It’s crazy-hot here now and it’s not even June yet.
Because I love the sad and beautiful truth of nothing-can-stay.
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 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:
Dave Kinsey at Fecalface has a treat for you, me, and the lamppost:
Maybe you’re a creature like me: all loved up by words. Or maybe you’re a creature like me: all loved up by dreamscape derangements.
In all the annals of object porn, there are no objects that incite greater lust in me than typewriters.
You know what I love? I love “yes”. I love “yes” so much, and so hard, and also its more boisterous adjutants “hell yes” and “fuck yes”.
This year, watching the Tour de France on TV, I heard one of the announcers say, “There’s the beautiful sunflower field” and it made me happy that, given all the manful muscling in the pelotonic tumult, he thought to mention that quiet golden place. Since then the words”There is the beautiful sunflower” have lodged themselves in my imagination in the inexplicable way certain words and phrases do from time to time, becoming something like a prayer or an offering or a streamer of solace unfurled the way a strand of birch bark can be freed from the tree.
A couple of days ago when I was stopped at a street corner waiting for the light to change, a man walked up from behind me, stood beside me, looked at me, smiled, and said, “Nice legs, librarian.” Now, I’m really not a woman who enjoys strangers making commentary on her appearance but he didn’t have the stink of testosterone poisoning about him so I didn’t just default to my “Fuck you, you fucking fucker” setting. Plus? He called me “librarian”. And oh good lord, I do love me a librarian, so very very much I do, and am always so happy to meet a fellow member of that tribe, which obviously that man was.
Yellow! I don’t really like it, most of the time, and yet my favourite shoes in the whole wide world are yellow and I love it when a cool-toned garden is warmed by splashes of yellow and I think lemons are not only delightfully delicious as foodstuffs but delightfully delectable in every aesthetic aspect and I like looking at my bookshelves and seeing the yellow spines of Upside Down and Cheap Chic and A Prick Up Your Ears and What It Is and maybe now that I think of it I do like yellow, not as the object or the subject, mostly, but in small illuminating punctuatory doses.
Gah. Some words are nasty. Nasty with nastyburgers and a side of nasty.
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.
And again I love the internets with mighty might because here I am unrulying away in Toronto and all the way over in the Czech Republic Akile Nazli Kaya is making films and sending me nifty pics of her studio space at the Film School Zlín.
Today is the day for the beautiful bones.
It’s the space between the leaves that makes me shiver, that makes me cry, that makes me need to bow my head.
Why? Because in the words of John Hejduk, “I believe in the density of the sparse.”
Three is a delicious number. De.Li.Cious. In general, I would say that odd numbers are far nummier than evens (and all numbers — every last mother’s son of ‘em — are better than four, which is an evil number of death and brussels sprouts and clowns that come for you in the night).
Once I wrote this e-mail to a friend:
There is chainmail and then there is trainmail. This here is trainmail.
Out the window of my train, I see a freight train, enormously long, car after car marked “CornProducts”. One car marked “cationic corn starch”. I don’t even know what that means but I like how it looks and how it sounds in my head.
Red’s not my favourite, it must be said, altho’ I appreciate that it stands for kisses and communism and a vast spectrum of things in between.
Two of the categories on the bookmarks bar of my lovely lappy are: abc and maps. So just imagine how I’d feel if somebody came along and made art that combines typography and cartography. Just imagine the jumping up and down and squealing like a girl I’d do, if not literally (altho’ quite possibly literally), then certainly figuratively.
The backbone of the backbone.