You are viewing slouise

i shut my eyes and the world drops dead [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

(no subject) [Feb. 22nd, 2014|08:39 pm]

I am sick of the sound of people yelling at one another. What brings on such a feeling? It's not envy, exactly (envy of what? "Saturdays"?) ... and it's not exactly distaste. I'm thinking now it's probably fatigue. A sickness that feels much like dizziness. Too many times the same thing.

In the good moments it does not feel like waiting for the spinning to stop. I look at the ocean and think that these kind of challenges build character.

But how much character does one person really need?

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jan. 19th, 2014|10:50 am]

Anyone who thinks gulls are ugly, doesn't know what elegant turns they can make in the air.

Criss-crossing each other diagonally in a very high part of the sky.

Catching air above the vultures, who are constantly hungry.

Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 29th, 2013|07:00 pm]
LinkLeave a comment

raw [Dec. 13th, 2013|07:31 am]
In my dreams I skip school with Rael Howes and we find our way out to her mother's new house.

There is frost on the sand when I open my eyes and Jack is not in the bed.

Jack is in his box and when I look closer I see that he has scratched his face open again.

The scab that once was is no longer there anymore.
LinkLeave a comment

stone, by charles simic [Aug. 31st, 2013|08:06 am]

Go inside a stone
That would be my way.
Let somebody else become a dove
Or gnash with a tiger's tooth.
I am happy to be a stone.

From the outside the stone is a riddle:
No one knows how to answer it.
Yet within, it must be cool and quiet
Even though a cow steps on it full weight,
Even though a child throws it in a river;
The stone sinks, slow, unperturbed
To the river bottom
Where the fishes come to knock on it
And listen.

I have seen sparks fly out
When two stones are rubbed,
So perhaps it is not dark inside after all;
Perhaps there is a moon shining
From somewhere, as though behind a hill—
Just enough light to make out
The strange writings, the star-charts
On the inner walls.

LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 10th, 2011|02:51 pm]

Alright, okay, I am appreciating this interview again after watching that damned movie with James Franco.  Do not fail to notice how significant again is to the previous sentence, how I cannot resist defending my writerly street cred.

I was fifteen once.  I still recall how tentatively I dipped into the City Lights Anthology my father had brought back for me from San Francisco, past the relatively accessible Ferlenghettis and Kerouacs (the starting line of Freshman year), into the neurotic and perplexingly sexual realm of Ginsberg. 



The problem is, where it gets to literature, is this. We all talk among ourselves and we have common understandings, and we say anything we want to say, and we talk about our assholes, and we talk about our cocks, and we talk about who we fucked last night, or who we’re gonna fuck tomorrow, or what kinda love affair we have, or when we got drunk, or when we stuck a broom in our ass in the Hotel Ambassador in Prague—anybody tells one’s friends about that. So then—what happens if you make a distinction between what you tell your friends and what you tell your Muse? The problem is to break down that distinction: When you approach the Muse to talk as frankly as you would talk with yourself or with your friends. So I began finding, in conversations with Burroughs and Kerouac and Gregory Corso, in conversations with people whom I knew well, whose souls I respected, that the things we were telling each other for real were totally different from what was already in literature. And that was Kerouac’s great discovery in On the Road. The kinds of things that he and Neal Cassady were talking about, he finally discovered were the subject matter for what he wanted to write down. That meant, at that minute, a complete revision of what literature was supposed to be, in his mind, and actually in the minds of the people that first read the book. Certainly in the minds of the critics, who had at first attacked it as not being . . . proper structure, or something. In other words, a gang of friends running around in an automobile. Which obviously is like a great picaresque literary device, and a classical one. And was not recognized, at the time, as suitable literary subject matter.


So it’s not just a matter of themes—sex, or any other one . . .


It’s the ability to commit to writing, to write, the same way that you . . . are! Anyway! You have many writers who have preconceived ideas about what literature is supposed to be, and their ideas seem to exclude that which makes them most charming in private conversation. Their faggishness, or their campiness, or their neurasthenia, or their solitude, or their goofiness, or their—even—masculinity, at times. Because they think that they’re gonna write something that sounds like something else that they’ve read before, instead of sounds like them. Or comes from their own life. In other words, there’s no distinction, there should be no distinction between what we write down, and what we really know, to begin with. As we know it every day, with each other. And the hypocrisy of literature has been . . . you know like there’s supposed to be formal literature, which is supposed to be different from—in subject, in diction and even in organization, from our quotidian inspired lives.

It’s also like in Whitman, “I find no fat sweeter than that which sticks to my own bones,” that is to say the self-confidence of someone who knows that he’s really alive, and that his existence is just as good as any other subject matter.


 Is physiology a part of this too—like the difference between your long breath line, and William Carlos Williams’s shorter unit?


Analytically, ex post facto, it all begins with fucking around and intuition and without any idea of what you’re doing, I think. Later, I have a tendency to explain it, “Well, I got a longer breath than Williams, or I’m Jewish, or I study yoga, or I sing long lines . . .” But anyway, what it boils down to is this, it’s my movement, my feeling is for a big long clanky statement—partly that’s something that I share, or maybe that I even got from Kerouac’s long prose line; which is really, like he once remarked, an extended poem. Like one long sentence page of his in Doctor Sax or The Railroad Earth or occasionally On the Road—if you examine them phrase by phrase they usually have the density of poetry, and the beauty of poetry, but most of all the single elastic rhythm running from beginning to end of the line and ending “mop”!


Have you ever wanted to extend this rhythmic feeling as far as say Artaud or now Michael McClure have taken it—to a line that is actually animal noise?


The rhythm of the long line is also an animal cry.


So you’re following that feeling and not a thought or a visual image?


It’s simultaneous. The poetry generally is like a rhythmic articulation of feeling. The feeling is like an impulse that rises within—just like sexual impulses, say; it’s almost as definite as that. It’s a feeling that begins somewhere in the pit of the stomach and rises up forward in the breast and then comes out through the mouth and ears, and comes forth a croon or a groan or a sigh. Which, if you put words to it by looking around and seeing and trying to describe what’s making you sigh—and sigh in words—you simply articulate what you’re feeling. As simple as that. Or actually what happens is, at best what happens, is there’s a definite body rhythm that has no definite words, or may have one or two words attached to it, one or two key words attached to it. And then, in writing it down, it’s simply by a process of association that I find what the rest of the statement is—what can be collected around that word, what that word is connected to. Partly by simple association, the first thing that comes to my mind like “Moloch is” or “Moloch who,” and then whatever comes out. But that also goes along with a definite rhythmic impulse, like DA de de DA de de DA de de DA DA. “Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows.” And before I wrote “Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows,” I had the word, “Moloch, Moloch, Moloch,” and I also had the feeling DA de de DA de de DA de de DADA. So it was just a question of looking up and seeing a lot of windows, and saying, oh, windows, of course, but what kind of windows? But not even that—”Moloch whose eyes.” “Moloch whose eyes”—which is beautiful in itself—but what about it, Moloch whose eyes are what? So Moloch whose eyes—then probably the next thing I thought was “thousands.” OK, and then thousands what? “Thousands blind.” And I had to finish it somehow. So I hadda say “windows.” It looked good afterward.

Usually during the composition, step by step, word by word and adjective by adjective, if it’s at all spontaneous, I don’t know whether it even makes sense sometimes. Sometimes I do know it makes complete sense, and I start crying. Because I realize I’m hitting some area which is absolutely true. And in that sense applicable universally, or understandable universally. In that sense able to survive through time—in that sense to be read by somebody and wept to, maybe, centuries later. In that sense prophecy, because it touches a common key . . . What prophecy actually is is not that you actually know that the bomb will fall in 1942. It’s that you know and feel something that somebody knows and feels in a hundred years.
LinkLeave a comment

question: why doesn't the lobster share? [Jun. 21st, 2011|12:25 pm]
It only has claws.

Wrong!  He's too shellfish.

Har har har.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

the wake [Mar. 27th, 2011|08:50 pm]
I took the Red Eye to Minneapolis on a Sunday evening and didn't sleep much on the plane.  After touching down in the darkness of early morning tundra, I was too tired and disoriented to worry about whether or not I'd make my connection home.  "I guess someone forgot to set the clock for daylight savings," the pilot laughed and we waited for the gate to show up.  I watched orange-vested workers spray the windows with chemical de-icer, experienced a strange and eerie sense of calm.

One can easily make out the words "RECALL WALKER" when flying high above a frozen Dane County lake.  From way up there school buses look short, a city's layout appears somewhat comical -- like a Richard Scarry cartoon.  It's hard to judge how big those letters are, how long it took to carve the phrase into snow.

My brother picked me up, bleary-eyed, in our parents' elderly station wagon.  We took the long way home.  I had wanted to drive through downtown, needed to make that slow circle around the square.  My brother acquiesced and smiled bitterly, told me stories of tractors that paraded past his bedroom window; of Tom Morello, of Jesse Jackson; of cops on horseback.  He told me of the rotunda's energy; of staying awake until dawn to sing a Woodie Guthrie song for congress; of not leaving the capital for days and then finally leaving; of breaking back in again.

Lady Liberty wore stray scarves and a Badger-red hat.  There were a few statuesque bodies still buried under blankets.  There were overflowing garbage cans, men dressed in unidentifiable uniforms.  My brother ran the engine so that we could take in the sight of a lone poodle loping across the dirt of the pockmarked capital lawn.
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Dec. 8th, 2010|09:29 pm]
As I grow older, I often find myself wanting to be the Next Joan Didion rather than the Next Slyvia Plath.  There is such beauty in self-laceration, but really, how long can martyrs last?  I find myself growing selfish, more concious of my image, hungry.  I'll take the assuming, narrowing end of an essay over the open possibility of a poem.  I want to eat the meal that I've prepared -- and this is a hard desire to admit.
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2010|08:02 am]
I keep having nightmares of the not-completely-violent or terrifying variety (as the nightmares I have usually are).  For four nights now I have had dreams in which bad things happen, but these bad things are so absurdly logical that I wake up a little perplexed.  Last night,  I was visiting my grandmother's farm.  I made a vegetarian dish for me to eat and the others to eat as a side-dish (the way it was during much of my childhood).  Two friends of mine had joined us for this meal.  After the meal was over, these friends and I took a breather returning books at some new branch of the town's library.  There, I discovered I had food poisoning.  I knew it was food poisoning because my friends had it too.  The rest of the dream was spent vomiting up cheap pasta.  Deep.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Oct. 25th, 2010|10:07 pm]
Sheesh, I never wanted my words here to slow like this.  I must make a pact to stay away from Facebook, to rant less on people's walls, and more here.  Facebook is alluring, I suppose, because it is a short cut.  When I get tired or frustrated, when I cannot get the words out like I want, I can link to some other person's essay on the matter, and then roll the cute footage of animals.

Arrrg -- internet!  When did we all become such critics?  Seems like it happened fast.  Seems like I am having more and more difficulty shutting that noise out.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Sep. 13th, 2010|05:37 pm]
It is so much easier to post, so much easier to write in general when it's a day like today and I've just had an interview with an organization I respect.  There is that crisp fall feeling in the air that excites me: maybe I'm not as sunk as I thought.  I re-read my thesis and, unlike many of my colleagues, found I was pleased with what I discovered there.

This whole MFA thing is a gamble and now I am low.  Sallie Mae called my parents, grandparents, and little brother and I'm not due to start payments until late December - someone over there got their books wrong.  What a preview, can't wait for the feature.  

Oh, stop it.

I need to go outside and suck the air into my lungs.
LinkLeave a comment

the meaning of slow-core [Aug. 26th, 2010|10:04 pm]
Patient, yet beautiful.

I am trying to embody both.

But it is so hard not to fall into yourself when yourself is all you got.

Where is the safety net?
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Aug. 5th, 2010|01:47 pm]

Going north with the band made me feel as if I have not lost that part of myself that shocks me and makes me feel whole.  It’s a dirty, smart-mouthed, pissed off, fucked up punk rock feeling that I’ve been chasing since 13, it seems.

I have actualized myself in this way before, and this knowledge comes with a certain pang of precariousness.  I recognize that the actualization of this feeling has previously been (and probably still is) dependent on those who surround me.  When I step out into the forest, when there is no one there at all, will any previous bravery and defiance be relevant?

No matter where this band shit goes, no matter where I go, I will always feel inspired by all those kids like those Bremerton kids.  They live like there is nothing but living.  They feel intensely all those uncomfortable, unruly, darkly wonderful things, and then they get up the next day to slip quietly out of the house into the shipyards.   Because they need to.  Because they need a small sum from welding, food for themselves and their dogs, and they need music.  Fuck - everything - else.   

From a Crass zine I found up there, written in 1984.

Why all this anger?  What is it that we’re after?  Why should we do anything?  The answer is so simple… THE WORLD COULD BE A BEAUTIFUL PLACE, LIFE COULD BE EXPERIENCED AS THE MIRACLE THAT IT IS.  Most of us know that beyond the wire-fences of authority there is the WONDER OF LIFE that was our BIRTHRIGHT.  We are, each one of us, unique creations, each different, each perfect and precious, BUT HOW MUCH OF THAT ARE WE EVER ALLOWED TO SEE BY THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE US AS SLAVES?  From the very start we are forced into submission, belittled and assured of our worthlessness.  How rare it is that anyone survives this savage conditioning.  Those who think that they know better, who imagine that they have some kind of divine right to determine OUR future, deprive us of the right to make our OWN decisions, our OWN values and moralities, deprive us of the right TO BE OURSELVES.  YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE, IT IS PRECIOUS AND UNIQUE, LEARN TO LIVE IT…YOU WAY.  YOU ONLY HAVE ONE LIFE TO EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET EARTH.  The wonderful sea rolling and swelling, joining nations and peoples.  Mountains touching the sky and falling in folds to the plains.  Fields of golden wheat and barley blowing in the summer wind.  The soft grey dust being lifted into the air and swirled around in spirals.  Clouds of insects hovering above damp patches in the grass.  The strong spears of daffodil and crocus forcing their way through the winter soil.  The silence of the night when the lorries cease to thunder on the endless, hideous miles of grey motor way.  The sudden thought, illumination that tells us that THERE IS SOMETHING BEYONE THE SLAVERY IN WHICH WE LIVE.  WHEN, FOR SOME OBSCURE REASON WE ARE THROWN BACK TO EARLY CHILDHOOD WHEN THE NIGHTMARE HAD NOT BEEN FULLY IMPLANTED IN OUR HEADS.  Life is such a profound miracle, IT IS A TOTAL TRAGEDY THAT SO FEW PEOPLE WILL EVER TRULY EXPERIENCE THE SHEER DEPTH AND WONDER OF IT.  Why should the wealthy elite waste this one glorious chance that we have?  Why should we be deprived of JOY and ECSTACY because of THEIR UGLY GREED?  It is quite probable that what we DEMAND and will FIGHT FOR will not benefit us directly.  As our struggle intensifies, it is highly probable that we will suffer even more vicious oppression, but what we are fighting for is a future, hope and the sincere wish that THOSE AS YET UNBORN MAY HAVE A BETTER LIFE THAN WE WERE ABLE TO.


LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Aug. 5th, 2010|12:15 am]
I remember the moment I picked the password that ended up being my Livejournal password, this silly set of characters that has ended up staying with me.  I was sitting in the red ergonomic chair that Andrew's parents had in front of their family computer. Their house was always cold, and I hated making decisions.  That afternoon I blurted out a variation on Andrew's Livejournal password, because I couldn't think of my own.  His password was based on a shared joke we held between us, so I felt a bit of ownership.  I never told Andrew we also shared the same password.  Now whenever I log in, whenever I type in those nostalgic, romantic characters, I acknowledge the slight counterfeit nature of my persona, and I grieve.
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2010|10:23 pm]
 Sometimes I have these racy dreams of guilt -- and they haunt me.  When I look back in the morning I rack (what a phrase) my brain, and cannot find the reason for it, I cannot find a reason for the shame and startling force of titilation that the dream has caused me to feel. 

Yes I am a (relatively) good girl these days, but I think these dreams come from something more pervasive, something more deep and dark and complex than the frustration of repression.  When I am habitually wild, my dreams come in the form of clean white t-shirts, elementary school games of tag, my first crush in a tree fort, and my aunt's attic ceiling at night, the glow stars clustered in constellations.  
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

still kicking [Jul. 19th, 2010|10:00 pm]
My thesis finally arrived; it does look pretty. But I know the words so well that I have no urge to sit down with it. I sifted through the pages a bit and put it on a bookshelf next to a reader from an undergraduate fiction class.

Aniss's mom, brother, and soon-to-be stepdad are in town, and staying with us. Our place is quite big, yes, but the actualization of its square footage now seems dependent on just who is sleeping on the couch and in the little room downstairs. Duh, right? Ean was here the week before this one, and it didn't feel quite so small back then.

Ean is still here, kicking around Portland somewhere. Portland can do that to you. It can intoxicate you, like a wonderful drug you have trouble letting go of -- it doesn't feel as if it is changing you, only that it is bringing out the best parts of your being.

This sentiment in regards to Portland is one of the reasons that I know moving here again was the right decision. Here my daily life feels more like intoxication and consequently, I want to imbibe and to escape myself less. I am, despite the will and want to believe otherwise, so very affected by my surroundings, by the sights and sounds I take in everyday.

I am terribly poor and things are rough, but still am dreaming. I am dreaming fantastic dreams of buying my own plot of something out on Sauvie Island, with the sheep and the berries and the golden sunlight that hits the tall grass in a way that looks like fantasy, or something I once saw back in Europe.

I think I could do it, really, if I can hang in there. Man, it is hard. It is so hard to keep my head down and go, to not listen to the noise, the bloggers and half-assed memoirists who exploit, who market. I know who I am, who I really am outside of platform, outside of other's perceptions, and that is truly a gift. So few people my age know some of the things that I know.
Link1 comment|Leave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 12th, 2010|09:22 pm]
I have a certain tendency to try to right things that I have made wrong.  Usually, I am not capable of doing this during the time frame in which it would be relevant to that particular wrong.  There's the rube, you see.

It's kinda like how I am only to make a character of myself long after that version of myself has faded, or become less obvious.

The guitarist in our band has just lost a friend to an overdose.  He was the one to find this friend; it was apparently pretty horrifying.  And I, in some kind of repentance for the-death-I-did-not-carry-well, am trying to help him through (as if really helping were even possible).

I wonder if I will ever lose this darkness.  I feel I have no right to hold it anymore.

My records came from Peacehealth.  They angered me, as I knew they would.  They also hurt like hell.

Jack was attacked by a pitbull on the third day of Ean's visit.  He's okay in the sense that he got through it.  But the poor, scarred little guy.  There was yet-another trip to the emergency vet.  Now there is part of his ear missing, a potentially broken leg, and an offer from Andrew to pay for it all.

I need ten thousand and one deep breaths to descend on me, to lift me up in a great, swooping of flight of tranquility. 
Link2 comments|Leave a comment

me me me me me [Jul. 4th, 2010|03:40 pm]
Ean will be here soon, which makes me happy.  When I'm feeling homesick (like I have been lately), it's nice to have a little bit of home show up at the door.  He's been writing lately, which is exciting for so many reasons, not least of which is what it will do for me.  Yep, his new-found passion has already given me a kick in the pants, and I will very much appreciate his company as I try, yet again, to not just get back in the saddle but to fucking ride that horse.  I've said it before and I will say it again: it is difficult to write with all this anxiety floating around about money, about future.  And it's damn hard to do it with a partner who is going through  *almost * the same thing.  But hey, that's life, kiddo.
LinkLeave a comment

(no subject) [Jul. 1st, 2010|12:59 am]
It's funny how an inflatable mattress in the middle of a floor can make me feel the summer (finally).  This thing paired with a sleeping bag can really drive it home.  June has been cool in Portland.  We live in second-story loft and have only run the air-conditioner twice.

I've found things a bit disorienting after returning from my brief trip east.  My life lacks routine and I have moved so frequently that the widely-celebrated markers of a calendar year have become almost irrelevant.  I am school-less and jobless.  Yes I am serious when I ask: what day is it?  

Tuesday, right?  It's Tuesday, yeah?  Ha ha ha, I totally meant Wednesday.

Holidays and celebrations and vacations... these all come into question, start to seem suspiciously bourgeois when you find that you are becoming an accepted member of the Oldtown homeless community.  And you're not even homeless.  

You're just there.
LinkLeave a comment

[ viewing | most recent entries ]
[ go | earlier ]