Archive for July, 2004


I had a great time at Ladyfest today and heard lots of great work!

Eli- sang some songs, spoken wordy stuff on gender identity, relationships… some rhymed poetry. I’m hearing songs, formalism, something like slam poetry? not like i know what slam poetry is but it seems like people get a little bit hip-hoppy with their rhymed and not traditionally metrical couplets. she is starting a “creative online community” thing.

Um. blah blah blah. It was all very different from the staid readings I go to down here on the peninsula. where I am for some reason the only freak around and no one else swears or has funny hair. I guess they all migrate north. As I seem to be doing. But actually I am not abandoning my scene down here – more about this in a minute.

Mary W. (Wings?) Gimme an A! Gimme a B! ORTION! “best abortion I ever had.” “abortion haikus” “Don’t infiltrate my abortion” “An abortion is like that.” Various sentences using the word, bringing the word into everyday speech – why it is so hidden.

Sabrina C. nice guitar playing.
“This morning we were the elephants (Elements? heh. well, either way.)
This morning we licked our lips repeatedly
this morning we got dressed & undressed and dressed & undressed 6 times…” <--- this was good and went on forever.
Last King of Doowop – why was she at all nervous and tender about this piece? it was fantastic. maybe a little bit harsh on rap, which can also be poetic and lovely and isn’t, maybe, meant to take the place of romantic songs or be contrasted with it. “maybelline teens”. many lovely turns of phrase…

Can I say all this? I always take notes at readings but I usually don’t blog them, especially not with people’s names. “I have been followed by the lonely aluminum wolf” or something (I like to write down lines that strike me tho sometimes i can’t write fast enough and forget exactly) “as they warm you up for their licking shadows…” “I am weak in the way that matters most to the skin.”

Yeah — I’m happy whenever I hear something new that I didn’t expect. — even one line or phrase —

why so many cups of coffee stared into?
A cup of coffee is the urban lake of post-post-modernism…?
D. Di Prima – reading from Loba, mostly. (And I flip back to the beginning of this new notebook where I’d transferred a few scribbled down quotes from “The Poetry Deal” which i heard her read at the 50th anniversary thing in march)

“Oh Lil! you promised me the language of mushroom and fern!’ “your murderous black crossroads” Medusa poem-translation “because you love the burning ground” “She strides on the battlefield”

I think of Wittig and Across the Acheron and wish very much to talk with Diane about that book and if she hasn’t read it, to freaking make her read it. We are on the same wavelength in some ways. I long to send her my homeric hymns and stuff.

trina reading from “Tender Murderers” very amusingly! it looks like a great book. I will buy and read it and add it to my “women who kill” collection. not to be missed… everyone go buy it… and she is the nicest person on earth…

embarrassingly i ran out to bug diane in the alley and behaved like a total goober and so rudely missed the beginning of wendyomatik’s reading. “her ideals died out 40 wars ago”. fierce.

b. mandell. several stories about a girl named Lila. I wrote a bunch of things down from this. she and trina’s outfits and reddish curls matched each other.

j. melusine in pink ballgown and tiara! (I’m sounding like a society gossip reporter as I dorkily admire the especially femmy outfits. but i do love a super femmy outfit esp. retro or girly. and all the dresses made me happy and so many times a decade ago would be the only cutesy femmily dressed person other than doss.) I liked “invocation for a phone whore” “Let there be bells! ring & ring! and not the slow tick of time…” any invocation is good by me. I liked her omphale, her pink pool, her death car, her gematria and quoting of anton le vay. fun.

susie something, a super-macha slam poet from AZ. “the stick shift never stopped us from touching’ “behind seat belts that bound me like the rules of love” rather sweet memoir poem about first love
“I grew fighting” and then suzie strapon poem which was fun and fluffy and another long introspective poem about her dad and then the one about how she woudl start a giant trend of m0rmon lesbians with 10 wives raising dykey daughters and sending them all to br1gham young university.

at lunch w/chula, j. and s. and the sacredwhore girl and another person who was quieter and whose name i didn’t catch, I was warming to j. mightily as she described reading the descent of inanna to her young niece at bedtime. heh!

I amused myself with a little private joke as I came back from the bathroom and ran boldy up the back of the booth thingie to hop back into my place. If I had done this not to get back into my seat but to throw my cloak over chula it would have been even funnier, but since no one else knows about Saint-Loup and how he impressed Marcel in the restaurant by doing this very thing, I was only privately amused (until now).

back again and fell a little in crush with T.H. – how could it be helped?! I burst into tears actually as she read “lucky”. and felt like i might have to flee the room.

and I had a giant annoying asthma attack as smoke was coming into the room from outside. sucky sucky sucky and it super-sucks to go be the annoying hippie telling everyone to please not smoke anywhere even remotely near the door. it sucks to suddenly not be able to breathe and it’s like someone’s got their hands around my throat, but lower down and inside my chest, and is squeezing relentlessly. it’s exhausting. and the floor starts looking like a really attractive place to lie down. I am sure someone was reading and i was listening on some level, but… yow, i was out of it for a while. and the inhaler made me tremble speedily and unpleasantly and want to lie down even more. next time i go there i’m gonna obnoxiously tape up Nosmo King signs everywhere or stand up and make a little speech about please go way far away from the door.

chula read her fabulous, hilarious stories! in a poodle skirt with fringe. I can’t praise her stories because she will say that I’m just trying to get up her skirt. but wow, she was great. (though still at the tail end of having a cold and not enough sleep)

daphne read and i was so blown away. i mean i had been reading her interesting blog and liking it, and then last week read some poems of hers after chula shoved the book into my hands, but did not realize.. I can’t even start or I will sound like a crazed fangirl, but she is doing some good, good, megagood things with language and it’s rare that i freak out and go “oh my god a Real Poet” and feel that I am at the feet of mindblowingness. A lot of people try to get to where she is but they… i don’t know.. not everyone can hold that sort of intensity and extended focus, and often people bail out of the burning airplane WAY too soon. I rave about my friend Antzen, and he is somewhere very interesting and visionary and knows what he is doing and I’m a mere grasshopper at his feet, but i’m going to be dragging him to hear daphne sometime in the future so that he will have something to learn from. I liked her mention of being a textual DJ. (which was something I had noticed Thea doing and also someone else, but i didn’t have a name for it other than collage or bricolage or mixyuppiness, and I like “textual DJ” better.)

a horse i flog a little too often

i posted some of this to my temps perdu (Tom Purdue) list so it might not make much sense as it’s an ongoing thing

Someone recently said they weren’t grokking what perturbed Marcel-narrator
so much about the Goncourts – why reading it and thinking about it made
him feel that he wasn’t ever going to be a writer or properly enjoy life.
That book (extensively quoted) described in a flowery yet journalistic
style a dinner party at the Verdurins’. It presented the beauty, wit, and
grace of everything as if it were Reality… which is what depressed
Marcel because he felt shut out of that version of reality. What he is
saying about realism is that it’s intellectually dishonest because of its
claims to objectivity.

This, later, after he’s had his mind blowing realization that he can be or maybe is already
an artist of a different stripe – after he trips on the paving stones (he’s tripping!) and remembers being in Venice and then keeps seeing, smelling and hearing things all around him that remind him of other things and catapult him back into the past and make his memories and fantasy real. Suddenly he’s filled with confidence that he has something to say and will
write his book.

Certain people, whose minds are prone to mystery, like to believe that
objects retain something of the eyes which have looked at them… This
fantasy, if you transpose it into the domain of what is for each one of us
the sole reality, the domain of his own sensibility, becomes the truth.
… A name read long ago in a book contains within its syllables the
strong wind and brilliant sunshine that prevailed while we were reading
it. And this is why the kind of literature which contents itself with
“describing things” with giving each of them merely a miserable abstract
of lines and surfaces, is in fact, though it calls itself realist, the
furthest removed from reality and has more than any other the effect of
saddening and impoverishing us, since it abruptly severs all communication
of our present self both with the past, the essence of which is preserved
in things, and with the future, in which things incite us to enjoy the
essence of the past a second time. Yet it is precisely this essence that
an art worthy of the name must seek to express; then at least, if it
fails, there is a lesson to be drawn from its impotence (whereas rfrom the
successes of realism there is nothing to be learnt), the lesson that this
essence is, in part, subjective and incommunicable.

all games have their moments

We altered reality a whole bunch tonight during our Buffy game finale – did you feel it?

I totally love my character in this game – “Chip” – I based him very loosely off of someone I know but not very well, or really on a stereotype extrapolated and way overplayed and hammed up from the not-very-wellness that I know of him. (I’ll confess. I based him on Acrobat’s brother.)

Well tonight Chip had his moments because the anime cyber girl who is the consciousness of this girl who was dying of cancer.. um there’s a lot of backstory… but she was the alchemical furnace of this evil other dude from some plane of hell… and my guy’s deal is that he is an extremely affable dot-com “club kid” who does a whole lot of drugs. and in the game system he has the power of “psychic visions” which i specified in my hijack the game system and make shit up sort of way means that the more drug-addled he is, the more in tune he is with the occult/psychic/whatever vampiry weirdness. (Which, again, i usually just make up something and see if whump, the GM, will take the bait and make it so.) I made him call cybergirl and melodramatically tell her to hack into and start playing his “playlist for my death” that he had constructed for just such a moment of Ultimate Final Battle. It was especially fun tonight as it was the giant climax of weirdness – and The Plan to battle the evil thingie was that Chip would have an illusion spell cast on him to look like his robot girlfriend and was on this big altar thing as a sacrifice and the Evil guy would bite him and be infected by his/her nanobots which were sort of programmed by both Chip’s reality-altering very intense trip and by Max’s (druidsquirrel’s char) hackery magic spell-program. And he began to control the amazing techno music with his mad tripping DJ skills and was able to slow and speed up time along with matching the beats of the songs to whatever tempo, and to time things so that the music would be synchronized with his sister the slayer’s (rook’s char) mighty punches. Much fighting and monsters and and beheadings and some necromancy and apocalypse and FBI agents and and swat teams and black holes and strange cell phone calls and amulet of Somthingos and odd relationship-conversations later, good triumphed, sort of…. maybe… temporarily… until next time.

Anyway it was fun. post-game meta-game analysis with rook and thoughts on his essay on player/GM proactive and reactive styles.

good moment which whump is probably blogging about right now, i was doing my drugcrazed yet (unbeknownst to anyone probably) actually funny and intelligent babble about urizen and eritharmon and azrael and gargamel and how they were by my side like my guardian angels and then how i was going through the 9 circles of hell but instead of virgil as my guide i had papa smurf. this was vastly amusing me but then whump outdid me with his line about “tis better to smurf in hell than to serve in heaven” and i think he broke me. Yes. broke. giggling. falling over. had to close eyes to savor the silliness.

we had these great in-char blogs for this game when it was an every other week game. i haven’t kept up with mine but it was fun while i was doing it.


I just realized that I went “ooooooo!” in the last 2 posts. maybe even further back but i’m afraid to look. It’s like I’m in “Greystoke” where for the first half hour all they do is hoot at each other.

My mom and dad and minnie and i used to go into “greystoke mode” at random moments all thru my post-greystoke childhood, and we’d just hoot at each other and hop around on the furniture, giggling. we would (before and after greystoke) often go into book-tarzan mode and run about yodelling and wrestling crocodiles and panthers. even today, it is a standard family greeting to walk into a room and say, “Ho! Tarmangani!” or to go after a cat to pick it up and narrate this mundane event with something like “hush, for the mighty king of the jungle stalks Bara, the deer.”

Meanwhile… Rook is having the most stressful couple of months, and Bad Day, ever at his job at Barflink. Everyone send him love, and naked photos, and comment on his blog, and make him mix tapes and stuff.

We have a buffy game tonight and i’m looking forward to it! Whump is gm-ing and it’s our final episode.

Jo just sat back down in her office chair and said, wistfully, “O iPod! My nipples stand erect in your presence!” and we cracked up insanely. I feel bad to be having so much fun and all this jolly laughing with children peacefully playing, while Rook is being bebothered and frazzled and pressured and tormented at his formerly peaceful, slackacious job!!!

Tomorrow I take off for the Litfest, too. but i have arranged for the neighbor teenager, Tapir, to come for a couple of hours and play with Moomin to take the heat off of Rook so he can lay around or write or whatever…

Miraculousness that Sophie and Moomin are sitting together having a real conversation about secret rooms and castles and pretend games – without any yelling, grabbing, pouting or contradiction going on. how long can it last? Sophie is lying outrageously, telling Moomin that she used to live in China and had a thousand-year-old goldfish that died. “I used to be a Chinese girl. But now I’m dead.” “Oh! “


Jo is gloating over her new birthday ipod. ooooo! it’s cute.

“I’m holding out for the Holy Grail. It’ll have all my music, and it’ll be a giant hard drive, and it’ll go on my keychain. And it will also be my phone.”

“But you could have a little one now. An ipod mini.” Are they paying this woman to tempt me? or what?

“No. i’m holding out.” I’m on the floor, computer in lap, drooling a little, knowing it’s dumb and besides, if I spent 250 bucks, I’d rather have the most perfect black platform go-go boots known to huwomkind.

Jo leers down at me and waggles her eyebrows. “You could get a PIIIINK one!” she prompts, as if I’m 5 and she’s trying to get me to pick out some new underwear at target, or take my nice medicine that the doctor says will help me get better.

Sadly, the idea of “a pink one!” does make me want it more. When did this happen? I was a cynical little girl who didn’t like pink, long ago.

whoop! new books!

rooks mom sent a giant package of books! i can’t tell if they’re good or not, but 2 of them were for me and are really super old hardbacks of chinese poetry. ooooooooo.

I must now go read all the new Moomin books to him as he says they have hard words.

It’s so cool that now he knows what it means to get an exciting letter or package. My gp used to send letters with little drawings and maybe a penny or a dime or something taped into it or a stick of gum. Having something in there made it incredibly exciting somehow. or when he would write ‘l.u.s.’ meaning “l00k under st@mp” and that meant to peel the stamp off and you’d get a secret message.

the swan song

yesterday and this morning I have been translating swan poems. “Tuercele el cuello del cisne…” where the swan is really a nasty pretentious toad but you don’t realize it until you kill it, and @gustini’s poem where she is looking at the blank page and feeling very powerful and imagines the swan of modernism sailing up and she totally like, fucks the swan of modernism and his pink beak is lying dead and still and limp in her lap. Modernism is totally her bitch. It’s so great!!! Now Darío’s swan is next and I bet it will piss me off amazingly so it’s good that I did @gustini first as a pre-antidote. (would that just be a predote? a foredote?)

We hung out in Golden Gate P3rk and then had dinner at Chow. i was feeling very cityish, riding N train with way-too-heavy backpacks and flouncy skirts, in a suburban-tourist way enjoying looking at people and large stone buildings with strange ornamentation and fire escapes and all the enticing windows of the stores and restaurants and the way everyone is somehow more purposeful and mysterious when they’re strangers in a city rather than strangers in downtown My Town where… it’s just different… people’s time is slower and their purposes more carefree and they seem somehow unburdened or less burdened. I remember the feeling manhattan gave me – not a happy feeling but so tense and wound-up as if the bustling busyness and intentions of all the swarming people were crackling in the air making my skin crawl… it was a stressful city…in SF i feel an inexplicably happy wound-up feeling though. I wonder why?

I have still not made it to green apple books nor to the extra-cheap-tights store but maybe next week.

Chula played me 2 very silly songs about the W0mbles. Remember you’re a w0mble! and their basic theme song. vastly amusing. i am definitely a w0mble. i must see the tv show! i also read a goofy kids book “SOS B0bomoblile” about a boy genius who builds a submarine and discovers the loch ness monster.

It is really good to be here but especially in the morning (oddly) i miss rook’s sluggish waking up and Moomin’s little piccolo voice politely requesting juice and the playing of Castle, and our whole morning routine, even the routine of me grumpily clutching my hot coffee and glowering at my computer and wishing I had a moment’s peace and didn’t have to make anyone’s breakfast or lunch or put on anyone else’s tiny socks. of course here i am with that moment of peace and i’m appreciateing it madly and have been working for hours on end on my translations. Yet at the same time i’m way homesick – go figure.

little plaid things

Obtained this morning at Target:

– little plaid skirt, so perfect! my particular favorite red plaid! WITH LACE. and pleats. and fake leather buckley strap thing. I used to have a skirt like this but it was stolen in the Great Lingerie Robbery of late February. this one is even better and it says “princess” and “sassy” all over it. AND. hang onto your panties, folks. It is also a SKORT. how could it be better?

– perfect replacement black sleeveless turtleneck for one i had long, long ago

Nearly bought, but resisted:

– idiotic black t-shirt, size girls XL, with pink sparkly skulls and flaming guitars and the words “punk princess” and “rebel girl”. it would have been perfect but for the too-tight puffy sleeves. nearly bought and cut sleeves off. Oh dear. I might have to go back and buy it. but then would have to decide whether to keep it or whether to give it to chula, who would look incredibly cute in it. i mean: pink sparkly skulls. hahahah.


– red plaid messenger bag. bonus if it has some extra dorky-punk chains on it. extra-longness for vertical binder insertion also a bonus but not strictly necessary
– black knee socks. several pairs. all cotton. they must not be too tight so i can’t just go to kmart and get the girls’ size.
– pants that fit me!!! WTF!!!! why? and that are not a) oldladyish b) ugly lowriders

on a less esoteric note

I had one of those funny totally non-profound epiphanies on the order of “why it’s smart to make your bed in the morning.”

We have this vertically stacked washer/dryer unit. And the controls are sort of in the middle. And for a long time now – months – I’ve been vaguely wondering why almost but not every time I put in a load of wash, I start it at the default “reset” setting with none of the buttons pushed, because I don’t care about “max extract” or “extra rinse” or “super pointless spinness” or whatever — but t hen when I go to move the wash from the washer below to the dryer above, A BUNCH OF THE BUTTONS ARE PUSHED. for a while I thought it was Moomin opening the closet doors, as he likes to hang out there tying the door shut with his ropes and then opening it again. Or I wondered if Rook sometimes came along behind me and sneakily pushed the buttons because he has an innate, touching, trusting belief in buttons like that, that claim to do something Extra and special, and in all manufacturers’ instructions and how much shampoo and conditioner to use even though the shampoo people have a vested interest in lying to you about it.

Yet it happened even when no one else was home! It must be a malfunction of the washer itself? How? Ghosts? ghosts who believe in extra special washer-cycles?

Then just now I was leaning up to take the stuff out of the dryer, before I opened the washer to take the newly washed and wet clothes out and transfer them up to the dryer. You got that? Try to picture it. Picture the dryer, taller than me. Picture me leaning in to scoop the socks out, and picture the buttons in the middle between the washer and dryer. THEN PICTURE MY BOOBS. Yes. For months, my own breasts have been pushing the buttons of the washer.

buckets of snot, but a strong happiness

my allergies are ridiculous. i’m writing from a remote outpost of hell and misery.

but oh, the middle of Time Regained is freaking me wild like smoove b. It does not matter whether I desire the neurotic tailspin, or the delirious joy of time travel and Art. Both kinds shall be provided to me for my pleasure.

Seriously it’s everything I’ve been writing about for the last umpteen years. i was going to say the last 3 years but then i thought of all the things i tried to say 15 years ago in poetry about moments in time and looking forwards and backwards and the imaginary and ideal and the happiness possible. Everything proust just said about the freedom from the fear of death is just so cool. and it goes on for pages and pages. He just got snippy about social realism which is maybe ruining my trip a little, but oh, it’s so good! Me and him and Coleridge are totally hanging out in the gay bar talking about our completely insignificant childhood memories. (What P. does not talk about is that it’s part of why old people have a reputation for being lost in the past, or reminiscing boringly, or just sitting and spacing out in the sun on the porch; at some point inability to act and the desire for freedom from pain can maybe force one into a sort of buddhist enlightenment which becomes living the life of the imaginary. It’s not necessarily senility or craziness.) Now, when he gets onto the “decipherment” — i’ve often felt this too as an alluring but probably false idea – the feeling that there’s something “there” to be read or unencrypted from either the random happenings or sights of reality, the impressions experienced, or from the interior “impressions”, inchoate swirly stuff that becomes coherent verbal thought, that there is an underlying or pre-existing “reality” to be interpreted. That part he seems uncertain about and I must say that part I don’t believe a bit unless i’m feeling particularly mystical in which case i’d say that that reality that is everything is only perceptible by god, and that’s actually the only definition of “god” that I accept at all, an imaginary consciousness that could contain and see and know everything, i guess that’s most people’s definition but they believe it’s true whereas i only believe it’s an idea. Oops, I lost my train of thought.) But anyway there doesn’t have to BE an “underlying meaning” and maybe he’s not really saying that at all, he’s saying that the impression (which is entirely individual because it depends on so many random experiences and associations of memory in the individual so that no one really sees a flower or a cigarette butt or a particular sunset or another person in the same way) … um….that the impression and its individualness is the important thing to grasp in order to make art or really make anything. Maybe this could be summed up like whump’s maxim “the more you know, the more jokes you get,” but in this case, the more self-aware you are and the more you know about your own “impressions”, the better your art. Maybe this is the ultimate navel-gazing narcissism? Hmmm it can’t be helped. arrrrgh I’m groping after trying to say something new here and I’m not quite getting to it.

the amount of kleenex i’ve used up while writing this morning blather — it’s scary. there’s little white heaps of completely soaked kleenexes all over the kitchen table around me. some people have flowers, some have used tissues.

i wish there was more coffee in the house.

okay – moomin is up – to action! I must be a woman of action! I turn aside from dreams and images, and charge forward like Saint-Loup into the trenches of breakfast and lunch-making and the putting on of socks and the going to Target and the visiting of the allergist!

Seriously people. Sometimes thinking about this stuff, which I do often, makes me feel a little crazy and alone. And so I’m wildly happy and feel that I love proust madly for making me feel less alone, even while I’m pissed at him for saying a bunch of important things so much better than I ever have or will.