Sunday, September 30, 2007

I should do this more than once a week.

The last minutes of Sunday and I finally feel up to writing.

I was checking my blog, K's blog, the guy who reads K's blog's blog, thinking about Bennion's ever-expanding explanation of webs and connections and wondering how the broken fit into the web, when a spider descended inches from my eyes. I watched it descend, pause, and begin its ascension (and it's a pity no one from Kim's 519 reads this blog because this image is so AA's cheeky yet imagined piece of work). I was on the brink of a Charlotte's Web moment, began talking to the spider, complimenting its thin legs, its dexterity, when I realized what would happen should the spider return for another chat with the roommate present. The roommate who is deathly afraid of spiders. So I excused myself from our conversation, grabbed some toilet paper, and put one of us out of our misery.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


or lack thereof. not in my life. my poetry. which apparently results in crappy poetry and lowercased blog entries. anyways, i'm offering up the following for diagnosis.

Market: Florence, Italy

A pig is speaking
our wishes.

It doesn’t matter
if you whispered it
one wish
or twenty

it remembers them,
sends them running
out of its lips

left to be collected
by streetsweepers at dawn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I am not fine. And I am about to write a blog that will later go down as "too honest" or simply "too much," but this is the next in a long line of remedies.

I've been seriously depressed for the past month--I've been depressed since I was 11, but never this severely. This time there hasn't been a solution or a repreive, although I am working on that with a doctor, a psychologist, and (in the near future) a psychiatrist. There are moments when I feel like myself--like Sarah or even like eg--when I'm teaching every morning, when I spent a day with my cousin Meghan, and one night when I couldn't stop writing poetry that I finally looked at again today. It's actually not too bad. The poetry, not the depression. The depression never leaves and I find myself taking odd opportunities to get emotional: crying, raging, pretending I don't exist.

Today is actually the one month mark. I know the day this started. It was the day I pulled my last all-nighter, attempting to bring my thesis to a level worthy of defense. I worked frantically all day, all night, all day. And in the end, I came up short. I haven't touched my thesis since then, which I know is weak but I also know that it gives me a headache, among other undesirable side effects. It was also the day Abby was born. She's beautiful, perfect. And I didn't want to admit to my failure in the middle of the celebration. So I waited. And when I finally allowed myself to wallow in my third-year grad student status, I couldn't stop wallowing. I haven't stopped. I haven't written much, excepting that one night of manic poetics.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this, other than the responsibility I feel to those who read or used to read this blog. Most of you are friends, some of you my most important friends. I'm sorry if I've somehow let you down this month. I promise I'm trying to make it better.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happiness is

buying twenty-three books for $37. And most of them are poetry. In the name of celebration (and bragging rights), I will now list my new friends. In alphabetic order.

Bang, Mary Jo. The Downstream Extremity of the Isle of Swans.
Brodsky, Joseph. Conversations. Ed. Cynthia L. Haven.
Brown, Lee Ann. The Sleep That Changed Everything.
Clary, Killarney. Potential Stranger.
Davidson, Chad. Consolation Miracle.
Eady, Cornelius. Brutal Imagination.
Fried, Michael. The Next Bend in the Road.
Levin, Phillis. The Afterimage.
Morgan, Frederick. The One Abiding.
Pavese, Cesare. Disaffections: Complete Poems 1930-1950. Trans. Geoffrey Brock.
Pratt, Minnie Bruce. The Dirt She Ate: Selected and New Poems.
Ratiner, Steven (ed.). Giving Their Word: Conversations with Contemporary Poets.
Redel, Victoria. Swoon.
Rubin, Steven J. (ed.) Celebrating the Jewish Holidays: Poems, Stories, Essays.
Shaw, Robert B. Solving for X.
Sholl, Betsy. Late Psalm.
Transtromer, Tomas. The Half-Finished Heaven. Trans. Robert Bly.
Ungaretti, Giuseppe. Selected Poems. Trans. Andrew Frisardi.
Wieseltier, Meir. The Flower of Anarchy: Selected Poems. Trans. Shirley Kaufman.

Additionally I bought The Spirit of Terrorism by Baudrillard, Reporting the Universe by Doctorow, an edited series of essays on Jewish American and Holocaust Literature, and a small book titled Grand Canyon Place Names by--ready for this--McNamee.

Can life get any better than this? I submit that it cannot.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

collaboration and charisma

Yesterday's blogging was fun. I forgot that blogging was fun. But picking up Grover's idea and wreaking poetic havoc with it was . . . fun. I like working with other people, or at least other people's ideas. Last year's "Light" show was fantastic: trading ideas back and forth with Zack, rearranging my language to work with his art, finding elements of his art that created new language. He probably thought I was crazy, but I had fun. And last night my favorite Jim called to tell me that there's the possibility of a new collaboration this semester, working with the artist AA worked with in the Light show. This artist does funky cool plaster heads--that isn't the right way to describe it, but I'll post pictures if I ever can.

In other news, Possession and The Goodbye Girl. I've read Possession once a year since the contemporary Brit lit class that introduced it to me. It's the story of two academics discovering and unraveling the story of an affair between two Victorian poets. But it's more than that. Lit theory, poetry, essay, language. It's fascinating. As is the film The Goodbye Girl, but for different reasons. The writing is still brilliant, just a different kind of brilliant. Witty and romantically-inclined and hilarious. And Richard Dreyfuss. So you should watch it. Seriously.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Synchronicity, or Fall is Coming

A brilliant essayist, who still resides in my mind as Grover, posted a beautiful piece yesterday, endnoted with the comment "This is how an essayist writes this. How would a poet do it?" I'm not sure if this is a partial answer to his question, but his post woke me up. Since that hasn't happened in a long time, here is my (rough) take on his essay.

A Poem after "Synchronicity, or Fall is Coming"

Buried at your heart
is October, refusing
to line up and pass neatly by
with other months.
You will avoid the frost of February,
the sweat of August--
October's campfire clings to your hair
and the marching of ghosts and goblins
accompany your steps.

Fall is coming. We hold hands
against the cold, bracing ourselves
for the flames.

Friday, September 07, 2007

eg, girl genius

Okay. Story time.

I bought an insanely expensive hair straightener/curler, mostly because I can't say "no" to people I know when they ask if I want to buy something. The good thing is, I love this little appliance. It heats up fast, it does nice messy curls, etc. Life is good. Or life was good until one day it decided to quit on me.

I sent it back, got a new one. Life is good again. Until last night, when I'm trying to turn it on and it just won't work. Again. The sadness, the despair, the pure frustration which has been building ever since I drove through campus on the first day of classes. I gave up yesterday, until this morning when I decide to have hope. I plug it in, turn it on. Nothing. I try seven different things, and am ready to throw in the towel, when I glance at the label "Do not something something Dryer." I had plugged in my hair dryer, not the straightener/curler. I found the plug for the instrument I wanted, plugged it in, and voila. I got back to damaging my hair.

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