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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
Friday, November 30, 2007
Congrats and no, no, no, I'm not jealous at all
Champagne glasses raised for my roommie!
Anybody charming out there want to sublet and share with the moi? (!)
project proposal, during project construction
The final project I’m proposing is a collection of three artists books assembled within an artist’s box that showcases their related theme—montage. Each of these books is a slightly different look at the relationship of landscape to memory and community, and each uses a different combination of text and image.
The following is a more full description of each component of the project:
Accordion Book - The small accordion book is a limited exploration of the idea of inside-outside, and uses several images of a “mermaid’s purse” taken from both a scan and a photograph of a mermaid’s purse, which is the fibrous ‘egg’ that sharks, skates and rays are born from. I have taken the images of the purse and overlaid them with three different landscapes that would perhaps be visible during the passage of the purse through the water and to the shore. A few words begin the very small book, which is already completed.
Artist’s Box - The box that will house the three books is nearly complete, and is a traditional book-box with the inner-trays papered with a collection of collaged, painted, and glossed newspaper. The outer box uses newspaper overprinted with a Photoshopped image of “Devil’s Club,” a spiny plant, taken from an Alaskan photograph. The interior boxes are painted in an experiment with the serendipity of using taken-text and blocking or marking-out portions to leave only a few words and images relating to the overall project.
Never-Ending Book – The never-ending book utilizes a form of folding and gluing a single 8.5” x 11” sheet of card-stock, with two-sided printing, so that it can be rotated to create a ‘book’ that has no apparent beginning or end. The different configurations that come about through the folding allow for a use of language and image that disrupts traditional notions of linear narrative.
I have an older draft of this book, but will completely revise it using Illustrator rather than Photoshop for the text. One side, the more static side, will be printed with pictures of topographical maps, while the more mobile side will display text contemplating topography and memory.
Main Book - The main book is an in-process work and will be longer than the other two pieces. It will primarily be text although will use various images throughout the layout.
The text itself is a small collection of short fiction stories heading towards a larger collection, perhaps a novel, in the future. The stories are based loosely around three main protagonists and a number of secondary characters, all of whom have a tentative connection due to location, and how they are perceived and narrated through the different voices of the protagonists. The main settings are Chicago, a small city in Washington, and an isolated Alaskan bay.
Most of the images (diagrams, photographs, made-postcards, and Photoshopped images) that will be used in this version of the book have already been collected. Image plays a large part in the book as it highlights and suggests different relationships between vision and interpretation, as well as how the whole can only be assembled through the superimposition of multiple layers.
I perceive this book, which is tentatively titled Montage & Bound, as an experiment in putting together an incomplete body of works in order to get a sense of where the stories may go in the future. In other words, the book will not be finished, although it will be designed in InDesign, printed on 11” x 17” newsprint at the Service Bureau, trimmed to 5” x 7.5”, and bound by myself using perfect binding.
Overall, I have a sense of this project as just beginning my larger experiment in gathering divergent materials and creating a fictional meta-narrative that only loosely holds the individual components together in what I perceive to be a continuously shifting set of contexts. I tend to write from extremely subjective positions, varying narrative voice frequently in order to create brief flashes, or glimpses, into the psyche of different characters who are searching for new paths, stories and ways of perceiving themselves in relation to the multitudes of voices they come in contact with. This project is a way for me to explore this mode of writing in various media.
interesting how this writing stuff goes.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
the clearest path into my brittle heart
in the meantime, i continue to trickle away at The Project. don't know what to say about The Project, other than it continues. And that, i've decided, it will not be complete... only printed... at the end of the semester. so, now it comes down to deciding what shall be part of The Printed. every day is charted in its determination, but so many factors... including the whole must-find-job press that presses and is so differentiated from what i care about that it takes most precedence in my dreams, which have been about The Project, sand, jobs, not doing work, and family friends everything trickling in, leaving only the question of why i'm so invested in something i understand as only an inconstruction subway on the way back and forth.
i'm rather tired. if i had a job, i'd be ready to be out of this, just so i could stop printing and continue writing. but the music/friends, in meantime, are like an accidental splash of color against black and white.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
how words fail / pleasure, & studio-work continues, (plus) the body knows more than i tell it
(p.s. I've been thinkin'. I've really been.)
(p.p.s. these are the toes I grew up being told were deformed. which my friends like to call prehensile. after taking a nice long bath after spending a day in the studio after giving quiche to my buddy after spending the previous day in the studio after spending the previous day stuffing my face with turkey and having a wonderful thanksgiving with friends, I like to paint my toenails a lovely light blue shade. and then fall asleep.)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
[Origin: bef. 900; ME; OE thancful]
We began the word at least a thousand years ago, although it might have been longer. Mostly to do with fire. Very dismal, that period of time before, without combustion, without a resting point. We boiled our water via forceful telepathy.
She asked me how I expressed myself and I attempted to make love via distanced hate. What, you might ask, does that look like?, and here's how it went down: I disliked everything about her, especially the way she pretended to be less than she was. It wasn't humility, it was masked hubris. Thinking herself the beat, the dance, the motions we made when we had hunted and slit blood, she still skinnied our reflections by fluttering her hands about her face: Not a fair drama to see when you've spent hours stalking stabbing maybe shedding over the spill of a vibrance much larger than any reasonable aspiration. Nor a fair drama for her, who did what needed to be scraped in between. Just not a fair eye-to-.
I pretended to not even notice her, more as punishment of self than repudiation of her, although I have to admit I made sure for her to notice the latter always over the former. When she fluttered and said, "oh, Bye you," I imagined the sound of brick against grey and the monolithic deconstruction of a particular home. Senior citizens turned out and not placed anywhere else. Friezes de-pieced, piece by stone. Someone sick in the alley reliving an entire sequence of events that led to that moment next to dumpsters and discarded couches. "oh, Yeah bye," I made sure to say when I most wanted to make her realize how much I saw her through. And me too, which is why I look downwards always.
Such punishment. My bones ached all the time, like marrow had an ethical course it wove between the confessional of my:
All I wanted was to gather, so innocent, less so since what I wanted to gather was every selfish object refracting its own surface.
Those I esteemed thought her egocentric, and so I had to go along. But even though I agreed, I couldn't argue with her cuddliness. That's what it came down to: how fucking cuddly she seemed, and she would have hated me if she had known how this was the most I ever found:
But someone, fake-vapid or not, who I can see myself wrapped around is nothing to blink at. Nothing to flutter my eyes at. Blink. Nothing more. Or less. It felt like the only thing I could imagine my body at, as if everything involved with the infinitesimal meetings of my actions by reactions, and stillness, time by momentby (hunting, blood-spilling, skinning, carrying, long long deep walks in the midst of a language that lacked terminology for --), had nothing to do with what my skin lunged.
Our iPods, during this time, were slightly less developed, and even though I wanted to listen to music as I slayed mammoths with a long spear I had especially honed to the task of thrustKill, I had to accept the limitations brought on by the fourth dimension. The way I reconciled it was: make sound wherever and who walks.
It came to me one day. The word. I was the one who made it up: go ahead and look to me on this one, although many people (well, by "people" I mean even less-developed-than-me Neanderthals, folks who I felt guilty about putting in the Dumbeddown category, but who still thought that, well, stupid, unDarwined, provincial when you think about it: rocks smacked against rocks make powder-rocks. shit, I wanted to tell them--go out and kill something and no doubt your intellect will shoot. shit, I think they might tell me--go and shove it up your self-definitionally refinedhind-end, you donkey horse ass unicorn thing we accept even if the act isn't reciprocated. and hell, if that doesn't give one something to think about, and, as part of the word, I do) thought that thing before. It was still me who came up with the actual term (ME).
Because how utterly thankful I am to have seen both fire and the sight of a lion licking his mate in the middle of a dark night with only the two of them, plus me seeing under and within their topo, and the rest of life shuttling around us all. The rasp of their tongues might be enough. Enough is the translation of the word I made. I made.
Though. Though I shorthanded it into family. Into the possibly of the skin of a horrible stranger meaning. Into people looking you in the eye, and telling you to call them by names like Jazz like strange Misunderstood like With Nod. So to upload a tube of Universal O--
into the saber-toothed hide willing to move around your life to her life and his as well. For no reason whatsoever. For no other. Other than, sometimes: we are full of gratitude for having found a life right next to ours breathing and stone and pretensing for the sake of no other reason than a brief diatom flickering under water especially under our touch, purple bright, and then disappeared.
The stopping point I imagine writing is much uglier, which is the word I invented only three seconds after thankful. Or was it three seconds before?
I'll let you let me know.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
maybe i shouldn't be surprised and perhaps it is stupid of me, but i believe i've just been kicked out of my studio
i have on my rubber boots.
i am going shopping soon - making salmon quiches later tonight for the two Thanksgivings I'm going to attend.
i made a schedule for the rest of the semester. it has highlights and everything.
i dreamt last night that i met up with a bunch of people from my last MA program, and they all had PhDs. they kept telling me i needed a PhD or I'd never get a job. they insisted that i call them all Dr- . i told them i didn't want a PhD, didn't need a PhD to do what I want to do. that i'm already tired of school, Dr-, although not learning, and want to set my own learning agenda from here on out. but they told me i'd never get a job.
just thinking "I need to keep to the schedule" this morning made me set down my coffee and hop to put on my boots, although I stopped myself with a laugh.
in the dream, instead of phone numbers on my cellphone, i kept the license plates everyone wished they had on their cars. one was "Chicago is my Brontosaurus."
i'm going shopping, and then downtown to get busy with the "schedule." today's work is: small images, postcards, writing.
my rubber boots are grand.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
For Smautf, who used to see them covered over by a black cloth on the big square table when he brought his master tea (which the latter most often forgot to drink), an apple (which he nibbled a little before letting it brown in the wastepaper basket), or mail which he only opened now as an exception, the puzzles remained attached to wisps of memory - smells of seaweed, the sounds of waves crashing along high embankments, distant names: Majunga, Diego-Suarez, Comoro, Seychelles, Socotra, Moka, Hodeida... For Bartlebooth, they were now only bizarre playing-pieces in an interminable game, of which he had ended up forgetting the rules, who his opponent was, and what the stake was, and the bet: little wooden bits whose capricious contours fed his nightmares, the sole material substance of a lonely and bloody-minded replay, the inert, inept, and merciless components of an aimless quest. Majunga was neither a town nor a port, it was not a heavy sky, a strip of lagoon, a horizon dog-toothed by warehouses and cement works, it was only seven hundred and fifty variations on grey, incomprehensible splinters of a bottomless enigma, the sole images of a void which no memory, no expectation would ever come to fill, the only props of his self-defeating illusions.*
Sometimes Valene had the feeling that time had been stopped, suspended, frozen around he didn't know what expectation. The very idea of the picture he planned to do and whose laid-out, broken-up images had begun to haunt every second of his life, furnishing his dreams, squeezing his memories, the very idea of this shattered building laying bare the cracks of its past, the crumbling of its present, this unordered amassing of stories grandiose and trivial, frivolous and pathetic, gave him the impression of a grotesque mausoleum raised in the memory of companions petrified in terminal postures as insignificant in their solemnity as they were in their ordinariness, as if he had wanted both to warn of and to delay these slow or quick deaths which seemed to be engulfing the entire building storey by storey:...
On a slightly cheerier note, at least there's this, although total suspension would be more blissful.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
cake party, it had to mean something, maybe something about refined white stuff
Here're the cakes we speeeeeecially made for the, uh, um, lesson of it. No, seriously, who wouldn't want to have a Special Cake at a Gallery Opening or Funeral March? Ok. I'll stop being annoying about the time I really wanted to be spending ($25.56) on the 1/10th book-project that looms over me and my dreams to the extent of frosting re-arrangement, and melancholy whip-mix with panic. But cake in alphabetical order:
my cake (I got called a "shit" by R, as she helped me ensure the integrity of my translation. I surely hope she knows I was being I-ROn-IcaL with the utmost of fury at Homeland Bullshiterity):
Overall, you might notice how mine is the ugliest. Clearly so, and technically speaking, an overwhelming disaster of graphic design. But I felt no regrets overall. Strange, that.
But then, here're some the moments of cakestuffing with strangers, and now that they're out there, I feel like finding a random nightclub and making out with a random stranger just to ensure that. That sugar isn't the only metamorphic chemical. That this energy won't lead anywhere. That I actually know, on a physical level, what it means to relax. Yo. wup wup. (tomorrow, book layout + Perec's Life, A Users Manual [all twenty million more pages of it]) and, and here:
(God, I want to go dancing, but um, I got so tired of going out dancing alone that I'm not even sure I could start it again.)
Friday, November 16, 2007
beyond the stress
1) Chocolate Abuelita.
2) I hung out with one of the SAIC teachers on Tuesday - it's funny because I've never had a class with her, but have hung out in group settings with her from time to time, and this Sept she brought her two little daughters (hilarious, sharp girls indeed) to Salmonfest 2007, which was grand as it gave lh the opportunity to bounce them around on his back, running through the corridors while making horse noises.
So, I bumped into her at school, and she gave me her card, said, hey let's hangout on Monday or Tuesday, and hey, but if I didn't get over the phone-phobia and give her a yodel. We ended up going to the Chicago Cultural Center to check out a friend's exhibit, which was really quite smart. The exhibition was part performance art, and part public project: basically, Ishel (I think that's how her name is spelled) took headlines from the news over the past 50 or more years - just the headlines and the date - and put them on blank paper, handed them out to passing viewers, and asked them to write whatever news story they wanted. Then, these stories were taken into the next room and read by a "Newscaster" on a live television showing.
It was actually quite difficult - some people seem to have a zing for that, coming up with stories on the moment and handing them over. But not myself. Mine was silly, but that's okay, because the whole process definitely made one pause to consider how the "real" news is getting its stories, and who the people behind the newscasters are. Good stuff.
I also really enjoyed two other exhibits - one called "Reading Responses" or something like that: a darkened room like the top of a library, with people sitting at desks, reading. Only they were reading images and diagrams that were projected through a hole in the desk up to a mirror housed in the reading light, and back down onto the blank surfaces of the books. Everyone who walked in immediately hushed, and you could see how much the audience wanted to sit down, take over for the reading performers. Instead, we were forced to over-the-shoulder read, and then read the readers, and read ourself reading the readers, and so forth. The projected images were also really hypnotic.
The other exhibit was a Crochet project - of reefs and tidepools. Incredibly beautiful and precise. I wanted to roll around in the tidepools. I wanted to bring them home and make them my comforter. (I'd never get out of bed. I'd become an anenome when not a starfish.)
After the museum, we went out and scarfed down some food, had a beer, and chatted/gossiped about getting jobs as teacher/writers, and also the process of dating. Two of the most stressful experiences, really. But it calmed me down to talk to this teacher (to hear that straight women have it just as hard as queers, and be reminded that job-getting never ends and nobody likes it). So. I had a really nice time. Hoo-rah for teachers who make students' lives prettier.
3) Hanging with the L-man. He always tells me how lovely I am, and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy. He is, in fact, warm and fuzzy. Like a fuzzy bear. Like a warm fuzzy bear who still has claws but doesn't use them on you, instead hugs you and tells you how lovely you are, in gruffly fuzzy growls.
4) And, as as good worker on Wednesday who sent out three applications and set up a "dossier" (Even though the word sounds like a French fish, and who wants to set up something that you have to put in quotation marks whenever you say it, just because it's such an embarrassing French fish?), I treated myself by going to the Jasper Johns exhibit at the Art Institute with a good friend, lw.
And despite all the hype, I have to say Jasper Johns is worth it. His stuff is incredible. I didn't realize how much it deals with text! My favorites were a piece called Diver, one called Voice, and a third that was series of alphabet grids, some cast in aluminum with smidgeons of paint overtop. This is Diver:
So melancholy, his works. And just about as OCD as I've ever seen. And it's been a bajillion years since I've gone to a museum with a friend, and twice in one week - I realized with lw how much I really enjoy the comments from another viewpoint when looking at art. We often saw totally different things, and had different favorites and reasons for favorites. It was a well-spent hour, I have to say, and lw is brilliant, you know. Simply BRILLIANT-with-sparkles.
5) I got to talk to Nat on skype-phone. We sent each other pictures and book reads and poster-images, and talked about music, writing, life, pho, etc, and it made me happy. I sipped my chocolate abuelita while chatting with her. Mmmmm.
So, yah. Those are 5 coping methods I can get behind.
Why is it that when people tell me I'm generous or unselfish, I feel they're just setting us all up for disappointment?
and, since we're on the topic, why does my computer make creaking and dolphin-clicking noises?
Thursday, November 15, 2007
aren't we glad the Saudi's are our allies?
I need to stop reading the news. It gives me cramps in the middle of the night.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Other than US foreign policy, this is the must horrifying and repugnant thing I've heard of in years.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
poster, a very busy week
So, I made a poster yesterday, and I feel mighty proud of it. Indeed. Obviously, you saw one of the rough-draft images in the previous post, which was done in Illustrator... but we've now moved onto InDesign, a layout program that allows you to combine text, images, and illustrator drawings. It's an awesome program and I'm going to have fun with it, I think.
In other news, my life is utterly insane, and I'm going to pull out my hair. No, I'm going to be fine. No, I'm going to leave school utterly destitute and stressed out. No, it'll be great. No, I will fail to produce even a section of the book-project I'm working on. No, life's splendid. No, I will be friendless and desperate, and confused as to what next. No, look at what all you've accomplished. Etc.
Shit, only one more month. I'm panicking, and trying to get my act together about cover letters and applying for work. I don't want to be thinking about that stuff yet, because I have a bunch of school projects, but I'm going to be fundless as I leave school, so...
...so, today I'm going grocery shopping, and then I will write. And then I will read. And then I will write again. Plus I'll send out applications. Yeah, plus.
As for the rest of stuff:
Friday was open studios (in addition to a bunch of other events I wanted to see but couldn't), and so I opened my studio and visited others. It was so nerve-wracking having people be in my studio that I had to leave. But the oddest thing was that lh asked me to put out his buttons - to be given in trade for those who would exchange an "I'm not racist--" statement with him. And almost all of the written responses were very very hostile. Man, there's a bunch of people not willing to consider the correlation between categories such as "racism" and "homophobia." And also a bunch of folks with no sense of humor. I was awed.
Later in the evening was the writing program open mic, and I thought it'd be my last chance to read my work within the school setting, as us December graduators don't get our own reading... but everyone went so overtime with their pieces (sometimes 10-15 minutes) that I didn't get a chance to read. I didn't want to admit it, but I was pissed. I thought it was obvious that in a group-reading setting with 20 people who want to read, 5 minutes is the cap, not the baseline. But apparently it's not obvious.
But I got over my pissiness, made a poster, and last night went to the 50th b-day of one of my former teachers here at SAIC. It was incredibly wild, tons of people, only a few I knew, and a whole room with a disco ball for dancing. And the teach danced up a storm, bare-footed, with red-painted toenails.
Every time I see her, I feel embarrassed for having been such a surly shit when I was advising with her. She just got me at the highest point of my sensitivity about writing, and didn't understand what I was shooting for, which doesn't bother me now that I've had one adviser who understood my general goals, but bothered me then because I thought maybe I was crazy. So, instead of dialoging, I was simply a shit. But she forgave me, I guess, because she is always so sweet...
I had a really good time, danced quite a bit, ate food, talked around a bit, had a couple of fruit martinis and chilled out. All of which will help me do what I need to do today... groceries, writing, reading. groceries, writing, reading. grow celeries, right tea, in reeds ink.
some work from d'thesiodish
Dear Evil Arch Icelandic Nemesis—
How do your whiskers grow? Do they lengthen and curl? Do you wax them to a tip?
Incidentally, the demon-seed planted by your brother has taken full residence. I can feel it climbing around in there, possibly using ice picks to scale the craggy walls. It motors around, clinging and rappelling, causing a great deal of rearrangement that would be hard to imagine were it not for the very real evidences that my innards are revolving around some new center of the universe.
The Demon Spawn wants it all. It wants every iota of my interior for its toys—its forklift and ice picks, its bouncy balls and trampoline. My shell simply a cavern for its antics, I become a hovel under new management, every moment of my free time taken for hiking the hill to the Outhouse, that other domicile, in order to expel all items extraneous to its existence.
I thought hard re: your nomer. “Evil Icelandic Arch-Nemesis” was another potentiality, but I thought to not imply that you were an Arch-Nemesis who happened to be in Iceland, but rather one who is a nemesis in cahoots with location. In your expert evil opinion, does the arrangement make sense? That is… to my thinking, your nemesisian tendencies have something to do with the sulfuric cauldrons boiling under the surface of your new abode, seeping vapors though your radiators and expelling the sadistic lusts of a particular land. An inclination I happen to understand.
And I suspect you’d agree. I suspect you spend much time indoors sniffing the odors and self-congratulating on having positioned yourself within a neighborhood permeated with the intense waft of your original home (i.e. the underworld).
I’ve gained new fears re: the falling of slugs from outhouse ceilings. That they might fall on me, in my hair, down my boots or within my pajamas, has become a major preoccupation, and one, I might add, not entirely fortified by imagination.
The other night, I finally made it back to bed after a half-hour’s fret in the dampness, and crawled miserably under the covers, making sure to kick awake your stupid brother and remind him of how little sleep I get. Ah, the will of the inane, for I was awake yet another half-hour as he slept and the yipping ferret grumbled around, trying to refind her position under the covers. She’s taken to arranging J and myself so she can steal the maximum amount of heat from us both. But before she can determine the specific latitude and longitude of global warming, she must sniff the entire bed with a low murmur in the back of her throat.
Well, the other night, she grumbled for longer than normal and slunk between my legs and back again. When she finally gave a high-pitched yelp, I noticed that she had actually been licking and chewing rather than projecting her normal disgruntlement, so I felt her muzzle and noticed that her lolling tongue was sticky and nearly supine. Not only curious, but also seriously deranged due to aforementioned bodily reshufflings, I turned the light back on and dragged her out of the covers. I can only guess where she got it from, but as it turned out, her own insomnia was generated in a much similar fashion as mine, and her small nippers were nearly sealed in place by a poorly masticated specimen of the genus Slug. My guess as to where it came from would only further fuel my night tremors, so I will leave it to your rotting meditations to determine which part of my body the outhouse ceiling bombed as I prepared my next day’s flesh for the diversions of the Demon Spawn.
All I can say is that I hope to never again scrape my dog’s mouth with a miniature spatula in the middle of the night.
Oh yes, you are probably now chomping at the bit re: getting all the news about “the real stuff,” as you would likely put it, once again discarding my concerns as the impertinent demonstrations of feminine incomprehensibility.
You masochistic pig. You dire and repugnant flicker of locution. Fine. I can play your game.
Your brother, Demon Spawn, the yipping ferret and I all arrived about a week ago, and already I’m all in an uproar about whether I made any kind of wise choice by coming here. Your brother is, of course, perfectly satisfied by the grubby cabin, the dawn to dusk lifestyle, the net-mending, and the violent ejaculations of pornographic humor from our boss. The ferret is pissed by the nearness of water and looks at us from the corner of her eyes at all moments to ward us from throwing her in; she remains perfectly convinced that the only reason we could possibly have relocated to this god-awful place would be to give her the swimming lessons we have attempted throughout her feeble life. Demon Spawn, knowing nothing but its own diabolical plans, seems fine with the arrangement, and I, on the other hand, feel pretty horrible most of the time, and seek to replenish my good humor by boning up on the Bay Gossip, sticking my nose into anything that might be considered not mine to sniff.
Ah so, vast unexplored mines of the stuff, gold indeed unrefined, just waiting for the sieve.
This year, we are on the Other Side. The Side With Actual Fish, or maybe that is the cynic in me. Can I even begin to mention how glad I am to not be working for Esther, who has made a name for herself this year by having an outboard with no gears but reverse? At all times, I feel the weight of having worked for incapacity incarnate. And despite being full of Demon Spawn, I’m driven by the desire to prove myself to those who believe that anyone working for morons must be moronic themselves. It’s an odd position to find myself in, but truthfully, I sling fish extremely rapid for having such considerations to consider…
And as yet, I find myself a machine. A fish-picking/throwing machine. A hovel and a fish-picking/throwing machine. Also: an emotion carried through via machine. Every time I lift my arm, it’s to make a point. Admission: I am bitter to have been born within this, to discover it as part of the genetic makeup of memory.
Your wicked seed-spawning brother seems to understand the drive, and pats my back during the inopportune pukings—much less, I think, to express sympathy for my pregnancy than to assure me of my worth and place in this, the frontier that formed my formative formations during those, the forming years. And while I find myself radically sympathetic to the lack radiating from Crescent Cove, I also understand the ways in which I have been shaped by people with little attachment to real difficulties.
May I tell you, Evil Arch Icelandic Nemesis, how this fills me with both estranged anger and an intangible motion?
Oh, sure sure, here you are saying: You and your abstractions. Fine, I will cease. I will talk about pertinent motions, gossip, hip-flicks, bad jokes, romantic notions, so forth so forth, all to your desire.
Have you found a boyfriend yet? I mean, you’re pretty sexy for an evil, spectacles-laden nerdboy. Oh, that reminds me: I have made what I think to be a new friend. And I will get around to that, but first, let me describe in sum. What fun.
I’m on the Other Side (laden with Demon Spawn), which is composed of seven sites. In order to express it to someone completely bogged down by the civil wordology of Icelandic urban life: seven sites, meaning, seven groups of people fishing within coves next door, at various length, to each other. On the Far Side, are three sites, including the one I grew up on, from the age of ten, and learned all I have thitherto known about what it means to make a living from the sea.
I’m going to take a few moments of your vacuous time to contemplate what that phrase means: Make a Living from the Sea. It will be very brief.
All that it means, Evil Arch Icelandic Nemesis, is that there are one thousand and a billion different experiences of life, and this is one. It has to do with loving water, but love, if you were to ask me, is primarily about accepting both the depth of the water and the imminence of death underneath that acceptance. It’s not about suicide or being stupid, nor about being the hero who overcomes that underneathness, nor about being rustically awkward, about using short words, about tale-telling or killing alive things, nor yet about finding the landscape a heinous reflection of everything I feel. But then again, it’s not exactly a repudiation of all that. What I want to say is: it’s not romantic nor ante-romantic. It’s not sweet or cruel or full of unregulated swagger.
Rather, to get to my point, I’d most like to claim that it’s about the human projection known as risk. Jigging in, making a trench to resemble a bastion. Replacing time for Time, and let me say, right now, full of Spawn or not, that I will take on in a fair fight, with great glory and love/presence, any person who thinks they can find an inch more in the way of meaning than what I find here. hey. hey, in case you didn't notice. in case, this is me, noticing. I am. and now that this has happened, I will convene; no doubt all else will be determined, and far in the way towards paradise. Or, against my greatest inclination: any less.
I dare you to submit that to a dictionary. Go on, I dare you. I’ll knock any chip you choose to poise on your extremely refined and metropolitan queerboy slopes.
Okay, and now that I’ve defined and won said imaginary battle, let me tell you what I see:
Oh shit, I’m supposed to be out on the boat in 2 seconds, so I’m running, yeah runni…
Your Evil Arch Alaskan Nemesis,
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
waiting, excitement, a copy
Coming home, the walk up the street, thinking: today. I don't know why I turn into such a little kid, and for something I myself ordered, but I do. I love the anticipation, even to the point of tracking this order, #056067410049639, via the FedEx tracking site.
An order picked up in Chicago, and then sent from Chicago to Ft. Worth and back again, I had to wonder... [via the workings of my conspiracy-theory laden mind, I thought: did the U.S. Postal Service, in congress with the Universe, ship a Chicago-to-Chicago order to Texas simply to make me writhe, or did they wish to drive the Ground-Rate price home? (nice little pun, wasn't that). Or maybe they were so capricious and adoring of world-experience that they felt my order needed to travel in order to truly arrive; this theory almost feels like wisdom, and my little head is cocked in wonder as I sit before you.]
Anyhow, my order arrived and I am pleased. I was pleased even before I opened the package, but nervous and felt that maybe I understand nothing about design, maybe I'm just yet another semi-writer taking an imaging class. And maybe that is still true, but the pleasure I got from pouring these buttons from their bag is not to be denied.
Sometimes it's good to just make something.
So, the story of these is that I made the one with the fish, as I mentioned before, and my friend (one of the best), lh, designed the other. He sent me the basic design and font, but I had to redo it in Illustrator, and hope I approximated the font he wanted. Because... I think his button is brilliant. I wanted to get a version to go along with it: "I'm not racist--all my best friends are straight." And then we could hawk them across the free world, and set up a dynamic of friendship between.
I like the way my button looks too. And it was so very easy - if you're interested, here is where I had the button-making outsourced - Busy Beaver Buttons - and their rates are entirely reasonable. Between me and lh, we're each paying $22.50 for 50-each color-printed 1.5" buttons. Not bad, not bad at all. And although they did fuck-up and ship the order instead of keeping it until I could pick the buttons up, they also called me several times to talk about some of the difficulties my design might create on the press, and helped me slightly and only slightly modify it so it would look good. Which is very nice of them, ain't it?
Anyhow, a pretty good project to do in a class. No doubt.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
homophony: knight/bailer to night/baler [more oulipo]
Girded with leather chaps and a bit of tin foil to serve as chainmail, the knight felt just a tad odd sitting, as he was, towards the bottom of the dory with a teaspoon in one hand and a bailer in the other.
Never mind that his faulds were digging into his pelvis, and his vambrances— hand-me-downs from his second cousin twice removed, who was a great deal heftier than he was—extended well past his fingers, preventing the use of his gauntlets, which of course would have rusted up under the contact with water anyway. Once again beleaguered by ineptitude—mostly his own but at least partially his parents, who had gone the way of a particular opulence that couldn’t, in the end, provide their only son with a decent arming coat to wick the moisture from his back, much less chainmail composed of anything more vibrant than aluminum, easily dented but at least pleasantly shiny—Marvin the knight felt the calloused fingers dabbing their way across his brow, almost sexually and certainly sensually.
Marvin had grown almost fond of despondency and actually welcomed him as at least one companion he might trust in a pinch, which was more than he could say for the boatman, who upon seeing the dory spring a leak asked Marvin if he would like a cup of tea.
Generally confused, Marvin said he might find that nice, and away went the boatman after handing him both the teaspoon and the bailer. And away he appeared to be staying.
Never mind that Marvin was at a dock, and might have easily disembarked had he chosen to view the sinking of the dory as the inevitability it surely was. Never mind that Marvin had nothing warm to dip the teaspoon in, which might have at least been some measure of civility, or at least a pleasant placebo. Never mind that Marvin had some important joust or another to get to, of course on the other side of the very river he appeared to be descending into. And never mind that Marvin hadn’t the slightest chance in hell of winning said joust even if he could have managed to arrive.
He was going to sit in that dory and wait for his tea, thank you very much. And he would hold that teaspoon in one uncomfortable hand while attempting with the other to stem the flood that had appeared to originate within the moment when his pointed poleyns had hit an apparently temperamental starboard strut.
-Ah, said Marvin, as he contemplated the moment. He was, of course, speaking to despondency, his ethereal creature with slightly worn knuckles from having cracked them so often. Ah.
If only Marvin had taken the advice of his combat teacher and thrown down the sword, while striving, as the teacher recommended, to not pierce his own sollerets in the process.
–Ye’re more cut out to stand in for stable dross than ye are to meet fence with foil, his teacher had said, not meaning it unkindly at all, but rather as an early example of scientific objectivity.
-I’ve got a son, he continued, who might, with a little remuneration, include you in a bit of wheat threshing, or if not that, then at least some weeding around the periphery. But Marvin had scoffed, as per the way of those doomed to the greatness of failure.
-Ah no, he had said, and now stand guard, for I have it in my mind to slap my greaves across your smug peasant face.
But, as it happened to be, sitting with a dry teaspoon in one hand and a wet bailer in the other, Marvin started to rethink his primary motivations. What if, Marvin thought as the dory’s rim smarted against the river’s insistence, the nicest night I might have e’er felt would have been under full moon: a baler stacking hay in the sigh of a diminished orange field of dry grass? And with this secondary, and surely subsidiary, dream of finding accomplishment as a night baler, the knight made one last sweep of the bailer before his tin foil began the long process of oxidation.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I just don't know what to do next.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
nose to nose with the gorilla
Hey, so there was a Halloween, now wasn't there.
And in the past, I've insisted on having a pumpkin-carving party because... well, because the holiday has always been my favorite but somewhere along the way got hijacked by memory into a moment spent sculpting seeds, speaking reluctantly of exes, and breaking redwine glasses while making out and falling in love. Yeah, somewhere along the way.
But this was the first halloween I've felt okay about just let be, because damn, that was so very long ago.
I had two potential parties to go to, and a large deadline looming that's mostly catered by my own imperatives. So, I spent yesterday working on a the illustrator project, and watching the people pass by from the balcony, even a little girl dressed up as some form of insect, maybe Siproeta stelenes, although I couldn't swear from an expert's standpoint.
So, it was a good day. And the night before, lh and I worked on a collaborative pumpkin, which gained dimension by c2 asking about the parameters of our collaboration, which, as it turned out was rather open, and completely based on 1. knife speech, and 2. the desire to make whatever looks rather okay.
Trust me, it was a funny conversation because there was initially some kind of assumption that a competition was in place between our two endeavors, but really, it turned out that I was only trying to rise to the occasion brought about by working with someone I adore. Which lo', isn't competition, just expressed happiness to have someone else working on jack-o-lanterns with you. And 'oh, the whole endeavor was very nice, yep, very nice.
And I also got to talk to my best friend, which felt like heavenliness itself, on Halloween the Day.
Because it sucks when the one person in the world (besides my mum and sister) who keeps me sane, and healthy, and feeling worthlike, doesn't have a phone.
All I can say is that I really have never appreciated technology until now, when someone I need can't be in my life to sasstalk and whine and hope and disregard impediments with. It really makes me wonder about the basics in life. (Little Roar, because I wish it were simpler). And how did conversation with this this friend become, well, not just inspiration, but basic sustenance?
We really just don't know about life, do we.
And although I did not take part of the halloween revelry other than to enjoy the apply pie c2 made (when I woke up, it smelled like heaven had exploded and left residual traces in my apartment), I did get to spend a very trippy Friday party night with lh, where I dressed up like some skanky version of a Navy Officer With Capitals. Except I got to wear my rubber boots, and it was raining, so I actually felt like I was home.
Home = Rubber Boots.
Here is a good pic of lh, who dressed up, as I told him, as an Armenian Disco-Hopper, and myself (I was holding the tiger flashlight that roars whenever you click it on because a fuse had blown and knocked out kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and dining room, and it was better to wield a tiger than to actually get it fixed, although we did get it fixed, somewhere in the middle of the party)
[oh, and I look like a dope, um yeah (wish I had subscript)].
But back to some kind of point (it's roving, I know), that party was fucking trippy! Have you ever felt like people moved from whatever room you were in? Have you ever felt like 1/2 of your hostesses were tripping on acid, and the other 1/2 were drunk on whiskey and as not bad, sigh, and the rest of the folks were composed of heterogenous 30-somethings not willing to send themselves out onto any kind of limb to meet you?
I had a very brief conversation, drunk of course, where I met a person teaching with the Chicago City Schools, and I mentioned that I was going to apply for a Comp job with them (enthusiastically and nerdily), and within the next 30 seconds this woman had not just cut off our conversation, but moved on to talking to someone else about when she got tenure. But she started her next sentence with: "When I got tenure, (something something not particularly interesting or pertinent)." Within 30 seconds of me saying I'm going to apply, drunkenly like a dork trying to start a conversation as a Nerd... well, of course, since it's a party...
Dude, talk about a) making me feel like a dumbass, and b) woah, take your tenure out of your ass and have some kind of conversation with your surroundings. It's contradictory, I know. And I'm all weirded out by professionalism.
But I'm allowed to do that, right?... because I do not have tenure and somehow doubt I ever will. And the least I can do is make heyall with those who do, for snubbingishtrippylike someone at a very small, odd halloween party with very meandering conversations, not enough dancing (lh and I put on mj, and alternated between Thriller and hanging out on the hosts' awesome flowered porches).
And of course, I would think it was just me, thinking how odd and full of unnecessary tensions the party was, but lh concurred on the whole deal. And I sighed with relief because without my tri-weekly conversations with d'buddy, I think everything I see is suspect.
Without confirmation, really, we all could very well be crazy.
Thank god I've got the folks I do.
And so, I'm off to write from a character-I-really-like's perspective (I just finished writing a short story from the perspective of someone who seems too.. um, haw, hrrr, errr,... whiny). But this new character's very funny, and I'm pleased to have earned my way towards her view.
Oh, and I bought a book from Akashic Books... The Musical Illusionist by Alex Rose, and I was thrilled to my teethbones to discover that he uses as many images as I would like to use. It's very pretty, and so far, he's partially won my heart by starting with a too-serious discussion of Time, so I will have to report about that as well.
oh, and since this is Halloween (The Day of Thanks):
thanks to M-Lady for her awesome music mix, which I've listened to twice today, 1.5x yesterday, etc and through the past.
and to c2 for apple pie, putting up with too much, and saying I have "some real mojo" when I was fretting about whatever is coming next.
and to kx, for not getting injured in her car accident. friends, seriously: no more car accidents.
blah blah blush. boo!
oh, and the title of this entry is because I had the most intense dream of pressing my nose right up to a gorilla's.
The context was odd, as it involved skiing and some-projected-me-not-me, who had just broken an engagement, and as such, was encouraged to date outside of the established patterns. Which involved her/me pressing her nose up to a gorilla's as he looked straight to her soul and informed her of his Intentions.
The pine marten was next in line...