Thursday, May 29, 2008

Provincetown this weekend. Jen, Amanda, Derek and I leave early tomorrow morning for the gaiety. In form, I have not packed. I've never experienced a warm P-town. It'll be very different from the one I saw last December, no doubt.

I have these two weeks off before modeling picks up again. I'm trying to get as much writing done as possible, but my days are filling up with neglected Dr.'s appointments. I'm trying to get my allergies (which the doctors assure me actually means I have an extremely ACTIVE immune system) under control, trying to get my knee, hip, and nerve pain under control, trying to just generally live a happier life. Hearing a woman talk about her weight is second only to hearing an old man talk about his stool consistency in terms of what most people care to listen to, but goddamn. I found out how much I weigh again and it's made me determined to find some gym I can afford or some pro-ana site that convinces me. It makes me think I have some dense tumor or something somewhere inside of me, because it seems completely illogical that I could be a size 4-6 and weigh this much. Okay, that's over for now. In other news, I made cookies.

Writing plods along. The new novel grows day by day. We're at like 150ish now, I believe. I'm shooting for a hundred more pages. One poem away from a chapbook, which Brian Ellis said he'd look over for me and help me make better in exchange for a vegetarian meal and really good bourbon. A lot a lot to do, which means I should end this entry and go do it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy Summer

It is fair to say that my Memorial Day barbecue experience differs from most.

Friday, May 23, 2008

take a picture before you say goodbye

After visiting your brother in Ann Arbor, Michigan, you realize you are so happy to be where you are where Stuff Happens. I mean like, important Stuff. Stuff that requires technically incorrect capitalization. A magical swirling Place where there is never a dance without a camera or a party without a quote.

You step off the plane and (after a slight hiccup in the flow of the Green Line during which you narrowly avoid [so the conductor says] a head-on collision with another train) you are ushered into a room of Favorite People who are gathered to say goodbye to Jess, who is moving to New York. Of course there are cameras and there are quotes.

The photos are voyeuristic and celebratory, candid upskirt shots of human connections. Once they are on the Internet, they will exist forever, stamping our youth and beauty in eternity.

You missed the big Dance this weekend, but don't worry, there are photobooth pictures of the hipsters out strutting in full peacock regalia. It's like you were there but didn't have to squeeze into the leggings or apply the eyeliner or do the drugs. In the pictures your friends are so beautiful.

Soon another going away. Sharyn reads at the Cantab for the last time and you are there watching her while your roommate makes out with his girlfriend and Ryk and Simone lurk and all of this in pixels to code this moment into the database of Time.

At some point you realize that Here, they all live for the quotes and the cameras. That in the absence of religion in the cradle of media culture and celebrity, all these colorful people have turned to photos and quips as a means of Carrying On, of Existing, of Mattering.

When you realize you don't recognize the people on the covers of magazines in the grocery aisle, but know the sexual and chemical proclivities of some heart-eyed DJ you've danced beside, but never spoken to, you realize you almost believe it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I like nice things. I do. I like pedicures and unique handbags and ordering expensive cocktails wearing shiny dresses. These things make me feel good, and I cannot see it as materialism. This is true.

Then sometimes I go through periods of renunciation, even near asceticism. Of cheap or free everything. Of used and ill-fitting clothing and smuggled booze. Wanting at all seems materialistic. This feels also just as true.

In Sikhism, the influences of ego, anger, greed, attachment and lust—known as the Five Evils—are believed to be particularly pernicious. The fate of people vulnerable to the Five Evils is separation from God, and the situation may be remedied only after intensive and relentless devotion. ~wikipedia

Lately I've embraced all five of these. Well, I mean, maybe greed is a strong word for wanting to be able to do more than survive and pay rent, and if there's one thing I've taken away from religious studies, it's Don't You Dare Get Attached, and all right, I really don't get angry, not really.... Okay, so let's just say ego and lust. Oh, nevermind. Maybe I am a little materialistic.

Without question science has made unexpected discoveries about matter. Some paraphrase departures from traditional or common-sense concepts of matter as "disproving the existence of matter". However, most physical scientists take the view that the concept of matter has merely changed, rather than being eliminated.

One challenge to the traditional concept of matter as tangible "stuff" is the rise of field physics in the 19th century. However the conclusion that materialism is false may be premature. Relativity shows that matter and energy (including the spatially distributed energy of fields) are interchangeable. This enables the ontological view that energy is prima materia and matter is one of its forms. On the other hand, quantum field theory models fields as exchanges of particles — photons for electromagnetic fields and so on. On this view it could be said that fields are "really matter"

Okay, so really I think I'm bringing up quantum mechanics (any excuse...) to justify the splurging of my tax refund on a designer bag and wallet. They are shiny. They make me happy. My image of myself carrying them strokes my ego. Ego is an idea and not matter so it may not even exist. Maybe it's a field just like the bag and just like my brain and just like the word happiness we call what my body feels when my brain gets the message from my eyes describing my bag. A bag and a happiness that would not exist if we did not observe them.

If they were gone, I'd still be happy, though. The idea is the important thing, not the "stuff." But then I guess it doesn't really matter.

Monday, May 12, 2008

So I guess I actually have two features booked so far this summer, one June 30th at the Out of the Blue Art Gallery, and another August 3rd at the Lizard Lounge.

Last night Tony and I did the slam at the Lizard just to make it happen. He won, I came in dead last, but three people whose judgments I totally respect told me my last poem (Necromance, the one about my friend Greg) gave them chills.

I quit my shittiest job the other day. All this sickness has made me reconsider a lot of things. Hey, remember back in October when you quit your shittiest job, deciding Yeah I'm Better Than This and vowed to crank out your novel by spring time? Didn't work out did it? On the other hand, I spent the winter learning how to write poetry I'm not embarrassed about, and I don't think the novel was really ready to come out till now, but I always like to give myself a hard time about these things. If Backstage doesn't get picked up by anyone (and both my agent, Janice, and I don't think it will be at this point) I really want to have my new one finished and in good enough shape to show her by the end of the summer.

Ten things I want to do this summer:

1: Get healthy.

2: Finish the current novel.

3: Start to slam.

4: Submit new poems to good journals.

5: Get a chapbook together.

6: Rock my features and book more.

7: Visit my family Back Home.

8: Do photoshoots with Mick and Caleb.

9: Find a decent source of income.

10: Have fun with the people I care about.

Too much fun lately, perhaps, but it's been a long time coming. Woke up today whiskey-hazy after waking up two days vodka-hazy and trying to think of the right words to type. Jme, Alana, and Tony rocked the Lizard last night. Jme's work sounds really good with the band behind him. Made me miss my Mommy.

Yesterday in Harvard Square they tried to sell me an issue of Spare Change with my poems in it. Nevermind that the poems are a year and a half old and I hate them now, it was still kind of cool.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Two Different Kinds of Cheeseburger

On Thursday I had cheeseburgers and malts in Newton with my agent Janice. We talked about the novel I'm working on, my demeaning, soul-crushing day jobs, and how , all romanticism aside, really, you can't be a well-balanced person and a good novelist. Well-balanced people to not obsess over every word of 400-page documents about people and events they completely make up in their heads. It's simply the facts. She said, "Why do you call yourself obsessive-compulsive? Don't dismiss your talent that way just because psychologists diagnosed you with that term when you were a kid. That's just their word for what you are." Of course she's right.

On Sunday I had a cheeseburger at the Lizard Lounge for Sean Conlon's feature. I was up until 4:30 am puking and had to call in sick the next day. Simone and Derek had similar reactions to their burgers. DAMN YOU LIZARD LOUNGE! As if your nine-hour slam wasn't bad enough.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It has struck me lately what a deeply odd person I actually must be. If I read my actions as I would the actions of a character in a book, what would they say about me? I wake up with a terrible hangover at nine am, and instead of taking advil and going back to bed, I spend the morning running errands hungover and probably a little fucked-up still. (They have to shred my first set of forms at the bank because I sign like three too many times.) My logic is thus: I hate wasting time. Errands are a waste of time. Lying around with a headache is a waste of time. But combining the two is an ingenious, two-negatives-make-a-positive experience which mollifies the hangover when combined with breakfast and coffee, and also leads to quirky character-sketch-type stories like how they had to shred my documents at the bank because I was hungover and kept signing too many times. It's very cyclical logic, but it makes sense to me, and actually makes living more bearable, keeps away the crushing melancholic black bile, etc, but I don't expect anyone to understand that.

In every close group of friends I've ever had, I always feel like the latecomer, the outsider, the observer. No matter how close I get to people, I am sifting their lives for stories, for insights, for poetic lines. I never feel known. I am an open book but feel I keep the deepest and truest part of me guarded like a stronghold. I am basically without judgments, and my personality is the lack of a personality, is bits and pieces I've taken from everyone and everything I've ever loved, down to the way I say the word "amazing." I feel I do not have that hardwired "soul" in my brain that people swear by. I am a receptacle, a sum, a series of actions and choices in a void. People like me because I don't exist and they see themselves in me. Is this an antisocial thing, a writer thing, or a human thing?

I sort of see myself in a fishtank, trying to touch and speak to and love the people around me but blocked by muffling glass walls.

This is the kind of thing I imagine is like that secret, universal, uniting belief everyone has that they are unique and different. wonder if everyone feels this way.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Is it a horrible comment about society or me personally that I was more horrified to learn my actual weight at the gynecologist's office than I was to learn that I am going to have to get a precancerous piece of my cervix removed? Food for thought.

Dumbly busy with menial things this week. Entry soon about weddings, being an outsider, and my perceived place in every close group of friends I have ever been a part of.