Monday, January 11, 2010

I am bearing the consequences of yesterday's manic burst.  Not in receipts and expenditures, but is having whacked my back out in moving.  So enthusiastic I get when something needs to be done.  Katie asked me why I was rushing things - I said, "Our lease starts today, it's 9 am, I'm moving things in!"  After one car load, up the winding hills to our sweet cul-de-sac, I came back, took half an ativan, and crashed out in bed next to her.

But it was not over yet.  I got up, three-ish, loaded the car again, and set off.  This time it was mostly clothes in trash bags, pillows, light enough.  The challenge was is figuring out the curtain rods - I think I broke one in the process.  Screwed in the crystal knobs we had bought for the hutch in the breakfast nook...library cards works as a screwdriver in a pinch.  As the sunset faded over Echo Park lake, the shimmering lights of downtown to clear beyond the window, I was seduced by the light and stayed.  Fiddling with what I could put away, fiddling with the shower curtain, emptying trash cans.

I love being domestic.  I think this comes from periods in my late twenties and early thirties where I either lived in crackden filthy apartments, with my parents, in the dorms, basically places that weren't mine to tend.  Since Katie and I have been living together, our dual domesticity meshes and encourages each other.  Call it nesting.  I want to cook her beautiful meals, and have our shared space be clean and full of light.  Hanging the white eyelet curtains in the living room, so that the rooftop (Mary-Poppinsish) was concealed in a lacy blur, I was happy.

When I really could not fiddle any more, I went looking for my car.  Up and down the unfamiliar streets with voices behind barred windows, barking, the afterglow of purple on the horizon, barking dogs.  I pulled the little suitcase full of plastic bags, dorky glasses on, like some sort of lost tourist.

When I finally got home, Katie answered the door in my plaid smock.  "Where were you?  We have Mrs. Porters."

Aie.  I wanted to go, it is this literary salon put on by Les Figues Press, an evening gathering of women. I lay on the couch in a stupor, wrapped in a quilt.  Worn out like a dishrag.  "Let's do it, come on."  "Ok."

So we primped and went, and it ended up well worth it.  I am really grateful to the Les Figues ladies for organizing and propagating women's writing.  I brought the poetic duo, and Katie brought an ekphrastic piece she was doing, also, for valeveil.

What I remember most, this next morning, as my bones pop and crack and I wish I had not carried quite so many boxes so enthusiastically, was the discussion of lists.  I have been working in the list format for quite some time, mostly as a humorous exercise, a fun, silly thing, but the post-sharing discussion scrutinized the form and made me see it in a more serious light. The authoritative voice that a list lends the reader, the possibility of reordering the points and it still being valid, the possibility that every list is a story, a narrative, but perhaps a non-linear one.  From Matias Viegener's 25 Random Things About Me series I remember the emphasis on on opposition of each line from the next. From the lists the zine "General Wuzhery", there is more an emphasis on building, one point to the next, variations upon the same beginning....but then a numbered line that diverts the narrative elsewhere.

The list is a form that both frees and limits.  How long can the the list be, and still be interesting.  It is a self-limiting form.  But the process of randomness eliminates the narrative demand for defined connections between each line, and opens up the structure for shock and wonder.

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