Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's Sunday, and we're working on the book together while listening to the Lene Lovich Pandora station.  Katie is editing while I am printing out chapters.  The printer is being ornery and slow. It has taken a good twenty minutes to think about printing chapter nine, which is the last one I have so far.  I wrote a three-page story this morning which may fit into the later LA section, or may just float around flapping it's wings like an orphaned sparrow.

Meanwhile, Giblets got behind the stove twice today when I was on the phone, and I was running around in a T-shirt and panties waving carrots yelling "Giblets get out of there" while Omar giggled on the line and tried to tell me about live-work lofts.

Meanwhile it is Sunday and Broken English is playing now, Marianne Faithful, who is one of my pop idols, more for the life she led then for her tunes, though I like those as well.   Her piano bar version of Boulevard of Broken Dreams (NOT the Green Day travesty) I lost it when my hard drive crashed, but it it jaw-dropping, stunning.  I couldn't find a worthy version on youtube. alas.

This pulp novel sits above my desk, where it taunts me.  When I went on SSDI did I forfeit all hope of such a thing?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A head cold and treating it with a steady diet of vodka, coffee and smoking yields only to be expected....sitting here feeling limp and unwilling to do the things that I must.

Last night we went to a lovely BBQ at Nikki's, sat in the grass while Anthony McCann read poems of alcoholism and horses...good stuff.  It was a surprise party, and surprise the birthday boy it did.

The bunny is hopping hopping hopping without stopping.  I feel like I need to write more poetry after having received the first rejections of my recent submissions sweep.  Working in the novel form it is so hard to excerpt anything, poems are tight, compact, like bullets you can scattershoot them everywhere.   Well, not everywhere.  Some places.  More places then you can put a 14,000 word fifth chapter of a novel that doesn't really cohere and that I haven't worked on in several weeks and fear I am losing faith on.

Whatever.  Does it matter? What am I working towards in the end?  I would really like to finish this novel and have it actually be worth reading.  The rabbit is burrowing his little head onto the VCR, under the TV.  He loves to chew wires.  He will chew these wires.  He is sitting on the yellow armchair licking the upholstery like cream.

We are going for ice cream today.  It should be a fine day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The cold that I thought I had eluded, pre-featherless, had stomped me down today. The last few days have been mucous-y, coughing, mewling, unglamorous.  It is always in the most busy weeks that I get sick, when "ooh, the social calendar is full!" as summer gets into full swing.  Tonight Katie and I are making dinner for Gabe, Mike and Emily in thanks for their help with the reading series.  I hope that I do not infect anyone in the cooking process.  I also hope that I can muster the energy to clean the living fuck out of our apartment, as we have been rather neglectful of cleanliness lately....and it has suffered.

Do you ever reach a personal goal and find yourself struck by it's sheer banality?  I had that experience today, twice.  I reached two goals.   They are both rather embarrassing to admit publicly.  But, then again, blogging is all about overshare, so I shall.  The first was finally weighing less than 150 lbs = I now weigh 149.  Woot!  The second was reaching 20 followers on my tumblr. (pathetic internet nerd that I am)

I think the fact that I had been teetering at the edge of reaching these two numbers, 149 and 20, for several weeks now, that the tension had built, and I was more excited that is perhaps warranted by such a thing.  I suppose setting small, mundane, achievable goals for oneself makes those tiny victories sweeter.  At least more encouraging, as opposed to waiting in the deep dark desert of the soul for the next 3-6 years to finish my next book, and then and only then will I allow myself to win at something.  If, even, that is to be a win, and not a "put in drawer, leave there for ten years, start over."

Another strange thing about victories, whether large or small, is expecting things to change.  Expecting the light to be different, a Disney-rama halo effect of fluttering birds of tiny unicorns to come a-swirling. As I stepped off the bathroom scale this morning, my red kimono hanging limp to my ankles, the bunny-fur clumped in the corners of the tile, there were no trumpets, there was only the bleeding light through the window.  That I had woken up to early. That it was dawn.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So much goes through one's mind while washing the dishes, the steady rush of warm water, the grease sliding into clean.  I am remembering a poem by one of Katie's colleagues, I think it was Tiffany Promise, read at a Sprawl two years ago, about washing dishes.  Descending into the sink with them until the water runs clear. So good!

Recyclopedia: Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge I had been toying with the idea of writing poems about housework.  The question of - has it been done, does that devalue the project - or the singular idea of a dishwashing poem?  Or are there never any new ideas, just reformulations and new combinations of the old?  I took Harryette Mullen's Recyclopedia off the shelf to look for housework poems.  Here's one:

"Hide the face.  Chase dirt with an ugly stick.  That sinking sensation, a sponge dive.  Brush off scum on some well scrubbed mission.  It's slick to admit, motherwit and grit ain't groceries." (Mullens, p. 95)

She read at the Les Figues BBQ and I felt so stupidly shy for not telling her how much I enjoyed her work.  I got weirdly starstruck, as I sometimes do.

I suppose all of this writing around the dishes is not doing the dishes, and the dishes won't do themselves.

 But I am also interested in this idea of ownership of ideas.  An old friend contacted me this morning about my use of the five-part structure, apparently he is also writing a five-part book, and feels thus that I should not.

However, there are only so many numbers under seven - at which point you've got an epic tome on your hands, might as well just call them chapters and call it a day.  I feel that whatever we do around the structure, the ivy wrapping around the frame, will be vastly different.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another day, another morning, and again I'm drinking coffee and typing while Nevada sits on top of my computer and looks at me with those green cat-eyes.  What has happened?  We flyered for two days for featherless #1, after much tromping of pavement and an inadvertent detour into Boyle Heights (oopsies).  Lessons learned along the way: 
  • libraries will only allow flyers for free events,
  • it is difficult to go into all of those bookstores without buying things (case in point, this pulp novel)
  • waiting until afternoon to leave results in hot hot heat and is ill-advised
Other news.  Skylight Books accepted the valeveil duo, so it is in the LA poets section.   This I am very pleased about.

I went through a storm of sending out submissions to journals, online and print, and am now scanning my inbox, hawklike, waiting for responses.  This was perhaps a distraction from what I really need to be doing, which is finishing...or, even, working on the middle of...that book which I began in such a fury.  I feel terrible about this, I have slacked off, yes, it's true.  I got distracted by other projects, I get distracted by the internet, by housework, by pet care, by cooking, by putting on my face, by just about anything, really.

I need to refocus on this, and so semi-public flagellation seems like the way to do it.

Monday, June 07, 2010

A message from j.s. davis of valeveil:

Dear friends & literary colleagues.

Please consider actively supporting valeveil so that our emergent, independent press can soon publish the 2nd book in the valeveil poetic duo series, entitled A House on a Hill / Under the Bed, pairing the literary work of American writer Harold Abramowitz with the work of Swedish writer/artist Leif Elggren. As little as $5 (approx. 40 SEK) gets your name, company or organization public recognition on valeveil's upcoming sponsor page. Below is a link to the valeveil KICKSTARTER fundraising page for your consideration:

Spread the word - and have a fruitful summer!


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Aalpha Pharmacy Waiting Dirge

Rue McClanahan died this morning
And I cried a little bit.

In the Aalpha pharmacy, with
Just one set of each product set in a line,
yellowing in time
under the cameras, watching,
and the pedialyte,
dirty white tile,
I wait for my pills.
With posters of runaways,
I wait.
The people who sit here look poor and insane
And I realize I fit here
I have become so.
This is not a surprise.
This is not a surprise.
I was headed this way for a long leg of time.
They are sticking the labels
They are tightening the lids.

Rue McClanahan died this morning.
And I cried a little bit.