Tuesday, May 27, 2014

searching for focus: an inspiration board

inspirations: watching chef gerardo cook a la minute at el rey
last week i pronounced and announced that i was going to go full on d.i.y.  since then i've done:

yep.  that's it.

inspirations: beautiful avocado with chimichurri sauce at el rey
there are reasons.

inspirations:  ingrid
i'm recovering from travels that were so rad but also a bit taxing.

inspirations: ingrid, saddle shoes, bee dresses, and the philadelphia magic gardens
i'm dealing with a rather large brood of children.

inspirations:  cecily, huber farm in midway, picnics
i'm still getting my strength back from being sick and injured for a really long time.

inspiration:  my doppel at the philly magic gardens
i'm trying to get some really crucial and non-fun stuff done, like finalizing formatting on my dissertation for the dissertation office (you who have done it can sympathize, i'm sure.)

inspiration: cy twombly room at the philadelphia museum of art: fifty days at illiam
and also re-watching the entire bbc pride and prejudice (it's like eight hours, people!) with ingrid.  so fun!  so crucial!

mary shelley in london before writing frankenstein by karen kilimnik
job applications, laundry, bathroom cleaning, doctors' appointments, end of school year kids stuff.  most of you know.

inspiration: this beautiful jumble of stuff from ingrid's dorm room that she had to get rid of to make room for her new life as a sister.  lavender fascinator, white cowgirl boots, gross vintage fox stole, record shelves.  if she can transition, so can i.
a dull list of dullness.

christian and julie at the new museum.  christian has such smart working ways.  julie has such fun living ways.
my main problem, though, is where to start?  i just wrote down all of my ideas, and opened a google doc for each.  i also have things i started that i need to finish (two of my biggest problems are focusing on one thing and finishing things).  so i have eight new google docs, blank, with titles.

inspiration: a mermaid against misogyny sighting at philly magic gardens.
i'm overwhelmed with ideas and idle fantasies, but no practical sense of how to prioritize or where to start.

inspiration: hivemind. these are ingrid's beehives at bryn mawr.
sorry if this is boring.

inspiration: the cloisters at bryn mawr.  i need to find my meditative space.
i'm really stuck in the middle right now.

inspiration:  feminism & motherhood, mothers, female divine, jesus, skeletons, intersectional feminism, activists.
luckily i know this has happened before, and i've always eventually found my way--this just feels long and agonizing at the moment.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


ingrid saying good-bye to her midnight swimming pool.

besides visiting the magical campus of bryn mawr college and seeing my otherworldly honey-girl ingrid graduate from her dream school in a vintage rabbit fur hood handed down over the past 125 years of bryn mawr's history, i came away from my visit to philly with some real inspiration.

well, i'm feeling quite a bit better, due, not in small part, to having a vision of a more radical way of life & doing things.

a must read.  craig dworkin, et al.

i'm committing to a year of DIY.

philadelphia magic gardens

after seeing the philadelphia magic gardens

the bride stripped bare of her bachelors, even (the green box)

marcel duchamp's green box.

the rehearsal space for the arkestra in germantown. 
and the rehearsal house for sun ra's arkestra, where they self-produced their work on saturn records,

i spent the drive from philly back to jfk thinking about how i need to break out of the system of literary journals and contests that is not really meeting my needs as an artist--i'm spending more money than i make on submission fees, more time on applications and submission than on writing, and mostly getting a lukewarm to no reception.  i believe in my work, and do everything i can to make things that are new, not vain repetitions of the past,  that are true to my own visions, impulses, beliefs, and love of the tactile world, but that doesn't seem to be enough for any kind of mass institutional embrace.

no biggie.

i just need to get braver and strike out on my own, where i generally do my best work anyway. 

my new year starts here.

may to may.

no more asking to be admitted. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

restless & contented least

me & moses right before we both had blood transfusions in the same week.

this was the second poem i memorized, after "stopping by woods on a snowy evening," learned when i was ten years old because my mom offered me ten bucks.

Sonnet XXIX 

When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
(Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth) sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
       For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
       That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

and although i have mostly fallen out of love with shakespeare's sonnets now, and sonnets in general (sorry sonnet enthusiasts!) sonnet 29 always resonates with my tendency towards depression, jealousy, envy, and low self-esteem.  and when i'm feeling sorry for myself (so much of the time!) since i've got this thing internalized, it rings in my ears.

so, though i now can't handle most of shakespeare because of his intense misogyny, because i hate elizabethan mistaken identity tropes, because i tired of the hermetic nature of the sonnet, and because i simply got burned out on the bard, the lines from this sonnet run through my mind unbidden. 


i knew the aftermath of finishing my doctorate was going to be rough, but i didn't know how rough.  i didn't know i'd be dealing with a herniated disk, extreme anemia requiring a blood transfusion, a kid's tonsillectomy gone so wrong he also required a transfusion, and a code team, restless legs syndrome (gone now--i think it was the anemia), percocet withdrawal (aftermath of the herniated disk), and the worst thing of all--

this deep restlessnes & casting & casting about.  no book or movie or music or television or writing can hold me still for longer than a few minutes.  

on account of the back problem, i haven't been practicing yoga for six months now, worsening my state of groundlessness. on account of my brain problem (which could also be anemia related), i haven't really been writing much. I haven't had anything i'm excited about going on for months.  i've missed a all the important deadlines for three months.  i've missed blogging. i've missed writing practice and yoga practice.  i've missed cooking, something that often engages and soothes me when i'm feeling contented least.  something i currently have no desire to do.  

i need my lark, my muse, my something back.