Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I've been looking into Expressive Therapies as a career. This would entail about 2.5 years of school and a decent amount of student-loan debt, but it would incorporate art, my affinity for disturbed people/kids, and my desire to physically help people in a capacity I can see.

If I go for this, I would really have to go for it. This would take up at least 40 hours a week for years of my life. My fear is that I would let my personal art fall by the wayside in this situation. As David, a music therapist says, "40-50 hours a week still leaves a lot of time, as long as you don't have a family."

Two years ago, I would have scoffed at this idea, but somewhere around 25, my biological clock has started rattling around with unprecedented bombast. I could see myself as very happy having children in the next five+ years or so, but this sudden desire raises a whole new level of confusion. You can't work full-time, actively pursue your art, AND be a good mom, can you?

I used to say I wanted my art to be the way I would procreate, but as I get older I'm not so sure if I wouldn't ultimately find that romantic notion unfulfilling. Of course, having a family might conversely leave me feeling resentful and suffocated. I hope this wouldn't happen, but it's not unheard of, even for people I think are pretty decent.

This would all be easier if one of my novels hit big, but even the publishing industry as we know it is dying. Also as its been over a year and no one has picked up Backstage yet, I'm starting to come to terms with how rare actual success is in this field. My early-twenties projection of my starving-artist adult life works if it's just me. If I have other people I love to think about, it's not fair at all. I use to say I wasn't born to be happy, that I had a responsibility to my talent. I still believe that in a way, but don't talented people deserve to be happy, or at least fulfilled? Is happiness even the point? I just don't want to wind up a lonely 40-year-old woman working a shit part-time job talking about Faulkner and Nabokov.

I wonder if men think of these things.

I'm still young, but I'm coming up on some very difficult decisions and I have no idea what to base them on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

lord, won't you buy me...

My entire left hand stings.

I showed up at BU this afternoon to model for a class, but the professor (art professors flighty? No!) forgot and took her class to the museum. This is the coolest thing ever about art modeling, because when this happens you get to go home and you still get paid for the whole class.

This is also exactly what I needed today. Three extra hours to decompress, put my poems in order, play lugubrious acoustic guitar, and eat apple pie.

The weather was so amiable, I even got out at the Porter station for the extra walk. As I was crossing the parking lot of the Porter Exchange, my head turned to check out an elderly couple's impeccable cream Mercedes, and I ran directly into a thorn bush.

The bush's nettles detached like quills of a porcupine, and I walked the rest of the way home with a palm that looked like a pincushion held rigidly open so as not to drive any of the nettles further home into my flesh.

After twenty minutes in the bathroom with a tweezer and a little bit of blood, my hand is usable again.

On the one hand, this a humorous observation on my nature, and the nature of human beings in general. Who hasn't stubbed their toe while distracted by something shiny?

However, if you secretly believe life is like a transparently symbolic novel or film (and if you're reading this, you probably don't think that belief is too nuts), and especially when you consider what hands traditionally symbolize to artists of any kind, the message is clear.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

words and weddings

I'm talking to the folks at Spuyten Duyvil Press about putting a book of poetry together, to be released sometime in the early fall.

I'm performing at Caleb and Leyna's wedding back home in Indiana this weekend. I'll get to see Mom and Dad and eat lots and lots of food.

It'll also be the first time in a yearlike I see (or really talk to, for that matter) the Ex. It'll be a good litmus test. Derek couldn't come, so Mom's my date to the wedding itself, but I'm going stag to the rehearsal dinner. We'll test the waters and see if any kind of post-traumatic-breakup friendship is yet possible here.

But no matter what happens social-navigation-wise, Saturday is cake, drinking, and karaoke in fancy dresses. Gotta love that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I am currently trying very hard to resist the urge to run away into the woods and live on a sustainable farm somewhere.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

There is something so post-modern about sobbing uncontrollably in a laundromat. You realize the incongruence of the setting and the action and wonder what wry pen is commanding you.

The reality of my starving artist existence is starting to weigh heavy on me. I do what I do very well, but I keep seeing people far less talented than me succeed so much more. I have to worry about grocery shopping. I can't keep up financially with my friends and boyfriend. I can't buy presents for my family.

But every job I look at I am unqualified for, I send out resume after resume and can't even get a personal response, and the careers I think I might love all require Master's programs for which I lack even the prerequisites. Yes, I should stop whining and go out and get started if really care, but it all seems so uncertain and so far up the road, and would require an acceptance of failure and perhaps a partial abandonment of my art. I am discouraged and nauseated with myself and what I've become.

I am so intelligent and so talented and so good with people, and this is what I've made of my life? It makes me sick to think about it. I am unable to see the light at the end right now. I'm sure it's there, but I just can't see it. Goddamn my insouciance. I feel like I've completely fucked over my whole life.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

it's hot when you puke

It never ceases to amaze me how much more frequently I get hit on when I'm looking disgusting (coming from the gym, makeupless and unshowered, sick, etc.) than when I get all dolled-up and actually look presentable.

I woke up with some sort of food poisoning this morning at 5am. When I could finally hobble outside this afternoon I made it to Whole Foods in search of Boylan's Cane Cola, the only thing I could imagine putting in my mouth. In the parking lot a guy sat leaning against his car.

"Can I see your tshirt?" he said. "It looks cool."

I was still hunched over and sweating in pain, walking tight-legged past. "It's just an Urban Outfitters tshirt from a few years ago. I'm really not feeling very well."

"I'm so sorry," he called after me. "You're very beautiful."

I was not. I looked like I had food poisoning. On my way home I ran into my friend Kristen who said, "Oh my, you look like hell."

If he saw what was coming out of me eight hours beforehand, I wonder if he'd say the same thing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I got this gig featuring last night at the Boston Conservatory down in Back Bay. Some sort of show highlighting poetry for the English classes at the Conservatory. There were a lot of performers in the audience. It was in a beautiful old space with several very talented young jazz musicians, poets, and dancers performing before me.

I think I did a really good job. This is probably the best feature I've ever had, which is funny because it was so last minute and unplanned. I read two poems off-page and sold two of my first chapbook.

Tonight, housewarming party in my KICK ASS new apartment. I'm feeling better about things than I have in a very long time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

So, turns out I'm reading at Boston Conservatory today at 5pm. If you're free, able, and interested, you should come!