Sunday, October 31, 2010

poets

i am in a class where i feel i don't belong
i don't know what a tercet is, though i gather it means three
nor do i know how to write a sonnet
and i do not give thought to how many lines and syllables are in my poems
nor what types of consonants, gerunds, or speech tenses i am using
i don't immediately recognize if my poem is between the "I" and "you"
or if the relationship of my pronouns are clear
i am not traveling from southern california every week to take this class
i do not take a bus from massachusetts or a train from connecticut
i take the subway from brooklyn
and still i found myself twenty minutes late today.
i am trying to see if i am not that passionate about it because for once i am not the best in the class or even one of the best in the class
if i don't like it because i am not being praised or if it is just not my thing.
pride is tricky.
pride is what gets in the way when there is something we need to see but don't want to look at.
that feeling of our own congratulatory pat on the back when maybe a slap in the face would be more helpful.
i am happy to have now taken a workshop or been in a writing group for every major form of writing:
non-fiction
memoir
playwriting
screenwriting
fiction
poetry
adaptation
but what does that make me other than a proud jack of all trades?
master of none, as they say.
or maybe i am a poet,
and i don't even know it.
the time for choosing is upon me i feel.
i am wanting to strip myself of all that i put before me
in order to understand the one thing that i actually want before me
happiness. truth. love.
the ability to turn off my pride, that beating of my ego that thumps so loudly in my chest,
and ask myself
"just what is it that you want, dear?"
maybe i will stop doing what everyone tells me i am good at
and choose for myself what it is that i want to be good at.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

last night

somebody over did it

Friday, October 29, 2010

mortified

Last night, Carmen and I went to a very funny show called MORTIFIED. People read from their middle school and high school diaries and journals. My favorite performer was the Executive Producer, Neal, who read poems he had written dealing with rejection, obsession, prom, etc... My favorite was called "Prom Is A Fantasy" where he proceeds to rail on how people who go to prom are letting society dictate their lives. This, of course, was written after the girl he wanted to go to prom with went with someone else. He then proceeded to go to prom with a blind date. The poem written after that topped the last one. This one was "Untitled" and begins with "Death To The Tormentors..."

ANother performer read about her dilemma on whether she should buy the Ace of Base CD or a Nirvana CD. She then added "oh yeah, by the way, Kurt Cobain, just committed suicide."

I especially loved her because I have listened to that Ace of Base CD probably hundreds of times as well as all of my Nirvana CDs. Anyone else have SWV? K.D. Lang? Crash Test Dummies?

It was fun to laugh, to laugh hard and honestly, with a little self-nod to the nerdy kids we all once were.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the return of the iPod

The last two days I remembered that I had an iPod and spent the last two commutes warming up to the day with an array of different music.
Amelie soundtrack
American Gangster soundtrack
a Mix that I for some reason titled Avelio??? Bill Wuthers, Black Eyed Peas, Portishead, Nas, Snow Patrol..all my faves
What a difference an iPod makes on a morning commute.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

halloween: a day for pilgrims


i've decided that i don't like halloween anymore.
i suppose i haven't for awhile
and i don't know why i have agreed to work at the door of a huge halloween party
where i will be telling drunk assholes and pretty sluts whether or not they are on "the list"
it all reeks of desperation with the bitter taste of sadness.
i can't ever remember really liking it.
at my first school, a christian school, we were not allowed to celebrate "the devil's day" so we were made to celebrate "colonial day" where you cam dressed as your favorite pilgrim or American historical figure.
I have been Betsy Ross, Martha Washington and Susan B. Anthony.
perhaps this is what killed the joy of it for me.
there was also the colonial day when we came home and found mom on the couch and the phone off the hook
the next day was halloween but i was sent to stay with Aunt Gail for a few days and i didn't have a costume.
so she dressed me as a witch and tried to get me to wear green face paint that made my skin itch
that halloween we went to one house that was flooded with people.
when we got to the door, we found that it was mary kate and ashley olsen dressed as cinderellas handing out candy while a barrage of people took their photographs
i remember thinking that maybe they were giving out special candy. but it turns out it was just snickers like the rest of us.
the year my parents divorced, my brother and i spent perhaps our last halloween trick or treating.
my mom made our costume- we were a two-headed monster which really just was a black sheet with two holes cut out. i remember being annoyed throughout the night because he was slower than me. but i was glad that we were in this together.
as a teenager, i went one year as parker posy in dazed and confused and one year as sally bowles which may have been my best costume ever.
but as an adult, the costumes are few and far between and none of them clever- black mamba from kill bill, a cowgirl, magenta from rocky horror picture show and maggie gylenhaal.
this year i am going as me with a subtle suggestion of freddy krueger-red and black striped sweater and hopefully a hat and maybe fingerless gloves.
considering the plethora of colorful dreams i have been having for the past six months, going as the killer sandman gives me some false sense of empowerment or maybe it is just more depressed morbidity. either way, i will be warm while sexy ladybugs and playboy bunnies and lady gagas and snookies will be freezing their asses off around me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

if i were a rich girl

i would get my hair done every 4-6 weeks like you're supposed to
i would get my teeth bleached by some blue light laser
i would get laser hair removal everywhere except my legs, i actually like shaving my legs
i would go to iceland for the weekend because it would REALLY be a deal
i would buy a smart car and drive around looking for really small parking spots
i would buy a farm house in vermont, a ski chalet in colorado, a brownstone in brooklyn, and a beach house
i would travel to every single place i could
i would still shop online just a lot more frequently
i would get whatever i really wanted on the menu
i would consider laser tattoo removal for 2 of my 4 tattoos (guess which ones?)
i would consider getting a huge tattoo on my back
i would give to charity though i admit i did not think of this right away, but i definitely would
i would buy myself a mac desktop, a mac laptop and an ipad
i would see a lot more theatre and a lot more movies if the bed bug scare was over
i would never drink the "well drinks"
i would hire a cook
i would throw an awesome party for no damn reason
i would take a year off and write. maybe two or three.
i would make another documentary
i would open up an arts cafe and have poetry slams, movie nights and game nights
i would buy mike every survival tool he needs to feed his growing hobby
i would still wear sterling silver
i would see my brother more often
i would get facials every month
i would have an easier life but not necessarily more interesting
i would still work but i would make sure my day didn't start until 10am
i would be bored...would i? would i?
i would always have mint chocolate chip ice cream in the freezer and flowers in vases

Sunday, October 17, 2010

intimidation

i was once told that there is no such thing as intimidation.
the person who told me that was the most intimidating person i ever met.
she was my high school playwriting/acting teacher
perhaps one of the greatest minds i will ever know and she became an incredible mentor.
a few years later, at NYU, i would meet a similar teacher who to this day tells me to
"Be Aggressive!"
whenever i feel the cold sweat of panic coming from a moment of insecurity drawn from a very deep well,
i remember these women
or at least today i did.
i started an advanced poetry class with an incredibly respected poet.
as the class began to discuss each others' poems i felt myself sinking
actually, rewind
from the moment we handed our poems out and i realized that i was the only person
to pass out a three page poem
i began to panic.
then when that one woman who i know i've met before began to discuss the poems with literary terms,
terms i assure you i have only heard once and never myself used in a sentence,
i began to feel that feeling.
that feeling of i don't belong
the same feeling i felt on my first day at nyu.
 as the class ran out of time and i thought i had skirted my way out of a potential lions den,
someone suggested for the people whose poems we did not get to discuss, we should read them aloud.
asshole.
so when it came to me, i breathed and decided to read the shortest one i had and the oddest thing happened.
they laughed.
i never saw the poem as funny.
if anything i see my poetry, mostly featured on this blog, as depressing.
a part of me thought that they had missed the point and another part of me was okay if they did.
who doesn't like to make people laugh?
if i look at the many teachers and bosses i have had, they all have one thing in common:
the ability to combat fear with everything they got.
there must be a reason they find me or i find them.
in the words of jim whitaker, "fear is as real as this table."
fear is the most powerful emotion in the world because it knows how to disguise itself.
and for a writer, how you handle fear is what makes all the difference.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

noises

nothing but the clock ticking
i think, forgetting
how i tried to understand my upstairs
neighbor's fight
just ten minutes before.
maybe it was just a movie,
or an old friend you
talk to as if they were the scum
on your shoe.
it is the witching hour
here, at the tip of park slope,
although now they call it
greenwood heights
after the cemetery one
block away. the cemetery
with the bodies of centuries past.
in california, there are no
bodies of centuries past.
just michael jackson and
marilyn monroe
and people rich
east coasters call
"new money."
she blurts out at dinner
something to do about
rich people and how
"they can't handle it"
when they lose all their money.
and I, trying to keep from screaming,
offer an ironic anecdote
which i immediately regret.
this will never be table conversation and
no one will ever understand, nor
appreciate the irony inherent in all
fucking tragedies.
nor will they learn that those rich people
can handle something
just fine.
everywhere i go
there is a sparrow.
sparrows in my feet,
sparrows in my chest,
sparrows in my head.
she will not let me go and so
at night i dream
about cancer in my body.
"you won't always feel this way,"
she tells me.
"you won't always feel this way."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

vollmond

a sob lifts
a door closes
gripping a crumbling wall
faster than fast can be
they slip through each other
which foot first?
they slip into each other?
Which chin first?
we run from
that thing
that in the end
drowns us in
our own ideas
of how it should have been.
why wear the goggles
when you wear such a heavy coat?
ophelia blushes
with purple lips slain
according to your doctrine
of how it should go.
i cannot see you.
all this water
running through my hair
when all i really need is a carrot.

Monday, October 4, 2010

little black box

dear blog,
i have been so engaged with comments on my movie blog that i have been neglecting you. apologies, apologies! but i have come back to you the same way i went back to the theatre today. nothing feels quite like slipping into a chair in a black box theatre. the house lights hot on my face and then the quick fade, the blackness engulfing me as the story is illuminated before me. there is nothing in the world as beautiful to me as that moment. sometimes i wonder just why the hell i ever got out of the little black box and when i will have the courage to go back in. when the play comes out, go see GLORY GIRLS by Elizabeth Diggs. There is a reading on Thursday at Ensemble Studio Theatre. Funny, smart, heartbreaking, passionate, historical, inspiring, empowering.
j'taime lbb.