Archive for the ‘Writing Life’ Category

There is a man outside snow-blowing China. At least that’s what it sounds like as he’s certainly gone over his allotted snow-blowing time. We got 5 inches buddy, use a shovel, it might be good for you. I find it funny that people around here have snow-blowers. It really doesn’t snow THAT much. I mean we might get one big storm in the winter, but otherwise it’s dust. You could blow it off the sidewalk! (I used an exclamation point…dammit)

I’m blaming my distraction on him – totally on him. I won’t tell him that I’d been sitting here for an hour staring at my poem trying to bridge it, weave it, make the damn thing work and just when I thought I’d opened the door to let my mind step into the words, something pulled me out again: the taste of my coffee, the apps I’m downloading on my stupid ipod that for some reason I brought into the room with me. I’m playing my mom in “words with friends” – basically scrabble, but if I say that they’ll get sued – and she’s kicking my ass so far.

The snow last night was beautiful and silent. The drop of tiny crystals that lit up the dark. I love how snow absorbs whatever light it can and as it falls and collects (this guys is killing me – I think he’s moved on to plowing Russia). Maybe I’ll just shovel snow instead.


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I feel anxious and bored at the same time. Unsure of what to write today if anything. There’s always something to say, but deciding if we want to say it or not is another question. Yesterday I talked to my bestie about writers being loners, solitary beings and I believed it believed it believed it with my bones. And that’s how I want it, how it should be. She’s a guest faculty member at an MFA program here and all the other guest faculty writers are snooty, uptight, my ‘writing cock’ is bigger than your ‘writing cock’ sort of thing. And I realized I never ever ever want to be a part of something like that.

This blog and the other blogs that I traverse through the day are gifts – are true communities where people are not shot down for their ideas, ideas are welcomed. There is no one better or smarter or more creative because we are all ALL of those things in our own ways and they are all accepted. And I thank all of you for giving me such a space of my own – in my solitary room – that at many times is so full of your wonderful energy it makes me feel not alone and alone at the same time. And what a wonderful thing that is. A writer’s dream.

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I held my coffee through the dark, U-ed around the banister, found the landing in the deepest black, the occasional car passing on the road outside shedding light through the curtain. I did it all without seeing where I was going. How much of what we do is just a bodily memory of having done it before? Knowing the exact spot on the wall of the light switch – how do we know in the dark exactly where the spot on the wall is? Or the first step? Or the second? Or the abrupt right turn?

Some days just the waking up makes you grumpy. It’s the dreams faults, the cars on the road, the sick boyfriend snoring, the cat stealing your covers. Last night I dreamt I went to starbucks and a women working there was so chipper to the customers because that was part of her job, but I showed up and under her breath I could hear her say how much she hated all the people and the customers and the fucking cream. And I was the one listening to the things people say when they think no one can hear them. I was there listening. And I told her I wouldn’t tell anyone and we became friends.

Who else do I write about if not you?

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I’m trying to revise a new poem, but my mind keeps wandering off and I can’t concentrate and my computer is staring at me telling me to check all the portals, the internet portals, to distract myself further. I know you’re supposed to sit with things when you are stuck, but I’m feeling this one out, I’m chewing it around in myself right now and I’m not sure how it’s supposed to taste or what form its going to take and so we need space from each other. We need to dip in and then dip out of each other.

I’m wearily putting my hand out and she’s wearily putting her hand out and when we touch it much too uncomfortable. And not she’s awkwardly sitting there with arrows and scratches and notes like I’ve just defaced her, done a really stand-up (not) makeover job like the women at the counter do. I’ve heard sometimes that those women only do half of your face – that’s just mean. And then they make you pay for the other half or if you don’t I suppose you’re walking around the mall like Two-Face.

Pat and I watched a documentary last night about street art. Exit Through The Gift Shop. It was pretty cool for the first part – all these artists going out in the dark and “defacing” buildings and bridges and streets. It was a whole underground art revolution thing and then they sort of started getting famous. They kept putting up more and more images all over Los Angeles, all over the world and the more people saw them, the more they got curious, the more the idea spread.

Shepard Fairey

Like “Obey,” by Shepard Fairey. It’s Andre the Giant’s face. Why he did it – who knows – he liked the face. Now of course, Fairey is being sued by the Associated Press for his Obama Hope poster. They say he stole the image of Obama.

But the most famous street artist in the movie was Banksy. He’s very ellusive and secretive and before this weird French guy started looking for him to film him, he never had his work or his process or anything about him filmed. The whole movie his voice was distorted and his image black-out. He was the real one with something to say about the world. His art was social commentary.

In 2005, he created nine pieces on the Israeli West Bank Barrier. These are only two, but pretty incredible.

It’s unclear by the end of the documentary if the actual movie is a parody of the higher art world – the media involvement, what becomes popular art and how. There are rumors that Banksy himself made the movie to show how easily pop culture can be manipulated. Perhaps
he had the last laugh after all.

But I respect what Banksy has done – gotten his self-image out of the way for his art. He lets the art speak for itself. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

Now, maybe, I can go back to my poem…

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Tiny teacup

When I think of the publishing world, I think of myself sailing across the ocean in a tiny teacup with an umbrella broken at the joints as a sail. And I get nervous and unsure and my armpits start to sweat. There’s so many of us, there’s so many of us, there’s so many of us.

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I was running a high last night. Driving through the dark, cranking the music up, feeling as if dreams are so fragile I need to cradle them like an egg inside me. Some are just not ready to come out yet, some need to be tended before they are released. And what a giddy feeling secret dreams are to carry. Everything seemed to be in its place Рthe poems I need to create, the love I need to hold, the lights guiding planes to the runway that blinked blinked blinked above me as if beckoning. I felt then, I was driving to my future.

“It’s about as close to perfection as anything you’ve ever written.” And now I’ve reset the bar for myself. Now, I’ll ride the feeling for a day because small victories when writing are no small thing at all. And I’ll sit on my step for a while, play with the stones, look through the cracks, but eventually I’ll stand, stretch my legs and take another step up, eventually I’ll want to get better again.

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Finishing a poem is the best high in the world. Something happens in your entire body – you can feel fingers ¬†working, molding, creating. You can feel a warmth being created under you and you’re tending and poking and rearranging the logs to the fire of this poem.

You know it’s good when you’re reading it aloud to yourself to get it right and your cat comes walking up at the sound of your voice and looks at you and smiles. And she’ll come sit on your lap and pretend to fall asleep, but you’ll start reading again to get the words right and she’ll look back and you at the sound of your voice and she’ll smile again. She’ll look at you and smile.

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