Sunday, October 10, 2010

"It Catches My Heart in its Hands"

I have the intense desire to read Bukowski in copious, unhealthy amounts.

So I had my first session with the Chapbook Class. I arrived late, which I hate, because I got lost by the river on my way. There is just something about me and rivers that instantly turns me dreamy and distracted. Our assignment this week is to choose a specific time of day and write at that time every day for the entire week. Sounds simple. This is the website of the experiment that inspired this assignment. So on the first day doing it, I was shopping for sweaters in Union Square, since it's getting chillier, and my writing alarm went off. I rushed down the street, trying to find a place to write, and decided to head over to the park. Once I'd gotten a table there, I opened my notebook, got out a pen, checked my clock [I had 20 seconds to go before I had to start writing] took a deep breath, and then a pigeon pooped on my head. I panicked, because I had to begin writing-- I couldn't mess up on the first day! So I, disgustingly, just wiped it away [I apologize for the disgustiness of this all] and started writing. As it turns out, the pigeons unsavory behavior is a sign of good luck, and so I got excited about what good things would be happening to me. I bought a lottery ticket, even. A few hours later I checked my e-mail and learned that two of my [most beloved] Alice poems would be appearing in the Spring issue of Bat City Review. I now feel a huge sense of relief, because I hadn't gotten a single publication all summer, and was starting to feel like my fellow poets were taking off like rockets and I was left behind in the dirt. Enormous weight off my shoulders.

On the second day of the assignment I had to run at full speed 1.5 blocks to make it in time to write in a Dunkin' Donuts. I began breathless and nearly snapped at a small child halfway through. However, today was the third day and I made it to my writing location with 2.5 minutes to spare, and no animals emptied themselves onto me, so a definite improvement.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I will admit that I've had a hard summer. A lot of things hit me all at once, and I have to figure out what to do with my life. I ran into a guy I used to date on the subway the other day, and within 2 stops he managed to ask me a round of missile fire questions on what I was doing with my life. I have so many ideas as to what I want to do, but when it comes to stepping off the cliff to do one of them, I just can't do it. My father took me out for coffee the other day, brought me back perfect presents from his journeys across America [sweet wine, a pearl necklace and books-- there is no more perfect bundle of gifts for me]. As I was finishing up my last few sips of burnt coffee he quoted Goethe, as he often does, a quote that was meant to say "just take a step and get going already". At that moment a [different] guy I used to date walked past the window, and I got distracted. How am I supposed to take big leaps forward into this startling new life, when my old world is a constant ghostliness peering in?

A few weeks ago I went to Montauk, and I've wanted to go there ever since I saw the frozen winter scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [one of my favorite movies]. Even though I didn't go during a winterscape it was just as I pictured it: abandoned and romantic and lonely.

Speaking of ghosts, I am getting somewhat excited about Halloween this year. I hated the holiday for the majority of my life, clipping on some kitten ears or some half-hearted leaves to say I was a "plant", but this year I'm 10% more excited and that's mainly because I will be having a small [guest list of 4] Halloween eve party/movie night. I decided we'll watch 2 "spooky" movies. I am a HUGE anti-horror movie person. It's not really that they frighten me, though some of them definitely do. But I have this weird experience if I'm eating food and watching a horror movie, it terrorizes my stomach and I subsequently feel nauseous anytime I try to eat that food again. I will leave the room if I'm eating and a commercial for a horror movie comes on. When I was 8 years old I watched a spooky flick whilst eating strawberry syrup over ice cream, and I still have never eaten that dish again. But anyway, I chose the movie "Casper" for my get together, and plan to do an entire app/dessert/drink menu surrounding that theme. The reason I chose this movie is because I had a half-awake dream about the movie Casper, and then watched some scenes on youtube from it and it brought me back to my youth. When I was recalling the plot for the movie I realized that it had planted a seed, in my tiny child-sized brain, that would eventually meet with other seeds and bloom into my thesis. Because the movie deals with this man who is a widow and he devotes his life to finding a scientific way to communicate with his dead wife. Sound familiar?

So I guess I cannot live without workshop. I enrolled in one at the Poets House, with Anna Moschovakis, and have my first class tomorrow. I feel like I have this unbearable urge to be in a classroom setting, it's so familiar and comforting to me-- ink pens, taking notes, a syllabus, it's heaven. I need to get over this because I ought to be an adult by now, shouldn't I? But for now I will delight in this class and complete a chapbook.