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.

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