Thursday, 30 June 2011

Feeeeels like the first time.

I once wrote about that song (but not ABOUT THAT SONG, you know, deep) but have since abandoned the poem. Still like the song.

Tonight, in Belltown, at a theater with a lot of red curtains I'll be reading at the HOARSE! release party for issue #3. Houdini.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Repost: Barrooms/Community Building.

In this article, Stranger books editor Paul Constant makes a call for a "writer's bar" where the entirety of Seattle's literary community can gather. It's not a bad idea; I think it's healthy for writers of different styles-- entirely different styles, not just different styles of fiction or poetry-- to rub elbows and bounce ideas. Take the ingredients you like from an essayist and put it into your short story. Things like that.
That said, I do wonder if Seattle (and other) literary types get too into "being literary." A good bar where you can talk as pretentiously as possible about whatever you've read or are working on-- that's a rad idea. but it'll always need to be balanced by the good bars where you can people watch, write in solitude or, gasp, places and activities not involving alcohol.

which I could use a bit more of lately.

off in a bit to meet with Brian about Works in Progress, which if I haven't talked about here yet, I'm not unpacking now.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Go to Sleep With the Light On

the last day of my 20s I stood in a narrow room where they asked me questions about incarceration history and my sexual habits and stole blood from my right pointer finger and inspected my arms for veins and elbows for bruising. later, but not much later, I stared at the sheetrock ceiling as narrow tubes sucked fluids from my body and gaunt-eyed women with needles and tape walked slowly to their charges. My jeans are torn at the cuff and stringy at edges, as they've been since birth. This place is like a hospital, that gives you money. The ceiling is like a hospital's. The white coats are like doctor coats. The halogen lights are like, the beds are like, but they won't let you sleep. The nurses thump the side of the pillows. A man in a trucker hat and grey beard and freckled arm starts, almost pulling his needles out. This is like some other beds I've slept in, where the ceiling and lights and noises kept me from rest and I pulled blankets and arms off me before shuffling back into daylight, through tinted glass doors, in rudimentary bandages, no goodbyes. The man who unhooks me is tired but friendly, sees my novel and tells me if he could be anyone in literature he'd be in The Brothers Karimazov, and he'd be Aloyisha. The good one.


This is the first thing I've written since turning 30 on tuesday. I will probably turn it into a Haibun. Thanks to Ryan for the prompt. I am bad at spelling Russian names.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Faith Without Works/Ties that Bind/Toby Shiner's Jacket.

jewelry rained from the top of the sears building and
the hockey jerseys glowing in the light of the carfires
raised chants, broke windows, someone tweeted pictures
picked up by the news.

in the largely empty workroom a computer plays anarchist
folk rock from the thirties. we drink prime whisky on a
brown carpet. the novelist unfolds deserting the "movement"
slowly, halting to shake his head. "we were just kids."
bleak unraveling of belief in brick and mortar and black masks.

conflicting reports as to what this actually means.
a sort of populist chaos. the petulance of spoiled children.
inevitable release of Id in a building full of people,
the outflow of violence. loud noises! ooh, shiny! fuck the fuckers!

at my 19, the ponytail had ceased to be political. the
les schwab jacket, two sizes too big, gifted by a friend was
also not a political statement, or an ironic one, but it did
make me feel bit harder than maybe I was. when the protests turned
to riots turned to A Battle In Seattle and cameras swarmed
and my co-reporters at The Polaris took their tender skin to get
broken by rubber bullets on the second day, bragging on
the fuckedupness of the thing I knew that I had to finish the week
without these bragging rights, the anarchy of the restless, the bravado
of tourists.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

To Fix the Gash In Your Head

Perpetual States

To be forever eating, to be forever drinking, never sated. What they said it would be like in hell (a variety of sources, don't ask me to be specific,) the vice of choice shoveling, battering, inundating. To be forever packing snowballs with no one to throw them at. To be forever pissing, never relieved (bad example: in the act itself there is relief)what they said hell would be like when they believed in it. Sometimes the bus is forever turning a corner and Jerry is always just missing his connector. At times like this the sky remains exactly the same as it was the moment before and pieces of bread fall from the old lady's hand to the pigeons (who eat the crumbs, this old lady is not in hell.) At times like this, and sometimes at other times, Jerry thinks of Joe Wenderoth, sitting in Wendy's, completely dazed on cough medicine and perpetually wanting to fuck the red, soft, wet
mouth of the girl at the register. How sore would you get, from shifting in your seat, due to that wanting, and what about those days when people think you terrible for disenjoying their picnic and being unthankful for your peeling sunburn? There are a few of us, and we are forever realizing we aren't alone.

I wrote these both in under 25 minutes at work. Or you could read James Burns' Largely Correct rant/take on Indie Rock in all it's linguistic meaninglessness. I quibble with some definitions, but I think the larger thrust of what he says is well stated and something I'd have written here but am lazy and hate writing about music a lot of the time.

Pinching, Pulling

Crabs running sideways in sunglasses make me hop quicker than a dance with "hop" in the title ever could. My girlfriend is hungover from wine and whisky after wandering the streets of Columbia City lost but nonplussed. Eventually the bar (there's always one of those) overcharged me for drinks and the man who makes a living playing guitar on cruise ships was talking to the off-duty bartender. It was like a dance. Or hop. The woman he will see later is in California, so it will be much later. I think the off-duty bartender's swooping dark hair has him convinced. Successfully, I guide my wandering girlfriend to her whisky-ginger, which is now mainly melted ice (I hadn't known about the earlier wine) and in low light I still drink IPAs like they were ales with half the strength (maybe why I always have a headache) and the on-duty bartender is reluctant to do anything at all. Half the walk home I had my fingers through blonde hair, staggery past fields of disused tires. This morning I was glad I can give directions and cook eggs, because if there'd been a pack of wild dogs, I doubt I'd have been able to fight them off.

Friday, 10 June 2011

"This reminds me of bellingham.""this reminds me of ellensburg."

In everett last night I read the following poems in the following order: doot doot de doot(summer)/pink laces and kierkegaard/fear of drowning/genus, species and flavour/bellevue/most important meal/body party/rugby '08/swansea-cardiff (b'ham ed)/story problem
For the record. The open mic was mainly guitar players but there were a couple interesting folks who got up and simply read. The crowd was supportive and I succeeded in feeling okay about the whole thing. Sold some broadsides, but the quagga remain.

It is still weird doing a reading with your folks in the front row.

The drive to and from Everett, what with stopping to get/drop off people/acquire necessary goods was around 3 hours of driving.
I don't hold to the popular-with-some belief that all suburbs are terrible, soul-crushing places, but Lynnwood, Wa., which is pretty much designed to be driven, still saps a whole lot of time getting from one place to the next. Yeesh.

tonight, rachel and i will hope her car doesn't break down when we drive to georgetown with the intention of drinking beer, being in fun places and getting the fuck away from cap hill for a night.

content soon?
content, soon?

appropos to Music: I think the Dum Dum Girls are aptly named. I got their doing the Youtube-hop game from Male Bonding, who I think are pretty good.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I can't make your (event),

I shall be spending all day and evening drawing pictures of Quaggas next to a poem about breakfast and wondering what the fuck to do about eating.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Mason Jar of Timeliness Says You Just Missed a Guarantee.

Workburrow. Arrived at the Library an hour early (like I usually do) with the intention of listening to music, writing, sending necessary corrospondences (like I usually do.) Network was down. Spent some time with Devils and a maple bar.

Shortly after arriving at my shift, computers flicker back on and the students swarmed. I tend to intend to Write Something, but company time isn't my time and I suppose it's not fair to grump out on a poor student for interrupting a haibun about Concrete or some such thing.

Last night was my first night actually Hosting Hugo House's Works In Progress open mic. We ran it about the same way, save that after 9pm the time limit drops from 5 to 3 minutes and instead of playing a soothing A chord on an instrument of folky troubadors, I clear my throat all growly-like to let people know when they're finished. Some good readers last night and good energy. I thin people tipped Garth more than they did me.

Pics to follow, probably.