Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Doll Hospitals + Fun With Fondant

My workshop with Martha started last week. She was my first workshop professor at Sarah Lawrence, and it's lovely to get to work with her again after many years. It's a private workshop, held in her loft in Tribeca, and from what I've read so far the other poets are pretty amazing, so it will be good to have such a solid group of writers to help and to be helped by. When we got around to workshopping my poem, it started hailing outside, very loudly. The bits of hail pounded against her sky windows and it became slightly frightening and slightly romantic. I like that my poem had such an atmospheric response. I brought in the poem I had posted last week, but severely revised. I brought her these cupcakes as a thank-you:


[they are a spring trio, but it perhaps is not yet time]

Also, I catered my first baby shower, so spent much of Saturday baking and decorating 6 dozen mini cupcakes. The theme was arctic animals, so I went with a family of penguins (and their pet seal):



I had to make some last minute surgical procedures to attend to some limbs that had fallen off/askewed themselves. This reminded me of when I was a little girl, and would play doll hospital with my sisters. We would make ambulance noises and rush our dolls and teddybears to each other, begging for sutures. When none of my dolls were injured I still sometimes wanted to play, and would sometimes have to snip off an ear or finger in order to have something to fix. I don't think that is too different from how many of us act now, 20 years later as adults.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"isn't it time to admit/we are more machinery than gods"

I hosted my poetry group at my place tonight. They all showed up hungover, since last night was Saturday, but they still managed to give me very helpful feedback on a poem I wrote this afternoon. That is one thing you can count on with a poet-- our brains still function beautifully despite illness or intoxication.

So, one of the many good reasons why I made my blog private, was to be able to post my poems on here again. The poem below is what I wrote earlier today, and it has a ton of work to be done still, as my sweet poet friends helped me outline. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my work, my book is from the point of view of a man named Nick, who's girlfriend Alice dies and he is left with the grieving of it all.

[original replaced with draft #3]:
Super Perigee Moon, March 19, 2011

People blame tonight's moon for natural disasters,
for the radiation leaking into the Japanese Chrysanthemums,
their rain, their dust. I imagine their cities to be filled
with people terrified to eat, walking through a rain storm,
as their black umbrellas burn and disappear,
still digging through, still looking for the buried people.

What is it about the buried that makes us
unable to stop looking?

The explosion is over. But what they really have
to worry about is the fallout, when the haunting bits
of radiation sink down through the sky.
When they no longer expect it, it'll cover them,
an invisible ghost skin. It will make them sick.

Many things in life act this way. You think the worst
is over, then things resurface: a snapshot of Alice
as a little girl, her red hair ribbons behind the couch,
the moon, the difficult air.  

***

I do not read the news or keep up with the world unless I need to write a poem. It is all too large and too much sadness to take in on such a regular schedule. But I will use it for my own selfish, artistic agendas.

I've decided to do the 30 poems in 30 days event this April. I did my own makeshift version of it last October, it is an intense ride, but extremely productive. I hope to find more poets who are doing it. V had a great idea-- to make a blog where we all post up our poems for it, so I will be doing that.

I went to my first wrestling match last night in MSG. It was an interesting crowd-- the kind that tends to throw block parties outside my window and curses at their children. But still, much fun, and very exciting to have experienced this. How interesting to witness a fight where the winner has already been determined beforehand.

I baked my father his favorite cupcakes for his birthday on Thursday. I managed to burn a hole in my dress from lighting the candles, and we got into a long discussion about 'political correctness', and it is refreshing to see that he is on my side of things.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Medicine of Sunlight

"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing... To find the place where all beauty came from."
-C.S. Lewis

I woke up at 9 a.m. today, abnormally early, considering I had the day off from work, and even more so because I had only a few hours of sleep. But I couldn't help it. The sun was bursting in its little sunny ways, into my bedroom, I have an entire wall of windows that it welcomes it's way through. I cannot stand the thought of squandering my day sleeping when it is lovely weather outside.

So, my parents were borrowing my car this morning because they are driving my older sister to a performance in Philadelphia. I thought it would be nice to wash and clean the car for them, since that would make a long road trip much more pleasant. I've never washed a car in my life, but I've always thought it was kind of a charming, summery, sexy thing to do. So I bathed Emp, and she looked very sparkly and content afterwards. It was fun, though I have no idea how she got so dirty, as she leads a very sheltered life and doesn't get driven that often.

After my meeting today I went for a long, leisurely stroll through Central Park. I ended up breaking many blood vessels on my neck/shoulder because my purse was too heavy, and I feel self conscious now because I look like an abuse victim or just naughty in general. I don't know why I need to carry so much stuff around. I really am a snail. I just like to be prepared, I think it's probably all that girl scouts training when I was a little one.

I went to Vespa for dinner tonight, and got to sit out in the garden which was full of life and adorned with strung lights. I had a glass of champagne and the freshest tasting ricotta cheese and tomato salad.

Since it is, basically, spring, I have begun my spring cleaning, and splurged on a few items for the apartment. Mainly it was replacing things that needed replacement. New champagne flutes, because somehow all three of the flutes I bought last year have mysteriously disappeared. I also got new towels with my initial monogrammed on it. They gave me the option at checkout to have a gift message included with the purchase, and so I chose "wishing you a lifetime of happiness". I know this technically constitutes 'talking to myself', but I DO wish myself that, so why not. I ought to do more nice things for myself like this.

Please listen to this song: Gymnopedia No. 3 by Erik Satie. And then, try to act as though there are any hurtful things in the world, that there is any cruelty or awkwardness or evil. You won't be able to.

I cannot help it, springtime drives me to happy, happy madness.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"maybe our bodies are no more than jars..."

"... meant to hold what we name everything

airplane photograph leash glove & song
it all pours in with each breath"

-from 'the captain asks for a show of hands'
by Nick Flynn

I have neglected this poor, sweet blog so terribly. There is too much to catch up on, it overwhelms me, so I will just have to leave many important gaps.

I am 26 now. I celebrated my birthday at Juliette, a French restaurant in Williamsburg. Dinner was delicious, and at the end they brought me a petite chocolate volcano cake that had luscious things gushing out of it and a candle perched on top-- my very own flickering, 26 years of living, hot white birthday candle. Afterwards we went to drink and talk the night away, and spent the night primarily sitting in an old-fashioned bus. I was so touched by everybody who came to my party, all of my favorite people, some of which I hadn't seen in years. It was the best birthday gift I could of asked for.

For the past several months I have been involved with a small group of poets, we meet 1-2 times a month at each others apartments and read poetry and workshop. It is something I look forward to so much each time, and is something I desperately need, to keep me writing consistently. I wish I could be so self-disciplined as to write independently without any exterior constraints, but that's not how it works for me.

Speaking of workshops, I finished up the chapbook class over the winter and now have much more inspiration and interest in making chapbooks. During the class I completed one major project: a choose your own adventure style mini-book of poems where the reader must find a missing lover. I had so much fun writing it and making it: I equipped myself with an awl and sturdy thread and rose-colored linen paper. I don't know if it's quite good enough to be published, but am playing with the idea of giving it away as gifts to my friends.

I participated in a very special and beautiful event for the New Year, it was a private situation so I won't talk all about it on here, but it is something that I will have in my heart for the rest of my years. Hands down the most precious thing I've done for a New Year. Connected to that somewhat, I've been trying to grow a small strawberry plant, which is contained inside this egg:


I'm very frustrated because it has been over 2 months and there are zero signs of life. This makes no sense to me, because I've been watering it with special water. I keep a bottle of water with the words happiness/love written on it, after hearing about the experiments that the scientist Masaru Emoto did on water [here]. I thought this would be the best food possible for an amateur strawberry. I even wrote it tiny notes of encouragement that I buried into the soil. This strawberry is disappointing. I thought it would blossom and be red and plump and full of seeds and make me feel like everything was going to be okay, I thought it would do a lot of things (brighten up the room, be delicious), but mainly I thought it would at least sprout one measly green sprout.

Over the week-end I went into Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene and was happy to have stumbled upon a new, lovely place to get my alphabet fix. I came across "The Lover's Dictionary" by David Levithan which looked very interesting: it was a novel told in dictionary form. Extremely poetic, almost prose-poems, but it was hardcover and I limit myself strictly to only a few hardcover books a year. I had pretty much given up on wanting to buy any books and was about to leave when I caught sight of Nick Flynn's new book of poetry, quoted at the start of this post. Unexpectedly seeing a new book by your favorite poet is likely the best feeling on earth: I was short of breath and faint and filled with adrenaline, as though I had just fallen in love. It's his first book of poetry in about a decade, so I have to parcel it out to my hungry mind in tiny, frustrating bits. It is much like how I would imagine being stranded on an island: my only nourishment being milky coconut, the rare salty fish, unrelenting sun and loneliness, and it is enough and more than enough, but it does need to be parceled out carefully so I do not starve.