Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
There was a time when I ate it every day for several weeks until I eventually got sick of Sad Soup. I don't think I stopped eating it because I was happier, just because it became gross to me, or maybe sadness and wallowing became gross to me.
Today I am super sad. What follows has nothing to do with anything. Today while I was eating Sad Soup, these two Evanston "ladies" sat down next to me and talked about their college-aged daughters who "can't seem to find a place in the world." One of the daughters, who is twenty and in school someplace in Boston, feels really bad because she is going to waitress this summer rather than save the world, which, the mom says the daughter has saved the world every summer since she was 12. (Daughter is in school for something involving saving the world via hanging out with old people, which sounds to me like the worst way ever to save the world.) The mom says the daughter should give herself a break and waitress and go to the beach this summer. But now they are in a fight because the daughter says she can't live without being passionate about something.
Also this lost daughter has a boyfriend that the mom is totally in love with. The mom is ready to go "dress shopping" with the daughter, she says, because the boyfriend is so "special." But the boyfriend is in Argentina until July and the mom won't let the daughter visit because "it's Argentina" even though the daughter just got back from backpacking around Amsterdam.
This has no point, except maybe that I want to be the daughter, because I think I was the daughter at sometime, minus the old people and the perfecto boyfriend. You know that the boyfriend is banging a lot of Argentenians behind the daughter's back. You know what the daughter did in Amsterdam. You know the mom and the daughter are not going dress shopping in relation to this boyfriend. You know the daughter will save the world this summer, despite the mother's wishes.
The daughter made me happier than the sad soup.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
So I did my homework. First I tried reading part of Charles Olson's essay "On Projective Verse." It kind of makes sense. I kind of like it. You can read it here.
Continuing my quest to understand the dash-ey poems I described last week, I consulted two very credible sources. Wikipedia said, "In Projective Verse, Olson called for a poetic meter based on the breath of the poet and an open construction based on sound and the linking of perceptions rather than syntax and logic." That is all Wikipedia said. Which, they were basically saying that Charles Olson was a hippie. The breath of the poet? Ugh. Although I do like the idea of "linking perceptions."
Delving deeper, I looked to answers.com:
"In his influential 1950 essay "Projective Verse" Olson defined poetry in terms of the dynamic world his contemporaries were discovering: "A poem is energy transferred from where the poet got it … by way of the poem itself … to the reader." The poet's own energy as he writes is among that which is embodied in the poem. The syllable, Olson argued, reveals the poet's act of exploring the possibilities of sound in order to create an oral beauty. The line reveals the poet's breathing, where it begins and ends as he works. Conventional syntax, meter, and rhyme must be abandoned, Olson argued, if their structural requirements slow the swift currents of the poet's thought. The predictable left-hand margin falsifies the spontaneous nature of experience."
So Charles Olson is a hippie language poet. Projective verse is the language of hippie language poet/cult leaders. I think projective verse is a cult.
I like all of those ideas, and I like energy and spontenaity and swiftness, and probably I liked the very first projective poem ever written by Charles O. But now the dash-ey poems are everywhere. And now the dash-ey poems and the absent left margin are obvious; we know what they're up to; they are not performing any trickeries like we like. So why are people still writing the dash-eys? I guess it's like everything else that people are still writing, like sonnets and whatever else. I hate when something cool groundbreaking gets adopted by bazillions of people. It makes me feel so American. Like Charles Olson's projective verse will someday be part of Pepsi's ad campaign or something.
I am stealing the phrase "oral beauty," though, which sounds so wonderful and gross to me and should have nothing to do with poems.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
all over the page
i have a hard time reading
this--(they usually have lots of hyphens)------
and second because they are just---
and third because i distrust them
kathy i know you know
Thursday, March 20, 2008
It looks like we're getting 8+ inches of snow over the one day Spring Break tomorrow. Seek shelter or prescription drugs immediately. The Chicago Times is calling the godawful blend of snow and rain "snizzle" or "heart attack snow." I've decided to name it after something else excessive and past its prime (Ron Jeremy). If you can think of a nickname for the monstrosity, especially referencing autofellatio, post below.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"Novelist Strike Fails to Affect Nation Whatsoever" (Upcoming Poetry Strike Likely to Be More Obscure)
Other top news stories: Meg(h)an Lane createdfor reckless drivers! "Signs will be posted to warn regular drivers that they must drive either under 30 mph or over 90 mph."
"All of the lanes will also feature ramps."
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
i think i might write a story about a girl who lives with a boyfriend and a child and a dog and a cat and they are all the same person. or else maybe this gchat is good enough. i never write anyway.
me: are you having a pang?
Neil: I am.
me: where is it
Neil: my tummy.
me: i would rub your stomach for you if you were my dog. or my boyfriend.
or my child.
or my cat.
me: is this a case where i am being too blatant and that's why you said wow?
you have a problem with being my dog or my boyfriend or my child or my cat? i don't see why.
you freak out easily.
Neil: I don't.
I just like making you think I do.
me: i wish you were my cat
i saw you typing and erasing!
Well, yes on the cat.
me: you wish you were my cat?
Neil: Yes I have a problem.
me: that's not a problem. being my cat would be nice.
Neil: I don't like cats.
me: for real?
Neil: Not that much.
Not enough to be one.
me: well why did you say you want to be my cat then?
Neil: I didn't.
You asked if I was freaked out.
I said yes to the cat.
me: oh, so you don't have a problem being my dog or my boyfriend or my child?
Neil: Correct on all accounts.
me: i wish you were all three. i would have such an interesting life.
Neil: I'd be awesome.
I'd also be Oedipus.
me: it would be so cozy at home. everyone would play chess all day. including the dog.
Neil: You mean me?
me: yes, you. you are everyone. including the dog.
except i am me in this scenario.
me: do you not play chess? because that would make this whole thing impossible.
Neil: I play chess.
Not very well.
Neil: I will get better.
i was going to change it to jeopardy tournaments, but it makes me happy that you'll get better at chess.
Neil: I missed out on nonstop Jeopardy tournaments.
me: it's nearly impossible for a dog to play jeopardy, neil.
Neil: Not really.
me: how would he communicate the answers?
Neil: He'd bark...duh.
You realize none of my photos have been retouched! I look a solid 25 in this photograph. Not a day over! I am a very wise 25 year old who has seen some things that would turn people's hair gray, but I smile on with my bright white 23 year old teeth. (My teeth are the youngest part of me.) Lines? Not of age but of experience.
Don't I look good in green? This is my St. Patty's post. I realize it is a day late but I don't like to hurry and worry and gibble-gobble about deadlines. That is why I look 25...I mean that is why I AM 25. I made that word up- gibble-gobble. Do you like it? I am trying to get it into the dictionary this year so start using it a lot. It can mean anything you want it to!
Now that I am 25 I have decided that I have nothing in common with Hillary Clinton. Where is my I-POD!? I would DIE without it! I have to listen to my down-loaded pod-casting about Obama. It is by a very influential Bloggist on the political blogger-sphere. This country needs CHANGE, man! I am soooo sick of OLD-LADY presidents!!!!!! It's time for Obamarama...OOOOhhh like Bananarama except they are sooo old that I certainly have not heard of them. I think my Dad likes them or something and some other weird sounding old person bands like David Bowie.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I just wanted to make a public service announcement: all the cool stuff at H&M on Michigan avenue has moved to floor 2. I don't want anyone to have to do what I did this afternoon, wandering around the main floor, confused and bombarded by dress slacks and unattractive people.
I repeat, everything attractive has moved to floor 2! Also, I'd like to announce that, for the next 10 days, I will be wearing matching socks!
(The official first day of spring begins when I run out of matching socks for the year).
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Jamaica Kincaid lectured at Northwestern last night. Missy and I went. It was awesome. I LOVE Jamaica Kincaid. If I could write At the Bottom of the River I would happily keel over and never write again and/or die and/or both. I tried to write like her this afternoon and it is impossible and extremely embarrassing.
I usually avoid going to lectures because in sooooo many instances I have gone to them and really disliked a writer after hearing them talk. I was especially hesitant about this one, because I love Jamaica Kincaid so much and the title of the lecture was "On Writing," (puke) and there were going to be a billion undergrad "writers" there, all of whom would ask really awful questions during the Q&A.
The bad undergraduate writers were of course there: all googly eyed and grinning and salivating like they would, at any moment, leap onto the stage and try to devour Jamaica, which would be impossible, because she is seriously a 400 foot tall giantess. Granted, she did look delicious. She wore a brown jumper-like dress with a button down shirt and jeans and really old-looking brown shoes and gold hoop earrings. (I think she probably got the button-down at Rainbow, I think she definitely shops at Rainbow like Elizabeth Crane. If you've started that book you know what I'm talking about. Her outfit was a combination of Rainbow elements mixed with Salvation Army elements mixed with elements of your/my/anybody's mother's closet. Also, this is hilarious, in the picture above, which I just found, from a different lecture, she is wearing the exact same outfit, only I think this picture was taken like 10 years ago. I wish she still had the cornrows.)
So not only was her outfit awesome, but I think she is even more awesome in real-life than she is on the page, mostly because after her awesome lecture, she didn't really answer any of the stupid questions that were inevitably asked during the Q&A. Mind you I am paraphrasing, but here are some examples. Imagine her speaking in a very sweet, soft, English-accented voice:
Q #1 (from former high-school English teacher who probably wanted to be a writer but failed): I think it's absolutely EXHILIRATING to learn that "Girl" was the first piece you ever published. How did you come to write such an amazing story as your first piece? Can you speak to that?
Jamaica: Ooooooh! I think I can! (imitating teacher's overboard excitement) I read Elizabeth Bishop's "In the Waiting Room" and I immediately knew how to write. I was working at the New Yorker, and was used to reading a bunch of old, white men, and I thought their writing was boring and not very good, and that if I showed them how to write something different, maybe they would stop writing. So I wrote "Girl."
Q#2 (from drooling undergrad or grad writer): Many of us in this room are writers. I wonder if you could talk a little more about process.
Jamaica: I'm the wrong person to ask about that. You should ask John Updike. He gets up and writes a novel, then he eats breakfast and writes a book of poems. Look at my books--they're so tiny. All I do is read. I became a writer so I could sit around all day and read and not be called lazy. I'm really the last person you should ask about process.
Q#3: (from undergraduate African American Studies student) What was it like to read black writers for the first time, or writers from the West Indies?
Jamaica: I don't remember. I don't really think of myself as being black. I live in Vermont and I'm the only black person in Vermont. I'll be walking down the street in Vermont, and someone will start waving erratically at me, and I won't be sure why. Then I'll realize that it's because we're both black, and I've forgotten that I am. But I don't think of myself that way at all.
There appeared to be much chagrin on the faces of the African American Studies professors, who had congregated in the corner of the room.
Q#4: (of course) Do you have periods of not-writing, or periods where you can't write?
Jamaica: Oh, all the time. I hardly ever write because of that.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
It's going to be 55 degrees in Chicago next week, people. Your next braindead assignment is to try to recall what you and your friends look like when not covered in 17 layers of thermal underwear. I imagine it will be just like that scene in the Jim Henson movie The Dark Crystal, when the evil Skesis attack a hunchback, ripping off all his clothes to reveal a terrifying birdlike creature, 10% of its original size.
I can't even remember what I look like. I think once my pointy ears appear, I will look like a Gelfling and will play a mystical flute while climbing mountains to save humanity. I feel bad for youth born after 1982 who missed the totally fucked up Dark Crystal and became E.T. people and probably sociopaths.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Braindead of Winter Activity Number Nine: Start an ambitious art project and then abandon it due to inclement weather and forgetfulness
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
By forcing others to work in small groups, we alienate ourselves (another key element of braindead of winter month) and also avoid mindnumbing, irritating, and/or thoughtful conversation.
If at any time during this month, someone attempts to make smalltalk or intelligent-talk with you, just say: Go discuss it with that group over there. Yep that one, waaaay over there at the other end of the building. They can't WAIT to communicate with you. Ready, go!
You can also use the opposite tactic--when your boss asks you to do something, say it must first be discussed "with the rest of the group" (note: it is especially important to use this phrase--as "the whole group" would include your boss.)
Meeting with "the rest of the group" means talking about the Jim Jones Kool-Aid extravaganza, or internet celebrities like Moo, for the next two hours while alienating your boss.
Monday, March 3, 2008
also last weekend i watched step up. it was super awesome. do not get it confused with step up 2 which is out in theaters right now. this is the original step up starring channing tatum. he is really good at break dancing or whatever they call that kind of dancing now. i love how every dance movie features a pristine ballerina who meets a street thug and decides to take a walk on the wild side.
and tomorrow our friend neil kubath's movie carver is being released. we are going to have a screening and report back with a review. until then, consider it your braindead of winter job to watch as much television as possible.