet Storm & Tait chuckled at my astonishment. I've gotten so out of the habit of writing by hand that I'm always suprised when something flows...

"nothing matters when we're dancing" is the theme song of june.

(no subject)

The past few days have been comprised of cool mornings followed by surprisingly hot mid-afternoons. today i danced alone until sweat poured off me and people started entering the upstairs studio to set up their table tennis club. i am taken back, taken aback by the scent of onion grass, mothballs, cat piss, lilacs, another Pittsburgh summer. in Bloomfield this afternoon punks sat outside the sandwich shop with dogs & accordians. I was astonished by the sun bouncing off the concrete, the sweaty grins of the street. The nastirsums  & the morning glories are sprouting, maybe the beans. sunflower died but geraniums are fine. even a rose bush arose in the back.  I'm missing old musician friends today, wondering if I should put off going to Boston again, wondering when the hell I'm going to get that tattoo, those tattoos. I chose not to go to a poetry reading tonight because I love quiet, because I have quiet to love, because I have storms that require love, because of lime water in a mason jar at the edge of the bed, because the light was just so & the quiet. the cat, the book, the cushion. the spoon & bowl. the sigh of the bus on it's path. sometimes i am a poet who does not smile, or smiles only like a child. sometimes i am a poet who merely swims, weeps and sings. poetry of the low moon. poetry like the jaw of a bumblebee. poetry of edges & experience.

my birthday was kind.
thank you, 26, hello.

(no subject)

A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island

The Sun woke me this morning loud
and clear, saying "Hey! I've been
trying to wake you up for fifteen
minutes. Don't be so rude, you are
only the second poet I've ever chosen
to speak to personally

so why
aren't you more attentive? If I could
burn you through the window I would
to wake you up. I can't hang around
here all day."

"Sorry, Sun, I stayed
up late last night talking to Hal."

"When I woke up Mayakovsky he was
a lot more prompt" the Sun said
petulantly. "Most people are up
already waiting to see if I'm going
to put in an appearance."

I tried
to apologize "I missed you yesterday."
"That's better" he said. "I didn't
know you'd come out." "You may be
wondering why I've come so close?"
"Yes" I said beginning to feel hot
wondering if maybe he wasn't burning me

"Frankly I wanted to tell you
I like your poetry. I see a lot
on my rounds and you're okay. You may
not be the greatest thing on earth, but
you're different. Now, I've heard some
say you're crazy, they being excessively
calm themselves to my mind, and other
crazy poets think that you're a boring
reactionary. Not me.

Just keep on
like I do and pay no attention. You'll
find that people always will complain
about the atmosphere, either too hot
or too cold too bright or too dark, days
too short or too long.

If you don't appear
at all one day they think you're lazy
or dead. Just keep right on, I like it.

And don't worry about your lineage
poetic or natural. The Sun shines on
the jungle, you know, on the tundra
the sea, the ghetto. Wherever you were
I knew it and saw you moving. I was waiting
for you to get to work.

And now that you
are making your own days, so to speak,
even if no one reads you but me
you won't be depressed. Not
everyone can look up, even at me. It
hurts their eyes."
"Oh Sun, I'm so grateful to you!"

"Thanks and remember I'm watching. It's
easier for me to speak to you out
here. I don't have to slide down
between buildings to get your ear.
I know you love Manhattan, but
you ought to look up more often.

always embrace things, people earth
sky stars, as I do, freely and with
the appropriate sense of space. That
is your inclination, known in the heavens
and you should follow it to hell, if
necessary, which I doubt.

Maybe we'll
speak again in Africa, of which I too
am specially fond. Go back to sleep now
Frank, and I may leave a tiny poem
in that brain of yours as my farewell."

"Sun, don't go!" I was awake
at last. "No, go I must, they're calling
"Who are they?"

Rising he said "Some
day you'll know. They're calling to you
too." Darkly he rose, and then I slept.

-- frank o'hara

(no subject)

 Do any of you have accounts? if so, befriend me! I'd love to know what books are in your universe. 

I just got Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son in the mail on Monday evening - Monday night baby-sat for Terrance Hayes' kids & read the whole thing again in 2 hours, while T & Y were out seeing Charles D'Ambrosio. (That's always how it works with them - I make money while they get to be involved in some awesome literary thing). Re-reading Jesus' Son for about the millionth time, I was struck yet again by how precise & heartbreaking Johnson's prose is. Also struck by how much I love the film adaptation with Billy Crudup. I'd recommend both to anybody, but read the book first. Right now, also reading Anne Carson's Eros The Bittersweet, which I had some trouble getting into initially a few months ago, but in retrospect I think it was only because I'd picked it up at a period when I'd only been reading straight fiction. Her arguments are elegant. I'd read anything by Anne Carson... How To Make A Brick, by Anne Carson... anything. In Eros, her classics knowledge & insight gets a chance to shine & cartwheel & extend itself beyond imagination -- she's a scholar through & through - something easy to forget in her more "lyrical" (for lack of a better term) work. 

Hurrah for sunny thursday afternoons with coffee, happy sleeping cat & poems....
Hurrah for wednesday nights with Alaskan salmon, fennel rice & cozy movie-watching...
Hurrah for tomorrow, with my favorite 4 year old, then a dinner date & puppet theatre... 
Hurrah for saturday, with african dance, making vegetable soup with Dorothy & Art All Night... 

Hurrah hurrah hurrah

[edit: ok, so Anne Carson's book IS actually, technically, according to the book jacket, "lyrical".... for an interesting article (the argument/discussion that comes after is more interesting) on poetry terminology & criticism, see Matthew Zapruder's article called "Show Your Work!" at the Poetry Foundation. This article has caused a bit of a shit-storm... probably a necessary one]