Before mercury, my blood used to fill thermometers.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Life outside the diamond.

Just like HMag, WITF is also revamped and incredible and so much more a joy to use. I don't even find "a very smooth backend" weird-sounding as it leaves my mouth anymore. I am torrential affection and tears at Very Literary over how much I love Kate Zambreno's writing and can't wait for HEROINES and love the internet. My critical faculties are nil. It's the best feeling. Sometimes I feel like I will never develop them like writers I admire and other times I feel like I cannot enjoy anything because I can never stop being analytical about it. I mention in there not really liking many books when the whole of "books" is taken into account. I love the way story is constructed and told which does not make for really burning aisle-chat. When people see me at the bookstore and ask what I'm into and I know they mean what do I like to read about, I can only say mental illness. It goes over the best of the short, torrid list. Or butts - I would definitely say that. It depends on the person. The content of story as my blind spot is something I am considering very seriously in my virulently snowballing gestalt-post on Girls. More on that soon (I read everything aloud and my mouth loved "moron that," that's absolutely how I feel).

I was retweeted by Maria Popova, not because I did anything worthy of Brainpicking (as a verb), but because I bought and now treat as I would my child one of she and Wendy MacNaughton's Susan Sontag on Loves. I have magneto'd it to my closet door, for lack of a frame and fear of letting it live on any surface where I might fall on it. The odds of me harming it far exceed those that I will anytime soon achieve anything Maria Popova will tweet about, so I'm going to take this moment and I'm going to enjoy it.

This is like Christmas all ready: HMag moved me to Arts & Entertainment! That's all I need in the way of presents. So I bought myself Paul Fejos' Lonesome and Marcel Carne's Children of Paradise in order to leverage the necessary amount of buyer's remorse to feel the real sting of that's all you need in the way of presents, Kari.

I managed a trick I'll never pull off again and convinced my boyfriend it was the person seated behind us during last night's showing of the Master who sang along to Philip Seymour Hoffman's rendition of "Slow Boat to China." I should never have told him, since he then assumed that I was the person clearing my throat and laughing at all things during Sleepwalk with Me when that was really the person seated behind us. Both movies contain an old man making an embarrassing analogy about marriage to, respectively, a dragon and a cake. We saw them both at the Midtown Cinema which was saved from drowning this summer and, thanks to thousands of ticket sales, can thrive into the age of digital film.

I loved watching the Master and how Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman's characters interacted, how central their relationship was despite the sensational shadow of What It's Really About. Dominant/supplicant narratives, exploring the dynamics of power, is something I love deeply, and I love how this mined and meditated on and let move freely a person for whom it is easy to assume power and a person for whom it is easy to be shunted around. But Dodd is enchanted by Quell! He wants to be like him, he wants Quell's qualities. Knowing you wield power, being comfortable with that and using it to your advantage in building relationships - which Dodd demonstrates - is not the same as being a person who constantly seizes control, who thinks about control foremost and not relationships, necessarily, at all, like Dodd's wife. I hereby adapt a new rating system and award the Master five slow boats to China.

Spoiler, maybe - not about anything heretofore mentioned - but the Scholar is going to span a city block. I put a period there but I punch those keys with the force of a thousand exclamation points. My affect this lately's been very Nick Offerman. But OMG. OMFG.

Lastly, it bears repeating:

Coming Soon from Birds of Lace
TWINS by Megan Milks
FunSize&BiteSize by Jiyoon Lee
The Mysteries of Laura by Andrea Quinlan
Shell of an Egg in an Effort by Anne Marie Rooney
macey [triolets] by Seth Oelbaum
Come as Your Madness by Kari Larsen
The Jennifer by Maia Elgin
Inversion Twilight by Carrie Hunter
Funerals and Thrones by Jordan Scott
In the Grave by Jeanine Deibel

Monday, September 17, 2012

Inauguration of the pleasure coma.

Come as Your Madness 

It's about first jobs, funerals, art, and love.

Come as Your Madness 

In utero, it was the cannibalized twin of a Czech New Wave film.

Come as Your Madness
 
It was very inspired by the works of Irina Ionesco and Joel-Peter Witkin.

Come as Your Madness 

It's been excerpted at Anomalous, Two Serious Ladies, la Petite Zine, and NNATAN.

Come as Your Madness 

It is my fiction chapbook coming soon from Birds of Lace!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I have more respect for your art than I do for my own fears.

My review of Sheila Heti's How Should a Person Be? is live at Anobium. (And the title of this post is from that book.)

On Thursday I spent the afternoon having my mind blown by Amanda Kloehr on the heels of a whole perfect fall day dancing around downtown telling everyone about Harrisburg Magazine's redesign (currently in glorious process). I was and am so happy because I am still writing with them and received an extremely warm email from the web editor, Len (after freaking out to excess over the loss of the site's old content - really freaked out, pyrotechnics and all). And summer was so full of - I reflect - ups and downs is wholly inadequate. Plunges. This whole summer was a plunge. Verb and noun. Then I went back to bed. I am often mistaken for a busy person when I spend every available waking hour asleep. This is one of the many ruses that has served me well.

New Birds of Lace titles abound! Including lovely Andrea Quinlan's Mysteries of Laura. Watch that tumblr is what I'm saying.

This best captures the psychic hazard that I am pre-coffee: at breakfast this morning, in a Sailor Moon shirt, the Little Amps barister bid me good luck on my new French press and told me to watch out for the Negaverse. He called me Sailor Mars. My first impulse was a deeply defensive how did you know? significant minutes before I congratulated him on the reference.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Do not hurry, do not rest.

Two quotes that I believe are both in Annie Dillard's Writing Life that my friend Gretchen and I used to have all over our notebooks in college: "How we spend our days is how we spend our lives" and "do not hurry, do not rest," both of which at the time seemed comforting and providing adequate directions, make me feel now like I'm going insane.

I am in the middle of Against Interpretation and this is on its way. Because I read Sempre Susan a few months ago and I loved the observation by Nunez of Sontag's habits, "like a student all her life." Now that it is fall I am thinking of that.

A friend is finishing her thesis, having left school early, corresponding with her university, adjusting vocally to working life while trying to accommodate this pursuit powered only now not by the atmosphere or sense of community but by the love of what she's writing about. Reading makes me feel better and I need to feel better. It gives me the false impression that I felt certainly, extremely perfect as a student, which was not true.

My boyfriend and I were reading at the Scholar last weekend - it's expanded and the new parts are not always crowded. We were alone in the new space and I asked him what he missed about being a student, since, being ABD in history, he was a student much longer than I was. He misses the time he had, he said, and the control he had over his schedule, which was the exact opposite of what I perceived I had when I was in school. I do not miss anything, but what I am experiencing I think is resistance to adjusting my habits to a tendency to get devasated.

If I am taking the afternoon not to write but lie in bed after a bath and read Against Interpretation my restfulness agitates me. I resist the idea that there's no other thing I should be doing, no obligation to anything besides myself and getting myself in shape to do work. I wish there was no reconciling or healing and my head was full of only useful, beautiful things.