There’s no rational explanation for how much I love frogs. I mean, there might be a rational tidbitual oddment I could lay down for you but all the tidy, comprehensible bullet points in the world wouldn’t do justice to how deeply fascinated and charmed and shivered I am by those little half-blood princes, those darling swimmers who leave the water to tuck the soft green of themselves into the grass so they can lie in wait for me, so they can leap in ambush and make me bark a laugh of surprise at their ridiculous bodies, hurled up from the grass, bounced high, airborne.
when twilight grass looks the way velvet feels or the way warm smooth metal can seem in a dream
when you sit outside in a day that’s almost night and the fireflies arrive
all the other places you never know in daylight open out to you
there in the glow
Once I woke up with the words “your fried arm” stuck in my brain so I looked up how to say “I love you” in as many languages as possible, to make myself feel better. It worked, too.
Tomorrow I go for thyroid surgery. The surgeon will glide her knife across my throat, press the edge into the troubling flesh, open me up, and remove the right lobe of my thyroid, that worrisome shit-disturber.
sometimes you have to lie on a bed
so your brain can be all in a floaty place
I would be brief on the day I didn’t have a lot to say or, really, had a lot to say but wanted to make the thoughts in my head all compact the way a wintertime child can take a puff of snow and squeeze it into a ball of ice, to make it all hard and small.
What I’m doing right now is I’m writing a thing, a beautiful thing, a bookstory thing. It’s hard going — oh god, it is — and for all the wild-ride moments of outpour, there are many many — many! — ice ages of brainfreeze. When you write a thing as a pen-for-hire, you push through the brainfreeze, because money and somebody else’s deadline are great motivators. But when you make something with joy in your heart and when it’s a collaborative effort to boot — I’m making this thing with James Cook, whose delicious photographs will join up with the words I write — you let the going be slow because you’re waiting for a strange kind of knowledge — epiphany, I guess you’d call it — waiting to see in a way you’ve never seen before, waiting to understand, waiting to make connections.
… you just have to love it back.
You know how much I love words and the physical act of writing, how much I love the graphemic grace of the thing that is written? Yeah, you do. And you know how much I like holding a pencil in my hand and making marks on a paper with it — marks with meaning, I mean — and also how much I like reading a paper full of writing from someone else’s hand? Well, I like all that very much, you know I do, but I like something else too:
I don’t know about your little piece of the planet but here where I am there’s been a lot of greyworld and I’m not really an appreciator of greyworld, unless it’s mitigated by storm. Which it hasn’t been, here and now. So what can be done? One can give in to the grey and be taken down by it — opt for bed or heavy drink for weeks on end, except those are roads to ruin and I prefer to remain unruined for just a little longer in life.
Humanity is bad and terrible and capable of the most horrific acts of cruelty and venality. But oh my god, when a beautiful brain does beautiful brain things, it makes me remember that some of us are not only unbad and unterrible, but really fucking wonderful. What I’m thinking of here is this thing I found on the webs that are inter, this fabulous wonderful thing. To be precise, this thing:
Dave Kinsey at Fecalface has a treat for you, me, and the lamppost:
think of awaking one morning, some morning
with the tail of a fox
or platypus feet
with a hard crunchy shell
or suction-cup legs
with a body of quills
or a soft feathered belly
with a set of long antlers there on your head
If I had to categorise this unruly thing, I’d say it’s poemical, not polemical. It’s not really a blog about art, not in any sort of analytical way. I don’t take a stance; I’m neither critic nor academic. What I am, actually, is an unruly hoyden with a permanent case of chaoshead, a throbbing love-on for the made things of the world, and a hot ‘n’ saucy need to write things down, to write things out (as you’ll know if you’re one of the people I e-mail 972 times a week. [Hi, forbearing friends! Love ya! Smooches!])
In all the annals of object porn, there are no objects that incite greater lust in me than typewriters.
I like the notion of the skin being breached so that change can be rendered to the organism. I like the idea very much, altho’ I fully recognize the malarial reality of the wrong kind of puncture, the bleedout reality of the wrong kind of slice. But here in my metaphorical LaLaLand, sharp things are pretty things that are also agents of change.
Butcher’s charts take it all apart.
Sewing patterns put it all together.
The sundering and the reconciling … they interest me, both. I maybe love taxidermy because it requires both; I should maybe love the jigsaw puzzle more than I do, for the same reason.
You know what I really love? I love to go to art galleries and museums to look at what humans have made, with intention. But I also love to walk out in the world and find the deliciousness of happy accident. I sure do. I really love both the incidental and the accidental. Like, really a lot I love them. All the funny found little bits and pieces of art or music or poetry that jump out at you and yell “Boo!” or maybe they peer around the corner and breathe “Pssst!” at you but however they approach you, they can all be filed under the heading “Ambush, such a lovely”.
I think I think too much about clothes — mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, whoever’s. Because really? I think an awful lot about them. Like, an AWRFUL lot. Thing is, when the world is being beautiful, I don’t want to be a blight on it and when the world is being unbeautiful, I don’t want to add to the ick, so I end up thinking a lot about my clothes. And in my thinking, I also think this: I think style is an act of generosity. I think fashion is just merchandising. I think one is qualitatively superior to the other, by a lot, and in my mind it’s clear that the superior one is style.
Sometimes I feel like Reepicheep finally arrived at the edge of the world and sometimes I feel like I’m standing way up high on a tall place where I have to make a choice about whether I’ll step off and float away, or not.
I make playlists on my iPod and they’re often very theme-y because I am nothing if not a theme-y woman — I like to group and organise. I like to find patterns, or, in their absence, make them. Maybe that’s the curatorial urge. Or the librarian’s urge. Anyway, I have a playlist on my iPod called “river” and I listen to the songs on that playlist a lot, especially when I am despairing because those songs are very cathartic to hear and especially when I am all joyed-up because those songs are very cathartic to hear.
Imagine if we could remove the mortar that holds all the disparate elements of our selves together. Remove it and fiddle the bricks of character around a bit and repoint, so that we could be remade. Or maybe that’s too drastic (altho’ I am a woman who likes the grand gesture) — it’s not a complete rebuild that interests me but the jimjummery of a rejig.
I read a blog (very intermittently kept) written by a Korean artist who writes in English, which is not her first language. Her tiny strange observations are often very beautiful and made more so by the flaws in her English, a lot more so, I think, because those flaws can be very illuminatory — that skewing of language can make you look at a thing from a whole different perspective. The accidental nature of some of the beauty she writes makes her observations fresh and astonishing.
How to catch an octopus
by Patrick Widdess
Here’s a thing I just realised. Chet Baker had it right: let’s get lost. That’s what running is, for me: a getting lost, the way you can get lost in very few things, maybe only love and sex and music and physical exertion and the way the air smells in the woods in the fall or the way a cold lake feels on your body when you jump in naked and let all that cold swirl across all your bare skin to leave you gasping and shuddering in a strange beautiful release that’s almost like the moment of orgasm, in the pleasure/pain aspect of it and also in the being completely present in your body aspect of it.