n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Chicago, not like Alaska

Kodiak storage doorA perfectly flexed and undamaged fender waits at the base of a public trashcan. It leans slightly out towards the traffic and reminds me of e2, who would steal it with me and walk ruffian-style back to a chopshop where we would wind it into some contraption, perhaps a bike tipsided, leaning one direction to the other. Who discards a fender at a public bus station? The bus is thirty minutes late and I fall into the category of restless natives who think evil thoughts about my time, pace back and forth, stick my head out into traffic, examine the right lane, cuss, duck my head back in.

Some part of me is pining. Pacing for intangibles. I couldn’t name what it would be, but if a river erupted out of an alley suddenly, spouted fully wetted, thick and deep with a pebbled downbelow for me fall into, be lifted from, drift away drunk and thinking—I wouldn’t blink, wouldn’t flinch, wouldn’t cry woe is me, but would find some apartment roof to leap full-clothed and hollering from, straight down inside her. She would gulp me slavering like a stone in the wolf's belly, and some part of me would be happy in the city and the other part covered thoroughly, encapsulated, dreaming.

I hear a distant foghorn buzzing in the night, but it is just some vehicle passing on a freeway. A boat revs its engine but it is a woman talking low then high at a young teenager, her daughter perhaps, who occasionally screams “I fucking hate you,” and the streets here are busy, but I wonder sometimes if these people feel trapped. I feel trapped sometimes here. I’m looking for the water, looking to the mountains, smelling roses running down off a hill, walking in the rain fog examining a row of kiosks in Artfest, wondering what kind of art might jump ontop of me right now, which would it be? It is not at Artfest, although a bread booth that hands me a yellow plastic baggy of chopped up rye and Italian warms me up good, makes me smile.

She moves like she knows music but can’t quite find it. Oh, but her love is there.

Diversey brown line stopOn the bus, I watch two separate scenes, each perfect in their entirety.

A woman swathed in lace, with her breasts making one ocean shelf and her belly forming a much longer one with a sheer dropoff into the depths, presses her hand to her hair. She has a noticeable face, not beautiful but the kind that was born old and yellow, with drooping eyes and a nose rivaling a jetplane’s. She is arresting, startling—if a foot taller and a hundred lighter, she’d make the runway not because of beauty but because of stopping type of ugly. Her hair is a yellow brown, pressed to her face. The type I would kiss if I were drunk. But only if.

She sits and makes faces at her reflection in the mirror. First a sulk, then she tilts her head to the left, lifts her chin and pats her cheek. She scowls, smoothes the black lace over her continental shelves. As we near a stop, she stands but doesn’t get off. Instead she looks in another reflection. She tucks her hand in her back pocket, leans the opposite way and tosses her head one way, then another. She smoothes her hair. She sucks in her cheeks, and then turns around, looks at the reflection on the other side of the bus for another opinion. She smoothes her hair, tucks one thread of the short yellow brown exactly where it was. She walks a step and repeats. Twenty-three reflections and poses, cameras and runways stare at her smileless face. The tight lace clings as she gets off the bus and walks thick, stocky like her legs can't remove the friction to get themselves going. She disapproves twenty-three times, a light wisp of tears, and enters the queer dance club across the street.

As she does this, a flamer gestures flamboyantly with his hands as his blond chick smiles and pays attention to herself from the inside, carefully monitoring her features. But she escapes herself in conversation and five times in seven minutes of conversation, her tongue juts out, not pointed and pointingly, but thick and curled down, licking some invisible sandpaper unaware. I follow them into the bar a block down from the first one, and I’m not following but meeting friends; we just happen to go to the same place. I purposefully make an entrance like a breaching whale, jumping up to snap at my friends’ faces, and then watch as the queerboy and the tongue-woman walk up the bar and then periodically wave their hands and jiggle their butts like they were at some reincarnated Queen concert and had lighters in their moshing hands.

Out on the floor, all the little lesbos look like they are fourteen and making up for identity by putting on hats or black studded belts, which leaves them all looking identical not identitied. They form clusters and gangs, work each other up into dance twitches to appreciate how they are all newly sexualized and heading in some direction. I spend a few rum-soaked moments contemplating whether I love them or want to bonk them on the heads with one of those plastic blow-up faux-baseball bats. I don’t have one of the latter, so I guess I gotta spread heart.

I’ve gotten out of the groove, if you know what I mean, like all jammed up, sure ideas but lazy and getting up superlate and not writing because I’m scared again. Because it aint the flow it gets to be, but is the working my way there via slow trickle of descent.

I read a book superfast the past two days and it’s not what I should be reading, but fuck I loved it, it was great, I wanna write like that, all swaggering and honest and pity-for-nothing’d (Snowcrash). I also gave a pretty weak presentation of my stuff, weak because I managed to stumble into pits of incoherent inarticulations here and there, not to mention bedazzle with my superfast mouse sliding up/down/up/down.

But I must mention all the glories of Right Now, because goddddddammmmm:

beach fire*I love my classes. I am taking a short prose class and a “Text Off the Page” class, which is an interdisciplinary, mixed-media exploration of how text can function in alternate forums than paged lines. I like the folks, I like the teacher, I like the attitude, and we get a budget. That’s right. A budget. We have a few projects—a public project, a class art “book”, and gallery space at the end of the quarter, plus a reading with the gallery space. Oba, oba. Q: if you had one opportunity in your whole life to place a piece of work in a gallery, what would you invest yourself into making?

I wanna make a whale. Or a state. Yeah, a state. Maybe a nation. This is it, it’s my big chance. I wanna create a new nation-state. Textually of course, duh.

*My roommate is out of town for a few weeks and I got a place all to myself for the first time in a year and a half. Plus a fuzzy kitty who needs lots and lots of cuddles.

*I love my advisors. They are absolutely the bomb, two of them different as can be and I think they’re both gonna work just right. Nathalie Stephens is a French-Canadian non-genre-d (poet) writer who I’ve heard, although maybe it’s just rumor, claims to nogender status (which I might have to bring up just to argue with her about because it tickles me pink). Hmmm:


Ye-es, perhaps there’s something to this. And she’s translating Cixous right now, and reminds me of my buddy-Natalie with all that talk about translation, Derrida, Descartes (being evil), and other French names I can’t remember. I bit my tongue on telling her I hate the French, because it’s too early in our advising sessions I think for me to tease her quite so heavily. But I think we're going to get along, which is good. Beth Nugent, on the other hand, is a hyperactive toughnails / verykind dyke who is so articulate about student works that it makes my heart flutter. She gets down to the sentence, baby, and doesn’t wash my pantyhose just because I got a run in ‘em. I think they are going to push me to not only get back into my groove but to slide along it like some screeching loge-puppy on the straightaway.

*Natalie is coming to visit for my birthday next week. Cup. Watch it, go on, watch, it’s flowing, oh oh oh, over the rim. I’m gonna have a party. And the rest of the time we’re gonna go out and get in trouble. Yep yep. And I won't cry on my birthday this time. No! I won’t!

*I heart my students. They’re a little lazy, some of ‘em, but I still heart them. I really missed teaching, I guess. Forgot how satisfying it can be to have a space to make an ass out of myself.

*Oh, and yeah, I had the following revelation: I’m a fucking extrovert! All these years thinking the opposite, and it’s absolutely nonnegotiable that I’m an extrovert who’s just a little shy sometimes. Wow.

So… All That Good Shiznit, now it’s time to fill the pine & restless space on up and keep myself covered inside water too. So I'm off... Peace. Laters.
Jo, you are so RAW! SP told you me you were back in town (home now!) and I should get in touch a while ago. Just now I read that you were at the Artfest, assuming Around the Coyote? I was too! Damn, should have been in touch sooner! We should get together sometime! Chitown falls are amazing! email me: beytherran@hotmail.com
hey, yeah... I'll give you a call, we should go shake up the town a little, you know.
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