Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Back to Square One. So, it looks like the job hunt is back on. Don't ask. I will tell. I went to work today at Squeeze, and loved it, had so much fun juicing big fat carrots, eating yummy vegan food and downing delicious double cappucino after delicious smoothie after delicious carrot-ginger juice and on and on.

But, of course, there is always something. Well when Ursula, the manager, hired me yesterday, she told me that my first two days would be unpaid training but that I would get tip shares. I said okay, excited about the idea of having a fun job, ignoring the unsavory labor practice of unpaid training. And well, today at the end of my shift, the temprepental owner came in, yelled a lot at the managers about the mess in the basement, and then picked up the pile of resumes that people had left for the juicer position. That is right, folks: A big thick pile of resumes for a fucking juicer position! People kept stopping in all day today to drop off resumes, fucking resumes, for a seven dollar an hour juicer job! The owner thumbed through them, asked me my name, and then told me that my job was still not a sure thing, that they were going to have to bring in some of the other applicants ito see what they were like also. I was ready to punch the dude in the mouth, but I smiled and said okay, because there still is the slight chance that they will call me to work there. Ursula told me she would call me tomorrow to let me know the next time I was working. Scary Owner is going to have all these people come in and work for free for a day and milk as much free labor as possible. So basically I got paid $12 (the tipshare) for hauling big bags of carrots, dicing them, juicing every imaginable item of produce for five hours. That averages out to a little more than $2 an hour I got paid for today. This was okay when there was the promise of me soon working days where I would get actually get paid an hourly wage, but yeah, I was a little mad after my encounter with the owner.

So, tomorrow morning, I am going to go apply for some more jobs, for jobs that I circled in the Village Voice classifieds tonight.

I am listening to Belle and Sebastin's If You're Feeling Sinister and it makes this place, New York, feel a lot more like home. All you need is familiar music. That is all you need if you are homesick, or unsure of your place. The quote is something like: Home is where the heart is. And my heart is in songs I can sing along to. They make me feel more sure of my place, that yeah, I am in this new town and all, without a job, without an apartment, but all that is okay. I am home. I heard classic rocks songs at work today. I knew the words to most of them. And here is this album that I listened to all summer long on repeat over and over again when I was in Madison under very similar circumstances, and I love it - it makes it all seem a lot more definite. That there is still this person - this Me - that upon each hearing of this album has very similar emotions, that is overcome by a sort of gleeful melancholy, an excited embracing of this moody state that Belle and Sebastin can provoke in a young lonely lad. And I have had this feeling connected to this music in Wisconsin, in Florida, in Virginia (I brought Bonnie's CD home with me over Christmas break), and now here in New York where I am listening to Cassedy's copy of it

My scribbled notes of some Ferlinghetti quotes during his talk last night on "What is Poetry?"

Poetry is thinking with your skin...
Poetry is the conducter of emotion. If it don't conduct, it ain't poetry.
Poetry should be emotion recollected in emotion!
"What is the use of poetry?" If you have to ask, you need it!

And then his closing advice for young writers (you guys!):

Think subjectively, write objectively.
Climb the statue of liberty.
You're only a poet when making poetry, don't discuss craft!
Kiss the mirror and write on it what you see and hear.
Don't write poems about your navel and expect the world to think it relevant.
Open your mouth and stop mumbling.

And then he gave a piece of advice that I had recieved depressed at a wall once from Ryne, when I was expressing my boredom with everything around me, how it had all become so common. Ryne said to just pretend you were an alien from outer space and to imagine what you would think of everyone. And I loved that piece of advice so much, because within a few minutes, I was seeing again the uniqueness of things. And Ferlinghetti said, "When writing, be naive, and non-cynical as if you were an alien, as if you had just landed on earth, which you have."

And then the piece of advice that was my absolute favorite of the night was, "Write short poems from the voice of a bird."

Lovely lovely lovely, all of it. There are these songs all around that can play and different enviroments and still be not only relevant, but meaningful.

Ten beautiful things I saw today:
-a girl shooting a basketball and missing on my walk back from the subway
-a sliced beet
-the encircled G on the front of the G train as it was arriving into the Smith and 9th station.
-three non-working escalators
-Cassedy in a sling
-a man doing the itsy bitsy spider song and hand motions
-various trees shedding white pedals from their spring flowers like snow
-graffiti of a tooth and toothbrush
-a baby in a stoller
-and another baby in a stroller, life all around

Wow, that list took a bit of thinking. I have to pay better attention to my surroundings so that if asked I could without hesitation least at least ten things of beauty (cute boys don't count) that I saw throughout the day. Tomorrow this will be an easier task, this will help me settle here and make it home, by noticing the beauty of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Still no apartment. That's okay. Sleeping in the living room of this space is fine. Only real drawback is that it has been since Sarasota that I have masturbated. Starting to think nasty thoughts about good decent people that stand near me on the subway, about what their mouth would be like around my cock.

But I do have a job. I start working at this too hip juice bar tomorrow in Williamsburgh, on Bedford Avenue. It should be fun. Stop by. It's called Squeeze. When I got the job today, Tom Petty was playing over the stereo. I was sort of singing along. It was such a perfect moment. Tom Petty and a job in a really cool place.

Last night, Brooklyn Film Fest volunteering, free booze. Tonight, Lawrence Ferlingethi giving a talk on "What is Poetry?," somewhat inspiring, more so cool to see the literary figure in person, more free booze, and there will be more exciting entries that are not lists of what I did. That will come when I have my own apartment, my own room at least, and when Niki does not need to use Cassedy's computer to use Photoshop.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

New York

Here, I am. Right now, I am at Niki's apartment in Red Hook watching Cassidy repair his bike, and in a short hour or so, I will be on my way to Williamsburg with Cassidy to look at a two bedroom apartment two blocks away from the Lorimer stop for only 990. I have already looked at it once. The ceilings are only about seven feet high, not very good for dance parties, it is a semi-basement aparment. But it's a skip away from bars, diners, and beautiful bridges, and little Latino men selling shaved ice out of carts. It also has a backyard, and whatever lack of sunlight it might have can be remedied with lots of funky lamps, with green plants. In retrospect, I am in love with the apartments. When I looked at it, I was rather unexcited by it, but now I am coloring it in better. I want to make it mine, to tell the landlord today that I want it, that I will sign a check today, now, give me keys. But, since it is the only apartment I have looked at it, I am deciding to get a second opinion, a more neutral observer and so Cassidy will be coming along to tell me that it is either a piece of shit, or that I should get it quick before someone else does. I might live in it with Niki, if she ever looks at it, and if her roommates consent to her leaving this place, otherwise, I am just going to post a listing on Craigslist and find that rocking roommate.

But, let's see, did I mention, I am in New York? Yesterday, I was waiting at the Smith and 9th platform and saw clearly the Statue of Liberty in a halo of fog. Little sightings like this of known landmarks make me laugh, like you do when you hold up a bank and manage to get away, a laugh of shit, how did we not get caught? Free! And I sat on the bench curled in a fit of laughter at the Statue of Liberty, at the fact that for some reason I am here in New York.

I have still yet to suck any cocks. Being a slut seemed like a fun idea, was the intention, but there is still time. I just need to find someone to rock the gay bars with me. Last night, wandering around the East Village after downing free Buds like it was the end times at a Wrap party for a film Ramsey worked on, I wandered from bar to bar with Ramsey and his film crew, with this one girl, Marcia, who still makes me laugh today. Last night was nothing but a fit of giggles because we went into one lame bar, led there by Ramsey, left shortly thereafter, and an incredulous Marcia for the rest of the night kept saying, "You take us to a bar where there are guys from Jersey eating take-out Chinese food?" "Jersey" and "Chinese food" repeated over and over in mock outrage tones may be the funniest two words that a girl with a Spanish accent can say, maybe that anyone can say.

And because it is a small world, while bar-hopping, I ran into New College kids - Dara, Rob, and Chris Mitchell and a boy they were dragging around that they called Beck and looked eerily like him. I love life! I love running into people I know! So now, I am going to go out and do some serious ass-shaking with Alisdair and Dara soon.

In other exciting news, I talked to a really cool gay boy on the subway last night, riding home drunk as hell and full of french fries - but that's not the excitement. The excitement is some thug sitting across the train started talking shit, saying not to look in his direction. And I talked shit back and laughed in his face, and he came up in my face, and preteneded like he was about to pull out a gun, and I laughed and told him "What?" Thinking to myself: What?, you stupid asshole, take your macho posturing elsewhere, I am here in this city and I am going to have as much fun as possible, so please shut your stupid mouth, use it for making out or something other that being a wannabe thug. And he didn't do jack shit, but said that he was going to, and I laughed and laughed my way off the train, happy with life, laughing at all of it. The robbery went off without a hitch, I kept on turning to look out the back window to see if cops were following, and they weren't, they aren't, some how, some fucking how, we managed to get away with it.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Still have yet to finish packing. Plane leaves at oneish, I leave at elevenish for Tampa. I really wanted to make out with Ben Haber tonight, he refused eight million times. And really, I don't know why, but I all I wanted to do was make out with this boy. The fact that he loves Smashing Pumking rekindled my dying crush on him, and made this desire to make out with him particularly outrageous where I was forward enough to ask, to practically beg of him to sleep over. But he refused, and refused again. Ben, all I want to do is make out with you. This is not passive-agressive. This is agressive-agressive. God, why do I want to make out with you so bad? Don't forget your guarantee that if you are in NY, you will engage in some making out. I did, however, get to make out with another old crush -- but I really thought I would be able to make out with BH. I watched a firework called Dixie Delight set off on this island by my house in the middle of a pond. I love Christy, the provider of this visual thrill. And shit, I am going to sleep, drunk off of stolen beer, on a bed with no sheets, because I have already packed them, on a bed by myself, because BH refused my offers to sleep over, and I will be waking up in way too short of a time to fucking move to New York. Fucking shit! I am moving to New York tomorrow. How is this happening? I am not even packed!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

the wright brothers and i

I woke up ten mintues ago or so, startled, and realized that I have a plane leaving for New York in less than 24 hours, the place to which I will be moving, and I still have not packed one thing. The plan is to cram all I can fit into two bags, and to give the rest to Pelican Man. All this crap, this will force me to seperate myself from some of the unneccesary posssesions I have.

Last night was my last day working at the Best Western, and it was the perfect way to leave a job. Katia, the manager, ordered me a really yummy pizza, gave me advice for life, and a big hug. Departures always bring a heightened sense of importance to the present, to the future, and towards this object called life - and people say things sincerely to you, like Good luck with life -- what a fucking beautiful phrase, with life, good luck with life, the big thing and an earnest hope that everything will work out. Little tidbits of wisdom, the advice that people will a little more experience in life, give you at moments like these are to be cherished. And Katia's compact advice was, "Have fun, be smart, get smarter." Yes, yes, yes - thank you, I will.

And then later in the night, this guest, Ralph Mabry, who I had talked to a couple of days earlier about poetry. He saw me reading Wallace Stevens and he told me about his translations of these Mexican poets that he loved into Arabic, he made me write down the poets names so that I would check them out from the library the next time I was there. Well, last night, he came in and kicked my ass. Here is basically how it happened:

Ralph: So what would you do if you did get an English degree?
Charlie: I have no idea.
R: Well, would you teach, would you write, what would you want to do?
C: I'm not sure. I would love to write for a living, but there are just aren't that many opportunities out there for that.
R: Well, are you confident about your writing abilities?
C: Uh ... I mean, I am moderately confident about my writing abilities.

[And this is where he sighed a big sigh of annoyance with my wishy washyness, told me how if I was not confident, and did not go after what I wanted in life, if I had any doubts about it, nothing would happen. How I could not wait for the perfect opportunity to present itself, because it never was going to, that I had to make them. And then we pick back up into the dialogue I can remember:]

R: Do you think someone taught the Wright brothers how to fly? Do you think someone taught Albert Einstein how make the lightbulb? Do you think someone taught [some name I didn't know] how to send voice across the Atlantic? ... If you are twenty-one and you don't know what you want to do with your life, you might as well just dig yourself a hole and stay there. You have to have dreams...

These are the moments, the interactions with strangers that I long for, and it occured on my last day at work, two days before flying to a city for no real reason other than because, and this man appears to give me admonishing advice that is desperatly needed. Enough of the wishy-washiness, I am going to kick some NY ass. I talked with Ralph for about 15 minutes, him riffing on this similar theme, telling me stories from his own life, about being denied to Columbia medical school because they didn't have "facilities for Negroes," about him not caring, going someplace else, about his son kicking life's ass, about Islam, and more more more.

I am ready.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

There is a goodbye in me, and I am determined to say it before I leave, and I don't know when that will happen. Tomorrow will already be Tuesday and on Thursday I am leaving, and I still have yet to say my farewells to this town that has been my home for the past four years off and on. I will though. Tomorrow, I promise.

In the meantime, Ben Haber kicked my ass at tennis today in two straight sets: 6-1, 6-5. In better news, I got a 177 bowling tonight. Still did not break 200, which is my goal. Drank four beers, flipped crepes like the best goddamn crepe flipper this side of Paris, and tomorrow at ten I will be attending Jamie's bacc. and then I will work my last day at Best Western. I might even do some packing tomorrow. I will probably drink more, sing more, and maybe other things more. I've got limited time here and all I want to do is play tennis and tan at the beach.

Sarasota, never mind that, let's get started on the goodbyes, because I am at the computer, and I don't know how much more of this computer sitting time I will have before I go. Sarasota, to you, I lost my virginity, I lost three bikes, some might say my innocence. Four years ago, I came here because it was Florida and I knew absolutely no one and that idea appealed to me more than anything about the school, the fact that I would know no one. And in that time, by knowing no one, and by meeting people, some of them outragously kind, I have come to know more about this, maybe even some stuff about myself, have become comfortable in being a cocksucker, have admitted to it, proclaming it loudly somtimes while drunk. I have tripped hard and seen little people dancing over the overpass and that too, this town gave to me. I have thought I was going to die too many nights from things I should not have ingested, and that seemed romantic to me then, it seemed like a neccesary bohemian experience, and now I laugh at people who think things like that, those who have yet to find the true joy of good hops.

And maybe I am going to New York, because I know barely anyone there, the potentials for self-reinvention seems numerous, and maybe I want to become more of a cocksucker.

I will miss 41, pissing in public over walls, and the ability to steal all my groceries. I will miss banyan trees up and down Eastchester, I will miss that big whatever tree in front of Sainer that has the most beautiful blossoms in early spring. I have juiced juice from trees in my backyard, and that thrilled me then, and the memorey of it thrills me know, and that, I will miss too, the feeling that life, a basic life can still provide everything, that this earth has huge tits, and it is willing to milk us, it provides us with everything.

The cactus tree at the end of my block, the Gulf of Mexico, parrots in the wild, all of this, will be foresaken for a plane ticket I bought a while ago, and perhaps that's a good thing, perhaps not, no judgement is being made. An opportunity was created to provide me with new things to one day miss, and to make my realtity a soon to be memorey, to touch these objects, and say oh, I do love reading headlines from the Weekley World News about Satan taking over the earth while waiting in line at Win-Dixie when the power goes out in the supermarket and right before the car I was driving dies. It's fucking lovely, and walking on stilts for someone's idea of art also is lovely. Stilts are lovely, and I have a feeling I will not be walking on any throught the streets of New York.

I have wrestled in mud, and drank outrageous amounts of alcohol, and puked an almost equally outrageous amount back out, some of it I was able to hold down. I have had crushes that I have never made out with, that I have masturbated to thoughts of, and they too will stay here with memories of this place, of the Sunshine State, their chests will be forever basking in this Florida glow, and I will soon be leaving it, the glow, their chests, and their rebuffs, and that's good, but I also will miss it. The people, the people - those who love to dance, and those I have madde out with, and those who have refused to, and god, those midnight bike rides, and all of it, all, all, concluding soon, this chapter sequeing into the New York one, and I don't know. I shouldn't be writing this buzzed from stolen beer, I really did want to write something nice about my time in this town. Maybe I still will.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

the town i live in

I have thoughts about Flordia, positive ones. By chance, I opened my new Wallace Stevens book to a poem called "Farewell to Florida," about Stevens leaving the Sunshine State for a northern urban spot. This seemed symbolic, it made me outrageously happy, and it made me start meditating upon my own approaching farewell to this state, made it seem a lot more signifcant.

Also, I read an article about my love, Bruce Springsteen, and I have spent the day, the night thinking of how amazing a person he is, and exactly why his art is so moving, where it comes from, this power it has, how "Born to Run" is so fucking full of the stuff of life, and absorbs its listeners into it, makes them co-writers of the songs, like all art, songs, and books should be, like the good type - getting you fucking involved.

And I love Springsteen's relationship to this land, this America, and walking home along US 41, I was filled with joy, thinking about Springsteen, singing to myself, "I want to know if love is wild, baby, I want to know if love is real..."

And in this moment of love for mankind, for America, some redneck asshole driving by me threw a bunch of water onto me while yelling something indiscernible. It's not like it is already not rough enough to be a pedestrian in this diesel loving town, having to endure the occasional yelling from punk drivers, yelling about something, trying to make something out of their life, trying to get a little masculine thrill, make themselves feel tough or bad, or whatever it takes to send a little more blood to their tiny dicks, the stupid redneck motherfuckers. But to have to deal with shit being thrown at you when you are in the best of moods thinking of how great this land is, boy, it sure is a bit of a buzzkiller. But this, too, I love. It is part of it, I need to embrace it. Yell at driving away cars like it matters, and laugh because I am all wet, and it is nighttime.

And tonight is the last wall I shall ever attend. Leaving Thursday, more thoughts will be hashed out relating to Stevens, and soon I will say my own farewell to Florida, but until then, SNL, wine, and dancing.

Saturday, April 19, 2003

green means go

Zero for three. Sean said no to making out with me. Said no quite a few times. Some 17 year old boy gave the equivalent of no. Ben Haber said no also. Oh well, no harm in asking. I stopped there, and did not even try to make it zero for four by asking Andrew. There is some bliss found in being told no and in not caring, in asking with the expectation of no, and then saying okay, of talking about it like it is going to get ice cream. No, no ice cream for me, thanks. So my goal of making out with Ben seems like it is never going to happen.

But, I have new books to go to bed with, stolen from Barnes and Nobles earlier today. I don't know if I should bring Wallace Stevens, WC Williams, or Sharon Olds into bed with me. They will not say no. They are intelligent and concerned with the right things, what I need to be concerned with. I saw clear blue water, the Gulf of Mexico, and swam in it today. I ate a club sandwich, drank lots of beer, champagne, and wine, and bowled quite a few games since it is dollar days at the local bowling alley. A good day, a waning moon, and six days until I am out of the Sunshine State and into someplace else, someplace new, a city where I dream of yes being said.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Hair is best when it is being chopped off your head. The green of the earth and the brown of me, curling together by my toes. The brown is softer but the green feels more clean, does not cling, does not require a shower. Cutting hair in your front yard will attract the questioning of inquisitive neighbors, a guy named Skip, telling you you missed some spots and talking about the yard, the yard you are cutting your hair in, and the yard whose grass, he, Skip, cuts.

Hair is best when it floats around in a tub of water that does not drain well after being washed with suds suds and more of the foamy suds off of bodies, where it has clung to shoulders, bellies, and the backs of necks. It swirls around the bather, by his feet again, right where it belongs. Where it is best.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

the femmes will have to suffice for human interaction tonight. every night? no! things will change!

I have energy, so much of it right now. It cannot be contained. And yet, here I am on Bonnie's computer because I have nothing else to do. I had scheduled a round of Scrabble with Jamie for after I got off work but she is asleep! And I want to play. Not neccesarily Scrabble, I am just ready to interact with some things with blood flowing through them. I want to listen to loud music and dance, but again, there is that Jamie asleep thing preventing me.

Walking home from work, I saw something lovely. The Knights Inn recently installed a neon purple trim to the top of the building, and on that American highway, that beautiful stretch of asphalt, US 41, there were puddles from a sprinkler watering the plants in the median. And in the road, as a result, on US 41, there was a long glimmering line of purple. It rocked off the surface off the road, through these eyeballs straight to over-caffeniated neurons that were firing with a joy and a gratitude for this life, and an immense appreciation for this land, these States. I read Edmund White's A Boy's Own Story recently, and the best part was one line that sticks in my head: "The sky and the water were anagrams of each other." What a phrase! And that line was also transmitted by these happy, skipping neurons and two pieces seemed to fit together. Neon lights and a reflection in a puddles of sprinkler water. Anagrams of each other. Everything is. Pieces fitting into places left and right. Everything made of each other. The connections being made. And I want some connections to be made. The Femmes are yelling into my headphones right now with a similar desire chanting, yelling over and over: "And she can touch me all over my body, touch me all over my body!"

Those wacky midwestern boys, them. But, I am not doing a very good job of verbalizing this feeling of ah-ha!, of the world having a seeemingly divine order, and that's the problem with revelations - they don't have staying power - their revelatory feeling of discovered knowledge only seem to reside in those brief moments, lasting as long as it takes to say the ah-ha that describes the moment. And then the neurons are firing other things, trying to hold on, to wrap words around the fading experience. Presevering it in jars. Jars like this one.

I have energy, so much of it right now. It cannot be contained!

Monday, April 14, 2003

"the idea of order at key west" - wallace stevens

She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.

This was reread at work today. It is such a lovely and empowering poem. I am her, the singer. It is not about singing, or maybe it is, but it is broader, there are circles, the singer circle being bound by the poet one being bound by the artist one being bound by the human being one. Because while this is definitly a poem concerned with the role of the artist and the powers they possess, it is even more so a poem about being human, an ultimatium on how we must live, there is no distinciton really to be made between that of the artist and that of the fully-realized human, to be human is to have this creative self-awareness, it is to make the world you want to live in, it is to be sincerly engaged with it.

Sincerity, above all else. There was no world for me except the one that I sang, says Stevens. But then what, my friend, if I have yet to sing? Is there a world for me? Or does my world become the songs that other people sing? Is my world mediated by their melodies? I have to make it mine, have to be more actively engaged with the world, with you. There is no world for me except the one that I sing, and singing, make. Yes, Wallace, yes. I still don't understand the Ramon Fernandez part, but that is okay. That is what Google is for.

My feet and legs are sore from tennis, from walking to and fro work, and from a lack of painkillers at work. I have taken two advils and massaged my feet. I already feel better. In T-minus 10 days, I will be on a plane to New York. I want to wish that person traveling then good luck, I am a little detached from my future, still unaware of my imminent departure. Sean has some boyfriend, he showed me pictures the other night. The boy was cute. Slight regrets are stirred by things like this. Maybe not specific to the person, but just in general. There are a couple of things I want to do before leaving SRQ:

-play an assload of tennis
-go canoeing in the bay
-spend as much time at beach as possible
-ask certain people to make out since i'll never see them after they say no
-see Spirted Away at dollar theater
-maybe get wasted at the dog track friday matinee (50 cent beers!)
-burn the town to the ground

[This entry is bookened by two sets of seven lines, Stevens' and mine. Wallace might have the better voice, he might be a far more talented writer, but he's got nothing on the dog track or on making out with crushes. Perhaps that's a good thing. I don't know.]

Friday, April 11, 2003

I am so incredibly blessed. I dropped off Jamie's thesis in Cook Hall, and stopped because I heard a beautiful click-clicking noise. It was a group of bamboo trees brushing against each other in the wind. I have heard this sound described in books. I have experienced it now. I turned and to my astonishment saw a huge nest up in a tree in front of Cook Hall. Seconds later, because I am that blessed, I saw a huge hawk diving down into the nest with brush to further build the nest. I heard the squawking of another hawk in the nest. I watched the nest-builder swoop down to pick up more brush. I am privleged enough to encounter this beauty. Filled to the brim with gratitude for being alive right now in this scene, I walked home along the bay and the wind blew the scent of salt and dead fish against me. It was heaven through the nostrils. My senses are overwhelemed by things like this. I am a sensualist, it is true.

I kid you not, I then saw a pair of parrots chasing each other through the air. This is the town I live in right now. Welcome to Sarasota, Florida. How lucky am I? And as if that were not enough, this world presented me with more birds heralding its glory, the sublime beauty of this thing, this place. A seagull with its curved wings floated on the breeze overhead. Walking by the pond, I intersected one of those fat spotted ducks that was crossing the street as I was walking down it. It looked at me without fear. I am part of this system, of this beauty. I am so blessed. Then there was the sight of a huge crane standing like a statue in someone's yard, and then once in my own yard, noticing that Skip has removed the stepping tiles in our backyard, I saw half of a small bird's egg. Yes! This is life. The beauty is never ending.

Spring is here. The other night at work, the owner brought me out to the pool to show me ducks. This man in his sixties was brought back to infancy by the sight of a mama duck and fifteen! little chicks following her around. And I was too, and today it was a similar feeling. The beauty of this world has that power -- it is empowering to know that there are things with this ability. What capacities we possess!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2003

today in a particular order:

Losing tennis to Ben, failing to wake up Beki, rocking out to Violent Femmes, masturbation, pasta, and in ten minutes, working until midnight, until the end of today, getting off at the start of tomorrow.

But God, something is lacking from that sequencing. I want to tell you about the birds and the squirrels that hang outside my bathroom window, in my neighbor's yard, my neighbor with four birdfeeders. Watching them do their living thing while I do my shower thing. It is a great scene to start any day, especially a good day. There is a strong wind today, stirring things around, screens, litter, other things, stirring up my senses, and I am looking forward to the airy prospects that my walk to work in a short few minutes will present me. When I was mastubating this afternoon, through the slits of my blinds over my bed, all I could see was bright blue and bright green, the sky and the leaves of the tree next to my window, and the colors were bright and I was happy. The Femmes were playing and that made me even happier.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

"nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind"

In two weeks and a couple of days, I will be moving to New York and I am not exactly sure why. April 24th had just seemed like some distant date in the future, but today while playing Scrabble with her, Beki told me how soon it was, and yeah, I am still not sure what I plan on doing in New York. I have still yet to finish my resume, let alone send it out to any of the jobs I want to apply for. I have a non-refundable plane ticket and this experiment is about to play out to either good or bad results in a very short period of time.

Last night, in a fit of caffenation, I said New York is for suckers and posers, and decided that I want to fly from NY to Israel via Istanbul, where once in Israel, I would work on a kibbutz. This has been a plan for a while, but it will just have to stay a plan for a little while longer until I exhaust New York. There there will at least be boys' arms I can spend the night in, and people in love, with fetishes for the written word, and I can join them and stare googely eyed at all the prominent writers that are constantly holding readings. And hot dogs and cheap Chinese food and public transportation. Niki, the person I was going to live with is the biggest flake ever, which occasionally worries me about this situation, but now I am planning on not living with her, just so I won't be unprepared when she flakes out and decides she wants to apartment swap and live in my Sarasota pad, which was in fact her insane idea as of a week ago, but now she has changed her mind and what the plan is now, I am not exactly sure, and I think this is why Israel sounded so appealing last night.

Today, I read Dave Eggers' new story in the latest McSweeneys and it was so boring and painful to read. I didn't even read the whole thing, I skimmed it until the end. This is the first thing I read by him that wasn't written in first person, and I guess this is where the limit lies of Eggers' writing. His writing only appeals to me when it is in that engergetic (almost manic) first person voice of rising rising excitement peaking in joyous self-revelations that the reader also experiences. Eggers is not the most dexterous writer obviously, but when he hits the notes right, god, he is my favorite writer.

And because I am becoming bored with most fiction, I picked up Emerson today. Thank god. Thank Emerson. It was the medicine I needed. The book has been by my bedside for years, an old collection of Emerson that I picked up at a used book sale in high school. For whatever reasons, I haven't read from it since sometime in the fall. Every time I pick him up, I resolve to myself that I need to read him every week, a form of Church, and I am resolving that again today, right now, that I will turn to Emerson often and let him work that magic that he does on my sense of self. And I probably won't follow through on this and that is okay. Today, I reread "Self-Reliance" and I feel better about the future, about what will happen two weeks and a couple of days from now, about everything. I love writers that inspire you to try to achieve that human ideal. This is what all writing should do.

Saturday, April 5, 2003

susan son-tag you are it

Tonight, I was in an excited mood when I got home from work, the spirits were raised because I was intent on getting smashed and dance dance dancing at the Bens' wall. I took a couple shots of Jager and my body for whatever reasons cannot handle hard liquor at all these days. It can take in insanely harmful amounts of wine or beer without batting an eye, but hard alcohol is a different story all together. It is the story of me starting to gag on my second shot before even swallowing it, and of me running from our kitchen to our toilet hoping to get there in time, of me getting there in time and puking out the pasta salad I had eaten a couple hours earlier into our toilet. It is the story of me blowing chunks so hard that they bounced off the surface of the toilet's water and right into my eyes, my face, my hair. Not a pleasant story.

So nix the getting smashed plans, can still dance the night away. Ha. There was a Pixies song that thrilled me to the bones and the new Missy song, and every song that normally I would have quietly groaned about made me loudly groan since I was already moody from having puked everywhere. So nix that part too. So the new plan for tonight: drink tea, lie in bed, let stomach calm down, read Edmund White, and let the boy love scenes turn me on, do what I will that mental imagery and then let that segue into a good night's sleep.

Thursday, April 3, 2003

i read william carlos williams earnestly for the first time last night

My shoes were just slightly wet, but still noticeably so. I had walked through uncut wet grass back towards home from the bay where I had been watching stars, listening to the meek tide of the bay and the loud tide of cars moving across US 41. Ambling home, not wearing socks. The insoles of my sneakers felt slick - and the touch brought the memorey of similar touches to the cinematic screen of my drunk mind. I was in middle school and sloshing through the creek by my house, feeling the slick insoles of my shoes, the gross sewage water passing between my foot and the rubber of my shoe, of walking through rain in various towns, feet slipping around inside shoes trying to escape the rain. The memories of these, the reliving of all these moments occured in that one brief half of an instant, and I squeezed my eyes tight with glee trying to hold on to it, trying to prolong the moment. It is moments like these I live for.

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

"they say jim crow, we say hell no"

What? What on earth is going on? Sometimes it just hits me, the surreal craziness of our times, and all I can think is What is going on? Is this for real? Color-coded terror alerts? This is real? How was this accepted to anything other than a chorus of giggles? These What? moments come upon me randomly and last for a few minutes before I again step back into whatever the ideology is that I believe (hope) I stepped out of momentarily. It's like those moments where you are getting drunk for the umpteenth night in a row, hanging out with people that are lame, and you step back from the scene and ask yourself, "Wait! What am I doing? Why am I here with these people?" And then a song comes on that you like, maybe even an Outkast song, and you start shaking your limbs in sync with the music and the thought, the moment is gone, replaced by good tunes and more liquor.

I am listening to old Outkast albums, and it sounds right. The low-key funk is the mood I am feeling, a mild funkiness, the good kind, and then I read the news and it just doesn't jive at all. It is so jarring, the fast tense drumbeat of it, the fucking insanity of Tom Ridge. Today could very well be the end of affirmative action, and it is a constant attack. I am ready to come out swinging, saying no more of this bullshit. Outrageous disparities between the K-12 education that most whites recieve compared to that of most minorities, and some white broad doesn't get into her dream school, Michigan, and boo fucking hoo. If it isn't that terrorist Tom Ridge, it's giving Haliburton contracts to rebuild Iraq, or this Michigan mess. What the fuck? How did we get to this point? Why can't we just listen to old Outkast tunes and feel this mellow funk?

One of my favorite writers, Hank Stuever, wrote a fairly good piece about all this government induced terror. And it is somehow optimistic, well-written, and funny considering what the subject is. And this is why Stuever is one of my favorite writers. Read it, read it, read it. His writing is what I want to be capable of.

Outkast is still playing. "Crumblin Erb." And I got to dance. Because it's that or being frustrated and full of rage.

even the flinstones had their silly phone, with a bird or whatever

I am getting my internet fix here in the library. I am a sick addict. Two days without internet and I have to know if I have gotten any new e-mails, if I am missing something. I got one real e-mail, from Beki, from Italy, telling me about picking her up from the airport. Nothing exciting.

Our phone line is down for whatever reasons that Verizon will hopefully determine when they finally get their sorry fee-charging asses out to our house, two days after our phones stopped working.

At work, I watch the news and get alert when I hear stories of SARS, wonder if I have those symptoms, I feel how much my throat hurts and wonder if that is what I have, if I am going to die from this mystery flu. My throat is sore and I don't know why. It is not like a normal cold. No snot. Just soreness. I haven't made any recent trips to China or Hong Kong, but I know I have it, I do. I am going to die. Alas. And I panic because that's what they want, they want me to tremble in fear and continue watching bombs dropping and more flu stories to find out about my fate. They are going to let me know. Well, look here, cable affilate based in Atlanta, Georgia, when I get ready for bed tonight and masturbate until I fall asleep, then I will give you what the word is, what my fate will be. Stay tuned, more coverage cumming up.

I am reading Oscar Wilde now for the first time and I am finding it a delicious pleasure that I wish I would have partaken in earlier. There are all these secret books out there, hiding, waiting to be read. So many. There are even more waiting to be written. But first, those that need to be read. So many.

I drink lots of tea. It helps.