Monday, October 16, 2017

168. Bunny & } Bear.

Bunny: Why are you not talking to me?
Bear: Baby sisters.
Bunny: Look, they’re [inaudible].
Bear: She’s yelling for her baby sisters!
Bunny: Sisters! Come back here!
Bear: I’m holding them for a very long time.
Bunny: That’s my cat!
Bear: Maybe you should [inaudible].
Bunny: I want to have a toy. I want to hug you.
Bear: No. That’s Bear’s.
Bunny: I see my bunny rabbits! Come here! on the slide!

[ composed circa Feb. 2010 w/ the eldest. ]

Sunday, October 8, 2017

167. Fire walk } with me.

Blue &—beneath—black patches shift. Ovoid small screen. “The glad hand.” No! Elle & me. At the Nickelodeon. She warned me—“Adam. I will let you down.” Elle told me about the bad memories her therapist reclaimed. A television set. Same as the televisions we watched at home.

While Elle turned a chrome clothes rack at Filene's Basement she asked me, “Do you know what we’re here for? I need to buy a dress. For tonight.” Elle was my date to the semi-formal dance.

On either side of the screen were dark curtains. “He’s getting to know me.” Every lost page made Elle tremble. We were alone in the theater & a man in the front row who wavered. “There are pages torn out that is real….” We were afraid.

Elle told me about her beautiful twin cousins. She didn’t want me to meet them because “Adam, you will fall in love with them.” Her cousins screamed. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Quit trying to hold on so tight.” Elle’s older brother was a filmmaker. He recut, on video tapes, When A Stranger Calls (’79). What he left was all terror.

Behind the screen was a hall. The only light red “Exit.” Credits rolled & the man from the front row stood. Elle whispered, “My boyfriend is t-r-o-u-b-l-e.” He wasn't a warning, he was the truth. We couldn’t open the door to leave the theater.

We held each other. Elle put on the dress she bought with me earlier, she dressed in the bathroom at my high school. We stowed her street clothes in my locker where she would forget them. We danced in the gymnasium. No one knew Elle & no one spoke. “Are you my best friend?” She had to go home.

Our own houses frighten us. We walk warily through. Hide when we see our parents. My bedroom walls were pure white, lit white with fluorescent lights mounted on the walls. “I’m your friend always.” My dark suit over the back of my desk chair. Growled from my cassette deck: “the black dog runs at night / the black dog runs at night / the black dog runs at night.”

--> Elle was in a booth at her hometown Friendlies. She wore her new dress and the blue corsage I pinned above her breast. Her boyfriend arrived. He was a piece of shit. I climbed out my bedroom window & wandered my dumb empty town. Listened to the signal box click loud. Dark caught up in the leaves. Change from green to yellow to red.

[ Photo: Lottie doll blue velvet outfit set, courtesy of Lottie Dolls Outfits Pinterest page. ]

Monday, September 18, 2017

166. Klink prompt } Dec. 2003.

“Titles of the next five books of poetry you plan to read,” asked poet Joanna Klink (511 – 01 Special Topics: Description). I wrote,

Standing Wave by John Taggart; After Calculus by Craig Watson; School of Udhra by Nathaniel Mackey; maybe Eunoia by Christian Bok; maybe Watchfulness by Peter O’Leary; maybe My Life in the Nineties and/or The Fatalist by Lyn Hejinian and maybe Tis of Thee by Fanny Howe. Though talking about Cole Swenson whetted my appetite for Such Rich Hour, which has languished on my shelf for a couple years (in part because I fantasize reading it and Très Riches Heures simultaneously). I’m also interested in reading some more by Myung Mi Kim, who wrote the wonderful Dura. And then, there’s The Maximus Poems, Pound’s Cantos… all competing with fiction and non-fiction that MUST BE READ. 
Therefore, none of it will ever be read. By anyone.

I ask, has anyone read any of these books?

If I told you I read Standing WaveAfter CalculusEunoia, and Watchfulness—would you believe me? That School of Udhra is full of my notes, kept on a table in the basement where I read it when I fold laundry? Life, yes. Tis, no.That Such Rich Hour is the only book by Cole Swenson I haven’t read? Have I read more Myung Mi Kim? Is there The Maximus Poems? What about “…September is end of thunder / The hibernants go into their caves?” Would you believe me if I told you there’s no fiction or non-fiction that “must be read”?

Why should you?

Friday, September 1, 2017

165. Acorn } nos. 1, 3, 5 & 6.

[ Acorn no. 1 ]

[ Acorn no. 3 ]

[ Acorn no. 5 ]

[ Acorn no. 6 ]

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

164. Rooms where } writers work.

What’s this all about? The New York Times Magazine featured photographs of “The Rooms Where Writers Work”—to be more specific, three writers. No one knows who these writers are. Nobody has ever heard of these writers.

Why is Camille Bordas’ room so dark? What is hidden behind those black lacquered Venetian blinds? “I like to reduce.” she says. “I’m always aiming for a completely bare space in which to work. But then I tend to accumulate things, books and little trinkets.” As cluttered as her work space is, there’s no world outside of it. Sleeves of Nicorette, she tells us, are not as aesthetically pleasing as packs of cigarettes. We worry about the books on her bookshelf. She wants us to see Lapham’s.

Meanwhile, Javier Zamora writes, “More and more I’m hearing that there’s a lot of nature in my work.” Who is it who tells Zamora what’s in Zamora’s own poems?

Danzy Senna covers her window with a white bed sheet. Her Ikea couch is draped with fur. “Around me” are “Mother’s Day portraits” drawn by her children. “[A]nd I thought it was funny because one was significantly browner and had black curly hair and the other one was pale, so it kind of reflected the duality in my work.” Her children’s drawings do not reflect the duality in her work.

To be fair, I too am the subject of a New York Times Magazine feature called “The Rooms Where Writers Work”—though my profile was published here, on Lori Hettler’s blog. Note that I do not write in any of the places portrayed; the stairwell is not mine, the “office with no windows” was demolished last year, and the “more mundane” office is occupied now by Buddha.

[Photo of Camille Bordas by Sean Donnola for The New York Times Magazine.]

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

163. Cover drafts } New Genre no. 1.

[Fig. 1]

(Who cares about this? I use Leuchtturm 1917 plain notebooks; but, for a stretch in the late 1990s, my preferred notebook was sold at The Gap. The clothing store. A ribbed, paperback cover, with glossy, lined pages. In black, khaki, pale blue, yellow, and red. The pens I used, Bic rollerballs (I think), inexplicably didn’t smudge. I found the notebooks on remainder—I remember the price being about $5. When I couldn’t find them anymore, I called The Gap headquarters to see if maybe they had a box of them somewhere. When they told me they didn’t, they also told me they couldn’t tell me who manufactured them—I don’t know why. The Leuchtturm is demonstrably better, but I do miss The Gap notebooks.


In a Gap notebook dated 11.8.97 / 2.26.98, is a series of design ideas I drew for the cover of New Genre no. 1. Ultimately, Mark Osmon designed the cover, but my design ideas show an interest in the spare aesthetic direction that first cover took (with the exception of “Nude Genre” (fig. 2)—a much discussed sister publication that, alas, never came to fruition). (On the same page as “Nude Genre” is a note I don’t understand: “milk custom, drink shots.” Maybe I was playing with the phrase “drink custom milk shots”?)

[Fig. 2]

[Fig. 3]

[Fig. 4]

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