Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yesterday was one of the best days I can remember having in a while. We used the nice afternoon for the first summer barbecue in our backyard. Cheeseburgers and pasta salad and martinis can do a shocking amount for the spirits, even when the fucking antibiotic you're on to treat your eye-infection is starting to give you a gross, uncomfortable rash on your face.

At night fire in the pit at Derek's with so many people I like so much. Alana and Mandy and Amanda and Jen and Sharyn and Erich and Jme etc. I can't believe there was a shitty, 20-odd-year period where I didn't know them. I can't remember ever being so much on the same page with a group of friends.

And so, in the end, I am blessed/lucky/fortunate, because bad shit happens, and when it does, it's the people around you and your work that gets you through. I love these people so much, and I'm in the healthiest relationship of my life with a disarmingly awesome man, and my Art Saves stickers are all over Boston, and I'm writing a Really Fucking Good novel, and I have a literary agent who is taking me out to dinner Thursday, and I'm finally learning to write real poetry, and I'm getting features and notices, and I have a few awesome tattoos on the way, and I'm going to visit my brother in Michigan in like three weeks, and I have a closet full of dresses and a computer and a colorful bedroom, and I'm 25 and beautiful even with the rash, and my name is Jade Sylvan.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

maybe i will go to the west like i always said planned and i will have a new name (they are so easy to change) and a new laugh and I will be a new person and then it will be like i have died and they here in boston might sometimes ask if you remember that girl, you know that girl who was around sometimes, and some will and some won't and somewhere there will be candleflames going out and somewhere there will be bonfires smoldering and somewhere a star spins to humming neutron and it goes on goes on goes on and no one can hear the laughing because it's the very fabric of it all

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lately I am burdened by the irrational but looming feeling that I am going to die very soon. That everything is just about to come to a halt, my life dismally and arbitrarily truncated. I feel this strange terror all the time, my heart races, skips beats. I can't breathe properly. In social situations I cannot speak, there is a layer of cotton separating me from the others. It does not help these ominous obsessions that I keep getting sick (again with the eye and the nose thing) or that I feel so for some reason goddamned lonely right now.

Today is a beautiful spring day and I spend the whole thing in the fucking walk-in (since I can't get in with my new GP till the end of May) and then at a fucking ophthalmologist in Lexington. The scrubbed, shaved, hairgelled, mauve-lipped German resident tries to tell me what's up with my body, "Jah, shtudies are showing zat yellow discharge does not always mean an infection!" and before I know it Jesus I'm bawling again asking to speak to a real doctor and saying please just someone tell me why I've been sick for over four months now. Instead all I get is "Well, we should figure out what's at the root of all this. Here are some eye-drops," or, "Wow, that usually only happens to people with HIV." I say it is extremely unlikely that I have HIV since both me and my boyfriend were recently tested. They say, "Have some eye-drops."

So I call in to work for the second time ever even though I've worked sicker than this before and skipping work tonight means I'm going to be broke this week by the time I get home my body aches so bad and my heart is skipping every other beat even though I'm at rest and intend to stay at rest that I take a nap and when I wake up I take a shower and bring over D's clothes and make eggs there and we watch Twin Peaks while I write like two paragraphs and I talk a little about how I've felt lately and he is nice and understanding and I think I calm down but then as we're going to sleep my heart starts just to pound and pound and I can't breathe and no matter how he holds me I just can't I just hear every noise so loud and I can only think of this time as it stretches on and how Lord I am some disgusting pathetic fuck, and Fuck I know he sees it, and everyone sees it, and how could he care or feel for anything he sees to be like I am, and how can anyone.

I am spinning around in the blankets and I keep waking him up which must make him hate me more and certainly makes me hate me more. I wish more than almost anything right now that I could just feel safe and curl up in his arms and go to sleep with him like a normal woman but everything just gets louder and I know my worth and it's not this and besides, I know I am disgusting anyway and fuck how can anyone be attracted to such a sickly, lame, swollen, limping, mucous-dripping, melancholy, crying thing? My tossing and turning keeps waking him up and this makes me hate myself and makes me sure he hates me, and suddenly I am caught by the fact that no man has ever bought me flowers (except yes remember Thade bought you that sunflower in Germany when you took him back and you left it in the pitcher in the pastel blue quaintly rococo hostel room when you left). He is awake now and I ask in breath-whisper, "Do you normally give your girlfriends flowers? You seem like that type," and he says, "Sure, sometimes," and I am just thinking "Yes but not with me, because I don't invite that. I am not the type to get flowers, because I do not need, do not exist. I am object only and not actor. Maybe I am too strong to require flowers."

Yes I am feeling sorry for myself and I know so many have it so much worse and hey, spend some time in Africa or the Projects or the Army and then talk to me and blah blah blah, but fuck if we don't feel sorry for ourselves who will? Not the suited strangers drinking coffee from paper cups sinking down into the T stations or the orange-wax grinning faces on the television or our busy oh so important friends or the vast silver godless procrustean sky.

Then it is 1:30am and I am driving home crying like a madperson thinking "I'd still be at work right now, but I'm not. I'm not doing anything," and my body hurts and fuck I'm just like crying and crying and loudly, too, just like wailing because that's the only thing that feels good. I try to remember back in the fall and early winter when everything was so good for a couple of months, until January brought this sliding decline. I wonder will I live my whole life for a few months here and there of happiness and normally I think yes that is beautiful, but right now I can't remember the last time I felt so alone.

But then I guess we die alone so hey, get used to it. At least you may scream at the universe once in a while to let it know you take it personally and won't forgive and forget.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More of This

My feature was, by all accounts to which I have access, a success. Thank you so much everyone who made the trip to Providence with me. I had a blast.

C.R. Avery was there and I was able to tell him how much I enjoyed his show with Patricia Smith Monday night. Really inspiring, in that makes-you-feel-like-shit sort of way. Probably a good, humbling thing to see before my first feature in months and months. Derek, Alana, Chris, Mandy, and Sharyn all caravaned down with me, and my awesome ex-neighbors Sara and Jeff, as well as Jess From Providence all surprised me with their mugs smiling back from the welcoming Reflections Cafe (whose baristas incidentally steam a mean hot chocolate) and it was so awesome to have all that support. Derek, Chris, Alana, and Sharyn all read, and sometimes I just got to be like, damn, I am so lucky to have such wicked talented friends, and this is so good. More of this.

Also awesome, I made fifty dollars! That's the most I've ever made at one time off of poetry. I just wanted to make enough to pay for the gas it took to get there and back, but I actually made a good profit. It feels pretty awesome, to be honest. Yes. More of this.

Last weekend=CLUB FUXXX=probably the most fun I've had dancing since Greggy's birthday in February. The best part? It's going to be held every month. The second best part? It's in Harvard Square, so I can walk there easily. The third best part? It's full of awesome, awesome people. Yes, yes. More of this:

I've been so into stars lately, thinking about how we're all made of carbon. There's so many poems there that it almost seems like cheating to try one.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Feature Tuesday in Providence

Oh yeah. I have a feature coming up on Tuesday. Here's the info:

Tuesday, April 22nd starting at 7:30
Jade Sylvan at GotPoetry Live

Reflections Cafe
468 Wickenden St
Providence, RI 02903-4429
(401) 273-7278

Come support me or my feelings will be hurt.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I was exchanging ideas with Jess D.B. about What It All Means -- this string of bad luck that started back in January. Of course I concede that in certain ways it is random, meaningless, only chaos coming together in seeming congruence before it spirals out again into bedlam, but in other ways there is a lesson I must take from this, and the conscious, interconnected, breathing universe must be trying to tell me something. She says her ear infection means she needs to hear something that she's missing. So what does all this blood-eyed, puss-throated, broke-in shit mean for me?

The last time I was so sick for so long, I was miserable, still in Indiana a year after graduating college to make a guy happy, living with aforementioned guy without the guts to break up and move on. I felt suffocated by everything, and kept getting respiratory and nasal infections.

I don't think I want to leave Boston. Not yet. I haven't done so much here. This is so different. It's not like I can narrow it down to one pattern or person or place. Maybe it's my way of being right now. My gut tells me that the thefts, the recurrent throat and eye infections, the constant sickness, is telling me take better care of myself. To stop doing so much for other people. To stop worrying what other people think of me entirely. To stop looking so hard for happiness and stop being jealous of others' successes (eyes), to stop needing attention and praise as a source of self-worth (throat), and to stop being so careless and trusting, to stop going out of my way so much for others, to pay more attention to what I need and want at the time (theft).

I must eliminate those things which are not good for me. Cut out negative acts, people, and mindsets. Surround myself with joy and creativity and calm.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I am fucking lucky that my external happened to be at Derek's house. I looked the other day and it turns out I backed everything up about a week more recently than I thought, which means I only lost about 12 pages which weren't that great anyway, and STILL HAVE the 22 I loved that I was worried about.

I am so fucking lucky because I have some savings bonds that I've never touched, put away for such an occasion as marriage or fire or theft, and after a day or so of What Do I Do upon recognizing the Moment of Emergency, I was able to cash them and replace much of what I lost. To spin positive this negative turn I have decided to use this money and buy a better one of all the things the burglars took. I have a razor phone which actually works now -- something I never would have shelled out the cash for had this not happened, but something which has already improved my stress levels almost absurdly. On a gorgeous Spring day I bought a new MacBook, to replace The Precious (RIP). It's the upgraded model I wanted in the first place, but couldn't justify spending the extra $200 dollars on. The Revenge of the Precious sits in front of me with a glowing face and a P key that does not stick, unlike her preceding namesake, playing the music saved onto my miraculously spared external. Next to the external, an enormous bottle of Maker's Mark to replace the handle of purloined Jim Beam. I still have enough to get either an iPod or a new digital camera, but I think I'll hold off on those till things settle down and I pay my security deposit and go on the trips I want to go on this summer. But they will come. Oh yes.

Fuck all these bad things that keep happening, all this negativity. You can't get me down, publishers who pass on my novel. You'll see. I'll show you because god wait till you read this one. Fuck the residency programs and their partial scholarships. Real writers don't have money, fucktards. Fill your programs with kept wives and sons and see what drivel you sieve out. Fuck prohibitively expensive tickets to New Orleans and Radiohead. I'll go so many places you wait. I'll find ways and paths you thought were long disintegrated and climb them to where I need to be. Fuck my body which keeps getting sick. I'll self diagnose at this point. Dig out old half-bottles of penicillin. I'll find an Orientalized accented herbalist to reprogram cells. I'll rattle and wheeze through work and parties and shows and match my outfit to the red in my eye. You can't stop me because I decided once to be Happy and being Happy has so little to do with what happens to you, you see, actually. You see what you do to me cannot change my Happiness because I am Alive and even when I am not anymore I will Have Lived and Lived well as I could and loved who I loved and did what I did am so, so fucking lucky for that.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Someone broke into my apartment yesterday and stole my computer, my phone, my camera, and my whiskey. Pretty much all I had, they took. The worst part is I had about 25 or so unbacked-up pages of my new novel on there. Pages I just hadn't gotten around to backing up yet. They were really good.

I was so proud of that MacBook. I wanted it for so long and I finally bought it. Everything important to me was on it. I used it for everything. It was the only possession I owned that I really cared about. It was a symbol of me finally sort of getting my shit together.

Don't call me because I don't have a phone. I don't really have anything right now.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

We cross lines without realizing they're being crossed, their divisions nothing tangible or neat. At the atomic level, even the crispest line is fuzzy. At the subatomic level, the line does not even exist until you name it.

When do we open eyes and see ourselves as different people? I remember finding myself no longer a child, now with face-lines and cocked-hip swagger and hip flask. The face is the same but the baby fat melts away showing more of the skeleton, more of the mind falling through the eye-lid droop. Name and region changes do not change the abnormalities of the malformed ribcage or the quirky bend in the nose. For those you need to break bones.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Our house became overrun with mice this past weekend. I blame Chris's guest, Jordan, who probably brought a bag of mice with him from Utah or wherever and let them loose in our house just for his amusement. He's moving to Granada today, but it will probably be hard to get a sack of vermin through customs.

Our landlord hired Orkin and he put traps all over. Not the catch-and-release kind. Not even the old-school snappy kind which kills them instantly, but roach motel types that the mice stick to so they starve to death, terrified and immobile.

I was exhausted last night and went to bed early, and just as I was dozing off I heard a rustle and a squeak. I tried to ignore it, but the squeaking continued, and soon started to sound a whole lot like crying. After about thirty minutes, I came out and asked the guys to help me. I told them I saw it stuck and struggling in lonely futility and was stupidly upset.

I went to the bathroom and Chris went in and pulled the trap out from under my radiator. Through the door I heard Chris, Jordan, and Sam talking.

Chris: It's so cute.

Jordan: I know. It sucks. But you can't let that stuff in your house.

Sam: Shouldn't we give it a quick, humane death by drowning or something?

Chris: You wanna drown it?

Sam: ...

Me (from the bathroom): Just kill it!

Chris: I can't kill it.

Me: Me either.

Finally, Chris took it outside and threw it in the trash, which was cowardly and cruel of us, but I just didn't have any balls last night. This morning I vowed next time I would. I will smash it with a hammer or drown it in the sink. I'll be braver next time.