It’s still in my head, the image from a lot of years ago, the image that came to me one day when I was sad and angry and roiled with all the awfulness of what had happened, when my worklife had become void, when the job I loved had been lost to me by bad behaviour not my own. Smashworld came and I fell down until the moment I got up and thought to make my own way, which I did and am doing and will do.
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:
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:
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”.
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.
Often I think of the poetry of objects
about the way a seam is resolved
or the way a spine grows
about the things we make with our bodies
and the bones from out of our bodies
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.
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.
Blue-and-white china is a lovely thing indeed. I have rarely seen any that I did not like, at least a bit, at least the colour scheme if not the pattern. Because while green is queen, blue is definitely her consort, and the consort’s most worthy consort is white.
Lisa Auerbach’s Tract House project is full of badassery and makes me happy.
If you read here fairly regularly, you may have noticed I’ve been on a bit of a consciousness kick lately, posting about dream and nightmare, acid and ‘shroom. It’s a subject that’s still very much on my mind and, in my mullings, I have thought mightily about trepanation, not for the first time in my life. Good old trepanation is, as Wiktionary has it, “The practice of drilling a hole in the skull as a physical, mental, or spiritual treatment” and it’s an activity that first crossed my radar close to 30 years ago, when I read the book Eccentric Lives and Peculiar Notions by John Michell. In that book there is a whole chapter, “The People With Holes in Their Heads”, devoted to the subject. Now I’m not suggesting I’ll be taking the old drill to my own head (or anyone else’s, for that matter) any time soon, or even any time not-soon, but for all it’s absolute crazy, awful grossness, I’m deeply, weirdly compelled by it. I love Cynthia Girard’s poem “There is an insect” because I swear to god it’s about trepanation.
Okay, so there’s this Canadian clothing designer, Natalie Purschwitz, who runs a small and very interesting operation, Hunt & Gather, out of Vancouver. A few months ago she got the genius idea to wear only clothes she has made herself, for a whole year, in a project she calls Makeshift. Makeshift, I find, is a very nifty notion, if not also a little daunting. (But of course most things worth doing are a little daunting.)
Dock Ellis Pitches a No-No on LSD
By Jilly Dybka
From Elysian Fields Quarterly
The ball’s big — like lobbing a volleyball.
And the batter’s box is so far away.
Tiny ball, red ball, white ball, rainbow ball.
Wasn’t even supposed to play today.
The batters are whiffing in slow motion
Because their strike zone is five miles wide.
The catcher is wavy like the ocean,
Before my release, have to time the tide.
Straight bat, bendy bat, big bat, little bat.
Feels like I’m pitching inside of a dream.
I’m flying as high as an acrobat,
My fingers feel every stitch in the seam.
I wonder what all the fuss is about?
I’m just trying to get the guy out.
I listen to a lot of music. A lot. And while I think my taste is fairly wide-ranging, ultimately I have to recognise that I am particularly drawn to and moved by music that is odd or broken or primal or otherworldly. I want from music what I want from poetry and fiction — I want to be moved. I want to be taken to a place of sentipensante, feeling-thinking, to borrow Eduardo Galeano’s most beautiful word, because sentipensante is “language that speaks the truth”. And my god, that is a powerful notion.
Anyone who knows me IRL knows that I have a relationship with time that requires heavy reliance on the prefix “over-” to describe it.
I wasn’t planning on posting twice today but then I wasn’t planning on falling madly in love either.
The notion of a participatory makeocracy thrills me, well and truly, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that I relish the blurring or even eradicating of borders and divisions — integration not segregation!
The backbone of the backbone.