Sunday, December 21, 2008

As we dream by the fire

This is the annual holiday edition of Jennifers blog. Thank-you so much to all the lovely people who sent me Christmas cards this year. My favorite was perhaps: "My fa-la-la likes your pa-rum-pa-pum-pum. And my jingle bells? Don't even get me started on what you do to my jingle bells!" Haha. You know who you are.

What becoming an adult has done to me: Since I was little I've adored the snow. Whenever the first snow storm of a year hit I'm always so happy, my friends and family call/text me to say look out your window! it's snowing! A few days ago I waltzed out to see the sky coming down in such a sparkly fluffy mess and was in heaven, it was like I was in my very own snow globe. Since I've started driving though, I've had to deal with icy roads and digging my car out of snow caves, and I'm sad to say that this morning when I was watching the news they announced that it would be snowing again, and I couldn't stop myself from growling softly at the television.

Anyway. I've been going crazy baking for the holidays the past couple days. I've gotten frosting in some strange places and have made a complete mess of my kitchen.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bear comes to town...

and she is the ellipses the night sky leaves behind...

My lovely Canadian bear came to visit this week and we had such fun. Went to see several concerts, one at (le) poisson rouge which is possibly the cutest venue name ever. Saw Luke Rathborne twice and a performance by one of the guys from the Strokes. Last night we crashed a fancy cocktail party at Gotham Hall, snuck in through the servants entrance and rubbed elbows with all kinds of people (Patti Labelle as well, apparently, though I couldn't tell because the appetizers monopolized my attention).

I bought a mini polaroid-like camera that takes the most darling instant photos, but it's a bit tricky to use as the instructions are all in Japanese.

Went to see Madagascar 2, and embarrassingly enough we laughed louder than all the kindergarten'ers around us. Afterwards we ate at this super fancy restaurant in my neighborhood. I got such a thrill out of the experience, and thought it fitting to order a snifter of Frangelico to top off my dessert, though when I ordered it I said "i'd like a sniffer of Frangelico, sir" so I guess I'm not as fancy pants as I'd like to believe. I googled it when I got home though, so now I know what to say the next time. Also! they had a shoe buffer in the mens room! And they folded my napkin every time I got up, even if I wasn't going anywhere. It was amazing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Had too much fun this Halloween. Me and my best buddy were supposed to be on a float in the Village parade, but we stopped by a bar first and lost track of time and missed our opportunity. We ended up having to sneak our way in, ran away from the parade security that was chasing after us, and manipulating and lying our way onto a float for some band. But it was worth it because there is no funner way to spend Halloween than getting to be the dancing glittering spectacle for two million slightly drunk people.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Ticking is the Bomb

he came and did a reading at my school tonight

and my heart went pitter-patter

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How things are bright in certain places, and dark in others

I've somehow bought a car:">car I hate driving alone though. There's no one to tell me to wait! because that bus over there is about to crash into me. And when I drive alone I roll down the windows and talk to myself out loud so everyone in my neighborhood thinks I'm crazy.

And in other news I need to find some new friends. I contacted about a dozen of my friends to see if they were free this coming Saturday, and the majority were free and wanted to hang out, but as soon as I mentioned it was to go to a poetry event they suddenly had schoolwork and sick grandmothers and terminal illnesses. The next time I invite someone to a poetry event I'm going to tell them it's a party with an open bar, and then when they arrive they'll be so dazzled by the lovely magical poems that they won't care about my trickery.

I'm so excited because I finally bought my tickets to go to Paris. I'll be spending New Years Eve there. I can't even imagine what the city will be like at that time. I picture the Eiffel Tower shooting fireworks and Parisians covered in glitter and snow and dancing in the streets. From there we'll be going to Venice, which seems like one of the most romantic places ever. I spent the past summer becoming fluent in Italian, and by "becoming fluent" I mean I listened to 'Teach yourself Italian" whenever I washed the dishes.

This Halloween I have no idea what I'm going to be. I've never been very creative when it came to costumes, but i'll be on one of the floats in the village parade, so I think it ought to be something more extraordinary than my past outfits which have largely been: kitten, sparkly kitten, and slutty kitten.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

How blue -- these lips that find the cold, and will not leave it

So I celebrated Rosh Hashanah in style. Even though I'm not Jewish, I enjoy Jewish people. My best friend invited me to her families celebration and we ate borscht, cow liver, tongue, got drunk off kosher wine and talked about Tolstoy and Nabokov all night. The next day as we were walking her adorable little pooch, we came upon a very small squirrel. It actually let us come up to it and stroke its fur, and let the dog sniff it. I marveled at how extraordinarily sweet it was that this small vulnerable creature let down its guard and let us come into contact with it. My friend said it must have been retarded, or had a brain tumor or something.

In great news, I finally passed my road test! For the first time I wasn't nervous in the least, and the test administrator smelled incredibly good, so I think that might have helped. At any rate, I'm going car shopping this week-end!

I'm also very excited because I've been asked to curate an entire poetry event/reading in N.Y.C. I have absolutely no idea how to do this, but this is such a major opportunity and I plan on knocking it out of the park. I've also been asked to be a reader in an upcoming event, and read my poems. This makes me nervous beyond belief. The thing is, I've always ignored open mics and informal readings for just this reason -- I want my first poetry reading to be legitimate and awesome. So I've always been waiting for this, and I'm so, so thrilled.

I've had many interesting experiences in the past month. I've been to a titillating and sparkly burlesque show (, saw the Phantom of the Opera, and went to my first ever smoky jazz performance ( A few weeks ago on a very rainy evening my friend and I decided to construct paper sailboats and sail them down the current of a nearby road. I had the very romantic notion to write our contact information on them, as I believed that whoever would find these sailboats would be our true loves. My friend maintained that the most likely recipient of these love boats would be the nearest homeless man, but who knows what could happen?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The "you" that I remember is a lamp, within a body, within an ocean that never collects enough water

The title of this blog is the last line of a poem I wrote within a batch of poems which I'm trying desperately to turn into a chapbook for someone special.

I've been registering for class up here at SLC and I'm delightfully shocked at how pleasant their whole administration is. Even though I loved Hunter, I'd always dreaded anything bureaucratic, but everyone here is pleasant and goes out of their way to help me. I can't say the same for the DMV. They rejected me on my 3rd road test because I wasn't wearing the right shoes and I had something written out in pen instead of typed. Who knew that penmanship and footwear were such an important part of driving?

To celebrate my final week of the summer I went to Lake George with my sister and a bunch of girlfriends. View my video travelogue here: (the videos marked 'Liz and Jennifer')

The trip was great, it included horse back riding, wake-boarding, miniature golf, hitchhiking trolleys, salt water taffy, commandeering a strangers lawn, the super 8 motel, boat tours and a haunted house. As I waited in line for the haunted house I mocked it endlessly, but once I got inside I ended up screaming like a fool at any and everything. At the end of the horribly spooky tour they chased us out with a chain saw and I screamed bloody murder and knocked aside the young girl accompanied by her parents in order to get out. It wasn't one of my finer moments in life.

Ever since I've moved here I've been sleeping kind of bad. I think there may be a pea under my bed, like in the fairytale, but I'm not sure.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How possible to be both winged and immovable

I'm finally living in my own luxuriously adorable one bedroom apartment in Bronxville. I could explain to you how happy I am, but better yet, come to my housewarming and see for yourself.

Living on my own is pretty great. I can smoke wherever I want to, can go to sleep naked and can leave dirty dishes in the sink over night. But there are some drawbacks-- i'm without my little sis and have no one to go for coffee with in the a.m., I have no one to hide under the covers with when a mini tornado hits, and I have no one to read me stories to fall asleep to. But I've begun downloading audio files and last night I fell asleep to a strange man reading me Aristotle's "Poetics".

Also, I've just been put on the masthead as the official poetry editor for Opium Magazine. Honestly, two years ago when I was sitting in a tea cafe drooling over a copy of Opium, I would never have believed that I'd be published in it, let alone have the privilege of being it's sole poetry editor. It's awesome beyond words. I feel like I'm at a picnic and someone has just run up and given me all the cupcakes.

Here is an awesome short story/memoir by my arguably favorite writer, Nick Flynn:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Starting with the universe

Earlier today I went to use the restroom at the bookstore I was at, and this elderly lady accidentally opens the door into my stall. Instead of immediately closing the door and apologizing, as most people would do, she stands there and makes small talk. This got me thinking about why old people make me so sad. When I was younger I used to believe that once you get past the age of 50 you'd run out of original ideas and have nothing left to say. But lately I've been realizing that the elderly talk quite a bit, and I think this is because they haven't run out of things to say -- just the opposite. I think that they have, and everyone has, spent most of their lives biting their tongues, for fear of embarrassment or of opening up too much. And when you get to that certain age where you can see the metaphorical light at the end of the tunnel, you just start talking about everything -- anything. And don't stop. It would've been nicer if I could've come to that epiphany when my skirt was safely around my knees, but either way.

I've never actually had to apartment hunt before this summer, and I never realized it was so exhausting. I have managed to find this amazingly adorable perfect apartment within walking distance to my new school, but it's through a co-op so I have to go through a rigorous application/interview process in order to get it. It's worth it though, if I get this place it'll be perfect. Once I get settled I'll throw a beautiful dinner party with my closest friends and toast to a new life.

In other news, I failed my road test a couple weeks ago. After I failed I threw myself against a chain linked fence and sobbed unabashedly. It was embarrassing, yes, but you would cry too if it happened to you. I mean, it's a skill that people who can barely read can conquer. So, it humbled me. My mother said that I was only so upset because I'd never failed at anything that I'd set my mind to before, but I think I was just pissed off that I wouldn't be able to drive.

Also, I went to the Whitney this past week-end to get some art, and there was an artist by the name of Buckminster Fuller on display. He was pretty impressive, but very architectural/scientific/mathematical. And it got me thinking. Now, I don't consider things like that "art", but maybe my definition of art is wrong. I think that art, by definition, is strictly non-functional.

Lastly, I've been reading this great novel "The Myth of You and Me" by Leah Stewart. It's a story about the strangest of best-friendships between two girls. Here's a great quote: "A person is not a suitcase, with a finite number of items to unpack. A person is a world."

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm as thin as your eyelashes

So recently I've been getting into the opera. I have a lot of fun reveling in the obscenely fancy (yet adorable) things that I encounter when I see one, such as; gold water fountains, disposable champagne glasses, and velvet handrails. I've seen Madama Butterfly (wonderful, poignant, enthralling) and Satyagraha (sleep-inducing, slow-moving, sung-in-sanskrit-with-no-subtitles-kill-me-now). But still, I've found the opera to be an amazing experience and I can't wait to see many more.

I went to visit Sarah Lawrence again, to get a feel for it in the daytime. I honestly can't wait to start grad school there in September. I went with my family and we had brunch at a nearby cafe, discussing politics and finances over hash browns and eggs. And every time the door of the cafe opened, I swear it smelled like flowers.

Also, in recent and wonderful news, I've started taking driving lessons. I've only had two, but I already feel completely at ease behind the wheel and can't wait to get a car. I think my quickness to comfortability is mainly due to the fact that my driving school instructor is ridiculously awesome and makes me totally calm. So yay to him.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Crawling from the wreckage

Sometimes, I admit, I'm very closed-minded. I get an idea of something and clutch onto it for as long as I can. I've always pegged "Fight Club" as a "boy" movie, for no other reason than I once saw a preview of it while half-asleep. But I saw it last night, and wow! Possibly the best movie I've seen all year. I went out and bought the book it was based on, by Palahniuk, an author with whom I'm shyly developing a cult obsession. I searched for half an hour through the bookshelves trying to find the book, until someone finally told me that they kept all of his books behind the register, due to a high occurrence of theft with his publications. So I went and found him sitting amongst the pricey medical encyclopedias and pornographic volumes. All the treasures.

Since I graduated college I've found myself spending many days entirely frittering my time away at bookstores or libraries researching obscure things upon which to base poems. Sometimes I wonder if being a writer isn't just an excuse to get out of manual labor. Anyway, here's a recent poem in the works:

Paper Organs

A paper heart can be as efficient as a live one -- just as
a telephone call at dawn to someone you used to love
can crack the ice of a body, can cover itself with skin and be visible
to scientists everywhere.

The wreckage of daily life isn't what you expected, you considered
artificial organs, artificial communication, artificial/love
to be the problem, but never the highly visible, the ultra-pixelated.

The mechanical process of living can be summarized as – bleach.
Empty the flush of yourselves, you'll find yourself staircasing
into mathematics. The rush of blood can only fill the paper organs
you've folded across your own body.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Like a patient etherised upon a table

I finally decided which grad school to go to. I know that normal people wouldn't labor over such a decision to this extent, but I couldn't help it. I hate making decisions. When I go to the grocery store I can spend years analyzing the fat content of whole wheat crackers and comparing the flesh of cherry tomatoes side by side. But I made a choice, I got into three of the schools I applied to, it was between the wonderful choices of: New School, Columbia and Sarah Lawrence. So, I'll be going to Sarah Lawrence College, which means I'll be moving to Bronxville in Westchester, come September. I think it's probably the whitest neighborhood I could move to, but I'm thrilled. I can't wait to focus only on poetry, watch the birds tweet outside my window, attend social functions, join their literary magazine Lumina, which I've heard wonderful things about. I've had my heart set on this school for the longest time and I'm so honored they've accepted me.

And furthermore, my youth is being revived. The fiction series I was obsessed with as a young girl is re-launching: Sweet Valley High I can proudly admit to having read over 400 of the Sweet Valley series. My mother used to yell at me because I would even be reading as I strolled down the streets crossing boulevards. I'm sure the feminists of aujourd'hui would love to tar and feather me for this obsession, but I'm unrepentant. I loved these blond twins, as un-politically correct as that may be. I remember being 11 years old in a seedy motel room somewhere in middle America, begging my father to read the latest Sweet Valley High book because it was, and I quote "life-altering". He swore he would read it as cockroaches scurried across his feet and he folded the over-starched blankets over me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

There's majesty in no one but the Common Man

I've been devouring Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics She's obviously a brilliant, random, peculiar little bunny. And speaking of bunnies, Happy Easter to you all! Here are a couple Easter gifts:

1. How to Make a Button : Miranda July, one of my favorite human beings alive, shows you how buttons are made.
2. Sea of Love : Cat Powers, this lovely song has been floating in my head for the past two weeks.

I've been experiencing severe withdrawal heartache from being out of school. Oh! How I miss pulling all nighters to study for midterms armed only with instant coffee and cheez nips. I think this best describes the phenomenon: "Consider a Kandinsky. Utterly muddled, put a frame around it, voila -- looks rather quaint above the fireplace. And so it is with curriculum. That celestial, sweet set of of instructions, culminating in the scary wonder of the Final Exam... No wonder so many adults long to return to university, to all those deadlines -- ahhh, that structure! Scaffolding to which we may cling!" Marisha Pessl

I'm so anxious for grad school to start in the Fall. And what's making me the most anxious is that I have no idea where I'm going. I've always been terrible with decision making -- and this one feels like the most important one of my life thus far. The lovely people over at Sarah Lawrence just accepted me, which is fantastic. I can really picture myself lolling about amongst all that greenery and riding Metro North while feverishly scribbling poems. But I've still yet to hear from several schools, so I can't make any decisions, grr.

Monday, March 10, 2008

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

It has been a crazy past few weeks. Sadly, I wasn't able to see Niagara Falls on my trip to Buffalo because it was cut short. I had to fly back to NYC on about 3 hours notice due to some heartbreaking events <3. But, while I was there I did manage to dine on Buffalo wings at the restaurant where they were created. I have no idea why I didn't put that on my list, because it seems important. And FYI they were very yummy.

My birthday was celebrated in three parts, and each one was wonderful. The pre-celebration consisted of a romantic rainy picnic under an umbrella designed like the clouds, with a champagne toast in Central Park and an unfortunate attack of army-like ducks on me and my picnic companion. My darling Lizbear made me a birthday mix c.d. that I have been listening to for days, I went to a new restaurant that I've been wanting to try (Paradou -- where they host dirty bingo) and saw "Be Kind Rewind" (the latest from Gondry.) My best girls and I toasted again to my birth on the sidewalks of the L.E.S. and I got us kicked out of only one bar from my obnoxiousness. Before the night was over I waltzed into a liquor store (because I love to waltz) and declared it was my birthday, and they gave me several bottles of free liquor. Several hours later I awoke to find myself in a strange bed, within a strange attic, atop a strange ladder. I had no idea where I was, and there was no one around, so I snuck out of the apartment and figured out what borough it was (Brooklyn) and hopped on the train. (Later I found out my best bud had kidnapped me and brought me to her friends house.) The birthday celebrations continued....

What a wonderful week-end! And I nearly forgot to mention that while I was in the MoMA on Friday I received a phone call from The New School, where they announced I was in their top priority of students to be admitted to the poetry MFA program, and they were offering me the highest scholarship possible. I'm thrilled, and so happy that I don't think I've stopped smiling since that phone call. Unfortunately, people think that you're strange, or drunk, or have gas or something, when you smile constantly. But I don't care, because I'm going to grad school!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The people look like flowers at last

Applying for a second nannying job I accidentally stumbled into the United Pervs Association. And by this I mean, to all you strangers -- please don't call me pretending to have children when really you just want to find out what kind of stockings I wear. I'm afraid one day I'll end up in skittle sized pieces in the trunk of some middle-aged mans car on my way to a garbage dump in New Jersey.

I've been on a bit of a poetry holiday for the past month, because I was starting to get a little crazy/obsessed, but there's nothing like returning to a loved one after not seeing them for a while, and so here's the first thing I've written since the beginning of the year:

The Found World

The terror of finding a small world unexpectedly. Something safe and contained, needing nothing. A definition of containment: can be found rising up inside an oxygen tank, blinking a ship homeward, making peace treaties with all mirrored surfaces, but not in love.

It's easy enough to wear nude colored clothing, to carry bullets with no gun, to play hide and seek with your shadow. But to remember how to make it back home?

The found world is small as a heart-cell, is expanding, contracting in awkward mis-beats. Making innocent mistakes, trying to become real.

A definition of real: can be found keeping a hologram upright. This world is not a fairytale equation, nor tangible, or understandable. Unless you understand the eternity of using a calculator to drink a glass of milk. More specifically – a whole world cut in half repeatedly can never disappear. This is why you trust it.

Inside there is an actual human being. Or a photocopy that's convincing enough. He's devoted his life to this place. Instead of sleep he climbs out of the heart chamber, travels the dark tunnels of the body, making trails for foreigners. Leaves bread crumbs that lead back to the heart.

When tourists visit they take snap shots but never develop them. They forget what they were doing there in the first place, and where they've come from.


And here is a little pre-Spring present for you all, Sampson Starkweather's beautiful piece: The Photograph.

I've gotta run out now and find myself some Eskimo clothes and a couple pet penguins, because I'm leaving for Buffalo on Thursday, brr! I mean: yay!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A battered suitcase and looking ahead

For the new year I decided to participate in: 101 in 1,001 Basically you have 1,001 days (roughly 2.75 years) to complete the 101 tasks you outline for yourself. I like this time frame because it lands me when i'll be 25, at my quarter-life mark. Here's my list:

Not yet started
In progress

Start date: 1.06.2008
End date: 10.03.2010

"It's a battered suitcase and a hotel someplace -- a wound that will never heal" -- Travel, Adventure and all things International

1. Learn to speak French fluently
2. Eat baklava in Greece
3. Ride in a hot air balloon
4. Go to a thermal bathing pool in Reykjavik
5. Get drivers license
6. Take a road trip across the U.S.
7. Go camping
8. Try 10 new types of cuisine [5/10]
9. Create a travel journal
10. Picnic by the Eiffel Tower
11. Create a journal to mail out for 1,001 journals project
12. See Niagara Falls
13. Climb to the top of the lighthouse in Montauk
14. Learn 1,001 new words in French [31/1001]
15. Visit my best friend in Buffalo
16. Set aside money every day for travel funds [600/1001]
17. Learn basic Italian

"All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein" -- Writing

18. Get into grad school
19. Finish writing a book of poetry
20. Read 101 books cover to cover [40/101]
21. Write 101 poems [101/101]
22. Learn 1,001 new words in English [20/1,001]
23. Write a children's book
24. Read 101 magazines (online and print), books [60/101]
25. Attend a poetry reading once a month [20/33]
26. Get through backlog of Opium submissions (co-working with others) 

27. Write to 10 authors I admire [3/10]
28. Send out a batch of poems twice a month [24/66]
29. Enter 10 poetry competitions [6/10]
30. Get published in 10 more publications [10/10]
31. Read 101 Wikipedia articles about things I don't know [50/101]

"If you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later." -- Health/Body, Food

32. Start taking modern dance classes again
33. Make 20 healthful eating substitutions [12/20]
34. Wake up by 9 am daily
35. Reach fitness goals
36. Attend a wine tasting
37. Try out one new recipe a month and put in cookbook [15/33]
38. Complete a facial regimen twice a year [6/6]
39. Meditate/Self-hypnosis once a week [45/143]

40. Sample 10 new cocktails [5/10]
41. Design a new henna tattoo

"An intersection of many human needs" -- Art, Music, Photography, Crafts

42. Learn to play the violin
43. Knit a pair of mittens and hat
44. Get good photo editing software
45. Photograph every completed task
46. Design 101 post-its to stick places [0/101]
47. Do a series of self-portraits [0/?]
48. Attend a jazz concert
49. Attend an opera
50. Get naked and paint something with my body
51. Go to an art exhibit/ museum once per season [7/11]
52. Knit a pooch sweater for Ollie
53. Learn more than the basics of parfumerie

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." -- Love, Relationships, Family, People

54. Volunteer
55. Donate blood once a year [2/3]
56. Learn to read palms
57. Blog weekly [30/143]

58. Cook dinner for the homeless on Thanksgiving
59. Write to my grandparents twice a year [0/6]
60. Take each member of my family on a date once a year [11/12]
61. Have sex in three places I never have before [0/3]
62. Buy more lingerie
63. (Private)

"Only dead fish swim with the stream" Independence, Finances, Organization

64. Organize my file cabinet
65. Take myself out on a date once a month [10/33]
66. Invest in decorating my new apartment
67. Find a second job
68. Organize computer/favorites links
69. Figure out financial assistance for grad school
70. Organize room completely
71. Save up $10,000
72. Pay off all debt
73. Get my own apartment

74. -- 101. Reserved to decide on in the upcoming years (as I'm sure new things will strike my fancy)

74. Get custom mixed perfume to put in the crystal bottle I got in Venice
75. Go fishing
76. Go to a baseball game at the new Mets stadium
77. Attend a writing retreat
78. Attend a fancy masquerade ball/party
79. Throw a Hawaiian luau party
80. Bury time capsule with Miss Elizabeth Ann
81. Learn to make pasta from scratch
82. Throw a cocktail in a mans face
83. Read a poem in public
84. Attend speed dating
85. Plant a garden
86. Learn the names and composers of all the classical songs you love
87. Finish journal [250/250 pages]
88. Complete 30 poems in 30 days poetry marathon [13/30]
89. Get a new typewriter
90. Make a pop-up book
91. Write 5 more handwritten letters to friends [5/5]
92. Design and sew a dress for myself
93. Do a cartwheel in a tropical location
94. Attend a drive-in movie
95. Buy a house
96. Get my full-length book published !!!!!!!!!!
97. Have professional photographs taken of myself to preserve my 20's (I'm going to count the ones the poetry brothel took of me for their website.)
98. Get married to my true love
99. Learn to drive on a highway
100. ?