Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunny Delite, My Stripper Name

Sitting in the Starbucks writing poems and blogging and crying under my sunglasses. Listening to a lot of Badfinger. What a cliche!

The environment is filled with references to Bhutto and the ash and confetti of contradictions blown up by the explosion.

I'm working on a series that re-envisions movies on Lifetime television, themselves just variations on the dry and abrasive tale of Mrs. Emma B, with some water, good-for-you vitamins, and chemicals to enhance mouthfeel added, so it ends up like reconstituted orange juice. Mom, thanks for the Sunny D! So even our escape is rooted in a man's vision. Many have tossed off the comment that Lifetime movies are all based on the Brontes. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Lifetime is neither so inventive nor so class-conscious. I fucking love Charlotte Bronte.

So I'm attempting to further reconstitute an orange drink product. Mix liberally with vodka and lace with ecstasy.

I should set a rule for myself like the one for my daughter, where no new toys come into the house until we give away some old ones. In this case, it would be no new poems for me unless I send out old ones. But writing them is interesting and sending them out is fraught and ultimately humiliating. What a laugh on me, another of many right now! I'm the one who can't stand it when people pull out that fucking "it's the journey not the destination" shit. It doesn't mean a thing to me unless there's a reader. So here I am writing like mad and no readers, none, and it keeps happening, and I actually said not one minute ago that it's more enjoyable this way. Oh, the sexual parallel is obvious, but I'll have the grace not to make it.

Just another in a long sequence of humiliations. You get so many once you hit 40 as a woman, you almost can glide past the ones that bump you every day--but for me to seek out more, by trying to reach out in so many directions, it's a little sick if I stop to think about it. Badfinger! Jesus!

So I'll just wallow here, and quote myself. It's from the novel (thriller) I'm working on. The woman still has her babyweight and is trying to figure out how to tail someone:

"She remembered how in movies, a woman trying to escape pursuit would use wigs, scarves, sunglasses, dye her hair over and over. Didn't they realize that all you had to do was put on 15 pounds, and you'd be invisible? She was free to go anywhere; no one would remember her from one moment to the next."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Temporal Alarmist Despair

WAY too much s going down today.

"I think that it's important not to drive a tack with a ball-peen hammer, so my grievances will, I hope, not be rude and obtuse and of temporal alarmist despair."
--Van Dyke Parks

Sunday, December 23, 2007

White Christmas

When a party wound up early, a friend and I found ourselves wandering blasted down 18th street. I felt like dancing, so he led us down some stairs into what turned out to be an Ethiopian basement dance club. We were the only white people in the place. He had paid the cover, so I stood at the bar to buy our drinks. And stood. And stood.

My friend said, "Come on, let's get our money back and go." At the door, the manager showed up as we were asking for the cover back. He turned on the charm, urged us to stay, walked us back in and got us drinks, told us he was buying for the rest of the night. And I did get a chance to dance, to some amazing strange DJ work. But after a while I was wondering if I could stay upright--four-inch heels and a toe injury from running were mixing it up in a way even the liquor couldn't mask. So we started for the door.

The manager once again urged us to stay, but I explained I was wiped out. As I walked to the door, he told my friend: "Come back without your lady some time, and we'll make sure you have a good time." The old ball-and-chain rolls again!

But he still showed some class and damage-control skills.

Then today, while discussing a potato salad recipe that included persian lime-infused olive oil (from the Cali groves near my family) and Old Bay seasoning, I was put in mind of another smoldering racial controversy. I think I remember but can't locate now a statement in Patrice Gaines's wonderful first memoir: "White people put too much stuff in their potato salad."

Diversity enriches us all, does it not?

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Light Gets In

Happy Solstice. (Or, as my friend calls it, "the Pagan Christmas.")

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
--Leonard Cohen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Too Soon and Too Late

Sometimes it's kind of good being so out of touch: Just heard about Tom Terrell's death today. This was a DJ (and general positive force) who got a lot of people through a lot of Sundays. And a really good writer.

There's been a lot of Miles Davis energy around the house lately (mean that in a good way), touched off by that Betty Davis discovery; my man's been playing Bitches Brew a lot (trying to transmit a message, dear?) and is salivating over the On the Corner box set. Maybe Santa will show with it, cause now I want to read the essay--written by Tom Terrell.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Nutcracker. Sweet.

Took the girls to see Washington Ballet Nutcracker. Fantastic sets and staging, among other things. Don't know what it is about that thing, but my girl and I both bristle like cats and have to try hard not to cry during that part when that SOB brother breaks her new, favorite doll. And Drosselmeyer applies his magic to fix him...but she still has to slip downstairs to see if he's OK and rock him to sleep...and then the rats creep in...and she is afraid, but brave...bales out her man and gets a prince for her trouble.

I'm a huge fan of E.T.A. Hoffman, the Philip K. Dick of his time. Hoffman had this obsession with automata, with what constitutes the sincere expression of human love and what is a sham and how the vulnerable are deluded, and how this delusion and the betrayal, the realization that one can be so fooled by a painted-on face, can lead to true madness.

I TiVo the Baryshnikov Nutcracker, and we watch that every year, too. I've told my daughter how Kirkland was a great dancer, but she stopped eating good foods and it made her too sick to dance for a while. Kirkland's still working. Yay!

I've read that Tchaikovsky wasn't crazy about this job; he was working for hire by that point. The super-sexy music for the pas de deux came out of a bet that he couldn't write something with all the notes of the octave in order. A mere exercise that flared into beauty. Works out that way sometimes.

Of course I can't hear his music without thinking of Ken Russell.

Never seen the Mark Morris The Hard Nut. (In link hunting, discovered Thackeray had translated the Hoffman story!) Need to find a DVD of that ballet--to watch well AFTER baby bedtime.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Corpse Position

Morning yoga class with the teacher of impossible sincerity. Trying to get us to perfect the corpse position.

"This is a really important position. You don't want to skip the corpse position!"

I don't think we really get a lot of choice about that, baby.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Well, Then...

...Could I at least maybe get a babysitter?

You know how you have those stretches where you're just working, working, putting it out there, putting it out there, and it feels like nothing's coming back?


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spill It

I'm banging on the cosmos like it's a pinata, trying to get it to spill its fortunes and favors and sweets and mysterious shiny little packages onto my head. Give it up for me!

And if you ask why I don't change my approach, well, this is a change. I've spent my whole life (like many women) sidling, stroking, seducing, manipulating, planting secret explosives, poking little holes under cover of darkness and hoping they'll work their way into into big holes and something delicious will spill out. Now I'm knocking, banging, bashing, shaking it. Come on. COME ON!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Santa, Pluto and Thor: My Trinity

Took my girl to see Santa today. We went to a mall, something I try to do no more than once a year. I was taking her to this garden center place for Santa, but they started getting all Jesusy on us. So to the mall it was.

Her reaction: "Santa is handsome."

She also thinks Thor is handsome. Thor has actually moved right in next to Pluto, and both of them are hanging out in my partnership house. It's getting crowded. They're going through all the beer. What's a girl to do? Go ask Santaaaaaaa...I think he'll knooowwwwww....

Santa recommends a tall vodka-and-pomegranate juice. Bless your heart, Santa. Santa, could I have this blogger for Xmas? She's the bravest blogger I've ever read.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Make Me Scrawl

Went to a book release party last night for an anthology by women writers. Some forced discussion afterward on whether a women's anthology was "needed." Well, I'd print one, if I had the cash, if only for the perks.

One of the writers said her students (college level) "hated" feminism and were "embarrassed" by it, especially by hearing their teacher talk about it. mrat. Who put you in that seat, little fluffy dumpling? I didn't sleep my way through writing classes just to hear the Female Kids of Today say they don't need or want feminism!

Speaking of feminism, My Man made the discovery of Betty Davis after hearing one of her songs on this year's Oxford American compilation. I happen to think it's feministastic to have funked around with Graham Central Station, made it out of Miles Davis' bed alive, and then written something like this:

"I know you could make me scrawl...I know you could get me shaking...I know you could make me climb the walls...that's why I'm not going to love you...because you know I'd make you eat your ego...I'd make you pocket your pride...that's why you're not gonna love me..."

And give Backstretch some competition for Hanukkah and enter the contest. Do it for the children. See below.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Bruised But Not Broken

I was on a fucking trapeze this weekend. This woman who teaches the classes is amazing. I am covered with bruises, but I didn't fall. The only thing stopping me from trying again is the nausea. I'm a seasick sailor. I wonder if one can get over that.

Lot of people know my lottery fantasy: When (not if) I win, I'll found the Kiss My Happy Heinie Foundation. Works just like the MacArthur. Just find me geniuses and give 'em money. She's now at the top of the list. I'll just keep praying those numbers up, so when the balls do their dance (as Rev. Ike used to say), they'll fall my way. Geniuses, get ready!

Meantime, it's the Kiss My Happy Holiday Contest. Here's how it works: Put one verse or chorus of an original parody holiday song into the comments section; any day is fine. For each legit entry, I add $2 to the pot. On Jan. 1, I survey them all and choose a winner. The winner gets to choose a charity for half the money to go to, and gets a t-shirt. The other half of the money goes to the charity of my choice. Other geniuses, get ready!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Love Jones

Girl, don't GET that Rickie Lee Jones CD off the shelf, don't LOOK for it, don't take it out!!! Don't you put that CD in your car, girl, what are you DOING, you know what that's gonna get you!! You stop, now. You know where that's gonna get you.

"...and the only angel who sees us now watches from each other's eyes...."

Oh, it's just too late, there she is with the piano. Don't say I didn't warn you about all that girlie stuff, girl. You're going soft.

Here's some of her poetry.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Silence, Exile, Cunning

"...I will try to express myself in some mode of art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defense the only arms I allow myself to use—silence, exile, and cunning."

You just do a fastass Google and you find so many blog headlines that look just like that one! Dag. We all just so well read. There’s this one that busts on Dave Eggers alla time, just to give you one example. You, me, and what army.

Well, here's my eight bucks: It’s my struggle with silence, the exile of Pluto, and then let’s put an Olde English 800 spin on that last term and say it refers to my modus operandi nowadays. Yep, the c-word has certainly been shoved firmly into my arsenal and I can only suppose that eventually I’ll be all the better off for it, though right now I just feel like I’m going around being a c-word and will pay, pay, pay.

But as everyone who knows me knows, silence is the surest way to turn me into a quivering mass. You don’t even have to throw a bucket of water on this witch. Just go incommunicado. Or tell me to shut up. It's like death.

It all started with my quest to claim the shadow. [Iris out. The whole screen turns into a shadow.]

Here’s the theory: We take parts of ourselves we don’t wish to “own” and we turn them into “shadows” and often project them on other people. Some of us take our clockwatcher part, for instance, and pin it on the boss or the bitch, and then we can call them nitpicky, nagging, anal, no fun.

Take back your shadows, and you allegedly get back all kinds of energy, creativity, superpowers.

I recently took back my Bad Girl from a friend who’d looked after her and taken her on many adventures for years. She’s hard to handle, poor rejected thing, but she’s mine now, and we're having some good times. And I think it’s a relief to my friend to have her off her hands, so she can be as good or bad as she pleases, all on her own. So that worked.

But sometimes people don’t want you to take these parts back. They want to hang on to them. Or they want to hang on to you not having those parts, so they can keep busting on you for not having them. Or because you’re easier to handle without them.

So in the appropriate season, I made it my business to roam around in the underworld, looking for scraps of shadow to sew back onto my heels. I stumbled over several--the fuckup, the one that says and does the wrong thing, the outcast, and the one that speaks her mind and says right out what she wants, all living with another friend. That friend has paid a heavy, heavy price for speaking out and speaking freely and not calculating and manipulating and veiling, like I do. Scary. I don’t want to pay that price, have random folks hating on me! I guess that’s why I’d kicked that shadow to the curb to begin with.

Bottom, so to speak, line: Can you say what you want, flat out, without becoming a c-word or a d-word? Discuss.

I’m trying this technique: Say it, then shut up and wait. See what happens.

That’s the scary, bad, hard part about taking them back. The good part is that the people you’ve sent your shadows away to now get to be themselves again. Just fully themselves. And you get to know them, for real. Maybe for the first time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old Turks and Coveting

Off to the land of scotch and golf and diamonds for the holiday with la familia. Little internet, no blogging, secret writing in the night, curled up on the narrow bed with a flashlight. Everything really does come full circle, and it does it over and over again.

I am currently using a notebook I found in a drugstore bin for .50, covered with pictures of Tinkerbell, patroness of lost boys, clever fixer of teapots, sacred in my pantheon of supernatural beings. My daughter covets it so strongly it is difficult to write, some days, over the whines. "Why can't I have it, please, why can't I have it???" She has at least a dozen notebooks, covered with butterflies and princesses and whatever catches her eye in the discount store; she is not deprived; she sits and writes poems in them with her vast collection of gel pens. Yet she wants this one so badly. I have to do the hard thing--some things are mommy's, some things are yours. I don't take your gel pens, do I? (Yet I do covet the gel pens, just as I sometimes covet the scotch and the diamonds and the green lawns and the widescreen tvs and the stainless steel gas ranges. Sometimes. But never the golf.) Mommy has boundaries, mommy can stick to her guns, mommy has made up her mind and will not change it for all the pleading. It has to be done. Mean mommy.

Here is my favorite poem by my daughter:
You are the boy I have been looking for
You are the girl I have been looking for
You are the boygirl I have been looking for
You are the girlboy I have been looking for

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Nothing I Do Entitles Me to Eat My Fill

"It is true, I earn my living, but it is only an accident." --Brecht

Had lunch in a German restaurant today, after playground time. I wonder if my daughter will remember that her crazy mama used to drive her from place to place around the city playing the same song over and over. Today it's Milton Nascimento's Sueno con Serpientes, off Sentinale. This analysis quotes an interview with poet/songwriter Silvio Rodriguez, saying "various writers have speculated that the song symbolizes the never ending struggle through life's conflicts, the truth found by facing one's hidden fears, absolute truths and false images that mislead people, or political systems that sow the seeds of their own destruction." I think it could apply to any kind of system--everything eats its own tail (at least, it does if it's been keeping up with its yoga classes). The system is dead; long live the system--tear it down to build it up again (hey there, Pluto. Down, boy.). But I also believe you can choke them with your goodness, when you've got nothing else to work with.

"Of serpents, I dream
Long, transparent and in their bellies they carry
all they can snatch away from love
I kill one and a larger one appears
with even more hellfire burning inside
I don't fit in its mouth; it tries to swallow me.
But it chokes on the top of my temple
I think it is crazy; I give it a dove to chew,
and I poison it with my goodness.
Oh, I kill one and a larger one appears..."

It opens with Mercedes Sosa quoting Brecht (my favorite poet, writer, everything, and the one I'd call an influence if I'd ever written anything successful):
"There are men who struggle one day
and they are good
there are others who struggle one year
and they are better
there are those who struggle for many years
and they are better still.
But there are those who struggle all their lives;
Those are the indispensable ones."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Love Canal

Had an early morning root canal. Some people are surprised I would have a root canal and then go to work the rest of the day. One, I have deadlines. Two, there are worse things.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here Comes a Storm in the Form of a Girl

I drove my hybrid smugly, as usual, to 355 Toyota for servicing. Got it back way hours later, with all the radio presets wiped out and replaced by Christian stations. And one country.

I'm pulling out and some guy's quoting, ick, Paul, something about "I wait on the Lord, I wait on the Lord." Well, I waited on the car. And a whole lotta other things, too, I'm waiting on.

I called, smugly, and ripped them a new one. Intend to write, smugly, too.

Ironically, all the way there I'd been over-and-overing Courtney Love's "Heaven Tonight."

I am drunk and drugged and dizzy with hope. I won't admit fear. He hung out here too often and caused a lot of trouble. The bouncers have his photo and they won't let him in.

"Here comes a storm in the form of a girl
Summer rains come flying in
It's like heaven tonight
Here comes a kiss like I never felt
There's nothing like this
It's like heaven tonight
I hear the horses come galloping
and I'll never grow old
It's like heaven tonight
Because I love you
For what you are....
I can believe that I can be happy
Summer will come again, I can be happy
Oh stop your crying, you can be happy..."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Egoiste! Egoiste! Egoiste!

Speaking of men being excoriated, farewell Norman Mailer.

His third book a dismal critical and commercial failure, he started the Village Voice. Yay, balls!!!

And just to show I know not all women smack down men who speak out, here's a chunk from today's Post appreciation:

...What inspired her about "Armies" was "the freedom Norman Mailer gave himself." [said feminist writer Katha Pollitt]
"He gave himself the freedom to be ridiculous...He gave himself the freedom to be egocentric, to put himself at the center of a story that he is only very peripheral at, and to make a joke out of that."

He also gave himself the freedom to be serious about the fate of America.

Mailer saw his country -- for which he sometimes felt "a sharp searing love" -- as threatened not just by the Vietnam War but by the broader dominion of what he called "corporation land," by "the subtle oppression which had come to America out of the very air" of the 20th century, with "its oppressive Faustian lusts, its technological excrement all over the conduits of nature, its entrapment of the innocence of the best . . . ."

This, in the end, is why he chose the technique he did. "Once History inhabits a crazy house," he informs readers who might be puzzled by the choice, "egotism may be the last tool left to History."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Pulling Out, Cutting Back, Making a New Bed

Burying my sorrows in my neglected garden, pulling out what's dead, cutting back what I hope will grow bigger and better in just a few months, really, just a few months is all it will take until there is warmth and they come back. They'll come back. That magic happens every year. But I don't ever really KNOW.

You know.

This is a look at the latest new moon from Planet Waves. But note before: Men "pay a high price in admitting to sexual desire" as well. Witness this phenomenon. OK, he's not my kind--yawn, no wild leaps or big brooding. But the way he's getting savaged by women all over blogland is grotesque. I hate these kinds of online pile-on flames. There are better ways to burn--ones that aren't fueled by fear over your own projections. Understand? Women savage men who admit looks and sex matter to them because they don't want to own that part of themselves that values looks and sex.

You want to make fun of his writing, well, that's another issue.

OK, rolling over in the gutter, let's check out the stars.

"We are exploring the darkness, facing the unknown, not really able to see what is happening....Our fear is really fear of change.

The Sun and the Moon are conjunct Juno. The Roman goddess Juno was queen of the gods and the jealous wife of Jupiter. By most accounts we think of Jupiter as unfaithful; we do not normally think of him as alive. If you were the king of the gods, you would probably want to have sex with all the other goddesses and nymphs, wouldn't you?

Juno symbolizes marriage, partnership dynamics, woman's role as a wife, fidelity and jealousy. She will also reveal shades of commitment, the feelings about commitment...This can change, particularly as we go through relationships. We may be questioning commitment unconsciously, or confused about its dynamics or meaning. We may in some way be feeling unfree, but experiencing it as chaos or loss of clarity. Possessiveness and learning how to let go arise as central themes of this lunation.

An exact conjunction of two asteroids, Vesta and Lilith in Capricorn is adding its own spice to the mixture... Lilith can also represent the crisis that "being the real me" brings into the lives of both women and men, particularly when it happens to women. Women in particular are trained to conceal their real identity as a way of life and of survival, particularly where sexual desire is concerned. For women, the price for admitting to sexual desire is apparently much higher than it is for men. When considering Lilith as the real woman inside the woman, this is an essential dimension to consider.

Vesta...can manifest either as celibacy or as the capacity to bestow sexual favors for the purpose of healing or growth; the choice is up to each of us.

...This is a picture of some interesting confrontations between the part of men that is more feminine, insecure, nurturing or needy; and the part of women that is hot at the core and focused on the intention of being known and available as inherently sexual."

One look at this, and you'll subscribe. How often does someone speak to your soul?

Thursday, November 8, 2007


The cold snap dictates Mark Lanegan’s The Winding Sheet. Even though the CD was given to us by someone who is gone from this world, and I can’t listen to it without that in the back of my mind.

I do like them big, dark and brooding. The recent work on the freaking Starbucks-ubiquitous In the Wild soundtrack almost makes Eddie Vedder bearable, but in the end, Mark’s always going to be the one for me.

I’m beginning to think I’m not in the Underworld, but under water. The glitter is dimmed, and I’ve learned quick gestures and fast breaks don’t work. Nothing I’m good at is of use here, yet. I’m a little afraid that one wave of my arm will set up a ripple that will engulf an island far away. Overestimation or wishful thinking?

My daughter now declares that her favorite food is pomegranate. We will share one tonight.

Let’s listen to Mark sing, now.

"Your voice is a mockingbird
Calling me when the day is gone
You please yourself with every word
Telling me where I'm going wrong
Telling me where I've gone wrong

Get me out it's starting to burn
I can't let go for the life of me
Some hold tight, and some turn
Another fire out in front of me
My whole life out in front of me

You can't kill what's already dead
But I don't blame you for trying it
The sun comes up and falls away
Two little birds makin' sense of it
Two mockingbirds making sense of it."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Crawl and Fly, You and I

Joni Mitchell's birthday, a new moon in Scorpio approaches, Mars plunges into the sea, Eros flutters off in distress that he's loved a mere mortal, and Pluto turns and faces me and declares: "Put down the fucking pomegranate and tell me now: Who is your lover and who is your enemy? Or do you want me to find out for you?"

I smash a few juicy seeds between my tongue and teeth, swallow and nod. "I'd appreciate that." I've really gotten to like the guy in the past six months. Quiet, no bullshit. Reminds me of Clint Eastwood.

Well, let's hear from the birthday girl. I'd forgotten what she could do to me.

"And put me at the top of your danger list
Just for being so much like you are!

You're a coward against the altitude--
You're a coward against the flesh--
Coward--caught between yes and no
Reckless this time on the line for yes, yes, yes!

...Behind my bolt locked door
The eagle and the serpent are at war in me
The serpent fighting for blind desire
The eagle for clarity
What strange prizes these battles bring
These hectic joys-these weary blues
Puffed up and strutting when I think I win
Down and shaken when I think I lose
There are rivets up here in this eagle
There are box cars down there on your snake
And we are twins of spirit
No matter which route home we take
Or what we forsake
We're going to come up to the eyes of clarity
And we'll go down to the beads of guile
There is danger and education
In living out such a reckless life style
I touched you on the central plains
It was plane to train, my twin
It was just plane shadow to train shadow
But to me it was skin to skin
The spirit talks in spectrums
He talks to mother earth to father sky
Self indulgence to self denial
Man to woman
Scales to feathers
You and I
Eagles in the sky
You and I
Snakes in the grass
You and I
Crawl and fly
You and I..."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

That's What She Said.

An actual funny interesting poetry blogger and her funny sexy online poetry magazine functioning in DC. I have to get out more.

I was doing my usual poking around for the payoff (spreadsheet ideal: fewer than five poems, more than $500 prize, less than $25 entry fee, simultaneous is great, not language poetry-centric. I'm just not fucking smart enough for language poetry.) and ran across it. And you know this shoutout can't be seen as currying favor for possible publication, cause no one reads my blog. "The Ballad of the Lonely Blog." Allllllright, that's enough.

I will be child free in eight hours and swept away for a few days of Romance. I have to gather my supplies. What did I do with that thing? No, that other thing, and the shoes. Think, think. It's not like you've been in the Underworld all week or anything, for chrissake.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Psyche Takes the Plunge

I'm so jealous cause Patterson Hood offered a woman I know a drink of whiskey at the Drive-by Truckers show in Baltimore last night. Dag.

I'm going off blog now til Thursday after sundown for the Three Swingin' Nights of Samhain. Wish me luck in the underworld, in my underwear, playing the la la la la...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Whiff of Hysteria

Got a pack of samples from Scent Bar the other day. And the winner is Let Me Play the Lion by LezNez, storm-broken linden-tree branch from above and leatherbound Catholic hymnal frankincense up close. Will never lose my allegiance to Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's supernatural scent oils, but a little artificiality never hurts, for balance alone.

Five poems to go. Plus a story to revise by tomorrow. Between the World Series, Halloween, paying work and drama, drama, drama, I'll never have a minute to myself again. Mercury, I can't wait til you turn your ass around Nov. 1.

PS: Despite perfect weather, all my favorites in the Marine Corps Marathon came home a little bummed. Didn't get the times they wanted, and one ironman fell victim to IT band just a week before (and did it anyway. Ow.). I think there must be something about that course, cause it seems to whupass every time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Out of the Zone

I'm trying to finish a 50-page poetry manuscript. Deadline, Halloween (or as My People call it, Samhain. Some call it corn.). This year, I think I'll dress up as an irrelevant, discredited art form no one pays you for and everyone fears you're going to force them to read. With fishnets and the Louise Brooks wig, of course.

Meantime, in honor of the change from zones to meters, here's my current favorite blogger to enjoy. Really, go anywhere else. Poetry is here. And the meter's running, baby.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Muskie. Yes, It Was.

My friend BA sends me this and it all comes back to me, the long love/hate relationship I maintained with that big, tough, son of a bitch, Mark Trail. Man could really throw a punch, but I ain't no Amy Winehouse, so I don't play that. But this guy helped me get through the withdrawal. Many thanks, brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'll Deal

Of course I'm listening to the new Radiohead (which, incidentally, we paid going market CD rate for) over and over and over like my daughter with a new My Little Pony video. I had to look up lyrics, but after reading his slightly tired retread of some 60s cocktail party scenario, I decided I prefer MY version:

I don't want to be your friend
I just want to be your lover
No matter how it ends
No matter how it starts
Forget about your house of cards
And I'll deal mine
Forget about your house of cards
And I'll deal mine
Throw your keys in the bowl
Cause you're spending the night

It's more Prince/Bryan Ferry this way, isn't it? There are advantages to partial hearing loss. Misheard lyrics are the sweetest.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

You Will, Oscar

Hail the birth of Oscar Wilde, the bodhisattva superqueen, the selfless giant who did time for our crimes of homophobia and denial, denial, denial! Venus' slave and avatar, genius of love! The man whose wit saved my life and always will! Immortal, no magic portrait required!

What he said to his friend the Sphinx, Ada Leverson (who said "Everything comes to the man who won't wait", another Libra, born Oct. 10, and who also deserves rereading) when she met him on his way home from jail: "How marvelous of you to know exactly the right hat to wear at seven o'clock in the morning to meet a friend who has been away."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

If Running Was Easy, It Would Be Your Mama

Have to bail on the marathon next weekend. Why should I spend my money limping through San Francisco when I can buy more yoga classes, heal my injury, and maybe learn to wrap my legs around my neck?

Keep hope alive.

I'd planned 8 miles today. Three miles in, my left leg folded. I decided to finish out the 8 just to get an idea of how it felt to run hurt, and if I could survive. I did it. I could probably do it for 26.2 on codeine and/or hydrocodone, and isn't it an indictment of our druggy athletic arena that I'd even consider it? Tsk tskafuckin tsk.

So w/o drugs, how did I negotiate the remaining 5 miles of hard road? Why, through a psychological technique called external dissociation. In layman's terms: Who Would You Do: The Crescent Trail Edition.

But as mamas everywhere say, sex can't last forever! In my case, it only lasted about five miles. If you really want to go the distance, you need a deep, sincere, lasting foundation of money, for massages, yoga lessons and personal training. Sigh. Keep hope alive.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh, Christ! I Couldn't Care Less

NPR wonders if Al Gore will fall victim to the Nobel Curse. Well, to come full circle in our unintentional series on this dyn-o-mite prize package, one could speculate that Al Gore has already suffered the effects of the curse, and that his life is written backward, by Harold Pinter.

Starring Karl Rove as the Weasel Under the Cocktail Cabinet.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Sweet Li'l Thom Yorke Destroys Music Industry

OK, I had to add this cause it's just too damn cute.

Insomnia + Procrastination - Inspriation makes an ass out of u and me. Damnit would you just go to bed. Can't write and it's too rainy to run.

Feminism! Science Fiction! Uplifting Remarks!

OK, so that Harold Pinter Nobel speech was good, but he ain't got nothing on Doris Lessing.

LONDON (AP) — Doris Lessing pulled up in a black cab where a media horde was waiting Thursday in front of her leafy north London home. Reporters opened the door and told her she had won the Nobel Prize for literature, to which she responded: "Oh Christ! ... I couldn't care less."

..."I'm sure you'd like some uplifting remarks," she added with a smile.

..."I can't say I'm overwhelmed with surprise," Lessing said. "I'm 88 years old and they can't give the Nobel to someone who's dead, so I think they were probably thinking they'd probably better give it to me now before I've popped off."

Monday, October 8, 2007

Everybody Loves Lupe; or, Back and Burned

This weekend I took my semi-annual pilgrimage to Playa del Fuego, a regional Burning Man event, for a low-key immersion in age-inappropriate behavior (watch the hip, watch the hip! And dear, please don't come near me with that body glitter; it enhances wrinkles). One of many rambling conversations was about the kids today and their destructive rap, with a lawyer, a teacher, and a civic activist/indy media person with a nonprofit startup representing the constitution, the schools, and the left, respectively but not exclusively, and me, the conscienceless artist (perspective disclosure: I'm writing it, and I keep on hoping to hell you're gonna pay me or love me for it, but even if you don't I'll keep doing it and expecting it, because that's the definition of artistry as well as of insanity).

Then on the way home, my Dearest Friend and I caught a few minutes of Kojo Nnamdi, where he had a hip hop discussion panel on. He promised to post the panel's favorite examples of "good" hip hop, and here they are. Panelist DJ Eurok says crappy bling-n-butt hip hop is the result of media ownership consolidation, and because I believe media ownership consolidation is behind just about every evil from lead poisoning to my running injuries, I say a limited "yay" to Monsieur Eurok.

OK, so a lawyer, a teacher, an indy media person and a poet walk into a bar, don't want to hear the rest.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Jesus, Rocktober, I Thought You'd Never Get Here

So I've got ITBS in both legs, now. (And that's NOT IBS, BTW. FCK U.) I made it 10 miles thru the 20-miler and had to stop. Fuck fuckimoto fuckity fuck. It's back to Hot Yoga classes and short runs with the magic bands on both legs for me. Seven seems to be the magic number that I can make band-free and pain-free. I'm just trying to make it to the women's marathon in a month. I think I'll wear pink lace garters over both my leg bands.

Happy birthday, Sting.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm With the Band

So I now have something called Iliotibial Band Syndrome, which makes your knee really hurt. And I have a 20-mile race tomorrow.
So when I went to the running store to pick up the race packet, I asked about this magic bullet knee brace that's supposed to make it all OK. The salesperson gave me a bunch of advice, showed me a good stretch and recommended a foam roller, which I'd been trying to get for a while.
Then, obviously under the influence of glucosomine, I asked about the best way to use the foam roller: "So, you just lie on it and rub it out?"
After that came out of my mouth, I would have hidden myself under a pile of shoes, but I took refuge in my suburban mommy persona, pretending to be someone who couldn't possibly take that remark the wrong way. And he was such a polite young man not to laugh at me. So here's a shoutout to Gotta Run in Pentagon City, cause I did have to run, run so far away.

BTW, got a bunch of late entries in the Haiku contest, which brings the charitable contribution to $22. But as I suspected, the winner is Backstretch, with Behind the Green Door. (Though big points for the Gary Busey and Nastassja Kinski references, y'all!)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Louche Surf

Back from the beach, and here's the mix: Radiohead, I May Be Wrong, Amnesiac; Screaming Trees, Dime Western, Dust; Lloyd Cole, To the Lions, Don't Get Weird on Me Babe; Noisettes, A Little Destruction, What's the Time Mini Wolf; Alejandro Escovedo, Break This Time, The Boxing Mirror; The New Pornographers, All the Things That Go to Make Up Heaven and Earth, Challengers; Pixies, Gigantic, Death to the Pixies; Hole, Awful, Celebrity Skin; Loretta Lynn, Have Mercy, Van Lear Rose; My Bloody Valentine, Only Shallow, Loveless; X, We're Having Much More Fun, More Fun in the New World; Roxy Music, Mother of Pearl, Stranded.

I was getting into "All the Things" and this little voice in my head started singing along: "We are the 801, we are the central shaft"...well, if you live long enough, it all starts to blend together...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Another Year Escaping the Mercy Seat

Happy birthday, Nick Cave. (Just a day before mine.)

Gonna keep the contest open til I get back from traveling. Here's another:

They Live
Try on the glasses
Rowdy Roddy had to fight
To get his vision

Monday, September 17, 2007

Bad Lieutenant and Cherry Tree NOW with PRIZES

UPDATE: Hola! Add your entry to the comments, please! The more legit entries, the more I'll up the contribution. (I must confess Backstretch is leading with Behind the Green Door. It just fits, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.)

Movie haiku's an occasional critic pastime, but I never indulged (didn't write poetry for about a dozen years, remember? Yeah, that counts.). But I was looking for a quote from a script and found these. They have a few on obscurities like Buffalo '66 and ...

Bad Lieutenant
big bad lieutenant
spiralling towards the abyss
killed by strawberry

Here's mine:
The House of Mirth
A little too free
Shunned by good society
Drink some chloral tea.

Do you get a hat trick if your haiku rhymes, or does that ruin it? Anyway, I issue a challenge to all my imaginary friends to do movie haiku with the most obscure one you can think of. Extra points for Middle Eastern, Nigerian or Cuban.

UPDATE: There's a prize! A Why A Goat t-shirt and $10 to the cause of your choice, and I hope it's hers.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Spume-Teeth, Sky-Lips

Last night was a partial solar eclipse and turn to the new moon. No one in our place could sleep too well. I finally dozed between about five and six and had this dream: I went up to a bar at Burning Man and poured myself a cup of water from a jug and drank it down. It was cool and good while I was drinking it, but afterward I tasted salt. I asked some of the people nearby: “Was that saltwater?” Yep, a shorthaired, dykey looking woman told me. “Is it going to make me throw up?” I asked. “Oh, yes,” she said, patient and canny. “But the good part is, you won’t have to worry about electrolytes the whole time you’re here, since you drank that.”

Then my daughter hopped into my bed and woke me up. I asked her how she’d slept and if she had any dreams. “I dreamed we went to the potion store and you drank a potion, mama, a potion that made you act like a kid.”

“Did you like that?” I asked.

“Not so much,” she said. “You had to have all the princesses, and every time the door buzzer rang you’d go running to the door to get it before I could. And then you played with all my friends instead of playing with me.”

“So what happened next?”

“I got another potion and I put a leaf in it and you drank it and you turned back into my mama.”
Later, I Googled “salt water dream meaning,” though I have a pretty good idea what’s up with the dream. And this Federico Garcia Lorca poem came up. There’s another translation out there, too, but it sucks compared to this one, by A.S. Kline.

The Ballad of the Salt-Water

The sea
smiles far-off.

‘What do you sell, troubled child,
child with naked breasts?’

‘Sir, I sell
salt-waters of the sea.’

‘What do you carry, dark child,
mingled with your blood?’

‘Sir, I carry
salt-waters of the sea.’

‘These tears of brine
where do they come from, mother?’

‘Sir, I cry
salt-waters of the sea.’

‘Heart, this deep bitterness,
where does it rise from?’

‘So bitter, the salt-waters
of the sea!’

The sea
smiles far-off.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Give Up (the Frontal) Already

Why Californication Sucks:
1) No one wants to fuck a writer that bad.
2) No one tells a writer: "Oh, you have the talent of all the muses, and you, you're just squandering it! Oh, write, write, you must serve your talent!" Unless they're a deflated longtime civil servant talking to a bleached-blonde cougar like your narrator at a suburban continuing-ed short-fiction workshop and they want to get laid.
3) And they're married. Bad boy!
4) You don't get a cute little v-cut like that above the ass if you spend your whole life sitting in bars or in your dumb car.
5) Frontal, frontal, who's got the frontal? Once again, burdens fall unfairly upon the women. Sisters, rise above! Or maybe don't. Seems you're always above on this show. Let DD do the work once in a while.
6) Snark-packed script sounds like the writers been stealing from the House trashcans. "Tune in next week, when Hank's dick makes a last-minute, lifesaving diagnosis!"

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

An Alternative Stance on Recent Events

So I write about Washington and erotica, and I ignore this Larry Craigslist thing? Yep, cause it doesn't turn me on. Stinky guy. Also, the erotica is to make money. I'm not going to give it away free, here. If I could find a way to get paid for this kind of kvetching and kvelling, believe me, I would.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pardon My Dust

I started writing poetry for the first time in a dozen years. Could there be a more useless, ridiculous woman.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Jean Rhys, I'm Sorry, You're Sorry, We're All So Very Bloody Sorry.

I missed her birthday. But that's how it works with her. From her unfinished autobiography, Smile Please:

"The trouble is I have plenty to say. Not only that, but I am bound to say it. I must write. If I stop writing, my life will have been an abject failure. It is that already to other people. But it could be an abject failure to myself. I will not have earned death.

"Yes, most of it is childish. But I have not written for so long that all I can force myself to do is to write, to write. I must trust that out of that will come the pattern, the clue that can be followed."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The World Needs Silk

Imagine the peace and harmony that would rule if the old school and the new school would just lie down like the lion and the lamb and allow these remixes by Steve Silk Hurley to be released. But the refusal to have them available uncredited and illegally makes me appreciate them more. Awww.

Until that happy day, I'll just have to be late for work once in a while.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Peg, It Will Come Back to You

I got through work today by pegging the day away. I pegged the currency, I pegged labor availability, and I pegged health care costs.

I think we can all agree that health care costs deserve pegging.

Monday, August 27, 2007

We're Very Wide Awake, the Moon and I

Eclipse tonight, 4 degees Pisces/Virgo. Yep, I'm nervous. But excited. I'll be up with the deer in the morning to see what I can see. The deer walk right down the streets of the city in the early morning, and they especially like to forage around my skywatching spot.

On her Big Sky Astrology site, April Elliott Kent, who has enormous eclipse insight, writes: "But at this Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Pisces, remember that trying to do too much to save the world, without taking time to remember why it's worth saving, is a recipe for anger and brittleness."

Pandora Astrology characterizes this eclipse as John Belushi pulling you along on a road trip.

And the always-interesting Eric Francis says, in his long article that includes a look at several asteroids, "The Moon disappearing for a few moments in this sign is like a veil being pulled back, or a doorway opening, that leads to another realm of possibilities. Too often, we look around us and we see the past. We expect people to act like they acted in the past, and we expect them, moreover, to fill the roles established by our family of origin. This eclipse reminds us that something else is possible."

I'm hoping so.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

That's "Fabulist," Dear. NOT "Fabulous."

I fed another minor obsession and discovered this sweet Theresa Duncan site. The guy points to possible plagarism problems that were talked about on a MSM article she wrote, then he quotes her blog entries side-by-side with some Wikipedia entries. And, um, like the theme song goes, "They're cousins, identical cousins!" Ewww ewww yuck bleh.

Thank you, Mr. Poulet, for knocking the scales from my eyes. And your exegesis on "Old Dan Tucker" has had me laughing for days.

This might have happened to me: Twice in my dull, 2nd-tier, 20-year MSM career I [maybe] had to fire people for [what appeared to be allegedly] stealing work or making shit up. It's the most disorienting, nauseating feeling, from the initial am-I-seeing-what-I-think discovery to the collecting info for personnel to trying to explain to other folks actually doing their jobs what happened without getting anyone sued. It's just fucking SURREAL to have a veteran reporter tell you, when you point to their quote being the same as the one printed in the Metropolis Daily a year ago: "Well, that's what he would have said if I could have gotten in touch with him." Or pick up the desk phone and have someone tell you: "What he/she wrote was great, but I never said it. I really liked the article, so I don't want to complain, but I never talked to him/her." And you're like, who are you? Where am I? Shattered Glass really brought that feeling back--a movie scarier than The Shining, to me.

In the back of my throat right now I can taste the hangover I got after one of those episodes. No "allegedly" required there.

And then reporters who are ACTUALLY WORKING HARD knock on a door in a community and hear: "Oh, just make something up. That's what you people do anyway." Slam.

It may seem odd for someone using a pseudonym and writing speeches and such for other people to get a wedgie about fabulists and plagarists. I use pseudonyms here and on my fiction to protect my child and my ability to earn a living for her under my real name. And when I write the speeches and the letters from the CEO for folks, everyone knows the rules, and who gets paid. It's not stealing, y'all.

And the rest of you with your talk about cutups and mashups and appropriation and sampling and isn't that what all fiction is anyway, all that sounds like to me is "well, that's what he would have said..."

Because even writing erotica is hard fucking work, and if anyone steals what I write, I'll hunt down their ass.
Of course, it would be nice if someone would actually read what I write. So I don't think I need to worry about anyone stealing it.

In other news, apparently those who worship Ms. Duncan have decided in their tribute blog that the hurricane that took human lives was no more than a wonderful way for an aesthete fabulist to let her precious spirit move upon the Earth one more time.

I must be coming down with something, cause I think I'm gonna puke again.
And I'm not wasting another minute on that sad chick. There are too many real live people out there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What I Think I'm Hearing

Had to go out to the car to get something, and the night felt so good on my shoulders. Couple of camping trips coming up this fall; can't wait to feel the autumn out in it. A few days gave us a taste.
I'm obsessively playing Richard Buckner's Meadow, especially the first track, Town. I went to see him not out of much desire; I just wanted a night out with my best friend. The opening set by his band nearly had me snoozing. As always, it took words to pull me in. When he finished singing, I didn't know whether to burst into tears or flap my arms and fly up to the roof. All these unbearably prolonged feedback loops, lacunae-heavy links of couplets. Such a big, dark man. We didn't get the CD we bought autographed because we were too shy. Just as well, because I can't find it now, to check the accuracy of what lyrics I hear...

I feel it still
holding on
another time
almost caught
sometimes it's when
you wouldn't choose

I left you there
tumbled down
losing days
moving slow
It comes to me
a broken chance
speaking parts
second glance
Can you see it too?
I guess it got away

Monday, August 20, 2007

It's Just a Picture

Read about the death/dearth of credit and private equity in the Sunday papers all morning, then I go out and put my money on a piece of art and a pair of heels. The art was for a present, though (and the heels were the way on sale version). Rosemary Covey (studio in Torpedo Factory), an extraordinary wood engraver I've admired for years, has three latest series that are amazing; of course my favorite is the Strip series, which has erotic/power/couple themes. Some of the images, with BDSM overtones, are on display at the studio. Of course I go in with my daughter. Am I a terrible mom for putting her in any proximity to these images?

All I know is that she helped me pick out the present from the "tame" prints pile--a lovely image of two doves entwined on ivy--and spent about 15 minutes watching the artist hand-color an engraving from her latest series, based on manga, an image of a woman with a rat climbing her shoulder. She was painting the rat pink and purple, and explained to my daughter that the rat was a pet. She also said that the huge, interactive installation she's working on, the 0 project, has some components for kids, but they're centering it around Halloween, because some people find elements of it scary. I explain that we talk about how art can be scary sometimes. "Yes," she says to us, "but you know it's just a picture, right?" My daughter nods and asks again if she can please, please buy a notecard, an image of a dove flying into stars. I comply. On the way home, she asks if she can paint it, like the artist did.

On the windowsill outside Covey's studio, pigeons had roosted; the artist in the studio next door had placed metal spikes on the windowsill to try to keep them off. Instead, they nested, started a family. Covey put a piece of thick cardboard over the spikes to keep the baby pigeons safe. Just the day before, she said, they'd learned to fly.

My daughter was born just before 9/11. I spent five years in fear, not of terrorists, but of those in power right here, afraid that I would say or do the wrong thing and lose the one I loved so wildly, so without limits. I know I have to be brave enough to try to be my true self if she's ever going to be her true self. Then I see things like this, and I scuttle back into my hole like a ghost crab on an Assateague dune.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Trial Run

Half-marathon trail run this morning, just as a practice for the real half-marathon trail run in two weeks. I love trail running; it's contact improvisation with the earth, but I'm a clumsy dance partner, always wiping out on roots and rocks. So but for these two, I've sworn off trail running until after the marathon in San Francisco, because what will I do with that plane ticket if I'm injured? Figure just doing these two will cut the odds.
Truth is, I'm such a klutz I get injured walking. Like at Disney Fucking World with my daughter, two months ago. And I wasn't drunk. I fell off a curb and heard a bunch of little crunching noises as my foot folded under itself and then I went down. And started screaming curses in the middle of the Magic Fucking Kingdom, in the Town Square, on Main Street. I'm amazed a bunch of evangelicals didn't come throw a net over me and spirit me off to Gitmo for despoiling the atmosphere of the Happiest Fucking Place on Earth.
I could walk, though. Next day, I could run. But it still hurts when I kneel. Hmm.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Man on Women

Happy birthday, Charles Bukowski. He got this published in 1944, thought they'd dissed the story, and didn't write for publication again until the late 1950s, according to the intro on this great site.
And this, at random from my copy of Women, close eyes, open book, point finger:
"The lady questioner gave up. She stretched back in her seat and closed her eyes. Her head slipped down toward me. It was almost in my lap, it seemed. Holding Tammie, I watched that head. I wondered if she would mind if I crushed her lips with a crazy kiss. I got another hard-on."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Three Billy Goats

Bear Island in the Potomac, home of the Billy Goat Trail, apparently has rocks coughed up from when the land was at the bottom of the sea--rocks unlike the impressive but not as ancient collection of boulders that washed down from the mountains and make up the rest of what you see in the river. My daughter is fascinated by every rock, root and shell. My dearest friend, hiking the trail with us, gives her good advice: "If you feel like you're going to fall over, tighten up your tummy and you'll keep your balance." And: "We don't want you to fall and hurt yourself. Not because it's bad to get hurt, because your body will heal up and it'll be OK. But because we won't be able to carry you out of here." And then she picks her up piggyback and runs away down the trail anyway.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Child Care Crisis in America

The summer camps have shut down. Two weeks of juggling, bartering child care with friends and relatives, and letting my child watch unconscionable hours of the Disney channel while I sit at the computer emailing, say, defense contractors all day. Today, once all the deadline fires are out, I put on the auto-reply lie about being in meetings all afternoon and take her to the pool. Then, after bedtime, I'm at the computer again, making up for the three work hours I lost today. No chance to finish writing the latest erotic manuscript, left in coitus interruptus; not even the faint hope of some David Duchovny frontal to stave off the dying of the light. I'll take the first day of school or a MegaMillion win, Goddess.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced

Dropkick Murphys at the Stone Pony, outdoor show. Quite the belly of the beast. Sausage fest of for the most part adorable Irish guys. Good thing there were no fires on the Jersey coast that night. Sometimes I think I should explore my mother's side of the family heritage a little more...
Hungover, headwinds, soaking wet running shoes I accidently left in the rain all night...a mere slogging five miles the next day. A beer and salt sloshed Red Sox game the next evening, and vacation is over.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Greetings from Madam Marie's

I'm not a Springsteen obsessive--he can be overwrought as hell, but my daughter likes his Pete Seeger stuff--I just like weird scary old places. Asbury Park is the weirdest and scariest I've ever seen up close. I'm running north up the boardwalk from the gentle, rulebound beach towns, and see these dark satanic mill brickwork towers in the distance. It's the Casino, I find out. You can actually run (bike, walk) through both the Casino restoration and the Convention Center restoration, and I don't even want to think about the critters and spirits looming. Then there's the way the restoration is getting whipsawed between the condo bust and the corruption...hope it'll make it out with some of the history intact.
Course the black folks who've lived there for years have another point of view entirely.
The developers cut these holes in the plywood around the Casino restoration, so you can watch. I take a look, and get to talking to a biker looking in the next hole--a local. He gives me a quick tour of the brass and terracotta details around the ceilings, everywhere you look--medusas, crabs, fish, flowers and flourishes...then he says "they painted over it, but this friend, he's a crazy graffiti artist, he had painted here 'FREE LUNG DAMAGE.' This is asbestos central."
Great place to run! And a 5K coming up Saturday. Fuck it, it's the spice of life.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Mother and Lover of Men, the Sea

I've become mildly obsessed with (OK, I took about an hour to read and follow links on this beautifully written and annotated article about) the "Theresa Duncan Tragedy." It was a little spooky when I realized in my long runs on this vacation, from Asbury Park to Sea Girt, I was going past the place they found what's thought to be her husband's body.
Of course, my original interest was entirely solophistic, in keeping with the tenor of the case...oooh, look at all we have in common! A neurotic lady blogger type with a hot young husband, early "promise" never quite fulfilled, mind so dizzyingly referential it could spin knots into her own fine hair. Luckily, I've never been quite so noted or noticed, and though my husband's hot, neither has he.
So after sifting through all I could stand to, all I could think was, girl, you deserved a better judge than the one that handed you that life sentence. A just judge would have heard the case and said: "The quite commonplace discovery that the world's estimation of one's genius does not equal one's own high regard is the stuff of comedy, not tragedy. I hereby sentence you to at least 10 years of long walks, volunteer work, blogging and fucking your husband as much as possible. Go home and get your head straight. Next case!"
Instead, two gone. Infuriating.

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Unmentionable in Full Pursuit of the Ineffable

My first erotic story won a contest! An "honorable mention," which sort of sounds like that Monopoly card for second prize in a beauty contest (the one that caused that epic Sopranos smackdown). The writing on that site is fantastic, but the editing, oh, baby, haven't had editing like that since I was in MSM, and even then not too often. All praise to the folks at Desdmona.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Eroticism, Eroticism, the Metaphysical Pursuit. The More You Eat, the More You Shoot.

From A.O. Scott's 8/5/07 Sunday NYT essay on Bergman vs. Antonioni film studies cage match : [internal commentary link mine]
"Mr. Antonioni helped push Italian film beyond realism, infusing landscapes with psychological rather than social meaning and turning eroticism from a romantic into a metaphysical pursuit. ... L'Avventura and The Seventh Seal, though they have little else in common...are both hard to watch. Not because the content or the imagery is upsetting but because they never allow the viewer to relax into a conditioned expectation of what will happen next or an easy recognition of what it means. There was, among certain filmgoers in the 1960s, an appetite for difficulty, a conviction that symbolic obscurity and psychological alienation were authentic responses to the state of the world. More than that, the idea that a difficult work had special value--that being challenged was a distinct form of pleasure--enjoyed a prestige, at the time, that is almost unimaginable today. We would rather be teased than troubled, and the measure of artistic sophistication is cleverness rather than seriousness."

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Seasons Don't Fear the Reaper

Happy Day of the Reaper, y'all.
from Lughnasad, by Miriam Dyak
"When the light starts to go out in August
when the heat of racing to complete our purpose
before winter, before 40, 50, 60, 70 years of age
before the last metamorphosis leaves us unhatched,
when heat makes our footprints curl, sets fire to our shadows,
sucks breath from our bodies, all memory from our minds
it's time to open the doors to the moment that is still summer
to fruit that is still ripening, to the not-yet harvest
Open the doors and step into presence, into beauty
Lie wet and naked on the grass, look up into the trees and sky
It is still summer and then a slow and golden fall
and then a deep and healing winter
and in the right time, the right rhythm, another spring
Breathe in this moment. Die when death comes, not before."

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Smiles of a Summer Night

My husband comes back from a 10-mile run (we each do about 25-30 miles/week) saying something's happened he hasn't encountered since Miami. Not one but two separate guys sitting on their front stoop enjoying a splif perfuming the August evening. We're talking upper Northwest, cavedweller country. It doesn't happen here, Muffy.
So Bergman dies and everyone's all like whoa, and Antonioni goes and it's like, so?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Not a Virgin Fest

Not another music post. Then another night, saw the Drive-By Truckers, afuckingain, 930. Oversold the show, sound problems, walked into a club packed like the last ice floe penguins, except by bobbing and swaying drunk boys. Fewer women, most all of them hot and doing that dance move perfected by Cookie Fleck in Best in Show. Nice monologue about the Atlanta Rhythm Section in the middle. Truckers, I am so into you, but the way I want to see you is in a field in Ocala, with my toes on matted crabgrass, grains of sand embedded in the sunblock on my shoulder blades, and beer foam bitter in the back of my throat.
If you are going to Virgin Fest, check out the art. The art, y'all.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

If There's a Rock 'n' Roll Heaven

Covers of the Angels:
1. Barry White, "Theme from the Beverly Hillbillies"
2. Jim Morrison, "Jive Talkin'"
3. Rick James, "Seasons in the Sun"
4. Ian Curtis, "It's Magic"
5. Freddie Mercury, "Wonderwall"
* The "Barry White vs Gollum" video linked above is set to my favorite Barry White song. It's also the soundtrack to Mickey Rourke in the back of a convertible with the syringe, love it, love it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Delia Has Not Left the Building

Been seeing a lot of music lately. A few weeks back, it was Richard Thompson. It was a little disconcerting how old both he and the crowd was; some people had teenage kids along. The novel I'm working on (this is the real work, not the erotica, which is the potboiler) is about whether people get too old to rock and roll, whether rock is still valid after the rebellion's simmered down, and subtextually about whether women get too old to fuck, whether sex is still an open door for them after the reproduction's over. And on another level having rock/jazz/pop/hiphop stand in for the American experiment; is that dying too? Yes, it's very pretentious; that's why I have to write about policy and erotica for money.
I wonder when Thompson sings "let me ride on the wall of death one more time" if he means yes, yes, just try me, death, or if he's thinking, well, yes, um, wall of death, but it would be good if it could hold off a bit til I finish this next recording. Or maybe he thinks that the ride and finishing the song are one and the same.
It also put me in mind of the best show I'll likely ever see--Johnny Cash. It was right at the beginning of his final incarnation, just at the release of the first American Recordings cd. it was like the older people there, dressed conservatively to befit the velvet-draped Warner Theatre, were schooling the younger crowd, more used to their feet sticking to beery floors of clubs, in how to do it when someone serious is in the house...he was also the best interview I will ever get to do. At the time he was getting a lot of shit about the violence in "Delia," and he said he didn't really get that, because "Boy Named Sue" was truly the most violent song he'd ever done. What a fantastic day.
Besides by virtue of being an artist, I think he evaded the trap of age by being simultaneously rebellious and wise and chastened--simply human? Though I don't hold with his Christian god, I respect that sense that it's a privilege to live in a state of grace and that on some deep level, it's a gift both freely available and entirely undeserved.
A little ironic, me writing about Delia. "If your woman's can let her run...or you can do her like Delia got done..."

Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Who. Who Who.

To stay awake and look alert in an eye-stabbingly dull daylong conference full of PowerPoints on, say, healthcare administration, I play a game of Who Would You Do? I realize there are more doable than in last year's conference. Does this mean the attendees have changed, or have I? Then, after that, I play a game of I Wonder Who Is Playing Who Would You Do?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Get a Brand New Bag

Your right to rock an oversize, overpriced designer handbag ends where my 5-year-old daughter's head begins. Yeah, you in the line at the Bethesda bagel shop. And on the Metro. And at the DC United game.
You ladies don't watch where those things are swinging. And they swing right at her head level. So start watching it.
I never got the handbag thing. They're just a hassle. If I can't put it in my bra or a pocket, I don't need to carry it. Shrinks and dream books say handbag=vagina. Does this mean I secretly don't want a vagina? Sigh. Must it always come down to penis envy? I do know I can't ever be an "official" cougar unless I learn to tote a handbag.
I do have big sunglasses. And some important jewelry. That should count for something.
If I did get a handbag, it would be one of these.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Spreadsheet of the Goddess

Washington erotica. Oxymoron? Discuss.
It took me a while to realize my daily life of writing about policy, IT, and business for money was well on its way to giving me cancer. To discover an exit strategy, I did what comes naturally: Lit a candle to the goddess, and made a spreadsheet. Variables included my skill set, background, knowledge, number of years left, what (creative) writing markets are most open to amateurs, which pay the most to (creative) amateurs, what type of writing takes the least time and research (and thus can be squoze into after-hours), what would be fun, and what will not kill my soul.
Conclusion: Erotica set among women 35 and older in Washington offers least risk and greatest potential for return.
The goddess must be crazy.
Has she seen these chicks with the shoulder pads and the sneakers and the bulletproof pantyhose? Saggy-pants sack-suit dudes with seam-split backpacks?
But I know y'all freaks are out there; I feel you. And I'm not talking about diaper-wearers and intern-chasers, either. I mean grown folks who still have some muscle and will and juice. So I wrote one last weekend and sent it off; another due this week. Eight makes a manuscript.
And if that doesn't carve a door out of policy writing, the next option is the "Inspirational" writing market. If I have to, I'll check into that after the fall.