Sunday, October 23, 2005
The Lost Eye
lapses . . . I can’t see
lapidarily titillates . . . I can’t see
lists, the breeze . . . believes
it has . . . alone, without me,
it, can see . . . alone, without me
I think I'm going to take a self-imposed blog break. I have so much to take care of the next 4-6 weeks. Besides, I'm kind of curious what it'll be like to quiet that persistent bite-sized-narrative-framing blogvoice. So this post'll be a wrapup for a month or so.
Call for subs: Josh Hanson is starting a web journal, Eucalyptus. He has a really good eye, it's bound to be interesting. Check it out, submit, contribute your trust fund.
The Winter issues of Chelsea and 32 Poems will have poems of mine in them, if you're interested. Also, online, I have something soon in Staccato, the above-mentioned Eucalyptus, as well as the Paris Review web-only feature (yep, it's a go after all, apparently.)
The chapbook reading will be on Thursday, December 1, at 7:30, in Tischman auditorium (that's the big one at the New School). The chapbook'll be available there. Alternately, you can get it from the PSA online store or, if you want it signed, me. Also, if you've got a chap/book of your own and want to trade, that's cool too.
I think there's a few more things I'm forgetting, I'll add them as they come to me.
Have a great November, all.
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I'm going to keep going with the story, I hope that's ok. Here goes:
Ok, so senior year wound down, and I was spending more time with Dara, and her friend Deb. I remember swimming in Deb’s pool with them—Dara was wearing a black bikini, I couldn’t stop staring she says though I don’t remember, I only remember wanting to. Then school ended, and Deb went on vacation with her parents, and Dara and I got to use the empty huge strange house (it had a demi-courtyard with a few dead trees in the center, and terracotta tiling on the roof—we used to sit on the roof and look at the sky over the pool. Luxury like this, I was not used to.) for, no joke, 6 weeks I think. We talked about all sorts of things, but really, I don’t remember sexual tension per se.
One day we saw "When Harry Met Sally" (awww, I know) and had the fateful discussion, driving to the beach. We used to drive to Point Pleasant/Bay Head at night, and sit on the sand, watch the waves, listen. Anyway, when I said I was attracted to her at the time I meant it only like, hey, I'm 18, you're 18, and hot, so of course I’m attracted to you, duh. But she took it more personally (thank god). A few awkward days later, walking in the rain, talking about college (I was going to Rutgers, she to Barnard), we kissed and holy if that wasn't the center of the universe inhabited, growing out of us like life created itself--we've talked about it since (obviously) and both felt the same sensation, the world for that kiss turned on where we were. Or, that the world opened from us and watched. A touchstone for any sense of spirituality I have ever, or will ever, have.
We didn’t talk about it for a few days, then we were in Deb’s bedroom (duh) listening to the Van Morrison album Moondance. I simply didn’t know how to break the tension, so I said “Can I kiss you?” She said no. I thought “that was a stupid thing to say” and kissed her, we were naked a few minutes later, crushing the rolled-up posters Deb had piled on her bed in anticipation of going to college.
And so began the wonderful month of August 1989, spent at Deb's house, in the pool, in the tub, drinking hot chocolate, alone, fooling around constantly. We told each other that we were just friends, having fun until college. We felt so in control--I had a whole movie idea plotted out, structured around the idea of the difference between what people wanted and who they were, and the way what they wanted changed them, over time, the pursuit of it I mean. Something like that.
You can probably see where this is going, so I'll leave it there, on the sweet sustaining note. Oh god, was I falling hard.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Pearl poet, deepened understanding of that mercy which seems like a cruelty to those buried in the world of time and perception: We are all young, in the end.
The thing about allegory is that it speaks not through reason, but through experience.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
But how? I thought, and then reflexively I typed "warmest hat in the world" into google (which tool is becoming an extension of my thought process, lol). This one looks very warm, but I don't think I'm ready to walk around town with a beaver on my head. I'm thinking this one or this one. Persian wool sounds very warm, don't you think? And it's got to look better than the "Mad Bomber". My grandfather wore something similar, I think his father did too, and his father was from Russia. The price is kind of steep, but if it works, it's a bargain, pennies to the metaphorical dollar.
I'm going on a meditation retreat in around a week, to the Poconos to mostly sit and meditate. Also, probably, to eat very little (when your body is full of chi, food kind of becomes an afterthought). I didn't go last year because last year it was to China, but I did the two years previous to that, and each of those years it really gave me a lot more body-energy, and body-focus, to handle the winter in a positive, constructive, fashion.
But Stu, you may say, it's been 4 frickin' years, how much constructive energy can you meditate into your body? All I can say in response is, well, have you ever heard of some of the remedies desperate cfs patients take upon themselves? A friend of a friend of the family (who is, coincidentally, also my 8th grade English teacher) came down with cfs around the same time I did, and she's gone the Western medical route. Currently, from what I've heard, she's one year into the 'Marshall Regimen,' which consists of two elements. One, no sunlight for 4 years (to starve some virus which supposedly lives in bone and really likes vitamin D) and two, a multi-year, ever-increasing (and varying) antibiotic regimen given intravenously. She's feeling pretty crappy, and that is supposed to be a good sign. Best of luck to her. I understand it actually helps some people. But I get the feeling for every one it helps, there's loads more who feel awful without the upswing. Besides, I'll be damned if I'm going to do that, or any of the other crazy shit that some doctors come up with. I really love the meditation I do, and I do get a little better every day. It's turning out to be like building a mountain one shovelful at a time so, I've come to accept that it's taking some time. And, frankly, I have come far, and I'm not willing to risk the well-being I've worked so hard for. As long as it keeps moving in the right direction, towards health, which it is; and, as the positive energy builds up (which energy expresses itself physically as a strengthened immune system), with increasing momentum. I want to not just get better, but come out of this healed. They are two entirely different states of being.
In the meantime, I've got to keep warm. Helluva place for me to live for the winter, the Northeast! Crazy life.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
I just read the emailed results of the Tupelo Press first book prize (not that I entered this year . . .only so many checks you can write a year, you know), and in the finalists I saw the name ‘Jennifer Militello’. I’m astonished she doesn’t have a book yet . . .
When we lived in the Northampton/Amherst area, the year after our mfa and before I got really sick was when I was most actively reading journals and paying attention to what those publishing were doing/capable of. There were five non-book-published poets whose work seemed so clearly talented, just obviously there, and not only there but going. Exciting, like if I were an editor I’d want their abilities and intelligences to define what I published in my journal/series. They were Dan Beachy-Quick (though I think he was still just Quick then), Gabe Gudding, Jennifer Michael Hecht, Joanie Mackowski, and Jennifer Militello. So, four of those five have a book (and some books).
Since then, I’ve not been able to concentrate on such things so completely. Other concerns, you know, just now.
So I’m just surprised she doesn’t have a book yet. For reasons of personal vanity. That’s all. Not to mention the strange feeling attendant one gets when it is made clear that sometimes getting that book published takes a long time, even for good poets.