Sunday, May 22, 2011

Old toothbrushes and elbow grease

I have been discovering crannies and nooks unknown to me. Spring cleaning is going on, a few months late by the calendar, a few months early by the weather. In my home, things are being mended and scrutinized, discarded and displayed. I am spending time alone with my (our) things, and being the sentimental type, this means spending time with my memories and attitudes. I prefer working on the present—the past is pitfalls and prattfalls—so, ways of being are being refined and defined and this is surprisingly rewarding. And, just like the freshened result of cleaning out the dryer's internal filter, you'd never know from the outside.


It is planting season. I am too chilled to venture on to the roof, so my little plants and unpopped seeds are having an inside day:

In addition to my Gaia-like nurturing of food and beauty, I've been bringing home shopping bags of fruit and vegetables that, with their bright colors and healthy odors, amplify both my righteousness and sexual appeal tenfold.


Best of all, I heard that Maureen F. McHugh will be coming out with a new collection of short stories from Small Beer Press in October 2011. It is called After the Apocalypse and you will preorder it now.

I am reading Half the Day is Night by her right now and enjoying its underwater murkiness, if not the other trappings of the book's world. More on that later.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

arts from mocca 2011

I am just starting to plow through my MoCCA pile. In celebration of that, here are pics of the two arty art arts that I got at the fest.


Mountains I by Mark Burrier. I will frame this as soon as I get some framin' money.


A portrait from the G train. Are you the artist of this? Please contact me!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Sorry to ruin a Spring day, everybody, but I am hoping for rain. I want the grey clouds that are now bunching over Downtown Brooklyn to turn black and heavy and blow over this way. Which, of course, means that I've started my roof garden and that the hose is a situation. A frustrating, wet, non-working situation. A trip to the hardware store could probably fix that, but when will that happen?

I have fallen into a book recently sent to me by a small press. The world is recent past and I want to be there. I hope to write about it somewhere else soon. It is a love story and a sibling story--surprise!

The third thing, the third thing is that I owe you a letter. I really do. I promise to sit down this weekend and write you one.

Twitter has recently been absorbing thoughts like the above, but I wanted to pin them here this time. I am still unsure about Twitter--how it shapes my thoughts. As a delivery system, it's great, but when I post an essay like this one or this one, it is hard to say why they are important in just a few lines. However, with retweeting, the audience for such a pick is limitless--perhaps that makes up for it? I don't know.

Monday, May 09, 2011

At The Rumpus, I have a very short piece on the subject of Near and Far. Mine is on the second page, sitting right above some lovely art.

In terms of writing in general, these last few months have been different, better. I may not have the greatest ideas but the work has been coming easier and the results are more satisfying than they have been in a long time. In terms of grief writing, I have been experimenting with different forms and been surprised at what is coming out. This makes me hopeful for my upcoming zine project, which will be done, I think, by August. You seem a bit dubious; so do I.

In other writing news, it feels like the only place I can be compassionate is on the page. I hope this passes.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

3 from the subway

A woman is reading a book about yoga on the subway. She looks very earnest with her Integral Yoga plastic sack, stuffed to the brim with various expensive accoutrements. She is wearing high heels and her straightened hair has the heightened shine of battle. Between stops a twitchy man hops over to her. He is eager to tell her that he does yoga too. He is eager to tell her about getting over things, so, so many wrongs—hearts and dollar signs fly out of his mouth—and then just like that, just a few stops, he is gone out the doors.

She then comes to sit next to me in a two-seat section. She smells faintly of shit.


Skinny arms, ill-fitting clothes, too-big hands and feet, the whole thing. This boy is perfectly poised to break my heart in a moment. He is eleven or twelve and sitting by himself by the window on a medium-crowded train. I can’t look at him without seeing him right on the edge; he’ll either pull himself into the world or get smashed by it. He is looking out into the tunnels mostly, and in his own world totally. When we pull into a station, he looks at the two daffodils in his hands, two different kinds. First he looks at one and then he looks at the other. He has nothing else with him. I almost cry my way up the stairs. This is my problem.


It must be daddy’s day to watch her and behind his sunglasses and be-spangled outfit he is very uncomfortable with the task. Even with so many muscles, it is hard to look tough with a baby. It is hard to bend, over and over to pick up a toy that is not casually dropped. It is hard to be something that you are not. She is so cute, and he, well. I don’t think he has realized the reservoir of goodwill he could garner if he just removed his sunglasses.

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