The awesome nonprofit I work for, Books of Hope (a teen literacy and empowerment program based in the Mystic Housing Project) is presenting a poetry workshop and youth poetry slam featuring Everett Hoagland, Wednesday, April 28th, 2010, from 6-8PM at the Somerville Library at 79 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143. For info call 617-640-0252. There will be free food and the teens will be selling books of their own words.
saturday night everyone freaks out and the full moon and the new job makes jade a dull jade unless she can get done her work and aren't all these nights the same anyways and aren't there always those tattooed knife-pricked devils out in the light of the porch and the moon hallucinogens or no and the girls with the low self-esteem and the boys with their pitchforks and the girls with their running hems climbing over each other you could just see in all those competing lights if you looked with the right angle the curve of gravity's grid pulling everyone toward and around each other in lonesome straining orbit and jade is done for a time for though she loves everyone dearly she has important work as important as relativity and the fall is coming with its brittle reminder of time that low sun and it's almost scarf weather which is the best kind of weather and there is still that scarf to finish and meals to make and weight to put on so much to do really before the winter comes so the brimstone smiles can wait for a while they're not going anywhere rooms are enough now just quiet rooms with books with work with sometimes quiet touching and what's wrong she says sometimes with taking care of each other it's the least we can do isn't it we who are so unavoidably alone we who poison our brains and tear open our bodies just to try to get closer to the same thing that hides hot and shimmering in those other bodies guarded by that damned cool impregnable perfect surface of the mirror
So I was naive, and for all the "Goddamn it I'm almost 26 and have BEEN AROUND"s I throw out there, I am an idealistic kid. I really thought that other people would find interesting in writing what I find interesting. It never crossed my mind that an agent, someone who's job it is to SELL literature, would be taken in by the sensationalist stripper story I wrote to be marketable, and hate with the power of 1000 fiery suns a sparse and meditative character portrait. How dumb was I?
There of course is the first thing you think when your world is flipped over on you. "God. It is true. Who am I kidding? I am utterly talentless. This is hopeless forever and ever, and when they find out I am talentless, they will come with torches to my door and force me off the roof. My boyfriend will break up with me, my friends will abandon me, I will be forced into exile, change my name and my face again, live that quiet forest life like Gary fucking Snyder and write pastoral haiku for no one while waiting for the bread to cool.
But I remember feeling hopeless before. I remember believing I was dying. I remember believing I would never be pretty, that I would never be loved, that I would never make it out of Indiana. I remember last summer the sense of loneliness and abandonment, thinking I would never love anyone again, but I kept going and things got better. I remember my first agent experience in college, and how he duped me and I thought, Jesus, I am utterly, utterly worthless, but I am still here and doing what I love. As long as you're not sick, if you just keep going and doing good things, things will get better.
Coco Chanel said, "How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something, but to be someone." I have put too much of myself worth into writing. I'm like the women who die when men leave. I am a writer, yes, but I am also a friend, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, a party lover, a cook, a raconteuse, a model, a personality, a pretty face, a nice figure, an odd dresser, a good fuck, a social drinker, a researcher, a waitress, and a technical genius, depending on what IQ scale you're looking at. Sometimes maybe it's enough to make a good pasta sauce and knit a pretty scarf while you're waiting to write the next novel.
Now the decision. Do I throw this one in the bottom of the drawer and write another Backstage, like she wants? I guess I have to accept that if I want to do this for a living, I will have things that will be marketable and things that I really care about, and I can do that.
What I will probably do is do what I can with this one and shop it around to some micro-presses. If no one buys it then I might just say fuck it, she's right, it is unpublishable and put it on the Internets. I'm going to take a fiction break for a while and develop a new idea, work on getting some poetry out there, and then, in a month or two, probably start the next book.
For such a warm-hearted, generous person, you're surprisingly experienced in both love and sex. We credit your spontaneous side; you tend to live in the moment, and you don't get bogged down by inhibitions like most women your age. If you see something wonderful, you confidently embrace it.
You are a fun flirt and an instant sweetheart, but our guess is you're becoming more selective about long-term love. It's getting tougher for you to become permanently attached; and a guy who's in a different place emotionally might misunderstand your early enthusiasm. You can wreck someone simply by enjoying him.
Your ideal mate is adventurous and giving, like you. But not overly intense.
Your exact female opposite:
Deliberate Brutal Sex Dreamer
Always avoid: The False Messiah (DBLM)
Consider: The Loverboy (RGLM), The Playboy (RGSM), The Boy Next Door (RGLD)
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.
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 except clothes and a guitar.
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.