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, April 26, 2007

yahoo news (yes) on iraq

"[Petraeus] said sectarian killings have declined — aided by construction of walls around some neighborhoods — while a number of markets are reviving, amusement parks are busy and some Iraqis are returning to their homes."

Amusement parks? Huh?

Monday, April 23, 2007

fishing? perhaps not...

very strange, but my fishing boss first asks me if i will come fish with her for the pink season or the whole summer, and after taking a few days to decide, i finally say yes to the pink season if she can front me august rent out of my earnings. then i don't hear back for over a week, so i write asking when she'll know for sure... and get word back that she might be looking for someone else. wtf? very bizarre, as most times she tries to get someone to work for her for the whole season, it falls through... and then i get the phone call out there anyway. the whole thing makes me feel like a sucker, but shit, i'm one of the few things that works consistently at that site...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

our patience is limited

Having read the news on a regular basis for awhile now, I have to say that my least favorite American phrase is: "our patience is limited," which really makes me wonder what the word patience means anyway. But with Gonzales, I think it applies.

Dude, are you for real? How are you even possible?

How is it even possible to fall "back on faulty memory seventy-one times" and still claim that, "the notion that there was something that was improper that happened here is simply not supported." (hey, way too many clauses)

Um, if you don't remember what happened, how do you remember if something improper happened or not? As illustration:
1) I went to a party this weekend, during which I'm pretty sure I got piss-ass drunk (indicated by the fact that I took a cab home by myself for the first time in a year and a half). When I woke up in the morning, I rolled over and wondered if I had made an ass of myself. Oh! Of course! Since I don't remember most of my piss-assed evening, I must have done absolutely nothing to make an ass of myself. The pictures my roommate sent out were lying. The vague flickers of memory of me falling over while dancing were lying. And the thumb that was sprung from its joint, swollen and off-center, was lying. Absolutely nothing improper in a sprung thumb, a two-day hangover, and a faulty memory. Take that, American public.

2) Whenever I have told my mother, in response to her questions regarding whether I have washed the dishes or taken out the garbage, that "I don't remember," it really means of course I acted responsibly and with most propriety. Of course.

3) Pssssyah, memory and history. What does that really mean? I mean, I don't remember spending $20 on beer last week, $50 dollars on items I really don't need, or $2,000 dollars on a one-week vacation to Tahiti, so obviously my bank statement doesn't count. I don't remember having made decisions regarding the release of federal prosecutors who were pursuing cases against political allies, therefore there was nothing improper in my actions! Hooray. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Everything is Proper!
Ug, please, everything about the current GOP makes me want to regurgitate my liver (including the penetration through my intestinal lining, up past thirty or so feet via switchback, on into my stomach, and up and away through my bludgeoned esophagus, which the liver's vomiting might require).

favorite quotes of the day

some things in life, actually quite a few things, make me very happy:

why Art History teachers should maybe reconsider teaching scientific history:

"What Galileo postulated, what got him in trouble, was that there were other universes in our solar system."

oh, don't I wish.

since I haven't written anything for awhile, and then finally wrote a couple pieces, the outrapo compliment on jw's part and this endnote, by my style/voice instructor who I also admire, rocked on:

"I love this work. Holy Moly! I'm not writing down half what I want to..."

yep yep, I'm Kafka's hunger artist. And continuing: I'm really looking foward to writing and writing and writing this summer so I can really make something by the time I'm out of here. and hotdamn, it's lovely unexpected and kindness when the energy people send thisaway helps me see further down that fastrushing possible.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

dreams, new themes

Kenyon - No Photo Deali was in a sleeping bag next to a house when i woke up to discover not only a party with a bonfire in the middle and people dancing around, but a small helicopter hovering overhead. it was the sound of the helicopter stuttering in air that woke me up. when i looked over, a man was wrestling the copter, trying to get it balanced so it could land right. i realized suddenly that if this went awry, i could very possibly be in the line of an explosion. so i jumped up, went around a barrier and scrunched up to the house i was previously sleeping against. as soon as i got into position, i heard a crunch, and then saw the helicopter blade spin out and spin around and around on the ground. except it went out, and then it wheeled back around on the ground towards me.

it came closer and closer and i squished closer to the house and ducked down. it came towards me, and then it was in my face and i was looking at the metallic hone. then the blades sliced into my cheek and my forehead.

but stopped before they hit my bones. everything paused as it sat there in me. and i realized the helo-cog wasn't coming any closer, and so pulled my flesh off the blades.

in the dream, it didn't hurt, but i could feel my skin relinquish the metal. and then start bleeding. i cupped my hand to my face where the blades entered, and ran over to my mom, who was in the house, and said, "I think I might need stitches."

when i took my hands off, she said, "I think you might be right."

we paused and she added, "But what doesn't kill you, builds character."

later in the dream, after the stitches (i was more scared of the stitches than the helicopter blades), i called my sister on a cellphone and got back into my sleeping bag. as i talked to her, i watched two shooting stars pass through the milky way and the atmosphere, and she told me, from Washington, that she had just seen something burn through the sky.


in recent news, i decided today to go back up to Alaska and fish this August. an odd sort of decision. but i miss it up there, and my mum told me my boss had told her that if this fishing season goes well, my boss thought she'd be able to sell the fishing site. it made me horribly sad, that i would never get to go back up there. and so... i just wrote and told her i'd join them. which means temporarily abandoning my decision to stay in Chicago for the summer, but i'm not sure i'd make it without the universe of summer green and ocean and things so much bigger than me anyway.


have you ever experienced something that doesn't quite make logical sense? or even emotional, etc, sense? i mean reality sense, i guess. there is this thing that happens, where i'm occasionally looking where i don't normally, past the everyday daylies, in a direction i just happened to glance towards, when/where this person i only vaguely know turns up. it's beyond odd. i mean, i tend to be looking in lots of directions, paying attention or trying to, but i always see this person far off in the distance whenever she's in the vicinity. i always look just the right way at just the right time. through doors, out subway windows, down the street. each time it happens, it feels like i was doing it on purpose, only i wasn't. i was just glancing and saw. it drives me nuts.


today was a good day. i showed the rough draft of my travesty piece to Beth and she had some very good structural observations. she mentioned what she did and didn't notice happening, and it made me think about what was important for me to have my readers notice. how you can bury an event sometimes, but you're hoping the reader will catch it, but why did you bury it then? something about a puzzle, and the question of why the puzzling is what counts. or how to get your reader to invest in the puzzle, to want to know, to want to catch it.

also, some observations on how one of the characters went linear in time, and how the other character doesn't seem a part of time, which made me really excited. is this possible?

i'm starting to realize quite a bit about what fascinates me, what patterns show up again and again - patterns different than just the depressing sad repetitions, but in terms of themes i tackle from as many different directions as i can muster. something about many-voices, about getting outside a one-voice, about rendering experience beyond my experience, and making it all come together. people have been recommending Bakhtin to me lately, dialogism in lanaguage, and perhaps that will be one of my readings this summer.

i want the fascination of the simple, non-convolute, non-clever direct; but combined with an eternal and unanswerable puzzle, one that makes sense for the reader and me to work on. an emotional and spiritual sense, not simply intellectual.

i am thirty-years old, and i wonder when i will find my voices. when i will feel right with them.


registered for classes today - advising in writing department, two classes in the print department. i'm really excited about the print classes, although nervous since both are 6-hour, all day classes, and my experience with letterpress has taught me that means treble the time outside of class. i will need to generate quite a bit this summer to be in a place where i can produce the book project i'm thinking about. so, the classes are an artist's book class, and a class called "input-output," which is about combining digital print/photography/etc techniques with traditional techniques, but also about bringing in text.

i think i'm interested in the publishing arena, but never really realized it. i'm just so moderately interested in normal publishing companies; i mean, it carries prestige and the certainty that you are doing something that others esteem and of course read (validation), but it lacks in terms of the idea of producing something bigger than what you thought you were capable of, in terms of art, in terms of innovation, in terms of a vision seperate from the economy of money, class, or cultural howdy.

i can't help being both drawn towards big-name publishing or publishing outside of my own production because it means in a sense that "i've done it," that people approve, that i have achieved a certain level of certainty. a particular degree of professional stability. but i also disapprove of so much of the publishing standard, of the big presses pumping out their big deals that people read and then move away from, that people put on their bookshelves and gloat over, like books were hills that have been conquered, or symbols that people want to project.

it's like wanting to be beautiful because beauty gains you something, but what does beauty really mean? i've had girlfriends who've told me i'm beautiful and sometimes it feels really good, like thanks, that's nice to hear, nice to be sexy and attractive. but simultaneously, it makes me wonder about the inside, not the inside like the mind (such a beautiful personality), but about inside the experiences of the body, the moments of pain, of ecstasy, of smell, of sickness or aging that we can so rarely share. and if we share them, they are through some kind of form-content pure moment, when words or vision make you feel the content, make you ride the story like everything was indivisible. and when someone tells you that you are beautiful, most of the time, they just mean that via their gaze and vision, you match some picture they have that makes them all hot inside.

interesting that i never fall in love with lookers, with the look of things, but of the motion, the walk, the expression of.

and so, publishing sometimes feels like this, like i should submit to be beautiful, that i should revise to be beautiful, like i should censor myself to achieve beauty.

but the wondering side worries that maybe i just don't submit to this because i don't want to be told i'm ugly. that i don't want to go through rejection, that perhaps my stuff isn't up to anyone's snuff, and i'm simply fooling myself. oh hey, submit your stuff and you'll know, right? but what if i don't know, honestly don't know if that's what i want?

i mean, i want readers. i want people to pay attention. and more than that, i want discussions, intricate meanderings and banterings from people who've found something.

but i don't know if i want to submit.

anyhow, at least a mute point for another half-year during which i can focus on whatever my dreams are, wherever they take me, whatever crazy wild stupid blind avant wildness i can make the Art Institute into. after that, i guess it's about whatever i can achieve in the rest of the world.

not the real world, just the rest of the world.

anyhow, i'm off. cheers and good readings. (p.s. read: Geometric Regional Novel by Jonke, it's good. and i've heard that the new Carol Maso book, Ava, is also good, so that's soon on the list. i'm so happy, so much to eternally consider.)

virginia shootings, a setback in art?

"Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be," Rude said. "But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

Sunday, April 15, 2007


Kenyon No Photo Projectme to sue, sue to chickens, chickens to pecking. i think revelation is around the corner...

over at SAIC, they're doing a new line of hirings, balleyhoo to new folks. for each of the four people they're bringing in to interview, they start with an informal luncheon (rock on free food), then bring the teacher in to a class to lead a workshop for a piece they had access to ahead of time, and then this is followed by a semi-theatrical presentation of their work and philosophy and vision (45mins-hour).

the current steering committee is talking about doing two hirings from this batch, which is a group of people hopefully interested in either teaching mixed-media classes or facilitating interdisciplinary collaborations, a far too under-emphasized feature in our writing department, which strangely enough stays separate and floating away from other SAIC departments despite all the visual-textual stuffs going on in general. we really need new people in the department who have energy to spare towards bringing together different artists and introducing nervous writers to more spatial medias, and so i'm sort of attentively paying attention to this round... being interested in this stuff, anything that makes my brain quiver in ignorance really... and so i'm hitting as many of meetings as possible. in addition, this dealio's highly informative about the hiring process, and how to put your best foot forward in addition to being brilliant, famous, and well-credential'd.

anyhow, they've brought in two folks so far--X and MB (no sound piece link available at this time).

Prior to the meetings, I heard nothing but good stuff about X, and afterwards word on the street from folks who have worked with X before was that X was having an "off day." But shoooooosh and shitinelia, was X ever having an off day. My impression was that X was a bit of a jerk with little flexibility towards different approaches to writing, thinking, seeing, or media. I'm pretty sure X called Beth Nugent "Becky," which is fucked up on so many levels (I thought they used to work together?), and X also employed every cliche about Carveresque writing that you might imagine. You know, whatever, there are different modes and I appreciate them, but X was really really negative about the workshop piece and if it had been mine I would have either been crushed beyond approaching it ever again, or I would have (having some moxxy on occasion) simply walked out fuck you and i'll go look down a gopherhole for some kind of shadow. Hmph. Should I say again that I wasn't pleased?

X employed charm to smooth over X's approach, but I couldn't find myself even starting to lean into the slightly sweet-snarky humor. Regardless, and part of this charm not to be missed, the highlight of the interactions I was party to was X saying that in order to "really get to know a character," one "should go down on" said character. "You have to go down on them until the idea comes." "You have to get inside the head of the character." And "Going down on a character is hard work."

X initially started this intertextual rumination via a comment on "vertical - horizontal" (terminology I also use in the classes I teach, but to distinguish spatial and temporal meanderings on a vague, non-binary plane), but once X realized the charm of X's sextextualization, X kept on in a straight-faced way, clever, funny, made me snicker, but not enough to assuage the prejudices of my hopelessly mixed-media-wannabe playaround and love everyone's true honest endeavors romanticism.

MB's Untitled (for H. C. Westermann)MB, on the other hand, was a friggin weirdo in an awesome way, I'm pretty sure. You can see one of his pieces just to the left. Bald-headed, he mentioned masturbation and nether regions and thanking and generous-giving-towards- text in his presentation, and artistically crosses multiple genres (initially from a painting background, moved towards sound, but has always employed text, short text, weird text, fragmented poetry texts). I thought he was extremely present and aware, and so much about him projects attentive flexibility. I don't think he'd be the mojo-man in terms of helping folks with narrative, but I do think he'd be a mojo-man in terms of helping love of language, nuanced political social and ethical approach to manyformed words. I would consider working with him, and as a picky fickly-focused beast, that's saying quite a bit.

Anyhow, I'll talk about the two others in the pool next week, but for now, that's what I think. Yep yep.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

naked legs and blessings

Kenyon No Photo Serieslast night i practiced touching my mattress to let the names fall out of my fingers, through the padding, past the frame to the wooden floor where i could see them scurry away.

during the day i felt a little off. remembered sitting in the sailboat with deb and having her say, you know everyone loves you. and the despair that followed even though i held her face while we were crying. because love didn't matter or make a difference or carry any meaning for me at that moment. not at all. not even a little.

people can empty out words sometimes, like they were a container.

and once i remembered the despair coupled with those words, i started crying even though i was waiting at the busstop. i was very startled to find myself crying. haven't done that for some time. i think it's just that wondering about when everyone leaves and i will miss them, but how much the missing will matter.

i never really recovered from that horrible time in my life three years ago. it took some foundation away from me, and i never replaced it but learned instead to hang up above the sky the space under grass between stars in a few brushing musical notes that make. and hear more thoroughly everyone else's language of body of loss of joy of family of care of learning of listening and of change and strange integrities. and if that sounds good, it's because it finally is.

but once i started crying, and once it startled me, i couldn't quite convince myself to stop. crying and feeling a bit sad was okay, maybe nice even, not horrifying not great, but strangely nice.

last night i practiced changing names into creatures, names into sounds that shuffle off into the night.

i've decided recently that checking in on the websites/blogs of folks i don't communicate with anymore is just a bad idea. the line between stalking, which yes, and trying to distance via a strange abstract and anonymous knowledge & kindness, well, it was a thought, and i think it helped for awhile, but i would like instead now to pay attention to people i can talk to. will talk to.

and if this decision wasn't enough, i today compounded my realization through lack of self-will and plenty of error. just read this on the blog of one of the girls i don't speak to: "if lk hadn't been so obnoxious those 12 or so months ago and subsequently quit speaking to me (hopefully out of shame for her ridiculousness?), i would tell her to read [some book], perhaps send her a copy."

now, can't say that i'm lk, because those aren't both of my initials. but can say that i subsequently quit speaking to this person 12 or so months ago. maybe it's another person who made the same decision as me at roughly the same time, can't say i blame her. such interesting interpretations of shame, ridiculousness, and obnoxiousness out there really.

but this highlights what i mean about the bad bad idea of checking in sometimes. because i want to argue or defend myself. i want to read into someone else's initials. i want this person to wake up, open her own fucking eyes or better yet imagination. but why?

one of the blessings of my life is that lately i've been able to understand that if it wasn't good for me, it's okay to say fuck off sometimes, or go away, or so on and etc, better in fact if you say it in person and out loud because nobody else is going to stand up for you, nobody else is going to value you enough or just the right amount, nobody else can be counted on to see your perspective, so it's up to you to defend it, stake it out, listen to others of course but never ever ever ever try to give up your own perspective simply because you can see someone else's.

and another of the blessings of my life is the desire for peace, not the i forgive you forgive me kind of peace, but the i won't takes jabs at you, judge you, or call you Evil peace because words have power whereas silence exists in the fifth and sixth dimensions.

but i also know beyond a doubt that what we don't know about other people's experiences of hell is what we don't know about ourselves.

i do believe i will stop being naked on my couch with smoothly shaven legs. i do believe the names are crawling away. i do believe that web stalking is for stupid people (namely myself), and i do believe that the sun comes soonly, and that chemicals will change as a result.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

it all comes together

there is nothing here.

vonnegut who I've twice taught

woke up this morning to find the sister's message Vonnegut is dead on my phone. clock arranged itself one hour early, seriously it was set an hour early, confused and made me run until relief. couldn't find my headphones to listen to iPod, still can't now that i think about it. no matter what i think of Vonnegut, a passing always distances spring within hail. makes me sadly.

Monday, April 09, 2007


hate to say it, but the corridor is getting so irritating lately. i've always said that school needs to be this hound on a chain in my yard, one thing to let off the leash for frolic, but only one creature not the whole. every time i say this and every time i let myself focus completely on school on the friends i find there (who are lovely) and on the work i find through there, and here i am again thinking damn, where are my other humans, my family, the thoughts i really would like to have but don't have because i've pared away at everything until it's all pared away. i'm tired of writing the same damn things and tired of only coming up with the same damn things and being obsessed by the same damn situations or possible situations. not that i don't love it, love the school, love the people, love the thinking and writing, the dying of eggs and remarking on their colors and the beer-drinking, hip-toting life that i do have going and that makes me happy for the most part, but everything is so limited lately, that's all. life manages to be a paradox of limited and opening, really. but i will start a list of beautiful things i run into and didn't realize i might run into, the things i didn't see because i've seen them before but the things i saw because i let myself. i spent this morning reading stuff and writing letters and in general looking at jobs and pretty soon i need to prep for the class i teach tomorrow and then i need to finish this story i'm writing right now that is sorta-annoying but i'd really like it to be funnier but i think it's not funnier because i'm used to it and the things i'm not used to aren't making their way in. i also spent some time looking at myspace pages today, thinking about why i've refused to join yet another network such as myspace, perhaps because this one already takes enough of my time, but it'd be good fun actually to be able to link to a whole new lot of people i'd just rambled upon accidentally but then fell in love with because they make me see something i hadn't seen before. sometimes i miss that exploration of newness, the idea of life being more elements than war and art and dancing with lovely lovely people. and so, my writing is on hiatus, pissed off at itself really, and ready for me to see something new, find something new, love something new, not fresh new, but really realign-the-mind new.

and upon the observation of my sister, whom everyone knows i adore, i must make link to the word fenestration, which apparently they use at her clinic in the medical sense of the word, meaning to make an opening. to recap, "to defenestrate" means to throw out of a window, and "fenestrated" means to 1) have made an opening [v], or 2) having windows [adj].

As the latin root "de" tends to indicate the opposite of whatever follows (de-compose, de-construct, for example), here comes the question of the day: by which biway or highway of language (1 or 2?) did defenestrate come to mean throw out of a window, instead of either 1) suture an opening, or 2) not have a window?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

if it weren't for...

what's? a raucous slew to choose, a trillion spectrum languages more open than skin earth soil soiled knuckles iliacus joints scapula deltoids pectoral mix biceps patella rotator cuff articularis quadratus aryepiglotticu infraspinatus brachialis pyramidalis flexor pollicis brevis longus genioglossus gracilis (etc).

if paying attention, we might note the theory detailed-- how the most intricate canvases occur at the fracture. this is my gratitude blessing and love.

a little boy i met on the street decided to give me a chocolate egg (he had a certain glee, and as he pointed out, plenty of other eggs in his basket plus a white girl walking him home), and after thinking first of poison (shoosh, he was seven or eight) and second of why, i realized his joy, accepted sheepish but verily, put it in my pocket and walked home, a stick in hand. the trees contorted only themselves and not anybody from before.

fertility, so they say. but what kind of womb? some of the percentages (%) missing; i could list them but the subway rattling nearby and the woman murdered two blocks away, well, they might drown out the sound.

we count blessings every day, one2fertile3, surprised each time by what doesn't make the list. i hate to ask: but if you were to describe your place, where would you find yourself (in relation, in partnership, in the gift)? personally, i wonder at times if i might be worse than nothing. perhaps it's time to write with(out/in).

in the background, the list i'm not learning right now, but will. surely i will. surely we will. surely things unseen might become?



what might have happened if we, as a people, had come instead to believe in a forever here on earth?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

still sickie

which means the strangest dreams in the world: smuggling a baby hairy mammoth over the border in a semi truck with a collapsible cab, discussing the weaknesses of the modern age with the contemporary art critic i'm taking notes for, driving a truck through a tractor race with a five-year-old girl running beside me, a painting waterfall with the emotions running in bright color (framed by a window set back from the waterfall by a few feet), waking in the middle of the night wishing i could talk to someone i can no longer talk to.

cough cough cough. cough cough. cough. tomorrow i'm going to have a little eggie-dying thing for pagans and heathens in the neighborhood.

but here's a piece i wrote today, and i think my fever shows through. argh, what am i writing these days?


Famous Dead Men and a Blue Bucket Game

Twenty rowdy knuckle-crackers on a binge after a few hours of toil, they drag logs from under pebbles and heave the wood into burning stacks. With sticks in hand, and the hairs on their wrists bristling, they prod the new wood into position, arrange embers around damp spots, and turn to each other, their tongues heavy-lively with the events that we’ll later strike into oblivion. Close light under the sunset, their hats dip and reflect brim-beacons off into the water, where you can trace the wakes throughout the bay, a fine series of elliptical radii all centering in for the fun. For them, the night promises embarrassing nudity and at least one person bound to burn himself enough to amuse the others.

Near the hightide line, a barrel-thighed woman arrives and pummels her friend with the back of her hand and he nearly goes over backwards. When he regains his footing, she passes the extra can of beer she’s brought him and they both stand there rocking around on their haunches. After watching three more boats arrive and get tied up—newcomers coming shore by hopping the rims of boats—the woman turns to her friend, who is halfway through his first beer and three-quarters towards the next, and asks him, “if you were fake,” she says,” if everything about you were engineered by a highly invisible force reveling in the distribution of creation from the elements of chaos,” she says, “would you try to hide your elbows?”

Nearby, a three-year old runs over and pinches the hamstrings of a boy, who is standing on a bucket holding one end of a rope; the other end is held by a teenager on another bucket six feet away. The teenager owns a half-look of bemused condescension—busy trying to decide whether to let the young boy pull him off his bucket, or whether to yank the kid hard, face-first into the sand and teach him the tough truth of Hegelian might. The teenager spreads a few armlengths of rope.

The younger boy, standing very carefully on his blue bucket, shouts over the beer-sound, ignoring the tiny pinching at his knee, “Did you hear the story of Leo and Fyodor?”

The teenager shakes his head and draws in three more lengths of the rope, flinging the excess behind the bucket. His body roils with strategy, his skin a red fury pop. He quarters, decks, each muscle flexes, his elbow lifted, winding the rope around his wrist tightly, organic in his decision to win.

Next to the younger boy, the three-year-old, while being kicked and grabbed at by the boy who is busy, thankyouverymuch, trying to depose the teenager who of course has greater strength and versatility but lacks something the younger boy thinks, and while the three-year old is maneuvering around a boot of sand being shoved into her mouth, she mutters something that sounds suspiciously like: “As of late, we perhaps find ourselves restless and impatient with the lines and war fronts and divisions set forth under the name of something that’s apparently opposed to something else. So, in the interest of reconciliation, you, the younger, will speak of the record whereas your supposed opponent will speak of something else.”

The younger boy hears part of this and glances down for the first time at the three-year old, whom he has never seen before, but that’s not unusual in the blendings and torqueings of a fishing community that finds itself, in this new confused century, grappling the dangers of change. As the younger boy looks down at the toddler who is still pinching his hamstrings and muttering polysyllabic oddities, the teenager draws in the rope and gives a good yank.

The younger boy has seen this coming though, and allows the rope to flow out of his hands instead of being carried away with it. He in turn hopes to see the teenager roll over backwards and onto the beach. This does not happen though.

“In 1878,” shouts the younger boy to the teenager, his articulation a clear revenge, “three years before a death, Leo sends a telegram to Fyodor, a sallow epileptic man once advised to grow a beard to cover the lower half of his face, which some might have compared in beauty to a badly frostbitten knee. Fyodor receives this telegram and very quickly handwrites his response. Yes of course, he says. Let’s make it then, and shall we meet at that bar we both know so intimately? Fyodor runs it over to the posting station, and asks when his telegram might be expected to arrive at Leo’s estate. They tell him in a few weeks, but there is, unfortunately, an error in the transmission. The record is unclear on the error, but somehow the two men, having thought themselves very clever to arrange a meeting after so many years of mutual admiration and criticism, fail to meet on a particular April evening. Three years later, one finds himself crying at the death of the other.”

During the tale, the teenager has been sneaking more and more coils of rope to his side. The six feet between them snakes and pools, dips and snakes, and directly in the center of this distance, at a point three feet equidistant from either combatant, rests a halibut hook, its metallic cravenness shining red from the fire. Prior to the post-toil party on the beach, one of the fishermen had sharpened that hook with a rough-grade rasp, so that now, at the party, the hook curls jagged enough to immediately pierce the thick mouthplates of any halibut jaw, or perhaps through the malleable ribcage of a young person’s falling body. The hook is half-buried in the sand and so neither the teenager nor the younger boy see it; instead the teenager notes that the younger has reached the end of the long rope. Now it seems a matter of simply tugging hard and quickly.

But the younger boy bends and bends again at the waist. The teenager rethinks his strategy and lets the younger boy gain back a few feet of rope before saying, “Have you heard the real story of Leo and Fyodor?”

“No,” says the younger boy, who is already cringing at the idea of war, division, commas this side said to be more beautiful more perfect more interior dramatic loving delicate organic playful or full of the soft underskin of bananas.

Back over by the bonfire, a man takes off his boots, sets them on a log, and then moves to leap over the fire, not the whole fire but a tributary on the northeastern fork. Only the man miscalculates and trips himself up on a rootball, falls with his face in the sand and the lower half of his body directly in flame. His toes wiggle as three other people immediately yank him off the fire and drag him down to the ocean, where he dips only his feet in, and begs off being thrown in all the way. After his feet hiss in the ocean, he makes his way back up, mumbling about the long dark night, the orange oriental sun, a creation of joints and exteriors, and the waving nature of waves. The three-year-old follows him, whacking the back of his knees with a stick. Back in front of the fire, the barrel-thighed woman pummels his arm, offers him another beer, and leans into him, letting him know in a very indescribable way that for him, and only for him, the blue hairs are out tonight, and they are waving and again waving strong.

At our buckets down the beach, the younger boy and the teenager are still at it, much to the annoyance of the teenager, who knows very well he is being watched. He must solve the matter quickly, and in his favor, and without dillydally weakness unpatriotic behavior or cannibalism, which is, in general, frowned upon.

“So,” he says, “in the bar in St. Petersburg, a very disagreeable and disorderly man sits at the table with two shots of vodka drawn and set in place, one in front of him, the other placed on the edge nearest a vacant chair. The light in the bar is settled with a particular hint of brown-grey, and four sailors sit in one of the corners with their muddied boots propped against nothing. They flick their cards at each other silently, and drink beer, smoke their cigarettes, and occasionally eye the man, who is Fyodor, sitting solitary, expectantly in the middle of the bar. Fyodor looks up at the door every five minutes or so, whether it opens or not. He has arranged to meet Leo there, and knowing the nature of Leo—a gambler, a womanizer, a wealthy punk with an occasional literary bloodlust—Fyodor thinks Leo trustworthy. Like Leo, Fyodor is a gambler, something of a womanizer, a surly man with occasional manias, and so he too is trustworthy. Fyodor sits at that table for hours and hours and just as he’s about to get up and leave, the wind knocks open the door. There stands a lone horse, nostril twitching, looking straight towards Leo’s vodka. In his disappointment, Fyodor pushes past the horse and starts walking quickly home over the cobblestones, listening to the slogging grime of swamp through canals, when out of the alley a hand grabs him. Shouting in fear, Fyodor whirls and pulls away but the hand drags him closer, and suddenly Fyodor can see a face and he has never met the face but he knows the face. Both men feel themselves unworthy and ragged, but Leo still smirks at Fyodor. “How very dramatic,” Fyodor says in response. But then Leo pulls Fyodor into a hug, and the two men take a pause without narrative before walking over to the nearest bar. Three years later, when Leo is weeping for Fyodor’s death, he thinks of the poker game they had scheduled in just under another two months. For sure, he moans, one of them would have won.”

With that, the teenager gives the biggest yank on the rope yet. Whether the younger boy sees it coming and lets the rope flow through his hands thus giving the teenager too much play for his yank and sending him spinning off backwards, or whether the younger boy doesn’t see it coming and is finally pulled off the bucket, or whether the younger boy sees it coming and makes a different decision, well, unfortunately that wasn’t seen, as I was turned away, watching the three-year-old leap up over the fire, over and over again.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

cool word i learned today: defenestration. should be useful in daily conversation. yep.

Hey Jess, how was the defenestration yesterday?

Dude, go defenestrate yourself!

The President denied that the defenestration against his War on Terror was attended by more than a few crazy marginalias. He then appointed his fifth grade best friend, Tucker H. Stout, who is said to be very skilled at pulling lint out of disfunctional hottubs, to the position of Supreme Chancellor of Democratic Defenestration, sneaking the appointment in while Congress is on recess.

also, over the phone the other day i told a friend that i was going to be a godmother. she sounded very happy for me, said congratulations, that's wonderful. then a few minutes later she asked, "so what breed is it?"

and I went through a very long internal sifting to try to figure out what she meant. "um, she's a girl, if that's what you mean?" to which she replied, "oh great, but what type?"

i started laughing and asked her what she had heard me say originally, which turned out to be "dog mother." heh.

i'm sickie in bed and missed my first and hopefully only class for the semester. don't like being sickie in bed. but i doused myself with at least a liter of orange juice plus i made myself some weird chicken-spinach-garlic pasta for to eat tomorrow. it might be nice to have food around during the day instead of fasting and then gorging in the evenings.

yesterday when i was just starting to get sickie, i came home both starving (no food), feeling exhausted (4 hours sleep the night before), fretful (a story to write i thought), odd (without thinking about my empty stomach, i had munched a little zinc tablet my advisor had given me), and a little feverish (sickie starting). so after i stuffed myself with macaroni and cheese, i fell into bed for a strictly- limited-to-an-hour nap. and it turned out to be the most intense, vibrant dream i've had since Alaska. in my hour-long dream, i was a cowboy, the sky low and nearly green, and i could taste the dust and grit and the chewed up soil from the back of the horses feet. i was wearing flannel and two pairs of socks and jeans and boots and spurs, and i was hustling to get my boots on so i could grab the bridle, rope, gloves. the sky started to spit and the horses kept running but it seemed in pleasure because they could. a little boy, also in boots etc was watching me as i ran around preparing to bring the cattle in. when i sat down for a second, he wrapped one arm around me and one arm around his white lab and started to sing heavy metal... horses whirled. the smell of rain hitting a dirt so empty it hissed and turned sweet.

okay, i'm off to bed to stop being sickie and get up healed knock on wood in the morning.

Monday, April 02, 2007

mumble jumbo

just let me know so i can schedule you in. i will schedule some time with you, it will be there marked with an apostrophe (!) in the palm pilot of my daily meanderings. scratch that. there are no meanderings. no time for meanderings. time is straight, here's the arrow, i and my artificial constraints, time, am these days going straight forward, usually when i am backwards.

hitherto in my meanderings, first is 12 and then is 1. i was pre-pre-Greenwich; not even solar time can explain, and 1972 was before i was born, your standard, but long after, my standard, accept it. but right now, i have a schedule, and on it, you will be marked, with an apostrophe (!), as a pause in the schedule, and everything will slow down on either side of the meeting, until it comes to a complete stop directly in the center of our meeting, and during that time i will be completely illegible to you, but you will be pretending otherwise and forget the imaginary nature of pretense. you will underestimate me, inevitably, right at that moment of noTime, and like a giraffe with only one spot, i will bask in this misunderstanding because why not.

i will schedule you in only if you let me know. one possible way you might let me know is by looking up at me and exuding potential threats. they will not be verbalized, heaven save us from clear articulations (anything that will result in mistranslating or misunderstanding or missed missing).

i will pick you up and smell you, you will not mention it. i will bend down and re-organize you to make you look smaller, you will not mention it. i will soak you in a blend of water and something eco-friendly, you will bubble occasionally. i will understand you are waiting for me through this dance we do, and then i will schedule you in, and there will be the moment, and it will be the moment of pause where you in turn misunderstand me and i will listen to the music and let myself be misunderstood because that's all i can do anymore, just move from one of your moments to the other, one second to the next, not backwards like before, not all at once like before (all the nightmares i had as a child, and still have as an adult are about time and what it means for us, how our dimensions defer our understanding, and how when we reach out into the new dimension we are covered down bedded sucked to a standstill driven to eternity like a herd to a cliff and then fall and fall and fall landing nowhen), and i will run my hands over you eventually because you will be marked in my schedule-without-meanderings.

i will cover you in liquid, i will enter only partway into the liquid with you, i will be protected and plastic-wrapped. i will scrub you, and smooth you and unblemish you clean. i will be the Jesus H. Christ of your world, and will remove all our sin from your surface and pores. you will misunderstand me, i won't misunderstand you, i will be annoyed but accepting, i will look up at the sky through the window, i will think through my schedule, the one where i marked you ('), the schedule that runs me forwards when that's not my direction of choice. i will contemplate deep deep heavy things. things is one of those words, interpret it as you will. and you will. (inevitably you will understand me).

before you misunderstand again, yet again, yet again, always projecting your oneview as the only means of assessing. before i don't articulate it again for you because why bother when discard is the last refuge of self-awareness (?), before this time when i use embodied to always maneuver around what i understand about you, what i have come to understand not misunderstand about your way of seeing, and dash around charmingly and with a face i've learned to hide within which is very different from being within, this hiding, this accepting misunderstood in order to charm and dash and meet and move forward, but before this time when i rub my long fingers along your surface and make you pure again, i will go dancing.

it will happen yesterday, and i will wear make-up and i will pull my hair back to highlight my high cheekbones and hope nobody notices the little nearbeard. i will wear something sexy that taunts everyone, just about everyone because if little else at least i can taunt. at least i can rub up against and pull away from and let that moment be exactly what it is, a pause with noTime, and the before and after will be rendered meaningless by the way my body keeps moving, the way the music enters joints and muscles and little pockets of nearmisses and each sadness drops away earnestly until it is me, my body, your body, our body, not necessarily in that order. the music will play, you will raise your arms, you will bend your elbows, you will twist at the waist, you will dip on your knees, thrusting, and hipcurving, the beat, we will all hit the beat simultaneously, and then one of us will go for another beat, i will go for the third, and you will go for the fourth, and so on ad infinitum until we meet back up again, which we will.

it will be a delicious pause.

and then i will schedule you in, but you have to let me know somehow. just eyeball me from your perched places, just let me know i will (indeed) starve to death if i don't wash you, dry you, put you away, pull you out later, move backwards, sdrawkcab (allways). it will be our dirty little secret, the understood part.