Tuesday, February 28, 2006


It's an old topic of conversation, at least for the English majors. Do you have to be depressed to be brilliant? Do you have to be out of touch with reality in order to communicate with the muses? Do you have to be crazy to be a genius?

I know there are other ways to form these questions. And I know the easy answer is "no" or "hell no," if you prefer. But the question came up this morning during my TTh tap dance in 218--those few moments before Professor Howe comes and the class asks me random questions about writing and music and clothes and books. Today--and I'm not sure how this happened--the question was about depression and if you have to be depressed to be a great/good/decent/passable writer.

I should pause here to note that (as far as I know) Gwyneth Paltrow is not depressed or crazy. This picture is from {proof}, a movie I finally got to watch today in the comfort of my own tan recliner, lap top on lap. It was a play on London's West End when I was there in 2002. Of course, with Paltrow starring, everyone wanted tickets and very few people got them. I didn't, so I was thrilled to see it made into a movie and then disappointed that it was only in the Provo theatres for a week. But it was at Hollywood today and that was all a mad tangent before getting to the story. Paltrow is a mathematician's daughter--a genius mathematician's daughter (played by Anthony Hopkins). He's recently died and it's quickly made known that he was crazy most of his life after making brilliant contributions in his early 20s. For three years he just wrote in notebooks. Jake Gyllenhaal is an old student of her father who is determined to look for some small piece of sense in the notebooks. But when he does find a proof, she claims authorship.

I know, I know. Get to the crazy part. The whole movie she is wondering if she is like her father, if she's mad. If her genius means that she's also insane. Does this have anything to do with being a writer and being depressed? Who cares. It's an excellent movie. Go rent it.

So what I told my class. Well, I made them answer the question. I asked who in the class wasn't depressed--I sure as hell can't answer that question. Would I still be a writer if I wasn't depressed? Who knows. I'd like to think so. The answers people gave ran along the lines of depression being extreme emotion and if you're not depressed, you have to find another emotion and depend on it. So much for the rational author.

through the backdoor

The girl looked like springtime and alone.


Short circuit logic



This would be a serious question.

You are some more distance.

Whole modification of the student’s experience

I end without you.


light (does not equal) heat

We are inflammable.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

no water no rising

There are answers that I feel I need to offer up on this blog, things people wonder that I should tell you, here in black and white. Well, I'm not going to do that.

The reading went well. I'm getting more comfortable in front of a crowd and was able to change the playlist without freaking myself out. (I read things incommon, Wings, I am coming into my doubt, Garden of the Musee Rodin, Adam, selections from attempts to articulate.)

Fondue last night with Brozy and co. I now know where the State Liquor Store is, if anyone's wondering.

Was quite snappish to TB today at church. I was annoyed with everyone in that room, beginning with the chick who looks like a porcelain doll. There was one attractive man in the room who, as it turns out, was visiting. No one with eyes like that would actually be in my ward.

I can talk the talk, but I can't walk the walk. Meaning: I know what I need to say to a guy, I just never can get up the nerve to say it. Unless, of course, they're of the non-threatening variety. And then there's no point.

I was particularly fond of this postsecret today. I assume that when it was sent it was complete, but I like that it's incomplete now. I think every secret is somehow incomplete, not really the whole story or idea or whatever. And I wonder how many of my secrets I should tell, just to. . . I don't know. I guess my biggest secret everyone knows.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

More info

1. Dr. Mason has ruined Jane Austen novels and movies for me. I saw Emma tonight at IC with Lady Jane and all I could think was "creepy old man" and this song the EQP in my last ward sang with his roommates about being 25 and single and needing to find girls they could "raise" to be good wives. *shudder*

2. Diet Coke and popcorn do not a dinner make.

3. I've been trying to figure out what I'm reading tomorrow. Right now the playlist is things incommon, Adam, Eve, (possibly) Night (I'm coming into my doubt this winter. . .), and four attempts. I'm realizing that my poetry has a lot to do with mortality/immortality and leaving and a need to establish presence--hence the physicality of many of my poems. Do I add another poem? Or take one out? What about "sum(marry)"? Or "Gender in Classical Mythology"? After all, I am the token female. . . I should sleep. Sleep is hope.

Friday, February 24, 2006

They don't call me LadyLondon for nothing.

I'm going to England.

More to follow.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

AML Reading Saturday

Okay, I just got the quasi-official word: By the time my session rolls around, registration will most likely not be open, and the conference fee will not be required. If that was too complicated, let me just say this: you will not have to part with your Ramen money to hear me read poetry.

So here's the info:

3:30 to 4:30-ish
25 February 2006
UVSC Sorensen Student Center
Room 213B

I'll be chairing the session and reading last. Also reading: aa, Dewey, and two guys from UVSC.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


She wishes she were a dancer.
Yep, I do. I admit it. I wish that I at least had a chance to dance. That rhymed. I should write a poem. A poem about dancing and I will be the star. Shining brightly. For the whole world to see. But not the guys--that was creepy. Clubbing should be ladies only so that we can enjoy ourselves. Or guys who know how to join the party. Shall we?

We are liberated, independent women.
KJ to her friend tonight. Why should we have to remind ourselves? Damn the man! Save the Empire! Okay, maybe I took that too far, but give me a break (of that Kit Kat bar). I'm so sick of guys and men and them thinking that they have some mystical power over me. Women are incredibly powerful. I'm incredibly powerful. So there. *sticks out tongue*

I get to Fob tomorrow. *dance break*

The Writing on the Wall
I ran out of space on the mirror, so I moved to the shower wall. TB can play witness to my roommate coming home, heading for the bathroom, crying out in shock/surprise/dismay/whatever, and coming back to the kitchen to ask if that was a poem on the wall. Of course it was a poem. I write prose in my bedroom, not the bathroom. Silly roommate.

Free Dinner
I just got an email from "Free Dinner." I want to know what the hell I did to be receiving so much junk mail lately. I must be cursed. And I'll say no thank you to Free Dinner. I have two perfectly good frozen burritos to eat.

Uffish Delights
Uffish introduced me to a new addiction: Rodney Smith. I don't love everything on his site, but this is just about perfect.

killing me softly

This is my blog. I shouldn't have to apologize when I post. But I am going to apologize right now. I'm sorry if you've heard about this before. I'm sorry if you're tired of the poor little girl crying about her perfect life. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.

And if you're still reading, I'm sorry.

I pulled out Chad's CD tonight. I've decided he gets his real name here. And I've decided that I should be over him. Unfortunately whatever it is that's supposed to communicate messages from my head to my heart is slower than the Pony Express.

There's four songs on the CD: "Fine," "She Doesn't Know," "Rocketman," and "Good-bye." "Rocketman" is a cover of the Elton John song, but the others are original Chad. I jokingly called the collection "Chad [Last Name]: History of Emotional Attachment." The first song was for his ex-girlfriend Morgan. "She Doesn't Know" was for Emily, aka the-girl-I-loved-but-who-fell-for-my-best-friend. And "Good-bye"? "Good-bye" was my song. Before we ever kissed or held hands or dated.

Chad was the first boy I kissed and the first boy I kissed. He was the first boy I ditched my friends for. We spent hours at a park talking about our futures, nursing each other's wounds. I went to all of his productions of "Joseph" when he was Joseph and multiple productions of "Joseph and Mary" when he was, well, Joseph. He's the one who convinced me that facial hair is sexy.

He was also the boy who was going to ask me to prom, but didn't, and the guy I was dating who went on a blind date on New Years Eve. Why can't I remember these things, over everything else?

I found a picture of us last night. It's one of the few of us together, the night of the senior banquet. The night of my first kiss.

This is turning into melodrama and the CD has ended and started over again.

I should stop listening.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Forget about it

Remember when I said this? Well, let's just pretend I never said it. Ever. Let's pretend that I'm on one of those lovely anti-reality TV shows where there's a rewind button or a reverse switch or something that lets me take back everything.

And then I'd go and do it all over again.

Today has been less than perfect. I woke up early to exercise with LaLa. About the time we finished my roommate's alarm started going off. I assumed that she had to be on campus earlier than I did, so I took Lyn Hejinian's My Life to my room with me to read while waiting for roommate to shower. And I waited. And after a dozen pages I must have dozed off. I woke up with enough time to shower, but not enough time to do everything else I needed to do to be ready to teach/participate as a member of the human race.

And as I'm typing the beginning of a not-bad but not-good day, I can see Zero shaking his head at me and telling me that I shouldn't stress so much, that I should just let things go.

And then I see myself kicking him in the shins and smiling.


And I know he's right. I know I should just take a deep breath and get over myself. I should just. . . forget about it.

*kicks Zero*

Sunday, February 19, 2006

all mirth and no matter

Following on the heels of last night/this morning's post, I have been considering who I want to be. Actually, I haven't. At least not consciously. But I just made the comment to my roommate that I want to be Beatrice. I want to be Beatrice, but only if I have a Benedick to match me.

Bah. Does it all come back to this? To love and companionship? Maybe it does. Most of my favorite scenes in Much Ado are the battles of wit between Beatrice and Benedick. But my favorite is in the chapel, when they confess their love to each other. That's it. I'm a romantic. I'm a romantic who wants fights and arguments and disagreements and the tensions created that follow all of the above. Does this happen in the real world? I don't know, don't remember. I don't think Chad ever dared disagree with me and Kelly refused to let me disagree with him. What the hell was I doing in those relationships? (And the answer: Chad was a good kisser and Kelly's idea of a good date was my idea of a good date--dinner and a movie.)

Hmm. So who else do I want to be or pretend to be?

Claire, Elizabethtown. I know I've talked about this before, but I like Claire. I like her optimism and her caring. She does what she does without hoping for return of affection. There is no guarantee of Drew falling for her in the end. She may have been just the "substitute person" again, but she risks. She puts herself out there. That, and she has great lines.

I just wrote that and it occured to me that I've written this post before. Maybe not with pictures, but I've talked about being the girl with the good lines. And with that thought, my other two on the list tonight: Helena from Midsummer and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. No surprise there.

Are you noticing a trend? Before she abandoned me for the MTC, Kapka finally explained her three kinds of people: monster, robot, Mr. Darcy. Monster people look to the past and robot people to the future. Mr. Darcy people step out of the orderliness of the triumverate. They are of the present, but they are also people who you have to warm up to. I am a Mr. Darcy person. I want something like Beatrice, Helena, Elizabeth, and Claire's relationships.

Maybe this is only making sense to me. And unlike a church talk, that's all that matters--that I know what's going on in my head. Find me a man that I can fight with and love as intensely as I fight with him.

The theme of tomorrow's post: Love me! why? (Benedick)

Dare to be naïve. R. Buckminster Fuller

There are questions that need to be asked and the first one, of course, is who in their right mind would choose to go by "Buckminster"? Makes you wonder what the R stands for. (And I can google it myself, thank you.)*

In a moment of randomness, I posted the following on blue-beta: I need a new personality. Any suggestions? I didn't think about it much after, at least not the posting of the question. I have thought about ways that I need to change. And then twice in one day I was asked what I meant by needing a new personality. One person argued that my personality is fine just where it is. When I challenged him and his lack of knowing my personality, he made a rather convincing argument. Point for him. But I still am making a list of things I need to do/be to like myself better and make myself more likeable to other people. Because I've decided that sooner than later I need to join the world. I've heard that it can be a nice place to live. So the following are elements of my personality that I am changing or need to embrace or whatever. Feel free to make more suggestions; just note that number six is forgiveness, so if I don't talk to you for a few days, I'm working on number six.

1. "Dare to be naïve." A mon avis, there is too much emphasis on knowing in my life. I don't want to be ignorant or innocent and I think I often come across much more than I actually am or know. It's okay to be good; it's okay to have faith; it's okay to hope. At least, that's what I'm going to keep telling myself.

2. "Dare to be vulnerable." This has become the mantra of my counselor. I have to admit that I can't do everything. I have to admit that I can't always be the best or the brightest. I have to admit that at some point in my life I'm going to fail.

3. "Be willing." This follows the first two. I am reluctant to embrace change or embrace situations even an inch out of my comfort zone. Tonight a friend asked what adventures I was planning on having in the next six months. He then defined adventure as stepping outside of my comfort zone. That definition handy, I told him no adventures for me.

4. Make it to number six so that I can list forgiveness.

5. Be more organized. I keep forgetting papers, which isn't like me. Or I just don't give myself enough time, which is like me, but I'm too tired lately to get everything done. Waiting to need number two.

6. Forgive.

7. Forget

8. Remember.

9. Stay connected.

10. Love. Dare to love and to let people love me.

*I looked him up on Wikipedia. His first name was Richard. And this was one of my favorite postage stamps of all time.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Such a good feeling

I woke up late again. So late that neither showering nor make-up were possibilities. I could only wash my face, brush my teeth (it had to be done), grab some clothes, and haul for my car. I arrived to class ten minutes late. I suspect the instructor would be annoyed with me, except I'm the instructor.

I taught. . . something. . . and then went home for a quick shower (still no time to wash hair and I chose not to do my make-up--oddly liberating) before returning to campus to "loan" LaLa my car until five.

What is a girl to do for almost four hours (when I have the appointment that is keeping me on campus)? Well, if you're eg, you people watch.

I'm not usually a people-watcher. Usually I'm a people avoider. I don't like people staring at me, so I return the favor as often as possible. Today is different. Yesterday I had to write the beginning freewrite for a short story to show my 218 students. I've never written a story before. Yes, I'm a hypocrite. So I'm trying to change that by writing my first story. (Do you feel the universe tilting off balance? Just wait until I show up to Fob with prose.)

I surprised myself by enjoying that beginning freewrite. It actually gave me a place to start. But this writing is like jumping in the deep end for me and I've never been a great swimmer. I spent yesterday thinking out my characters. And I continued working today by hitting the library and now the Wilk lounge (by the ballroom).

So now I'm here, watching people, thinking about how one character would wear that or another character would notice that. And I'm watching the dance class. Somehow dance is fitting into this puzzle.

It's going to be a good day. Whether I like it or not. Whether I'm wearing make-up or not. In fact, I've had good solid conversations with three guys I know today. No worries about appearing attractive. Just focused on the conversation. It's an awesome feeling.

But now they're starting the waltz, so I'm going to go.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

four brozy

I'm not sure who the true author of this evil is, but right now I get to point my finger at Brozy. (Actually, I was flattered. You like me. . . and I'll stop there, because I like you.)

Four Jobs I've Had
1. MFHD secretary
2. inscape editor
3. file clerk at Wood Crapo (You can play "Find eg's dad.")
4. data entry for the Mormon Literature Database (And you thought imdb.com was cool.)

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. Say Anything
2. Strictly Ballroom
3. Drive Me Crazy
4. Much Ado about Nothing

Four Places I've Lived
1. [Hometown], Utah
2. Lehi, Utah
3. Dallas, Texas
4. London

Four TV Shows I Love(d)
1. Scrubs (on DVD)
2. Gilmore Girls
3. Full House
4. American Idol

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of
1. 24
2. House
3. Can this year’s Olympics count? (No TV.)
4. Anything else high regarded and recommended in the past year or so

Four Places I've Vacationed
1. California
2. Dublin
3. Hurricane
4. San Juan Islands

Four of my favorite dishes
1. Homemade chicken soup
2. Calypso rice and homemade tortillas
3. yellow curry (by Brozy)
4. Bacon cheeseburger

Four sites I visit daily
1. BYU
2. The Broken Arms
3. The Fobcave
4. blue-beta

Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
1. asleep
2. sleeping
3. blanket fair
4. in bed

Four Bloggers I am tagging
1. Mr. Intensifier
2. Master Fob
3. Joe
4. Zero

Trust me. Everyone is less mysterious than they think they are. Claire, Elizabethtown.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

you'll do

I feel a little guilty. Oh, let's be honest. I always feel guilty. But a small percentage of my guilt tonight is wrapped up in the following post:

I knew Carbon Leaf would bring me luck. The song "Life Less Ordinary" made me happy and dance-y. Very few songs make me dance-y. Dance, yes. Dance-y, no.

I arrived at inscape a little late tonight. And by a little late I mean almost an hour late. And everything was going just grand. Prose was reading prose. Poetry was reading poetry. Funny how those things work that way. I prepared to be useless for an hour of my life, but it didn't work that way. I was needed. I was needed. I was needed.

To print out poetry and number submissions and drink Diet Coke. It is absolutely necessary that someone at inscape be drinking Diet Coke or else the world implodes. Don't believe me? Well, just take away our Diet Coke drinker and see what happens.

I hate it when a line ends like that.

Submissions printed and numbered and Diet Coke downed, I needed something just for me. So I turned to my CD case and found Carbon Leaf. I wanted "Life Less Ordinary." And since I'm the editor I can do whatever I want. "Life Less Ordinary" came blaring through the PC speakers--tinnily, but blaring.

Enter the boy.

Some of you have met the boy, who will now be dubbed Cute Inscape Boy. My height, dark hair, great eyes, excellent dresser. And apparently good taste in music. He recognized Carbon Leaf and came to investigate. His favorite song on the album is "Let Your Troubles Roll By." He then inspected my CD case, approving of some and asking about others. And I flirted with him. I often do.

And I enjoyed it. But I felt guilty flirting when I feel so terrible. As if I used the poor boy for my own entertainment, a momentary release from my internal hell.

I'm impossible to forget, but I'm hard to remember. Claire, Elizabethtown.


Listening to The Shins because that's who the cool kids listen to. (And yes, Master Fob, I know that I should be listening to The Fugees, but the mix you made me is clear on the other side of the room and I'm Lazy.)

I've been thinking. Actually, I've been trying to avoid thinking. And there I go again. The point of the point is to say that I know I'm too honest sometimes and I apologize. I'm not sure what part of my reserved little self breaks down when I start writing, but it's always a huge lapse of judgement and discretion, etc. Of course, my mother is always reminding us that if we apologize for something it means we're not going to do it again. And I'm sure there will be a night when I just need to write and it means so much more when I blog as opposed to writing it and saving it somewhere.

Conferences went well today. I like my students. I think they like me. Whole lot of like in the room, people. At least there was. Now I'm in my very cold very alone house. And there's that silly honesty thing again. I'll work on it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

one large cheesy pizza, just for me

I spent the day on campus. Went to class, taught a class, and then seven hours in my box of an office. I managed to effectively avoid the bulk of the day this way. I assumed that if I came back to the house suitably late, the newlyweds would have vacated the premises. No such luck. In fact, my fumbling with my keys at the door was met not by my roommate but newlywed number one waiting for her Valentine's Pizza.

I rolled my eyes at the lack of romantic thought behind said Pizza (despite the capitalization), but thought it sounded perfect for the lonely bitter twisted soul upstairs (i.e., me). So I ordered my own pizza--medium, half green pepper, half artichoke hearts--and started up Elizabethtown while I waited the fifteen minutes necessary before picking the pizza up. When I got the pizza (please note that mine is lowercased), the cashier opened the box to show me my medium green pepper artichoke heart-shaped pizza. Wait. Read that again. Heart-shaped. Pizza. Happy Valentine's Day to me. After a day of avoiding the day, it showed up in my pizza box. Wait. Let's do this right. Pizza Box. Dammit.

Dammit, dammit, damn. And that being said, I'm going to let everything spill out now. I am lonely, incredibly lonely. I love what I do, but it's lonely. Yesterday I sacrificed my dignity and asked aa where he meets the girls he dates. Not that I'm looking for a girl. But I'm looking for someone to be with (preferably male). Someone tall, etc. Someone who respects me. Someone who is independent. Someone who lets me be independent. Someone who will take care of me. Because, to be quite honest, I'm so tired of taking care of myself and everyone else.

I will miss your lips and everything attached to them. Claire Colburn, Elizabethtown.


I hate stupid people.

answer: playlist

I was in the worst of funks today. Maybe it was the "mean reds." Maybe it was just me allowing emotion to take over everything. Maybe I can just blame it on hormones. Maybe not.

Saule suggested that I do what he does in a funk--physical exercise. I laughed. Ha ha ha. I tried to find my peace in movies, books, food. Nothing. No good. And then inspiration. I summoned (okay, begged) LaLa from the basement and we began our playlist for the first time in months.

"Someone Like You"
I peer through windows, watch life go by, dream of tomorrow, and wonder why the past is holding me, keeping life at bay. I wander lost in yesterday, wanting to fly, but scared to try.

"Only Hope"
There's a song that's inside of my soul. It's the one that I've tried to write over and over again. I'm awake in the infinite cold, but you sing to me over and over again.

"Written in the Stars"
Is it written in the stars? Are we paying for some crime? Is it all that we are good for, just a stretch of mortal time? Or some God's experiment, in which we have no say? In which we're given paradise, but only for a day.

"Easy as Life"
All I have to do is forget I ever knew him. All I have to do is put my longing to one side. Tell myself that love's an ever changing situation. Passion would have cooled and all the magic would have died. It's easy, its' easy.

"I Know the Truth"
This should have been my time, it's over, it never began. I closed my eyes to so much for so long and I no longer can. I tried to blame it on fortune, some kind of shift in a star. But I know the truth and it haunts me; it's flown just a little too far.

I haven't sung like that in a long time and it was the release I needed. Every pent up thought escaped in the music; every pent up emotion was redirected.

So sing. Sing a song.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The extermes are easy.


More than you love me, very possibly
you love the beasts of the field, even,
possibly, the field itself, in August dotted
with wild chicory and aster:
I know. I have compared myself
to those flowers, their range of feeling
so much smaller and without issue; also to white sheep
actually gray: I am uniquely
suited to praise you. Then why
torment me? I study the hawkweed,
the buttercup protected from the grazing herd
by being poisonous: is pain
your gift to make me
conscious in my need of you, as though
I must need you to worship you,
or have you abandoned me
in favor of the field, the stoic lambs turning
silver in twilight; waves of wild aster and chicory shining
pale blue and deep blue, since you already know how
like your raiment it is.

Louise Glück

Sunday, February 12, 2006

only one word for it

Every Sunday I check postsecret. I know it's. . . what's the word. . . voyeuristic? but I like reading what other people are keeping hidden. Sometimes the secrets come across as fabricated, but that just gives you an opportunity to consider what that person is really keeping secret.

I checked today and found card after card about love. Which is to be expected. Stupid pagan holiday. But I still read the cards and enjoyed some of them, including the card adorning this post. (Story of my life. I have all the books I need. Give me your soul, please. I'm not picky about condition.)

Love has been on the brain lately. Not just my brain--everyone's. Maybe this is how it is all the time and not just this time of year, but good night. It's taking over conversation, classroom, movie, and worst of all, my poetry. I've resigned myself to living in a lovesick world.

I know this isn't a new concept, but tonight my friend was talking about how there is only one word--love--for so many emotions: ice cream love, movie love, sister love, boy love, God love. They're all different. I love one person differently than I love another. I'll tell you that I love someone, but I would never tell that person.

It's difficult to find yourself loving someone and knowing that they won't love you. It's painful to think that you were "in love" with someone without really loving them. And that wasn't cryptic at all.

And now Rach is here, so I'm not going to explain myself. You'll just have to wait for part two.

crying over spilled coke

I was taking a bath and reading a book and reaching for my can of Diet Coke with Lime and my hand slipped and the Coke went over the edge and smashed on the floor and spilled--shot--everywhere and I leaned forward and looked at the spilled Diet Coke with Lime and started thinking about how I would blog about the brown liquid fizzying furiously and then calming and spreading over the peach-and-white bathroom tiles and how that was the last straw and I couldn't take anymore and I decided to cry right then and there, which is what I've been wanting to do for weeks but I couldn't cry and just sat there waiting to cry and watching the Diet Coke spread to the edge of the tub and the edge of the cabinet and I moved the rug and reached for toilet paper to temporarily clean up the Diet Coke while I finished my bath and I realized that my bath was finished and so was this sentence.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Good Lord for alliance! Thus goes everyone to the world but I, and I am sunburnt; I may sit in a corner and cry 'heigh-ho!' for a husband.
Much Ado about Nothing
Have I written this post before? Not this exact post, but something similar. Perhaps last time "sunburnt" didn't refer to an actual sunburn. Today, I'm afraid, it does.
Last year, on a whim, my mother decided that for her birthday we were going to go tubing. Not just drive up the street, find a hill tubing. Soldier Hollow tubing--the kind that would qualify for an Olympic medal (right behind curling). You get hauled up the mountain while sitting on tube that is connected to a tow rope. All this while listening to whatever music they decide to pipe over the tubing hill. "Thriller." The Killers. Country. Christmas music. Whatever.
Last year we had fun. So it became a tradition. This morning we suited up and headed for the hill. There were a few snags, but for two hours we sped down the hill over and over again. It was fantastic.
We brought sunscreen. At least, Dad brought sunscreen. But who wants to smell like coconut in February? Everyone's a little red, but I win. The things people will be comparing my face to--well, come say hello and tell me what comes to mind.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

poetry reading

Poetaster Valentines Reading

10 February 2006
7:30 p.m.
2015 JKB

You should come.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

aeiou. . . y

We moved into more comfortable territory today in cw theory: Robert Hass's Human Wishes, which is half prose pomes/nondelineated verse, half poetry. Kim immediately asked if I felt more comfortable. I answered as truthfully as possible: No.

I did feel more comfortable, but I've suddenly been paying attention to the aural quality of language. I always have enjoyed it--Kim's poetry, Hopkins, etc.--but I'm much more aware of it now. Last night I left a friend's apartment (yes you know him and yes I'm protecting him from having to confess associating with me) and as I drove away I had a rhythm and then the words to match it. I actually changed destinations and headed straight for home so I could record it before it left. It's this intense exchange and repetitions of words and the meaning is in the obsessing over certain words rather than the words themselves.

So back to class. I do feel more comfortable with Hass's poetry, but I had to switch gears in order to read it. I started out just listening to the words, reading it out loud to find the stresses, the rhythms. Kim asked me to read the first piece in the book, which I did. I used to be scared of reading out loud, of the sound of my voice, the sound of the words. I wanted to leave them on the page. I didn't realize how much I was hurting my poetry to feel that way. Now I just need to find a balance between the aural and the narrative, the sound and the meaning behind the sound. Because I still want the imagery, the ability for connection. Not that aural precludes connection--but if you can do both, the way Kim does.

This post will end on a weak note, but on a nice one. After I read, Zero (the friend formerly known as JeffT) leaned over to tell me I have a nice reading voice. And I grinned, remembering a compliment I received after my reading last semester: someone (who has asked to remain anonymous) told me when they closed their eyes, the sound of my voice was very. . . I think the word used was sultry.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fits together

After last night's blogging madness, I should probably just rest my fingers tonight and sit in silent contemplation, preparing some magnum opus to someday release on the blogging world.

But I don't want to.

I feel like writing tonight. Not sure what about. How honest do I want to be? And those are wasted sentences--not a single image or concrete thought to hold onto.

concrete = solid
abstract = withdrawn

I should play with those, write a poem. A prose poem, which we don't call prose poems because that is relegating them into a category that doesn't fit.

Fit fit fit. I repeat words a lot. I say this to warn the Fob pantheon of what is coming on Thursday night. Something entirely different. Don't know what's come over me. Actually, I do. Know what's come over me. Damn creative writing theory class. Can't write anything that doesn't sound false anymore. It's all about sound. On the page it looks dreadful. But every sound fits together. Fits. Fits together.

Tonight I got the best hug of my life. It was a terrible dream.

Comment #16

For the creative writing class I team-teach, there are fifteen stock comments that SHowe gave me (and the students) for reading and commenting on poetry. Pearls of wisdom like "Show, don't tell," "Edit--eliminate flabby words," and "What the hell is this?" Okay. I made the second one up.

I have a new one to add. Number sixteen.

16. Stop falling in/out of love and wasting my time, dammit.

Monday, February 06, 2006

My favorite color is Brian

Ring around your finger,
won't you come out and play?

This morning I couldn't shake a ghost from my past. It started quite innocently. I was blow drying my hair in the bathroom. Blow drying my hair and dancing. What is so ghostly about that? You didn't ask what I was dancing to.

I'm so serious, I'm so serious, I'm so serious, so-o-o-o-o serious.

I kid you not. If you're from Utah or Idaho, participated in an EFY, or have been subjected to roommates of a particular nature, you probably recognize this lyric from the USU-based music group Colors. They were, at one time, the epitome of Mormon cool. We sang along. We had autographed CDs. We went to outdoor concerts. We screamed for Ryan and laughed at Russ's white Mormon rapping. And I, I swooned for Brian.

Okay, swooned is probably too strong a word. But he was really cute, played guitar, and had glasses, which a recent survey established as being dead sexy in the world of. . . well, any world really. He was also married, but as this was a celebrity crush, it was okay. Most of my friends had similar leanings toward Ryan--the tall, tan, handsome drummer. Drummer in the loosest sense of the word.

Russ wasn't married, but we didn't crush on him. Poor Russ. Maybe he's married now.

But Brian, Ryan, and Russ don't matter now. All the matters is the music. And my favorite chorus of all time:

No no no, no no no no no no. No no no, no no no no no.

I'm so serious.

These Japanese Knee Socks

"These socks! These Japanese knee socks!"

I have no idea how the rest of the song goes, but I now know how Kapka felt when she composed her little ditty to her knee socks. You see, on Saturday, Cinderella and I went on a shopping expedition of the most dreadful kind--the kind where you know you want to buy something, but you don't know what.

My idea of shopping involves wandering through Gap. If Gap doesn't have anything I love, I usually give up. But Cinderella takes more of a gather approach to shopping (see Tolkien Boy's blog. And yes, I realize that I just implied that I'm a guy when it comes to shopping). So Cindy suggested a few of her favorite stores and off we went.

I used to love Maurices as much as I love Gap, but I haven't been for a long time. It's changed. I've changed. We approached each other warily at first. But once the first blush of awkwardness left, we embraced and renewed the old friendship.

That was dreadful, but too entertaining to delete.

The whole point of the post (well, almost the whole point), is that I found two items that left me giddy the rest of the day. One was a wool, herringbone print, red/white blazer complete with elbow patches. Red elbow patches. For $7.50. The other was a long, chocolate brown skirt that deserves its own song, something similar to Kapka's knee socks song. It was so perfect Tolkien Boy noticed (or maybe it had to be pointed out to him), and TB doesn't notice anything I wear ever. (Or any girl, but as always, this is about me. And Master Fob. Did I mention that apparently I'm one of the nuns of Fob? So not fair. And so appropriate.)

Today I was teaching my 115 students about writing their personal essay so that their reader can relate to the student's personal experience. I used the skirt story as the example and asked how I would get [male student] to relate to the story. They talked about making an analogy or a generalization. And I gleefully punched holes in their ideas. Then we talked about the magic of question answer question.

Why did I want a skirt like that?
Because my sister (LaLa) has a white long skirt that I love to borrow and I want one of my own.

Why can't you just keep borrowing her skirt?
I can't. She's married now.

What else changed when she got married?

And suddenly my skirt story isn't about a skirt, but about someone leaving and having to find a way to replace them, which is something everyone can relate to.

I told you I was brilliant, but no, you wouldn't listen. ;)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

consider yourself, take two

Last night I blogged a blog that apparently was deemed unworthy of blogdom by the powers that be and disappeared. I didn't delete it. In fact, when I blogged this morning, I was terrified to find it gone. I had spent an hour writing and rewriting and almost convinced myself that I had dreamed that I had blogged. The former existence of that post, however, was witnessed by Lady Jane, Cinderella, and Katya, so at least I know that I'm not crazy. And being in a slightly more stable mood tonight, as well as having some new thoughts courtesy of the day's events, I thought I'd try again, along the same lines, but with a few new twists.

I believe I wrote last night that "Love is in the air. Couples are multiplying. Even my feminist sisters are flirting, etc." Don't think that I'm not supportive of your or anyone else's endeavors towards love. I fully support love and romance and coupledom. In the basement pseudo-apartment of my house right now there is a newlywed couple that I admire for their maturity and their respect of each other, in addition to the fact that they tackle each other every chance they get (no innuendo intended).

That being said, I've begun to think, for the first time in my life, that a relationship is not in the cards for me right now. And for very good reasons. One is my education. The second is that, as I so eloquently put it last night, I'm a mess. I'm not emotionally unavailable, which has become my favorite label to apply to guys; on the contrary, I'm too emotionally available. And while I know that I can't expect to solve all my own problems, I'm not ready to ask someone else to take on the burden of my problems. Maybe I'm selfish, but I like to think that I'm being considerate.

I'm not sure how or when this entered in, but I know I posted last night about that lovely YW adage, Be the person you want to marry, or at least be the person the person you want to marry will want to marry. Katya PM'd me about this and made a very good point: If you become the person you want to marry, then what's the point of marrying him or her? The idea of a marriage is a complementary relationship, which in my case will mean finding someone who can appreciate poetry, but who will (fingers crossed) also like to do the dishes.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

So what does hold you together?

So what does hold you together? For me it's the law, politics, the Sixers, and good food.
Simon, In Her Shoes

There will be a whole post coming on Simon. He's joined the ranks of "Why do men like that only exist in the movies?" And I can feel a rant coming on, but I'm going to save it for later.

Let's say you get four things in life that hold you together. I'm sure that some of us have more, some have less. But you can say four. Four things that keep you waking up in the morning or keep you awake at night or just keep you from running up and down the street screaming. So here are my four things.

1. Poetry (writing and reading).
2. Teaching.
3. Family.
4. Music.

Coming up: Simon and men like him.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I take issue with these people. And if you're not sure who these people are, they are the people who want to prove that language is inadequate for expression by mauling and manipulating it. Or prove that language mauls and manipulates us by being inadequate. Who knows. They don't.

This began on Monday. We were looking at "Tender Buttons" in the infamous 617 class--which I usually love, but on this day, I was just annoyed. "Tender Buttons" is a text by Gertrude Stein in which she privileged sound over meaning in order to create a new type of language-oriented experience. This apparently allows the reader/hearer to experience the language more purely. I didn't enjoy it. The class (meaning the prof and one student who just makes me. . . ) were excitedly pointing out how Stein is removing sytactical hierarchies. But she's not. And I sat there looking at periods, commas, headings, paragraph breaks. They all establish a hierarchy. Which is why I like them. (editorgirl is taking over the poet in me and strangling her.)

The conversation continued on Wednesday with a walk through the breakdown between writing and language that finally collapses under the watchful eye of Derrida. Go Jacques. But under that collapse comes the clean-up crew to reconstruct what has been so carefully deconstructed. I did learn two new words: hypotactic and paratactic. Hypotactic is the hierarchal state; paratactic is a state of equality, which is the goal of the L*A*N*G*U*A*G*E poets.

And then the bomb. Our first creative assignment for that class is to attempt to create a paratactic presentation of language. I ranted. I raved. I frothed at the mouth.

And then I chatted with TO. He used a word I didn't know (strafe), but liked the sound of. And that response to the word was just as valid as my liking the definition of my favorite words. So I have now begun to collect words for this little project of mine. My favorites are pivotal, soulstress, kiss, thumb, tractor, elongate, mercy, beat, accession, ascension, foster, and quadragesimal. If you have a favorite word, please contribute.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's in a name?

I'm looking around my living room for something to blog about.

Kiss Me Kate. No, sends the wrong message. Kiss Me Cade? Ew. Who would name their child Cade? And have I mentioned I'm biased against all names beginning with C? Chad, Corey, Cade, Kyle. Okay. I know Kyle doesn't start with a C. But Boyfriend 1's name is in there, along with all his brothers. And I strongly dislike all of those names. Except Corey. Corey for a girl, after Corey Flood in Say Anything. Not that I would never name a child after a movie character. A book character, that's a separate issue. I think all my children should have literary names. The list right now is Beatrice (Much Ado about Nothing), Bailey (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), and Elizabeth (which is my nom de plume as well as my middle name--so does it still count as a nom de plume?). Apparently I'm having only girls, no man child. (Congrats to the Fobs, by the way.) All the male names I like have connections to men in my life and I have a feeling that any man I marry would have issues with me naming a son after another man (not related). Wouldn't you? (If you're a male. If you're not, feel free to reverse the situation and then proceed to tirade.) Hell, I'd have problems.

I just decided to add the name "Esme" to my girls list. Still no boy names. Except Gideon--which would be after a mentor/professor, so it's still weird.

I do like the idea of having a background to your name, rather than "Mom and Dad thought it was cute/liked it/did it to spite Grandma," which I believe is the reason for the flood of Tiffanys and Tiffanis and Brittanys, Brittneys, and Brittanis I went to high school with. My mother feels the same way--all of our names are laden with meaning and history. This feeling, however, spills over to how she feels about her yet-to-be-born grandchildren (at the rate I'm going, they're going to be a long time coming. Good thing there's LaLa and Jeremiah, and Sven and his waiting girlfriend. And then there's the Jester who at 15 has enough dates lined up once he's turned 16 to keep him busy for a year. That's only about 5-1/2 years before he marries one of them and makes Mom happy). At the top of her list is "Riley," which I insist is a dog's name. She hates the name "Beatrice"--"Bailey" and "Elizabeth" are okay. Maybe I should add Brunhilda to the list so that Beatrice suddenly won't seem so bad.

Go red go red, laugh white.

Points if you know where that quote is from. Triple points if you can tell me why I should care.

And now I'm going to spoil the game. Wait. No I'm not. I'll wait for tomorrow, after I've sat through yet another discussion that leaves me clenching my teeth, and then present my tirade in all its rabid glory. It's fun to be passionate.

That set aside, what to write about tonight? I just spent the evening in the most decadent fashion: watching Twelfth Night with a handful of people whose company I actually enjoy. Granted, some did feel the need to speak over the best lines, but this is to be expected of eccentric intellectuals, or whatever they preferred to be called. I think the strongest aspect of this interpretation of the play is the sympathy shown in the portrayal of the low-brow comedic portion. You feel, or at least I feel, so much more for Malvolio and poor poor Sir Andrew. I tend to get frustrated with Viola/Cesario, Olivia, and Orsino. But the key to all things wonderful is Feste. . . Ben Kingsley is brilliant and he does the songs brilliantly.

And after spending a graph on that, I realize I don't want to write about that. I want to write about my anti-therapy session today. Or at least part of it. But I must away to roommate prayer.

*break for roommate prayer*

So today was one of those days where I didn't think I had anything to say during my counseling session, but I started talking anyway and of course you find out that there are still things wrong with you, and today I found out that my way of coping with my current situation may not be healthy or the right perspective. Which I didn't have to be told and which I didn't want to be told today. I was saying that after surviving a run-in with the seven-year-crush, I realized that who I am comes before who I will marry, at least right now. And who I am is important enough to me that at this point I'm not going to change for any guy, seven year crush or not. I should have just stopped there, but I rambled my way into confessing one of my greatest fears. It's big enough that I'm not going to attempt to include it in this blog post, because it's too big and because I don't want to tell the world yet. Which is odd. I tell you, my reader, everything. Or at least a large, somewhat biased portion of everything. That fear, however, convoluted every healthy statement I'd made, every conclusion I'd come to, leaving me here, still alone and still scared. But wondering if there is a right answer.

Good night.

Template by Blogger Candy