Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The male gays.

I read Kate Bornstein's a Queer and Pleasant Danger in one sitting. These are my two favorite moments (in any book, ever):
The speaker was saying something about "the male gaze." I heard it as "the male gays."
And:
It's a dance, ordering a burrito, and it's hard to order a burrito for someone you don't know well.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A booming middle class.

Three things:

I never think necessarily that I am in bad shape to do something I genuinely want to do but spend that energy considering the new dimension my state casts on that thing that I'm doing: like I have this reading on Saturday, and by then I believe I will still feel like hot garbage. But when it's something I don't want to do, I am never in good shape to do it. My state's irrelevant.

I don't know if anyone will be there but my best friend and my boyfriend and that's all I need.

Speaking of friends, the new Very Literary is ALL ABOUT KRISTEN STONE! Because Very Literary is a blog and informal, although I never refer to it as such and try and keep an elevated sense of itself within itself, as if it's a radio program, although I break the voice completely in this post because I really just needed a repository for my enthusiasm about something my friend is doing, hence it's something about which I admit to a bias and so did not want to put it elsewhere, where I try and maintain a semblance of professionalism - WITF is based in Harrisburg, where I have a reputation for a-professionalism to uphold. The post was borne of an email that I haven't finished yet. I was spiraling too tightly in a reaction to her reading of How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti, and my reaction split into part of that post, a review I'm working on at Anobium, and more - maybe a musical adaptation.

Segueing right into: I have two little prose hoes working the corner of La Petite Zine and your eyeballs. This is how I talk now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Everything's better on laserdisc.

Getting tidy.

1. I'm READING at the Midtown Scholar on Saturday, August 25!


I'll have copies of the Black Telephone, pieces of known and forthcoming works, and my dignity.

2. You can now order j/j hastain's riding the lace barometer through eCRATER! My little ISMs page is updated thusly. If, however, you, wayfaring googler, would be interested in reviewing riding the lace barometer, I would be pleased to forward you a review copy. Alert me at kari . lee . larsen at gmail.

3. Have you met the Untitled Mag? An online magazine with an anticipated print presence, the Untitled Mag "strives to empower a community of diverse youth by providing a space to celebrate their existence within a world that otherwise denies universal pride in their rich, personal identities. We acknowledge, celebrate, cherish and give priority to those marginalized by their sexual identity, race, gender identity, class status, ability status (physical and mental), body size, and health." I will be helping out on their website, nurturing its code, helping it grow.

4. Have you met the Local Mag? My friend Liz Laribee contributed photography to their first issue and assisted in their Kickstarter by donating her services to those who gave a certain amount. I gave a certain amount, and now Liz is making me one of her famous cardboard portraits of Marina Abramovic. I think I'm going to take it to work and elevate every mass mailing to ART.

5. After posting last here, I linked my small post about Lena Dunham's New Yorker piece on Twitter, and Lena Dunham favorited it, and I started crying like an actress. Every time someone brings it up now - my mother or my coworkers - I cheer for myself like I'm at a hockey match. The intensity hasn't waned.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Doing their blue dissolve.

Lena Dunham wrote an article in this week's New Yorker called "First Love: Memories of an Elusive Boyfriend." I am slowly re-viewing Tiny Furniture as well as Girls. I am catching way more that impresses me - albeit in imperceptibly small ways that owe much of their impressiveness to their minuteness - in Tiny Furniture, but "First Love" made me reconsider what I originally perceived as weakness in the film. My boyfriend is a slow reader and he had me read it first and asked in the middle of my reading, "Is it funny? It has to be funny." I missed him because he'd been gone a week but I was abruptly in a very remote place. The article starts with Dunham having her last connection to her first love, called Noah, torn from her without her knowing, itself vicarious anyway. She's still able to contact him, but it was affiliation with him she lost. She characterizes herself as basically the same before and after the relationship and is transfixed by her behavior during, when they were barely physical but invading one another with such diffusive will she cannot clearly render why he behaved the way he did - it didn't impress upon her and pose the usual questions because however erratic he was, it was all ready so in her. She sticks to the slightness of it and the heavy dampness of how it stays, a relationship that people might still after its over mistake for current, taking for granted that one has "your boyfriend's rice cooker." I also re-viewed Daria twice this summer, not slowly. I love the hyper awareness demonstrated by Quin of social behaviors, the acute intelligence. I love how detonated Dunham is by social behaviors and the small things she picks up on so perfectly, and how for all her perceptiveness she romanticizes their elusiveness. No matter how well you have people down, you don't have them.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Suddenly there came a swagging.

1. I wrote an essay for Anobium about the Artist is Present (about Marina Abramovic), Crumb (about R. Crumb), and Public Speaking (about Fran Lebowitz), the necessity of examples, and being a horrible example. Re the final point, I still have in draft-mode a post crafted just for the students I reference in this essay.

2. Someone else wrote this on tumblr and I am still screaming/gasping/crying.

3. I went on a vacation that was almost a week but felt absurdly, stupidly brief because I slept virtually the entire time. I thought I would work. That was so silly.

4.  At HTMLGIANT, Christopher Higgs struts out an enviable reading list wherein I was very happy to see my (hearty, intense) endorsement of Carina Finn's My Life is a Movie has swayed someone its luscious, frothy way. I am not always on board for what that site has to post, but I am on board for everybody knowing what an amazing book that is - and fuck am I excited for HEROINES - but I am always on board for this. Bodies are wonderful, if not always safe for work.

5. It says there are 33 copies of the Black Telephone on the Unthinkable Creatures etsy. Kristen Stone deserves not only some $5.50s, but your love for her beautiful labor.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You're not without guidance.

Preface: Elan Lafontaine is amazing for having included me in NNATAN 0 with - holy shit - JOANNA RUOCCO, Gina Abelkop (!!!), j/j hastain - whaaat! - Evelyn Hampton! Lauren Spohrer! James McGirk, Cooper Renner, Christopher Kennedy, and Julie Reverb - I can't even. It's a beautiful first issue and just the beginning - submit!

Also, I was going to write about how the Paris Review linked to Supervert's Reality Studio and then I discovered that a month ago Supervert linked to my "Imaginary Portrait" and I'm all out of words. Luckily everything else in this post was all ready drafted. THIS IS ME AT MY MOST JOVIAL.

Also, on Very Literary, I cataloged some of my favorite Twitter presences of writers and editors - a third of the original list.

Now, about the Black Telephone:
How is a Greek chorus like a lawyer
They're both in the business of searching
for a precedent
Finding an analogy
Locating a prior example
So as able to say
This terrible thing we're witnessing now is
Not unique you know it happened before
Or something much like it
We're not at a loss how to think about this
We're not without guidance
There is a pattern
- Anne Carson, Antigonick
When I started writing the Black Telephone - available now from Unthinkable Creatures - I wanted to work through this surge of feelings that came from working on this novel that I've been piecing together since I was fifteen and returning to the books that moved me to work on it including JT LeRoy's Sarah, and thinking about catharsis, therapy, divulging, to what degree exposure/confession has to do with how I work and why and what form enables me to do, which disintegrates for me in the essay. I took a class on the essay in school and that was a really bad couple of months. Sometimes I am overwhelmed and ashamed to consider how many really bad couple of months I've had.

Writing the Black Telephone I was pummeled by the compulsion to back up my claims with evidence. Saying "I feel this way" was not possible, so I found quotes that would exorcise and misdirect. And my own voice does its own little feeble swarm like my friend Scott pointed out it does when I wrote an essay for the essay class when I was like, I am going to tackle the very difficult subject of my history of (these problems that are no way in the past), and he read it and the words EVASIVE AND OPAQUE were somewhere in there and he said, that's exactly what this is, this essay is evasive and opaque. I warmed up to words when I could use them to distract or dazzle or inspire whoever away from my having to state, be clear, admit. So when I read Dennis Cooper's the Marbled Swarm this year, I really felt accessed/opened/broken/revealed to myself and had to initiate some important crazy dialogues with myself. I visited my best friend and told her about the Marbled Swarm and she was like - that's it! That's you! All that stuff in that book! And we gondoliered briefly through my history of intense fixations, many of which are represented there and others that she pointed out don't make any sense and are almost more alarming for their abruptness and departure from my more standard fascinations.

It's wonderful because she's studying the law. I went home and read Antigonick. The quote at the top of this post changed my way of thinking about what I was doing with the essay and also made me think about writing before and after school. Research, and the luxury of an extant body of evidence supporting, even in glints, a claim. I wanted that really badly when I was writing outside of fiction.

The point of the essay really is how I read Sarah in high school and felt like I could tell my friends something important and it was really about the FORCE behind Sarah, Sarah is fiction and then when I read Laura Albert's Paris Review interview I felt turned inside-out. Even though what she states states the problems and not what I feel, necessarily, I had enough of an idea how to talk at that point, and the essay is about really about how badly it messed me up, when I told a friend and she didn't believe me, when somebody I trusted invalidated a secret I divulged to them. And this is not a canonical thing of my past, a significant turning point, which also made it hard to touch - my good friends didn't know that happened to me and weren't privy to the effect it had on me not because I was hiding it but because it was so much in the rhythm of how I treated myself and it was after that that I lost my willingness to do what I had been doing in school and I threw out all of that and studied writing. And there are plenty of witnesses that can attest to how my behavior once I switched my course of study was manic/strange/insufferable/haughty. Because - and this was good - I wanted to be what I did not what I said I am which I didn't trust after that. Until now, which was why I wanted to gently approach the form of the essay again.

The essay pivoted around my revealing, originally. There are many reasons I like to reveal and I decided not to do it there - per Kristen's recommendation - and I'm glad because it is an essay about difficulty and what makes it valid to me, what are my issues with validation. That's why it's full of quotes. I did go and tell my mother, then. She just looked at me until I said, "That's why I make myself be so open about everything, why I say everything, I'm just trying to make myself say this," and she cried. The reader is fortunate to know me through writing where I am way more intriguing/enigmatic - in life I am a giant statement sentence.

I am also going on vacation until Wednesday in order to calm myself and mess around with the post I've drafted, addressed to the amazing people I spoke to at Central Penn last week.