19 December 2008

flurry fury

i am flying away to cincinnati on saturday and i am so excited my head is going to explode. i am even convinced that the flight is going to be fantastic.

[this is mostly because the last flight i took was like a tiny version of hell, so this time will definitely be an improvement. besides sitting in the
airport for 6 hours after my flight was delayed, i got stopped by the tsa guys because i was carrying a space heater in my bag. they were convinced it was a bomb, [which, if i’m going to be honest, isn’t really a bad assumption; it’s older than me, makes ticking noises, and sparks sometimes] and so they decided that it would be a good idea to take everything out of my suitcase and question me about the heater for about a year. also, the person in front of me was the crankiest old woman alive. the little boy sitting next to me touched her seat a few time and she kept slapping him. at first i thought maybe he just had an abusive grandma or something, but then they weren’t related and she was just mean.]

going to cincinnati means seeing stars, reading real books without feeling guilty about not doing homework, spooning with my dog, and playing cards with my
grandma. and it’s christmas which is especially exciting because i really like wrapping presents. [ps if anyone wants to know what to wrap for me, i would like cowboy boots, a flu shot, paris je t’aime, a shamwow, and some new songs to love.]

This Winter

I suppose, with the wind and rain outside, and more to come, we’ve cocooned with blankets, warm fires. I suppose, like the change of season, freezing cold, instead of sun, inward, instead of outward, the season of that endless war, killer hurricanes, loved ones lost, I’ll just turn the page, start over.

I’ve often wondered if I’m a winter writer, rather than summer. Throw on thick sweaters, coats, gloves and trek high up the mountain to my tower, to “bear” for winter. One small, frosty window to look out. “Countless tales,” I write in my journal shivering, “layers of rain, snow, and wind, to overcome.”

It is this imagination that binds. Pen in hand, fingers spread evenly on a keyboard. Wipe the frost, find the pulse. Tell them what ails, or inspires. Reveal the colors, be it agony, intense and miserably cold, or thoughts of romance, desires, engulfed or enflamed by simple candlelight. Set the temperature and tone, open the page, begin.

I suppose, from my mountain view, the lights below, mere weeks before Christmas, that I’ve got something significant to share. A vast landscape, glistening jewels of light, smoke billowing from thousands of chimneys. Don’t know, can’t tell yet. Maybe nothing.

I stroke my long beard, smoke my pipe, pull the flaps of my hat lower. We are, the words of every season, all of us, to our last breath, touching hearts and souls, scribbling blindly, breathlessly, designing, building, hunkering down.

But all is silent, save the wind, howling at my back.

Look, tell them of the pain of death, so recently endured, what my eyes have seen, tortured, beaten, abused. Tell them of flying high above the fray, a view so magnificent, it begs to say, to express, to share. Create an unforgettable character, that mighty hero of mind and heart that gives, saves, knows all. One who carries us to that tearful page of victory. Lie down here, another blanket to keep warm.

I suppose, there is no greatness, not now, perhaps later, but we trudge through, press on. Every day, every season, different.

High above the howling storm, frost on my beard, eyes searching wanefully to heartfelt losses, human touch. Seasons that follow, lead, churn deeply. Imagination does not go cold. Or does it? Here, take this pen, write it. Eyes, alive and moving beyond the snow, conjuring winters across the ridge, snowflakes dreamily to the page.

We’re not gone, only adjusting, acclimating, different sights and sounds, binding. Takes time to see, peel the layers, undress. There is nothing to say, not yet, the world at our feet.

“Countless tales,” I write, “layers of snow and wind, to overcome.”

[Charles Mariano]

16 December 2008

work in progress x3

10 December 2008

is it possible for sound to make a heart bend?

i like these songs a lot a lot. but in that way that it kind of hurts, you know? they sound like memories and comfort and love and being cold. they feel like blankets; sometimes too much, but usually they're cozy. they let you drown in everything you hear. and then there are words, which say exactly what you were thinking but better than you ever could.

06 December 2008

i was of three [or four] minds

it was evening all afternoon.
it was snowing
and it was going to snow.
the blackbird sat
in the cedar-limbs.
[wallace stevens: 13 ways of looking at a blackbird]

1: winter means being cold
sometimes when i’m outside, i try to think “cold is just a state of mind,” because maybe, if i think about it [or don’t think about it so much] the cold won’t get me.

i like how it feels when you first go outside, suffocated by your too many layers, and then this wind cuts at your face and blows through you. and i like that cold weather means that i can stay inside with a hoodie and my comforter.
but after a while of winter, the cold outside seems intrusive and the cozy feeling inside starts to be sickly, like when there’s too much sugar.

2: and getting sick
i have vertigo. i knew i was sick and not just bitching about having a cold because i kept falling up stairs and feeling like i was sinking into chairs. after waiting in student health services for 4 months, a doctor played the “follow my finger” game with me [which i lost at] and told me that vertigo can last from two hours to two months. my reaction: at least it’s got a good name. my mum’s reaction: “DO NOT RIDE YOUR BIKE. YOU WILL DIE. AND IF YOU DON’T DIE, I WILL KILL YOU.”

also: rabies. i don’t have it, obviously, but i

listened to a “this american life” around halloween about rabies and since then, i’ve been a walking psa. rabies is FUCKED UP. do you know what it does? it makes animals senselessly violent, takes away all their inhibitions, makes them immune to pain, heightens their sense of focus, and makes adrenaline practically ooze out of their eyeballs; basically, it makes them into real life, tiny, furry versions of superman, but evil. i know what you’re thinking: superman can fly and raccoons can’t. BUT guess what the number one carrier of rabies is? bats. and bats fly. if you wake up and a bat is in your house, you should get tested for rabies STAT. if you don’t get a vaccine within 72 hours, you die. new york and the surrounding area has experienced a ridiculous increase in rabies outbreaks, with over 300 reported attacks last year. and since it’s not bad enough that i live by new york during the school year, there is a new rabies epidemic spreading towards southwest ohio, i.e. cincinnati. i am going to be attacked by an animal and i am going to die.

3: it turns out that all your friends, they were just mean, dressed up
i can’t figure out how someone can spend so much time hating me; planning and whispering and manipulating and then pretending like they don’t care. but then, i’ve only recently started to understand what a waste it is. when i’ve figured something out, i expect that it’s something that everyone already knows. i have this skewed view where i’m just catching up with the rest of the world, when really i’m learning along with everyone else.

so sometimes i get sad for people i don’t even like. i wonder who has left them and how big that shadow is. i’ve decided that writing someone off as crazy overlooks too much and is too easy. it’s like denying them humanity, to say that they have no other motivation.

4: waffles
i’m trying to make a budget and track my spending and all those nice grown-up things that i really wish i would be better at, but i haven't been very successful yet. if i were going to estimate where i spend my money, though, i am guessing that it would look like this:

what this graph illustrates, besides that i spend too much on waffles, is that i should probably weigh a lot more than i do right now and that i should start saving my money so i can by a graphics tablet and actually draw pictures on my computer.

if you ever come to philadelphia, i will take you to eat at bonte before getting you a cheesesteak. meat and cheesewhiz just sound gross together, but that’s not the point, the point is: bonte’s waffles are bangin’.

25 November 2008

work in progress 2.0

this is the beginning of the second painting in the series.

and here's the fireplace that i spent all wednesday night making instead of writing my spanish essay, my art history essay, my gender essay, doing my race reading, or working on one of three paintings i have due soon. it was totally worth it.

in other news: we ran out of orange juice a week ago and now i'm sick. i don't think that's a coincidence. actually, we ran out of food a week ago so i ate stale pretzels all weekend, which may or may not have something to do with me being sick.

24 November 2008

i heard from someone you're still pretty

do you remember when we used to talk? we’d sit in that empty parking lot and roll the windows down and let the dew from the night collect on our skin, making us shiver even in the warmth. we were exploring because we wanted to feel infinite. but then, we were so safe in our little beds—anything could be shut out if it got too big or too scary. every time, we would stretch the clock to the last minute then rush you back to your house and hope we made it in time. you remind me of home.

remember how we used to sit around for hours and hours, and how your mum worried, and how we just laughed?

and then when things got thick. i was trying to figure it out and it was summer. the heat boiled everything out of me until i was one tiny core of fury. i got so angry with you and i pushed away because you didn’t pull at me. were you afraid or did i just want you to be? i’m good at imagining thoughts into places where they don’t exist. and remember when i made you cry? maybe i was right.

i hope that you remember me [happily]. sometimes i catch glimpses of things that remind me of you, but not often. it doesn’t make me sad that i don’t think of you, but when i do, it’s warm.

now i’m 500 miles from home but blankets are still impenetrable armor for sleeping. you hear a sound in the night, in the dark, and pull the covers up over your head, knowing that if something really is coming after you, somehow you’ll be safe, small, invisible. and maybe you’ll remember our stolen ideas, hidden deep and uncovered later, when you know you won’t get caught.

i just want to be comfortable. wrapped up but free.

i’ve got manners that i’ve smuggled away and memories that aren’t quite right but i rest on them.

23 November 2008

it's about how unfamiliar even the familiar can become

13 November 2008

homemade oreos aka black maureens aka will you marry me? want a cookie? how about now? how about now?

these are hands down the best cookies in the world. hands. down. they're kind of magic, too, because everyone who eats them instantly falls in love with you. you could cut the recipe in half, but that would be stupid because then you'd make half as many friends.

for the cookies
+2 boxes of devils food cake mix
+4 eggs
+2/3 cup of vegetable oil
the dough ends up being really really thick and hard to mix, so either use an electric mixer or your hands. when you make it into balls to cook, make them smaller than normal because otherwise you'll end up with like 5 gigantic cookies instead of 40 normal ones. cook them at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes but more on the 6 side of things because no one likes hard cookies.

for the icing
+a stick of butter [that's 1/2 cup]
+a block of cream cheese [i don't know how much that is]
+3-4 cups of powdered sugar [that's 1 pound: YUM]
when the cookies are cool, ice half of them [of the flat side, obvs] and them stick them together with un-iced ones. sometimes, you get lucky and have an extra cookie that you get to eat. or, if you count before you bake them, you end up with an extra ball of dough to eat, which is soooo much better. they're also 800 times more moist and delicious the day after you make them, so put them in a baggie and wait.

09 November 2008

four lists and a comic

a playlist

also, i love youtube with my whole entire heart.  whoever thought to put a song by a lesbian about sex and luuuurve with clips from "life with derek" is a genius.  

i am smarter than a 5th grader [especially is these were categories]
+ 38957194668521 reasons to put off things you should be doing
+ cleaning obsessively when you're upset, anxious, excited, or just having a lot of feelings
+ correct and incorrect use of apostrophes
+ clever things to say to the cashier who asks about your son when you're actually buying little boys' clothes for yourself
+ alternate routes to avoid the mean [and criminally insane] homeless man on 15th and chestnut
+ inappropriate things to say to your ex-girlfriend
+ excuses for wearing a helmet when biking [that make you sound tragically hip and not just really really lame] 
+ diy hairstyles that, in retrospect, were absolutely not stylish

nice surprises from yesterday
+ soft ice in restaurants
+ waking up in the middle of the night and going back to sleep
+ real mail
+ seeing stars in the city
 + "veinte poemas de amor y una canción desperada"

texts from my mum and dad
+ "the proverbial shit has hit the fan."
+ "well, i went to drop some of my old clothes off today at goodwill and moseyed [sp?!] on in and found the DEAL OF THE YEAR...and it's yours if you want it!"
+ "WTG!"
+ "just got huge ladder to install new chandelier...yea!!"
+ "did you get the power cord yet? suppose if not then the battery's dead and you can't read this. oh well...LOOOOOOOVE YOOOOOOOU SOOOOOOO MUCH, dad"

05 November 2008

the earth is not a cold dead place



04 November 2008

work in progress

in the beginning, sometimes i left messages in the street

but you wanted her to look through your memories and feel like she owned a part of them simply because you were hers. you wanted her to wish she possessed some old part of you. you wanted her to love your family and your bed and the streets you drove on and not want to leave ever. with her, you weren't okay with rain, you wanted a storm--an unstoppable, torrential downpour. instead, you had clouds and clouds, threatening to let everything pour out but she gave up before even the littlest one could break. she likes possibility but she won't give herself over to it and she can't be happy.

give it time and it'll fix itself, but right now you're not sure if you want it to. you have this obsession with feeling and you can't shake it.

in the beginning it was uninviting, but it's quickly becoming devastating. you're continually doing maintenance when all you need is something new but you can't give up because you're too attached to memories. and your nostalgia is this particular kind, a kind that belongs to experiences that haven't been lived yet and things that you want to wake up tangled in and then woven into the sheets of. your shoes are always the same and don't travel very far.

lately, your life has faded to black and white and your dreams, once fantastic, play out the small things you crave when you're awake. you're distracted and worried that you're losing your imagination and innocence and everything else that you gave away so easily and so willingly because you thought you would never run out of things to give. what you once thought was tying you down has turned into your safety net for when you walk on tightropes [which seems like every day now] and it's moving farther and father away, making you fall longer every time. you wake up with bruises you can't explain and a longing you can't articulate.

it's almost winter and you want to be warm. you miss the familiar and think about how strange it is that everything you used to recognize has become foreign. telephone lines are too thin to travel. the static is too loud and your words move too fast to span the distance.

so how will you handle the discontent? this aggravation is hostile to your nature, which is overly sensitive but impassive. you'll look for brilliance in your ordinary background, like the inviting coolness of your pillow, and lay away at night hoping they don't run out of good songs. you could wait for it to come, but instead you'll be after it all night. you've got time to make.