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 24, 2008

funniest comment I've heard in awhile

FlowerMeI feel like your roommate's gentrified you right out of your own apartment.



I'm sneak-recycling later tonight, and I planted flowers and traded books earlier today, so all is okay.

Now I just need to find a job.


Also, have you ever noticed how willing people are to snark?

I went down to the plant nursery I worked at last summer, set to buy a flat for balcony color, which will hopefully last until I escape. And in the process, I saw a few folks I knew, me feeling oddly nervous about picking up a few cheapy flowers never-you-mind. But as it turned out I ran into C - a woman I was hoping to dodge; she happened to be ringing up a customer as I drolled in to pay, and she noticed me and said, "Hey, how are you!?" so pleasant and friendly.

Then she asked if I had talked to Maria recently and before I even finished the word "no" she was telling me about how she had, and how Maria just went out to Vegas and got hitched. And despite my soft undertoned response that I had heard this news [via the eternal uninvited grapevine], C continued to tell me about how Maria and her boyfriend, who had moved to Chi for a month-long job this past summer, went on a camping trip and then continued westward to Vegas, crazy folks, where they were married, etc.

And in that flowershelter hothouse where I was buying my simple flat of pansies, I wondered how long this woman would continue, all the while saying (with a smile) shit like "how funny!" and "that's crazy!"

Deal is, Maria acted temporarily all wild about me, dated me (also this past summer), even ran her friends by me, but clearly lied and misrepresented her lovely self, and above all (this is where my ire kicks in since I realize we don't know ourselves and that life is a strange mystery we don't always intend), afterwards made it clear she wasn't up for coming clean and taking the time to become friends after her inevitable post-trauma tempLesbo summer-fling. Some bile here on my part, but mostly just a desire to not be strung like a sucker fish again. You know, just the usual residual haunt.

But I'm pretty sure C knew at least part of the story here and was finding a subtle, shitty shitty pleasure by telling me at length about Maria's marriage.

Used to be, I'd assume innocence in this circumstance. Like, the person telling me this news just doesn't know the story behind and figures we were once Only Friends, and are still surely such amigasitas. And me being such a good True Friend, I should reasonably get happiness out of hearing of M's happiness: such a perfect assumption, if only that were the firmament built. But I don't think that's what most talkers are after (the exchange of pleasure and good news). As I get older, I'm sadly finding myself more adept at figuring when people are innocent and when they are just getting some boffo-kick out of rubbing salt gritty in another person's disappointment.

Maybe I notice this because in the past few years I've learned to keep stories to myself when I know they'll not feel good to those I could tell them to. Maybe this was something I started to figure out eighteen years ago when my Granny chastised me about pulling out an old boxed-up picture of my newly married uncle with an ex-girlfriend as something to give to him for his archive. At thirteen, I halfway didn't understand my Gran's irritation at my choice (since the ex-girlfriend's name was more familiar to me than the wife's, and so made Memory, you know), but I halfway did understand and felt ashamed and wondered at myself. Ahh... how motivation can sometimes be simultaneously pristine and cruel.

So now, I believe in compartments as the nomadic havens of our ethical age.

Anyhow, in this particular instance, I was pretty sure C was being a jerk, and my discomfort wasn't so much caused by being jealous of, or hurt by, Maria's fortune as it was a sadness about how some folks enjoy manipulating the info-stream so as to upset those who only amount to ghosts with genuine emotion.

Too much of this shit in my life. But really, the downside was that it took some pleasure out of the flowers.

The coda occurred when the millionaire partner-boss I used to work for, and stood in line to say howdy to, charged me fullrate for my flat, which was tantamount to flipping me the finger (which I am well-equipped to realize after having spent a summer watching the normal friend/old-employee discount patterns).

Guess it's time to buy flowers in places other than Gethsemane. Guess it's time to avoid the sneaky-bitchiness of so many. Whatever. Dirt n' the Nails. Spillage from the Overflowed Cup. & I'm still heading towards the smell of ocean. Rainstorms tonight.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

no interview and cheerup

Well, I finally finally heard word from one of the colleges I applied to teach at full-time. It was the school where I thought I had the best chance at getting an interview, since I've taught there before as an adjunct and have a friend on the hiring committee, but no, instead a polite little letter saying nix. I'm trying to not feel upset and instead think about nm's recent exhortation to "start thinking outside the fucking box" (meaning academia) [if only I didn't feel like someone who could become an excellent teacher]... hmmmm, I wonder if I could sell my body for lewd lesbo artwhore action on a local streetcorner? Or something commercially equivalent?

Anyhow, on a cheerier note, maybe I'll post the pieces I put together for nm's birthday (which includes the haiku-photo of the previous post). This project was constraint-based and here are the rules I drummed up.

Constraints mostly decided upon beforehand, re: the Project of Celebrating Ms. Martinez’s 30th Birthday & Her Presence Here in General or Specific, Etc:
-All elements must be derived from photos taken in a 1 hour time-span of the following ambulation: E .25 miles, S .5 miles, W .25 miles, visit Louie, N .5 miles. In other words… all photos will be from Foster Beach, which is the photographer’s favorite 45-minute meander.

-Said photos must be predominately of graffiti, street art and local signage.

-In The Assemblage Phase, all Witte and Charme may be employed, but the results must be derived from aforementioned graffiti, street art and local signage.

-At least one haiku must ensue.

-One Spanish word must be found and used.

-Each letter of the alphabet must be a participant.

-Birds are a good thing.

-Go ahead and attempt a lipogram including only name-letters, in honor of our being named with letters. And sure, it’s hard since nm only has six consonants within her name - one a bloody Z for heaven’s sake - but sure… fine, no problem.

-Music of the utmost quality (preferably lent by Birthday Honorarium) must be listened to during The Assemblage Phase.

-Friendship in Specific must be revered during The Assemblage Phase.


Kenyon photo project
Kenyon photo project
Kenyon photo project
Kenyon photo project
Kenyon photo project
Kenyon photo project
A: Yo, teach, you ever been married?
Me: No.
A: You ever lived with a boyfriend, with a, with...?
Me: A roommate?
A: No. I mean a...
Me: Partner? Yeah, sure I have.
A: Yeah, a partner. Ain't it a bitch? Clean up this, or clean up that. Then they're wanting you to...
G: Do everything.
A: Yeah, you got to get rid of that shit. Throw it right out the door.
G: Until you're calling them back saying "Hi sweetie, you going to be home tonight?"
A: Guess that's so. Guess that's the way it is, right, teach?
Me: Hey ladies, love it while you're still young and flexible.
p.s.s. what's up with H Clinton? Are we a back/forth monarchy or what? I don't like her (despite her femaleness and all), but what choice will there end up being?

p.p.s.p. I rented a moving-truck today, and negotiated the price down $150, which still involves me relying on other people's abilities (my family's) to make something significantly marketable. But hey. The process involved a phone and I was firm, so hey.

that motel betwen montana and illinois

Kenyon: Natalie ProjectI haven’t decided yet on its/his name. She began as Lucifina and then became Luciferous (no) and then Galadrial, but settled upon Thaddeus and Chester. Chester fits as a name for a hummingbird who’s fallen from nest as a tiny grey item, found and subsequently named. Chester would need a solid box with an old tossed towel—blue with washed-out stains. The inbetween nectar bottle sits on the edge of said solid box and faces Chester during those moments I’m not with him. My mother comes in and makes sure he’s okay when I’m not with him. The cats are locked out. A heat lamp when I’m not with him, and minimal violent nighttime thrashings when he’s curled to my throat—this would be advantageous.

Words feel like heavy blocks when you’ve been away from them. I went for a limbo walk yesterday—the same old walk I do, the one that feels good while walking it and sad before and afterwards. I’ve been arranging the rhubarb and rhododendrons in my mom’s yard, and thinking of her koi pond as one for general swimming. I imagine the placement of blueberries and the arrival of plums. I laugh at how the dogs slip the raspberries off the bush on the lower levels, and feel the grate of bark under my bare feet. That walk I take—over and over again—feels like something I’m trying to invest in. The possibility that has to do with the third tier, the one nearest the water I pretend smells like an ocean even though it doesn’t. It has no smell. It is smelless.

On the concrete streak nearest me, which leads to a light marker maybe for tunneling barges, Russian fisherman accrue to string their long lines and gossip, and I enjoy watching for their blue thread so as to not walk into it and tangle everything up. Here, I’ve never seen a bucket with a fish, nor anything other than a washed up gym-short. Last walk, I saw a Russian man dip with a long pole for that washed-up gym-short.

But this sensation has to do with the tiers on the Chicago walkway. Old concrete edifices that walkers can understand the once-use of. That third tier that almost looks like a natural rock formation, ripped with hills and upheavals, stories of trading and lovemaking and crack-dealing and all-family barbeques. When I walk along it, the exertion almost feels like exercise: up, over the concrete bridge, around the shredded tarps, over the coke can, the needle, the graffiti, the plastic bag and hot-dog wrapper, the seagull shit, the change fallen from pockets; up, past the secrets, the names called after memory, the tarnished cans and a doll head, over the concrete bridge and down again, through the spiked weeds. I imagine sometimes that I’m hiking in Nepal. Then I open my eyes and see the kids playing in the sand nearby, forming sand castles and love words that the seagulls will pick away for the ladybugs whose shells line the nearest low tide.

I like that lower tier; it rests nearer the sunset light, that last bit of yellow thrown through the west withers, through those lives held at high altitude.

In between the spokes of cement, the bridges, the fisherman and the teenage adventurers, are holes drilled into the sides of the third tier. Near as I can figure, these metal holes once held lines to temporarily hold the boats that passed through. Sometimes walking, I discover pilings shelving architecture that could only elsewise be traced by archive; the possibility that men once grimaced as they belted from the lake homes they made, and made off from, the lines strung to boats strung to cabins, up to the second tier—the level of language and the graffiti that people place to make sure it lasts. Then to the first tier, the land of walkway and smiles and trees turning maybe green. Along that last landing, I imagine red kites strapped to gas lamps and unavoidable swamp as men jaunt away from the lines strung to metal holes made and still held by the third tier I now make my short summit.

I received an email from an absentee student today that read, paraphrase: ‘Sorry I’m not in class today. I had a miscarriage. Sorry. See you in two days hopefully.’

This last week I went dancing twice, and the first time was okay, but the most recent time was gospel, and literally. I went into an local lesbie bar only to discover an unexcavated portion partitioned by dark draping. Turned out I became one of the two white girls on the dance floor at a bar known (at least by me) for its Andersonville twosome babypushing lonely girls down the sidewalk, and I was certainly the only one dancing alone. Ah, and a dj who starts you out normal and enjoying, who then moves to a mix including black gospel and outtown people mixed with speeches you can’t pick out but know are silent and present in the middle of heat and sweat and my thighs, which look like bloated white whales of inopportune metaphor, dancing fat as the underbelly to the sounds of bodies paying attention to the body in between sound and finding amen, and finding not just women from home, but women and men and, well, maybe I was drunk, but I found myself wanting to wave, to congratulate. And at some point, I felt ashamed of myself, maybe for no reason, maybe because I am myself. So I hovered in a corner near the fan, but a woman came and grabbed me and pulled me out from that nowhere with both her hands open and her eyes looking to the music, not me or my embarrassment. What I love about being pulled out by women is when they aren’t looking for you to get or save them, they’re just looking for you to not hover in a corner like a dumb git. I raised my hands and toes and felt good.

Chester’s wings flitter when I ask him questions; it is agreed upon between him and me, and I’m not sure a baby hummingbird can be saved and then released. Delicate, delicate Chester.

I’ve been noticing my hair lately and how it rapidly alternates between falling out in massive future dustbusting quantities, and turning white. Originally I was hoping for a sweet white streak in the front where the hidden red hairs used to cluster—sexy, a white streak. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve got the streak, but it’s not as noticeable as I would have preferred because the rest of my hair is also turning white. I’m thirty-one and my hair is going completely white although it’s still brown towards the back. Would dying it change the fact that it’s white? Would dying it make it fall out less copiously? Does using the word ‘white’ make it less gray?

I’ve been contemplating words like white and failure and courage. I keep remembering the kid who came north to work at our unfortunate fishing site. How he liked to walk the rails of the boat and toedive from small standing to small standing. How I reckoned that this was what fishing was partially about, but how the other part was about me watching and gauging and catching what or whoever fell. There’s nothing like seeing the courageous use of youth inhabit each ligament available. I’ve been thinking about how I drove that boat and watched a stream and streamline tendon make its way forward and aft, because on a boat nothing is left to metaphor. It’s all body. And the mind in tandem with its synapses within body—an element not multiple but mobile.

And I’m not sure why I’ve been thinking about this other than I’ve decided that the courage of youth is in regards to the unknown, and the courage of age is in regards to the known. One makes its way through the air to water, while the other makes its way up from the bottom, the surface maybe miles away, and the bold just hoping to hold their breath long enough to dive down and start again, this time without that first adventure present, that initial brave body lined up against the currents of what will soon be known.

Oh, and my freaky-roommate’s cat humps the wall to get my attention, and it works. He’s such a little dancer. He is such a master of the clawless and insider domain. He scatters at our trespass, and sneaks outside only to look back inside through the windows.

And la’, man, but I keep teaching, you know, or at least trying, and it’s making me feel like shit. I have no job really (twice-week, nothing turned in, 50% attendance at best doesn’t seem to count), when I think about it. And although I am aware of one student’s loss of child; another’s babysitter who was arrested ‘due to the warmth in the air’; another’s car accident; the cancer in the father of a fourth; the new children growing for the fifth and the sixth; and the learning disability of the seventh, which makes her language far more twisted and arraigned than even my own; (and now that Chester is batting against the windows I have draped with dark cloth to prevent his braining himself, and now that I have considered Chester's fragility and the likelihood of someone easily crushing him, or his dietary needs are too subtle:) I still can’t make a dent in anything. There is no change. In writing or endeavor or whatnot, and what better proof of uselessness.

Plus, I haven’t been called back for any interviews on those jobs I know I’d be good at if only I could find a way to sink my mind into them. Which I’m unsure about. But I also haven’t been called back even for jobs I could do in my sleep. Then, to add to the taxonomy: I haven’t had a girlfriend in years, I still don’t know what I want, period, and lately multiple friends have been telling me about how they wake up in the night feeling death as a visitor, and sometimes life as a visitor as well… and I don’t know what to say.

My dreams involve manic narration of nothing and boats with empty crabpots set resting to tilt on the bow. And dreams of everyone with some easing and some easing inexplicable.

Chester, in the middle-meantime—where I grow squash from big pots on the deck that is my mother’s not mine—drinks nectar from his box. He is the MobyDick of my open limbo, interrupting intricate mechanisms of altruism, immaculate conception, alien abduction, heroism under impossible conditions, angelic angulations and wise words stolen from absurd conditions. Chester’s heart beats a thousand times per minute, and in my off minutes I imagine introducing him to vibrant flowers so when I release him in a catless location, he at least has a shot at the purple.

P.S. Also, I’ve been thinking about Uhauls. And kayaks.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

change within abundant wind, with opossums about the streets

I think I'm reconciled and happy about the soon crazy, epoch-ending move west. I think the waves languish in the direction most close to home. I think I'll miss Chicago but will make something from something else/new.

Also, the favorite student mispellering of the week (from the same lady who provided us with Minorarity):

Just because he was the King of Britain doesn't give him the right violet usual human rights.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

among the depths of the waterways

I was in the little corner bookstore on Broadway yesterday, surfing around for a few light books, when a man came in very excited. He walked briskly to the saleswoman and began agitating for a thesiosaurus. He had heard about the thesiosaurus from a friend, and thought it would be just the right thing for when at work, he returned to the very same word. The man was so thrilled with himself and with the idea that he instructed the saleswomen at length on the virtues he imagined to find within the large, nearly extinct but occasionally glimpsed leviathan of the languagy inland coasts.

I was truly tickled for him.

Friday, April 04, 2008