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Episode Two: Which isn’t a fish but lives in the sea, so than it must be the fish of the day

June 11, 2012
Yo

Haven’t heard from you in a LOOOOONG time

I be dying here
school is KILLING me

Nietzsche is EATTING my soul
I hate work

I am apathetic
It’s less than fun

But I’ll survive–I made it through CR

Hope turkey day with boy was fun
Maybe I’ll see you post December 18th

Time flies and I’m going no where
I am delirious with fever, high on exhaustion, and (per usual) unable to spell

I feel and think so much I might explode
but still I manage to stand (if not on my feet than my hands, if not on my reason than on my reserves).

C’est la vie.
Something IS rotten in the state of (dis) Den-mark: we need philosophers who are POETS

I’m still scouring for the apple tree: so looked for but not heard.

Silver does lie hidden in the core of dreams—and easily cracked like eggs, but slippery and hard to hold like the yolk.
Someday, be it my dying day or not, I’d like to say Vissi d’ arte…

yet in this unreal city
living for art is like searching for Parsifal’s famed punch-glass.

The leitmotifs echo in the foreground—but the dissonance overpowers.

I cannot wait for Christmas vacation.

 

 

Khan-a,

Oh Khany. Yes it has been some time. Thanksgiving and Cornish game hens were lovely, though boy could not be present as his schedule and bank account would not allow it. It was a nice trip nonetheless.

The Southwest is a collection of extravagant views over decorated by strip malls. The air is dry and the dogs rule the cities from their dusty backyards. They don’t seem like pets at all, but I suppose in the desert things are different, water scarcer, wolves a bit wilder.

Right now, I’m trying to get through the rest of my classes, finishing projects up and figuring out the future. This semester has been very good for me. I think I shed a bit of worry, that pinch of elitism.

I am ok though. Ok I am. I’m getting a little antsy pansy about Bobby returning home and the finish of the semester, but these things will come in time. I can’t believe how fast everything moves—not is moving: moves.  It spins by I can only capture it in the present tense—no present progressive or immediate past present. As long as I can remember this feeling, hopefully my decisions will be more on track; remembering always that there is but one life…the mermaids get three hundred years, K! All we get is an immortal soul…OR DO WE. If you go before me, write me a postcard, let me know. The reverse will of course be true.

 

There is much ahead and much behind, I guess the trouble is focusing on the area in between. Tell me about things and I’ll see you.

Farewell,

Miss Merry Marca

 

 
   
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Emails sans Emoticons: An Epistolary Novel for the Electronic Age

June 5, 2012

Emails Sans Emoticons: An Epistolary Novel for the Electronic Age

Episode 1: Everyday a Little Death in this Sterile Promontory

Yo Marca:

Yo, you be there, in Mad to the Son, or you be piled below some
avalanche of snow (yo)?

Yo, you be there, bunkered down in your American Apparel leggings—or you be
prancing stocking-free a la the infamous tutu incident circa the
jorz era?

Yo, you be there, your little hipster self, being too hip to be hip? (Because the Nightingale called you out on that one: you are the quiet hip archetype for sure).

Yo, you be there, sticking your tongues out at grandpa’s who honk at
‘chu (pronounced like ‘you’ with the ever charming, colloquial “ch” in place of what should actually be there)?

Yo, you be there blowing your fuse ding dong bring in the spell sing me a song?

Yo, yo…

YOU BE THERE?

the one who is HERE

Khan,
It seems to me that I am not alive nor dead but rather living that hard middle ground that wrestles with that mingling mélange of dare I say it conflicting emotion.
It seems the cold is rather cold when it is cold. But with so many clothes, I fare ok.
I live in Wisconsin, with students and teachers and people and streets. I live in a dorm in a room with a girl who once lived in Minnesota, an area not too far from here. Here, they say? There you say? Hearsay, I say.

Always lots of people, always lots of talking; though I don’t talk like I do with people who know how I talk.

Circuitous, confusing, non-progressive thinking? Check, Check, Check.  Going one step, two step, red step, loop step? Loop step, yes. Lots of those.
I am well and not well as the rest. I feel good sometimes and breathe enough: my stride keeping with my lungs’ width. Other times, I breathe hard and recognize that I am in a place not used to my footprint.
Adjustments will be made and I will keep stepping and one day my lungs won’t feel the lag. Good? Bad? Goodiebag?
I bought Tupperware and sausage today and I think I’ll feast ’til morning.  (Pray tell me things taste better in Tupperware!?!)
Hope here is well and life is less than linear. I’ll tell you things if you tell me things and you’ll tell me things if I’ll tell you things.

A wise man once told me to look straight.
A strange boy once told me to watch out for the cougars.
Now, I look straight at the cats and fear the world.
Marca.

 

Marca:

As this reply is long overdue, it shall consist of two parts.

The Peacock

I know all too well that “middle ground that mingles with emotion”.
That death in life, life in death, that limbo.  Perhaps I
misinterpret, but what is literature and history but perpetual
misunderstandings.  I sometimes think most of life is this middle
ground–and we live for those moments—the ones where we wallow in the abyss to next scale
euphoric apexes—the moments when we feel most.  Oh, to feel—to
languish in the acknowledgement that one EXISTS.
I’m glad to hear that American Apparel coupled with some serious layering
skill have helped you brave the Wisconsin winters.  I’m sure your
gallivanting about Bucks County and the wiles of that wasteland known as North (in November!) in nothing more than a fairy tutu prepared you well.

I hear what you say when you say hearsay.  And as to talking in
code—well don’t we all?  How do I even know how you talk to me is how
you really talk?  Is there a real Mandy language–isn’t it all
relative, contextual? If identity is constructed by moral, ethnic,
geographic etc. frameworks—well what is identity than but a somewhat
ever-morphing facade of the moment?  Did I really say such a thing?*

I just hope you speak your mind and nothing less and tomorrow speak it
again–even if it’s utterly contradictory to what you muttered today.
Ralphie E. would be proud.

Loop steps–as in a return to the beginning?  Have you discovered the
place for the first time?  How I envy you if such is the case.  I
sometimes doubt there is a beginning.  But alas, I know there is—if only because there must; must be because, otherwise, end game would’ve set in long ago and all my passing go was for naught.

Like all macguffins and golden rings–you only catch a glimpse of it once it’s
beyond your Ethiopian fingers…

A stranger in a strange-er land you may be, but how it needs you.  I
suppose you it?  Your journeying where most art-loving, whimsical,
past-tutu-wearing-dollies would not trek.  I commend you.  Your stride
will adjust–will it not my gypsy sister?  Because, truly, where is
home for flanneurs?  Three piece suits might be kitsch but let’s face it: once a tutu always a tutu and the Midwest never experienced the 80’s.  They knew Regan and big hair but Ms. Lauper never held much sway.

The Romany homeland is all metaphor these days.  They tell me Bohemia is dead and I say ‘Bohemia—quoa?’.
As for advice, I think it is a vice.  A drug society insists we need.
Indoctrination makes us believe we can’t survive without it.  The
masses exhort us to seek it.

I much prefer dialogues with those who
talk in metaphors; conversations with those who consort with muses;
laughs with those who loose themselves in others.

I know not where you are, but I hope wherever it is you can see the
apple tree; hear the hidden voices energizing the ancient waterfall.  If not,
perhaps it’s not known, because not looked for—but (definitely) heard, half-heard
in the deafening stillness.

Peacock

The Koala

My nerves are bad. Bad tonight.  Can I talk in prose now?  What was I
talking before–certainly not in verse.

Ohh my Lemu–I miss you.  I know we’ve wandered miles and miles
and talked less and less but I do miss you.  Miss our Lily’s dinners,
our philosophical, emo musings, miss lamenting with you, miss driving
about in my car whilst dreaming (read: scheming) with you…I miss our youth.  (Am I allowed to such, such preposterous things at 20 years old?)

I don’t care.
I’ve lost that girl Mandy and I can never get her back.  And nor can
you get Holly back.  Those girls have settled and stayed in the past.

I hope this doesn’t seem selfish but I just need to articulate
“confess” so much to someone that isn’t my dear journal.  Katie and I
talk much and it is good.  But I need to throw things at my Lemu–how
I do love throwing things her way.

I know you are inundated with your own hooplala, so I won’t add to the
entropy.  But may I talk in riddles?

It’s just the usual: doubts dazed with fears minced with regrets and pinches of wonder.
But a new flavors brewing; intoxicating me into further withdrawal from a world I’ve long felt somewhat alien to.

I’m almost complacent with my awkwardness.  I think it scares others–it’s the same old
paradox of awkward-confidence–just more isolating than ever, more ostentatious than the periwinkle tutu (miss)matched with the orange Ralph Lauren hoodie.

I want to connect—and I dare say I think I’ve tried—but it’s all the same you know, just different.

I think I’ve found something I really want:

No

not a career,

nor a major,

not even a darling, Kelly green dress (she ever evades me!).

A person.  Someone whose spirit intrigues me more
than any imaginary boy of my own creation.

But the awkwardness persists.  Signals (are they that?) confusing.

At moments, I’ve even put myself on the brink

of saying more than I normally would—

but I say not quite enough and yet at the same time all too, too much.

And I fear my chance is mostly over—our proximity shall be less now
with the drawing of the curtain, the dimming of the lights.

Alas, I fear he’s too much like me.  Obsessed with his “art”,

His visions,

with falling into/observing others,

with waiting for the ultimate girl who lives in his head.

I also fear that I am no such creature.

We had a fascinating conversation Saturday…

Despite his cowering behind the bottle’s ambiguous brew.

He claimed (than) he wasn’t altered from imbibing;

That he was his usual, sharp ridiculous self—just more outrageous.

But much escaped the tongue’s (typically) tight, fastidious guard and I fear his public announcements of
extreme drunkenness (the following day) may’ve been one hell of a cop out to save (oh so adorable)
face (because he didn’t know how I’d react).  He is that insecure.

At least I’d like to believe he schemed and slanted it so—because I know not how to believe that what was said was silly and what was felt was folly.

I press him like an orange, thirsty for juice sweet and savory.

I’m charged with a new surge of abandon

Not usually known because it’s not mere physical infatuation.  Do I make the sheepish confession, that he may be the first fellas whom I’m attracted to in ways beyond the superficial (or does one “feel” this way each time they’re coming down with love…?).

But like Eliot: my nerves are bad.  There’s more to
say, but would I really be saying much?  (Clearly, I’ve only yet said shit).

I thank you for your ears who have endured sagas of Johnny B and traverses with Mattin Center King.

Oh well…while I battle this I have the war with isolation to console me (that’s one conflict whose age outshines the sun’s).

Funny how I’ve grown into this so well—yet still have miles to go.

But one more thing on the boy who steals my serene solace: I’ve heard him
articulate these same, same things (in a manner more overblown and antiquated than my own!).  His viral relics, left over from Keats and Shelley knock on my heart and bowl it over; stir me to a simmer that wises to smother his adorable self.
Ohh my ohhh—this has grown far too long.  I shall stop (here)—that is, I mean, (down ) there.
Some extraneous things:

I wear your bee earrings often and love them more each day.  They confuse people.

I laughed out loud today at dinner when I was lamenting about all the reading I have.  I though of Dr. ( from our pre-big-school days) and of her quaint little syllabus.  I than recalled her once regaling the class with a list of readings she wanted to assign but feared might be “too much” and that “no one
would do”.  HAHAHAHAH not that ANYONE in that class would dare to neglect a reading on the importance of the banana in the Bantu migrations or the merits of cottage industry and women.  That woman (that I love) and her class (which I adored).

Recall that crazy dance party we went to this summer getting our 90’s on to “Say that you love me”—it is playing now.  It is de-lovely.
Finally, (and most important-of-ly) I hope you are well.  How is Jim-Jim?  How is school?  How’s the Tupperware housed sausage? Miss Minnesota?

Alas, I know these emo ramblings have probably told you little and
amused even less.  But I caution thee, save them: perhaps someday
you’ll be able to brag about having the original manuscript for my
bestselling e-epistolary novel—or not so best-selling…

All my best to one of the best.  Kumquats are not pluots and pluots
not guavas.  But you are a coconut-cake-eatting-lemuian-marca—and
they are a rare breed indeed: so protect yourself!  So button up your
overcoat and save the tutu for spring!

Here’s to timeless moments of which history is composed–

Koala

* Editor’s Self Note:  Yes, apparently you did “say” such drivel and it’s astonishing you haven’t died of shame or been struck down by the Gods of reason, sense and semblance of practicality for posturing forth so.  My the pretension college does breed; in a generation unaware of its meaninglessness yet obsessed with its preservation.

Some Days Later

Fairest Marca:

So much is happening while nothing occurs.  It’s like a Henry James
novel or Woolf short-story.  I suppose that makes it special (?).

I have many snippets to tell you.  Where shall I start?  Have I already started?

I applaud your well penned line “I have never feared the self”–far
too many do.  But I can’t help but fear my comfort with the self.  I
look back on my life and see my isolation—and while I’m used to this,
somewhat proud of this and complacent with this—I fear what I could
be missing in connection.  I’m grappling with what my religious
beliefs would say about isolation and disconnect.  I’ve been
drowning—happily—in lots of modernist works of late.  It’s the
first genre, period that I truly feel connected to.  Alas, that is
another story.  But what’s interesting is that modernity seems to
prize individualism—but what good is individualism if it only yields
isolation and no one to share the self with?

I want to give of myself—not merely cultivate it for my own selfish enjoyment.  To a
certain extent, I am happy living my life at Walden pond; refining my
self; sucking the marrow—what marrow I do relish—out of life.  But what
beauty is there in a world where we are all flanheurs cut off from
reality…But than again, perhaps it’s like that banjo strumming
bandit outside Luisa’s window sang “without a hurt, the heart grows
hollow”.

Maybe, spiritually, I can perpetually grow through this ache
and disconnect—to draw closer not to the things and people of this world
but to a “higher” (ewww forgive my use of such a generic term)
metaphysical power.

Nevertheless, Friday night I “celebrated the self”.  It was an
official event! VIPS (as in ME) only.

After gorging myself on my favorite meal at my
favorite cafe with my favorite fellow flanherista, I took in a lovely
night at the theater—by myself.  And lucky was I that I went
alone—for they had but one ticket left!  SCORE!

God has always—too much I dare say—blessed my solo exploits.  The show was a
one-man-show: an 80 minute tour-de-force monologue by a young
artist/actor/poet/you know the type called “Help Wanted: Finding Meaningful
Employment in the 21st Century”.  Oh Marca, my Marca, shouldst he ever
venture your way DON’T indulge, go to nourish your soul.

He truly mastered keeping it light whilst waltzing around heavier, darker material.  His anecdotes
chronicled his various jobs, exploits and sparse professional acting
jobs post-graduating from Michigan with a BFA in Theater.  I need to
see it again to savor the ending—because it totally snuck up on me as
I was fidgeting (some ants were starting to crawl..).  Nevertheless, it was rather LA like—or not
even LA like but reminiscent of some of her favorite quips—I shall
refrain from giving it all away, but he began the end talking about
returning to his watering job in D.C after spending some time in NY
where he had met one of his heros Spalding Gray.

I’m leaving lots out but he talked quite playfully and sweetly about pretending that
every customer that came in was a poet; that with tremendous suspension of disbelief, he was able to engage with them like players in a play, like the rife, rich material for a po-po modern sonnet.

Josh was the fella’s name and he went on to softly confess how such truthfully imaginary encounters “broke his heart” and that’s why he continued to (happily) waiter.  With this, he simply lifted his hands inviting a deafening silence that lasted for a gray moment before everyone realized” c’etait finis.

I’m not even partially pretending to do it justice, just making it sound mawkish and trite, but I was rather
touched.  Not only in this regard, but just listening to him tell his autobiographical tale, sad to say, somewhat strengthened these wanton hopes and dreams of mine and on both a practical/professional
and emotional/mental level. He lit my fire and gave me pep for my step—but where I step I know not where.

I’m not quite (yet) saying I can come to the same conclusions he has–God how I LONG
too–but it was inspiring nonetheless.  I mean, now, he seems to be
doing pretty well artistically–no more waitering.  Still, to be able
to live your art without getting to practice it in a traditional way;
to find the beauty in the unbeautiful—and to not only relish, but to CELEBRATE it—oh to be so
fortunate and brave!

I’ve done it again–I’ve been writing inane poetry and delivering it
to people I shouldn’t…but I mean, after all the hype last year, and
than his NOT getting it–I had to ensure that at least one of my poems
made it into intended hands.  You know, I am God’s official ambassador to spread awkwardness and tension in this quaint world.

In my own defense and self-justification, I am fascinated by how people
respond to random, spontaneous acts. I also have a penchant—and I
dare say pen!—for ridiculously inane verse.  So I did it.  Somewhat akin to one of my father’s ditty’s (in form that is)  it was a conglomeration of my favorite lines from
all my heroes (Voltaire, Eliot, Jamesey Joyce, the Bard, Sondheim,
Strauss you name it…) with some Khanisms thrown in.  After all, the
game is to say something new with old words.

What’s so great is that I feel very released in having written and deposited it. I know they (read him, okay read again he and his roommates) think I’m crazy, probably that I’m in love with them too–which isn’t really the case but what the hell; if he thinks that, than  he’s wrong—but hopefully he’s somehow flattered—on just the basic level—that he inspired another human being to take such a grandiose leap.  God knows I would love that.

The catharsis has been heavenly.  He seems like he’d be one of the few left alive today who might be up for a game of cricket and conversation—but perhaps I mis-judge.  Either way, I’m elated to be in a position of not caring—of still being able to hold my head high and stare him in the eyes.  I
mean yes, pangs of shame do jab at me here and there, but on the
whole, I feel damn good!  As we’ve discussed before, there’s
nothing more enlivening or cleansing than pushing oneself out
of her comfort zone.

I have an intense and unhealthy fear of
rejection and so I often resist revealing my true romantic feelings.  I can speak my mind, stand up to authority and blabber on to strangers and friends alike, but when it comes to boys and girls sitting in trees, I struggle to just get out with it.

And while only the act, not the actual poem, suggested anything about my
feelings (and even that’s a stretch…) it put me–for once–in the
position of vulnerability.  It exposed me.  Usually, boys hint or jest
or signal to me—and I scimper away—too afraid or uninterested to tug back if you
will.  This time, reply or not, eternal awkwardness or not, I feel so
relinquished having put myself–ever so slightly as it is–out there.
Plus, the poem was insanely absurd and writing it was BEYOND tres
amusing.  I surfed on inspired waves of poetic delight. I WANT (and WILL) to sing out– sing I shall!

Musical and vocal things seem to be coming together; it’s been a
rollercoaster ride, but in a small way, I’m arriving back at the
beginning.  It’s partially why I love this journey so much—because,
in the abyss one can’t feel the growth.  The obstacles feel like set
backs, each day like a waste–and than suddenly, sometimes not even
noticing the catalyst: things come together.  The pieces align,
intelligibility emerges and euphoria vanquishes depression.  In short,
my voice has changed so much–for the good.  It’s bigger, stronger
etc.  And, what’s so fabulous is, this is after a winter of sickness
and vocal therapy.  Things are not perfect and tempests do taunt, but I am a child of the moon, and silver DOES lie hidden in the core of dreams—whatever and wherever those dreams may be.
I hope your hands find their way to some meaningful occupation be it knitting, cooking, building or crafting.   Even if, at first, it seems meaningless (like designing costumes for plays or
something…) take to your inner lateen sail, utilize those monsoon
winds and seek out the poetry in the mundane.

 

Yours,

 

Kahn

Kahn:
I’m trying to figure out how not to feel useless…but it is hard.

I look to my hands everyday, and ask them what they can do; but they
seem unsure and small and I doubt. There is so much that I want to do,
and I’m not quite sure how to exist in a world that applauds
profession and paper advancement; when I can only sit and think and
sit some days. I find that on days when my room mate returns to find
me sitting, quiet, without work, I want to reply that I am in fact
doing something or cover myself so that she does not have to know that
people spent time in their heads. She has a life without such
necessity and sometimes I envy her for it, though I don’t want to die
her death. This seems dramatic, but is not meant to be.

 

For Now,

 

Marca

 

Marca:

I too look at some of my peers and, while maybe you don’t feel the
same way, envy their ability to live more superficially, shallowly,
more in the moment.  I envy their intense craving for love, intimacy
and connection that they indulge in the meaningless, artificial and
sometimes anonymous just to attain their desires.  Now, when I say
envy–I mean muse; and when I say muse, I mean ponder about “feeling”
less.  I think I’ve said much of this before to you, although I get
confused to whom I’ve confided what, which is said being that other
than you I confide these things in pretty much only 1 other.  But I
can’t live in regret or musings.  It’s wasted time.  I’m so sick of
waste.  History is now.  You do not want to die your roommate’s death
and I know I cannot live these “girls'” lives…not only because I
refuse: I just don’t know how.

Don’t worry about sitting and thinking while the world marches on
making, producing, consuming and devouring.  When the forests are
depleted, the water polluted and the sky soot, what will man do when
they have no forests to roam, water to drink or sky to breathe
in–when they find they cannot eat money?  Well, Amiga, at least you
and I will have our fantasies.

Next up, I want to learn to need less. If a suburban, Jewish boy can fall into

the poetry of restaurant life–I pray, I can at least learn to hear the music in this
existential, post-modernist wasteland that physically entraps my transcendental soul.

I may be dramatic but if the world’s a stage, I am going to cease whatever part they throw me and play it BIG.

I wish you well—but not so well your heart grows hollow.

Kahn-a-la

 

 

  .

 

 

 

Supper TIme

May 8, 2012

“Supper Time”

 

Whilst coaxing edamame beans into the colander,

Dusting them with paprika,

I hummed the liebestod while plundering pods

For edible emeralds, for our little supper.

 

I found you in the billards room,

embraced by weathered, leathered arms,

Stroking your week’s worth of stuble (like they were Socrates’s whiskers).

The evening paper pasted stories upon your face

 

As your pipe simpered on.

I peeked behind the paper

To shriek and find you

caramel creamed and pastry flaked!

 

“Ceci n’est pas un éclair!” you sputterd

as I charged at you with the flaming

apricots I had toasted for dessert

(believing they were your favorite).

 

Furious, you frugged to the parlor—

But you should have done the jerk—

As you zipped up that bargain sweater found

in women’s clearance: buit in support for your backless soul.

 

“Is this about the skort I wore to your office party?

I told you: it was a matter of principle.”

But down the cobble-stone path you pranced,

in your imitation elf shoes,

 

like Cortez commanding the new world

to speak God damn Spanish!

As you drill-sawed my heart with each stoic step.

I miraged an isthmus between us…

 

knew no éclair could canal between us…

but before I could play the doormat, kow-tow in sugary surrender:

you spun—More proud and pomp than a vampire squid

of the wall-street breed—insistent on going en pointe:

 

“Truth be told: I have a penchant for chicken of the fried denomination!”

So to my kale and kumquats I retreated: to relinquish myself from your brass ring.

 

 

 

You Are What You Eat

April 23, 2012

(From a recently-ancient work that’s ever resurrecting hopefully someday to be realized).

 

 

Hi Hol:

 

Didn’t mean to stress you out by dropping in on you Friday eve’nin.  I had depositions scheduled in Philly thru Friday afternoon, and (admittedly impulsively) I thought it would be nice to head south to Baltimore, maybe just grab dinner with you in Fells whatever, and head home around 10:00 pm.  (In all honesty, the ride and visit would do me a world of good) (I’m goin’ thru a rough time myself).

 

No problem that you’ve got something else going Fri.  Maybe another time.

 

You’re loved today.  See ya soon.

 

Dad

 

Above is a classic, although relatively tame, email from my Father.  I say tame because typically, “Hol” would be replaced by some other mutation of my name such as “Hollister”, “Holly-meister” or “Hoolina”.  Apostrophes and abbreviations abound as my Father strives to emulate “normal” speech (i.e.: eve’nin, goin’, ya). I swear, the first two years at college, every email he sent me had the subject line “Nothin’ Special”—apostrophe always included.  Often, when he’s feeling particularly spirited, he’ll mimic my playful “gangsta” speak by calling me “dawg” or “kat” and asking “how you be”.  His emails usually contain a potpourri of anecdotes from home, updates on family friends, insights into quirky cases that rarely interrelate but almost always amuse.

Like most people, I have a strange Father.  A Father who would give up a sunny afternoon on the golf course to sneak off to coffee with his eldest daughter.  After 21 years, I’m just beginning to learn what this means.

 

 

 

II.

 

My earliest memory of my Father is not singular, but a collective recollection of early morning breakfasts eating and reading with him.  My Father has always been an early-riser: he works, sneaks in some leisure reading and lovingly brews the coffee so it’s waiting for Mother when she awakes much later.  He has often regaled us with how wonderful life would be as a 10 p.m.-5 a.m. guy—but running a law practice, raising three children and being overextended in the community has forced him to be an 11 p.m. (or more typically 12 a.m.) to 6 a.m. kinda guy.

Although I have to keep it on the down-low at college, as going to bed before 1 a.m. and waking before 8 am is terribly freakish, I’m still one of those souls whose up before the sun.  Jogging through the wispy mist—still free of car exhaust—I enjoy a dominion over the world as I pass through nature veiled in evaporating darkness.  I’ve grown so accustomed to rising early that on weekends when I go to sleep much later than usual, I still find myself waking early—because being a little tired, for me, is preferable to feeling lazy.  I can’t say for certain if I’m innately programmed this way, although I think I am, but I do know I’ve been doing it since before I could read.

Maybe it was my eagerness to be read to or perhaps it was some Freudian ‘Elektra’ complex, but whatever the motivation, I loved waking to read with my Father.  With “sleepies” still in my eyes, I’d slowly (but loudly) trample down the long stairs like an elephant heralding my arrival to my Father.  He always sat at the kitchen table with a legal pad, frayed brown leather pencil holder, highlighter and books strewn about him.  His reading glasses clinging to the edge of his nose for fear they’d fall off, he’d look up from whatever it was before him and raise the glasses to his eyes to behold the messy mangle of curls that stood before him.  Smiling, he’d make one of those affectionately, silly remarks like “Well, if it isn’t the Hollister”—as if he expected anybody else.

As I told him about the dragons that chased me, and the unicorns I rode—in my dreams that is—he’d take to fixing us breakfast.  He’d ask if I wanted cereal or toast.  Until high school, I didn’t bother with cereal—yet every morning my Father would inquire.  This I did not understand.

“I hate cereal Dad.”

“Oh no you don’t!  You don’t ‘hate’ anything,” he’d tease.

“Yes, I do!  I tell you every morning…” I’d petulantly protest.

“Oh, ok, ok.  I forgot.”

As I drenched my toast in cinnamon sugar, he’d slice some fresh banana into his bowl of Wheeties before we began reading.  The Bernstein Bears and Good Night Moon (even though it was morning) were favorites in my pre-literate years.  When I entered Kindergarten, my dad bought me the first set of Nancy Drew books and each morning I’d devour them along with my breakfast.  My sleuthing with Nancy began with Father’s narration.  After a few months, I relegated him to resident dictionary and sound-it-outer of unfamiliar, polysyllabic words.  Eventually, I began reading to myself; and the outside world black and the inside world hushed, we’d sit side-by-side reading—and I’d loudly chew.

“Stop chewing like a cow,” my Father would almost daily remark.

By the time high school rolled around, both my breakfast and reading tastes had changed.  Having solved all the mysteries with Nancy long before I had a locker at school, my morning reading in those years either consisted of some school text or the paper.  My Father always brought the paper in when he returned from walking the dog and on most days it would rest on the kitchen table undisturbed until I barbarically ruffled through it trying to excavate the arts section.  Having found and read what I wished, I’d pretend to put things back  in order by fluffing the remaining sections and advertisements into a vague, rectangular shape all the while only further creating disarray.  Gauging my irritability, my Father would either kid me about it or admonish me for being so thoughtless.  I usually said I was sorry…and did the same thing the next morning.

Those high school years marked my gradual evolution into a granola loving, fanatic about fruit pescatarian whose preferred breakfasts was oatmeal and berries.  Having destroyed the family paper, I’d set to chopping up more strawberries and blueberries than my Mother thought economical while my steel-cut oats simmered on the stove.

“Making another concoction?” he’d call.

Once I began frequenting the health food store, it seemed everything I made was a “concoction”.

My Father was still fond of Wheeties—although he’d often top it off with some Cracklin’ Oat Bran for “dessert”.  The man is no health nut—but he does have some curious habits like his three hole rule on his belt.  If he has to loosen his belt past one of the three-tightest holes, he cuts back.  Since he’s kinda a string bean, my Mother and I tease him for being neurotic, yet we also commend (and sometimes envy) his self-discipline.  Even when he’s not stretching the belt buckles, my Father only accepts “slivers” of cake and “tastes” of ice cream.  He almost always requests “another sliver and a taste”—making him quite the joke at family soirees—but he never overindulges.  He’s worse with salt.  To this day, I cannot reach for the saltshaker without hearing my Father’s reminders that “you really don’t need much, if any, salt”.  As children, we were made to shake a sprinkling onto our hands before dashing it atop our food: saltshakers, after all, were known to be rather dangerous.  We eventually dubbed him the “salt police” and my Mother’s sisters (who do enjoy their sweets) never relinquish the chance to chide my Father about his “sliver and a taste” habit.  All things considered though, he’s not worrying about high-blood pressure or weightless as he ages.

After devouring my swirling mesh of berries and oats, I’d scurry about the kitchen trying to erase the trail of spoons, oats and milk I had trailed about the kitchen.  Without fail, I’d slam drawers and clang bowls while blasting the water full speed.  My Father detests when I run the water at full speed.  I can be doing the dinner dishes, filling the teakettle or rinsing off a knife, but if the water is blasting for more than ten seconds, it is his duty to comment.  As the water splayed the remaining oatmeal across the sink, my Father would comment and I—in the morning cheer characteristic of most teenagers—would try and blast the water even higher.  Nowadays, once all the pots and pans are in the sink, thus forcing me to wash them, I find myself lessening the water pressure.  ‘There’s only so much water in the world’ I remind myself.

Ironically, for all his mindful eating habits and lunches that consist of nothing more than a banana, my Father eats a lot.  Growing up, he consumed much of what my siblings and I rejected.  He was a particular champ during my soft-boiled egg phase.  On weekends, we’d both sleep in a little—to all of 7:00 or 8:00—and after a morning walk we’d jointly prepare breakfast for the “other birds” as we fondly referred to them.  Josephina did most of the work while I flittered about the kitchen trying to locate little used, interesting plates and cups to decorate the table.  Father would always put on music as he cooked—sometimes classical sometimes corny country, but always too loud for my Mother.  As everyone but me like scrambled eggs, mine were specially prepared soft-boiled style.  I think I preferred the glossy sheen of egg white and molten yoke to the yellow, dried-up sponge fragments that the frying pan offered.  Once the steaming white egg sat before me, I’d adorn it with a generous amount of salt and pepper—the former when my Father wasn’t looking.  I’d eat a bite or two off the top—than scoop out every bit of yoke I could find.  Than tackle the fruit salad; I was done with my egg.  The first few times I did this, quizzically inquired why he had specially prepared the egg for me if I didn’t intend to touch it.

“But I did touch it!” was always the defense.

Breakfast would continue and come time to do the dishes, the soft-boiled egg would have miraculously disappeared.

Other weekends were pancake weekends.  I thought pancakes tasted like snake skin (or rather felt like snake skin) and I made this known.  I hated (and still hate) snakes more than I hated not winning the pair of green purses in the game Memory.

“What do you want, then?” my Father would ask.

“Waffles,” I’d reply.

“They’re the same thing as pancakes.”

“No—they’re so different.”

My Father didn’t always oblige, but if we had the time to pull out the antique Belgian waffle iron from the cabinet depths, we’d make waffles.  He knew my Mother enjoyed a good Belgian waffle too; and those waffles, for all the massive mess their preparation required, were always incredibly yummy.

And the Cannon Exploded into Thought

April 17, 2012

I never used to like the ellipse much.  Always thought it was a cop-out, kind of like the semicolon (and, to a certain extent, the colon).  At least that’s what was drilled into my head from an early age.  Though, I guess that’s not true.  It is odd; indeed: quite strange.
Perhaps it’s not that others don’t beleive in celebrating the self, as I so ardently do: Perhaps it is that they don’t know which self to celebrate.

I suppose this is what Rimbaud meant when he said that a poet is meant to experience every possible experience.  It’s not just that he’s supposed to go down a laundry list (that, too), but there’s a certain connotation of fullness that is, for better or for worse, being a particular self within the experience of the moment.  Or maybe the moment of the experience?  Time and everything else tends to be treated as two separate things, which leaves the possibility for statement nesting open…I am the poet…

Have you ever transcended space and time?

YeS!

 

NO!

Space: yes.

 

Time: NO.

In fact, no one has any idea what that means (Save perchance for David O. Wilson and Lily Tomlin but they certainly don’t understand it together).
It’s funny how Siddhartha starts with Siddhartha taking this process of self-switching for granted (and, even more on a metalevel, by implication the recognition, acceptance, and understanding of being other things as a self within each one, which is a necessary precondition).  He is the rock, he is the falcon: but it’s not enough!  It’s so brief, so unsatisfactory.  I just _love_ that about Hesse, how he writes at that metalevel to the metathinkers and doesn’t give a damn about anyone else.  I used to hate it, but then I embraced it when I realized I don’t have many people to talk to other than these authors.  No one, really, other than these authors.  And who could be more conversational than a person who’s talking to me?

Who is the ombudsman who is identifying the selves?  Does she (it) need to be a self?
It’s not an epiphany, a scintillating fireworks explosion in the sky, some loud noise that almost hurts the ears but only for a second.  It’s another self, I guess, a self that’s so confused that she does not want to exist, because she is on the verge of collapse, she wants to collapse..
“Dada doesn’t give a shit about the reader.  Dada is.”

“Dada is so much that it doesn’t even need to justify the utterance ‘Dada is’ by completing the sentence.  Dada is so much that it won’t grant the reader the satisfaction of leaving its justificatory refutations incom

(Another self.)

I see it all slipping away from me, but I don’t feel it yet.  Right now everything is calm and warm and wet, but I can see through the walls of my glass house into the pipes and it’s clear that the hot water is going to be cut off soon.  Soon my shower will come to an abrupt and rude end.  So:

1) If I choose to continue with my goals that will cut off the hot water, then I need to be the self that is that (that I am now, or so I profess), but I fear what I’ll lose and what I’ll shut-out in the process
2) If I choose to keep the hot water flowing, then I need to be another self (oh, but how mind-numbing it is!)
3) Who IS in there?

Shantih shantih shantih

Correspondence

April 15, 2012

I remember clearly that your mother slices apples for your lunch.

 

I remember more clearly that, soon, you are sailing aboard a tugboat made of moons to that place underground where lives the cat: the subterranean cat of which you are not afraid. All other cats startle your spine—but not this cat; he serves crumpets and ginger tea, plays an accordion marinated in the Danube’s brine…

 

But this, I remember most clearly: that

 

Rusalka, abducted by the sea, cried so much it scrubbed her eyes used-car clean and now she (seems) to squint less.  Her newfound lenses wish it so—but just what they wish, they still don’t know…

 

because the true tragedy of modern life is that you are not around. I am glitter without glue; but if you were here, you would see me sparkle—and move—oh how I move!—rolling like this delicious marble purloined from Poseidon. In it swirls the wrath of the Caspian and the mirth of the Aegean, like mahogany waltzing with meringue.  I will show it to you when next we sail and you will like it: for we are marble people, know that people need marbles, even when they lose them…

 

So listen up, here’s the deal: the deal to snagging work at sea; it’s not about who you know or even what you know:  just track down the salty smells of the past and mold it like Michelangelo because what did Madame Sostris so desire?  Just Sheppard’s pie, a fortress crust and a fairly liberal sprinkling of lust.

 

Now, the supervisor out there, he’s a real rough and tumble sort of fella’. You’ll have to survive a couple rounds of Marco Polo just to make sure your legs speak of determination.  You’ll fare fine, your father’s daughter, ‘cause your Daddy didn’t wrestle no waves to birth some sand fairy.

 

You may sink, you probably won’t swim, your fins will eventually find the cove we once staked out—where stands my igloo made of lullabies adjacent to yours carved from recycled dreams.

 

You could ride the sea horse express—but than you’d miss all the mess!  So just watch out for a line via tin-can phone:

 

You’re not damned to be a mail-order bride. (STOP).  I promised your Pa I’d bring back his favorite sea-sprite…he was keepin’ watch at the docks—with those Phoenician ladies of the rocks—but at some point he tired and fell asleep.  He is silly that father of yours—but not as silly as your Mama who’s still slicin’ apples—even though you’re now allergic.  You should hitch-hike home and tell her; I’ll meet you half-way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some thoughts on what’s to come…

April 6, 2010

Of late, I’ve been sojourning and spinning tales and have, alas, neglected this here project.

But while I’ve been bearing a particularly bouyant albatross of late let me tease and tickle (that is to say) soon

we shall discuss dinner with a delightful, debauched old man who has more life in his 80 year old self than many 20 somethings with all their muscle and fustle.

We shall, again, baffle at how uncomfortable people are with any and all things that aren’t stripped from the book (or the box)

The space (the open, untouchable but knowable space) above my head.

For now, I leave with you with words, words, words (of my great-grandfather that is, Sir Tolstoy)–passed from him, to a friend, to the net, to me and now you.  I’ve saved my favorite of his, one concerning the big L, for a full-on, all-out musing.

May you shine, shimmer and simmer in the Spring sun,

Amor amichi,

H to the olly

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

“Historians are like deaf people who go on answering questions that no one has asked them.”

“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
“Our body is a machine for living. It is organized for that, it is its nature. Let life go on in it unhindered and let it defend itself.”
(translation to American slang: say YES to life!)

Soon I’ll be limbless! (That is, I’m running out of limbs on my family tree..)

March 6, 2010

Where TO start?  Over THERE perhaps?

My geneology my lauded, distinct and dear geneology.  This shall be our port of (relative) departure.

Today, we shall start with a relative I’ve just, of late, discovered (that is, just discovered my intense connection to).  He is…my great-grandfather on my paternal side…NONE other than that grander than grand father of Russian letters

Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

The genius who bore us Anna Karenina and War and Peace.   That intensely cool cat, with an absurdly awesome beard who fomented his own following without ever meaning to.  He was the club president who didn’t follow his own rules because he (unintentionally) WROTE AND (intentionally) BROKE the freakin rules.

It seems fitting that as I finally phenagle some time between flitting and floating to “begin” (ohh the heavy onus that is “to begin”)–that at this ever so crucial juncture, as I wax and wane so (un)poetically about who and what I am…that, hark and behold, a KNOCK at my door!

So up I jump and dash to the door.  A gift-bearing man or woman (but definitely NOT child–that would be truancy) hands me deux packages (paid for by moi–via something far too convenient called amazon).

Wrestling the tape (whose end I’m never patient enough to find and peel away), I scoop from the box’s debris my algae supplements (gotta get yang energy a-roarin in my less-than-active spleen!  That lazy girl’s been a keepin me down!) and two books: The Kama Sutra of Richard Burton and

The Kingdom of God is Within You and What is Art? Of Tolstoy.

Regarding that oft sullied, oft lauded book of a certain, sensual nature; banned by Christian wasps but secretly memorized by its teenage captives–I have to say–I really never paid it any mind.  Neither super interested or super uninterested, I was too busy stomaching my physical reaction to Urban Outfitters (and other accomplices) exploitation of the urban legends regarding the sacred text.

But upon calling a dear friend, Lisa, to relay to her the unexpected wonders of a certain film that led me to discover my great-granddady, she updated me on her recent reading conquests.  Having stumbled upon a weathered copy at ze Baltimore Book Thing Lisa informed me that, rather than enumerate how to have steamier spicier intercourse, the book explored the spiritual nature of physical amor (appropriately, a theme alluded to in the aforementioned film).  Needless to say as a transcendental, overly sensitive little artsy flake, this has been heavily on my mind of late (well, for those who know me in highschool–since…for a while).  I decided I needed to read it myself–as I’ve been investigating other yogic texts concerned with similar notions…

But more on that later, today belongs to the Count!

So, here I sit scribbling away, staring at a rather intimidating text on the front of which is printed “the present volume contains two contrasting treatises…”.  Thank you publisher—or Tolstoy—or whomever for saving me the trouble of doing a Venn diagram.

As this shall take me some time to read through (I’m wont to severely wander) and I’m sure I’ll feel compelled to ramble forth about other things and people whilst simultaneously  sojourning through  Tolstoy’s non-fiction,  I shall attempt to read it  in a quasi, pseudo, almost timely fashion.  Naturally, as I read, I’ll report back campers.

This book, like all blessings great and small, has come at a serendipitous time en ma vie.

It’s a work that centers a great deal on non-violence and pacifism.  A work that highly influenced Ghandi—as evidenced by his correspondence with Tolstoy.  It grapples with the history of so-called Christian leaders and regimes who use violence to spread religion like peanut butter over an english muffin: everyone knows that while it might taste good, english muffins weren’t designed for hardcore spreadage…they prefer thin substance which melt upon meeting their heated surface…

But to capture Tolstoy’s essence let us look to Bernstein’s wonderful, wonderful (anything but traditional) MASS:

God made us the boss/ God gave us the cross / We turned it into a sword / To spread the Word of the Lord/ We use His holy decrees/ To do whatever we please.

[Ahh Bernstein…I MUST find him room on the family tree.  How about prickly but loving, brilliant musical guardian heavily responsible for molding my artistic credo.  Oh, I need to write an entry on Mass alone: how it encompasses any and everything in the musical canon, the fact that Bernstein could conduct Mahler and party with the Blackpanthers rocks my WORLD, how Paul Simon was a dear chum who contributed lyrics to Mass.  It (all) KILLS me.]*

So while the lyrics aren’t earth-shatteringly novel, they happen to be rolling around in my head and they cut to the basic, but oh so neglected, heart of the matter.

But of Tolstoy; Tea time with Tolstoy.  Yes, well he’s the great-grandfather who passed the baton to Chekhov—who was famously aware that he was ‘no Pushkin or Tolstoy’.  But what of that, Pop-Pop, you were pretty damn funny—and comedially tragic too.  Uncle Vanya—how can one keep from crying…?  Ahhh, per usual, I digress…

Soooo, I really haven’t said ANYTHING in this post–save for perhaps provided a shadow of a clue as to what this tome beside me is all about.  But I do declare–I have FINALY found a kindred spirit who gets where I’m coming from politically:

The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to
exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall
never serve any government anywhere.

Word, great-grandaddy:  WoRd!

Do come back for another biscuit or krumpet as I regal you with tales of my attempts to locate this kingdom inside of me.  Not sure I buy it entirely–but the notion tickles and intrigues me; speaks to the questions I linger on in the deep of the night…when I should be counting sheep.

For now, fair friends, I leave you in PEACE.

And as for a glance at the crystal ball of what one might soon find HERE:

  • Save LANGUAGE: A diatribe against the notion of “proper” use of language in a world where communication is DEAD
  • Une Portrait de ma mere Teresa Stratas
  • On the AWESOMENESS that is Bernstein’s mass
  • Treatise on WHY Jeff Goldblum is an American Treasure!

And other (un)related digressions and detours.

For now, just enjoy a smidge and a taste of the fantasticness that is Mr. Jeff–that-cat-is-real-in-Goldblum.

Leave love, BE love, live TO love.

The lady of loch lovely

also known as

Tolstoya

*  As any observant eye would note: I heart parenthetical (as well as ellipses and dashes!  Take THAT Wayne-my writing-is-so-dry-it’s-called-the-saharra-Biddle). 

Tickled to the ends of the world and back: Darren Nichols on Musical Theater

February 17, 2010

Today, I interrupt our regularly scheduled programing outlining my genealogy and break from the tea time tete-a-tetes that shall hence forth compromise this cirque virt-u-al and bring you instead know some lightness, some laughter and some utter loveliness.

What do I bring–nothing other than a gem of a clip from that T.V. show to keep all other T.V. shows from talkin’ smack; that show that makes the Office (which I totally adore) feel like a 7th grade history video shown when the teacher is out; ; that artful, brilliant triumph that makes you mourn the fact that trilogies consist of only 3!

Slings and Arrows!!!!!!

Ahhh….perfectly punctuated wit, refined poignancy, seering insight and all encompassing, 360 degree awesomeness.

Those of you who know my sordid past might recall that, in my far off youth, I was a lady of the musical theater. Before Mozart and Donizetti wooed me away from Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein et. all LEGIT, talented musical theater composers were the leading men in my musical life.

Than I went to Stagedoor manor–and the shallowness and superficiality practically strangled and suffocated me…but I escaped to see the light.*

Alright, so it wasn’t just Stagedoor that made me jettison microphones and choose dead Europeans over amplification and my vernacular, the classical world was always calling my name–I mean, let’s be (quasi) real for a split second, and say the less-than-brainy, washed out world of the modern musical theater doesn’t really jive with my whole 7 year old grandma get up.  It’s like asking Nathaniel Hawthorne to read at Beatnik cafe: both have the potential to be great, but they don’t so much interrelate.

Regardless of your feelings about musical theater–past, present and future–I do believe fans, haters and closet fans/haters, can ALL appreciate Mr. Darren Nichols’ expert, thorough and truly enlightening definition of just WHAT the heck MT is.

And if you’ve enjoyed the DEFINITIVE explanation of musical freakin theater—check out his take on excuses in a postmodern world.

Stay tuned, friends and phantoms, for further updates on Operation TinCanDaDA as well as the launch of tea time talks with our yet to be revealed premiere guest.  All I’ll say, is he or she is a member of my “family”.

Stay imaginary,

The Lady, the Lover, Le Fay

*  I still enjoy quality musical theater; but the chosen adjectives refer to both the state of the CURRENT musical theater as evidenced by the commercial crap littering Broadway as well as to the general qualities ascribed to the CLICHE musical theater performer.  But I don’t hate; I still do musicals; I think Jason Robert Brown is a freakin’ genius….perhaps the Bernstein of our times…

Calling all Krumpets!

February 13, 2010

As to the project of the century, the operation to outdo Normandy, as to the details concerning tincans and DaDa—you, cher publique, shall have to wait (with baited breath I’m sure) for another week, another post, as the spirit (or should I say author function?) compels me not (to reveal the goods).

He/She/IT DOES move me to write—just what–I’m not quite sure.  As I said, the operation is stayin’ under wraps until all the allies are back in town and ready for ACTION, however, I would like to reveal something about this here (part of the) circus.

I could cut right to serving you what I got, if infact, I knew what I were serving.  As it stands, friends, I’m not sure if I’m baking crème brule, coconut dream cake or spaghetti squash surprise.

As I’m not one to wax on and on about my own tawdry tales (because they ain’t anywhere NEAR tawdry), the all too easy blogging route, pour moi, would be to ramble onwards, upwards, outwards and… onwards about my inner musings, miffs and mysteries.

But like most Fosse musicals, I needs me some structure.  Yea I  said it: I need structure.  I can’t sit still in class, I abhor wearing a bra and I’m prone to roll around on the floor before conforming to ANY form of inhibition, nevertheless, cookie cutters, decorative filing folders and other tools for organizational ba-liss are totally condoned, approved and encouraged.  They make la vie une plus facil…or something there like.

Besides, I’m not talkin’ strict high school style 5-paragraph expository essay, I mean structure looses all efficacy if it’s just to homogenize, limit, and facilitate this beauracratic hoop-lala known as just about everything.

But let’s be real, everybody who’s got a blog,  has got a gimmick.  Now I’m no game-a-playin’ lady, but I wouldn’t mind saying SOMETHING that signifies (oh just maybe) SOMETHING….even if it is told by an idiot (me).  Thus, we return, ironically, to structure…

…but not before taking a(nother) detour.  Me thinks the title shall have to evolve: for while life IS a circus and I a mere aspiring trapeze artist, I can’t help but ABHOR that

A) I include my NAME in the title (uggg how eGOcentric) and

B) I make waaaay too many post-structurialist puns and academic (dis)allusions to NOT have them be, somehow, a part of the title.  I mean I SHUN academia and all its lauded tenets of knowledge, truth, “unpacking”,  insert random esoteric BULL.  BUT I can’t, sadly, deny it’s come to sculpt me in less than subtle (but hopefully not too obvious) ways.  We are, I suppose, both what we eat and what we rebel against.

I also think the uncharacteristic, excessive amount of deconstructionist allusions etc. (even if only apparent to me) results from  my feeling incredibly awkward about blogging and blabbering on and on about yours truly.  Ewww.  Perhaps all the referencing that movement which celebrates and overtly basks in over-referencing makes me feel slightly better about all this shenaniganism as it’s the best a self-depreciating, playful sprite can do to atone for/acknowledge the fact that this is, well, ridiculous.

But who/what today, my dearest chums, ISN’T utterly, totally, wholly, completely RiDiCuLoUs?

So regarding STRUCTURE–in the simplest of terms—here’s the deal.  In addition to existential musings, the daily round UP on TinCANdada, this here epicenter of linguistic loveliness shall also contain a weekly chronicle of my current etude.

What’s with the etude you say?  No it’s not an apple-era word for some kind of virtual, electronic attitude. It’s an exercise, challenge of sorts, in which I strive to make people feel uncomfortable, make myself feel uncomfortable and dare to do what only those with an exurbanite amount of derring-do…dare do.

Much like my mini-crusades and weekly-etudes back in the *abyss, I shall continue to smile at strangers, leave packages and poems for persons of interest, perform interpretive dances whilst waiting in line at Whole Foods…

Beyond stretching myself, these sojourns shall surely  provide ample and varied reactions of  horrification and bemusement from my fellow human beings who shall act as witness, and sometimes subject, to my antics.  If nothing else, this blog shall be a means of keeping me honest, good and accountable: makin’ sure I’m spreading the awkward love that binds us all.

For life’s a grail quest and whether self-given, universally bestowed or somehow inherited, etudes, obstacles, paying-the-freakin’-bills: these are the grail challenges of the ipad, I think I’m so rad, age.  Smiling at stranger’s subs in for jousting; wooing fetching baristas with sonnets equals the new javelin.

For like most children of a certain age, I’m just an artist still settling on an art (I HAVE ruled out fire breathing and mosaics).  I’m in dialogue with voices from the past trying to say something OLD in NEW words—the same game that Emerson, Eliot, Calvino et. ALL have long played, long aced and long inspired.

Perhaps the name of this game, more than awkward etudes, shall be finishing, or rather STARTING my education, by openly, publicly engaging with all the figures, movements and ideas that academia DIDN’T get a chance to ruin for me.   I mean, everybody knows a liberal arts education teaches you NOTHING of practical value—which, frankly, I’m pretty OK with (most days), as I’m not so into the practical.

I am into being a human–into feeling and loving, into knowing not why but saying Yes, that’s ok, YES please anyway.

So raise a glass to sending me off to get myself some culture, some class, some CLUE of what it is to be alive in an age of perpetual “unmounring” (here here for undergrads who conquered Adorno!).  But considering I couldn’t even sit through Katrin Pahl’s deconstructionist manifestos, no thank you to any further seminar tables (even if you get to bang on them at the end) and surveys of this unimportant thing and that obsolete idea.

I like tea, I wanna do tea, bring on the tea!

Yes, yes I think that’s it.  Teatime at the circus: me, you, everybody else we know + some figure, thing, idea or FORCE.  Ahhh, la forza.  La forza del destino.  The etudes, naturally, shall relate to the current guest; it shall be teatime with whomever or whatever currently occupies, taxes, tickles or fascinates me.

From here on out, I’m initiating my OWN discourse Michel Foucault…I’m a freakin’ initiator of discourse: woot woot!

So I beg, you few (if any!) readers, where, with whom or what to commence?

*  Abyss = college = my college experience at The Johns Hopkins University.  It can also be used in general terms to refer to the collective, universal wasteland that is the practice of the humanities and most other non-scientific disciplines in modern academia.