Tonight I went out for a first date, which was also the first time I'd had sushi (well, just the vegetable sort, if that counts) in far too long. Lately I like taking the subway because they've been remodeling one of the escalators in the stop nearest my house, Davis Square. I keep meaning to take my camera so I can get a picture of the escalator roped off and gutted of its stairs, which are piled up against a wall near the Charlie Card machines. I'm always moved by images of transition like that--once, in Tuscaloosa, they were resteepling a church, and I remember the eerie gray-white of the steeple stretched across the ground on a foggy, full-moon night.
Despite the many hours I spent at the coffee shop today, little writing was accomplished. I updated my resumé and worked on a piece for the Albums of 1999 retrospective that PopMatters is doing, but that was the low height of my productivity. Later I had a wonderful conversation with someone fantastic who's helping me (hopefully) find funding sources so I can leave my job and write and publish and travel for a few months. She's much more connected than I could ever hope to be, and I'm grateful for her help, wherever this takes me.
Now I'm in the liminal space between taking the sleeping pill and said sleeping pill kicking in, which always makes me feel this quiet sense of urgency despite the fact there's nothing I must do now but curl up with my cat and fall asleep in my new sundress.
Reading the homepage of my friend MC Hyland's Double Cross Press has me drooling and wishing I were cool enough to print stuff as well as write it. She talks about searching for the right materials and appearance for each project in a way entirely evocative of the search for perfectly matching form and content that I always go through in poetry.
A while back I was interviewing Micachu (of Micachu & the Shapes) and I told her that I first listened to her album because I heard she was a fan of Harry Partch, the 20th century composer/madman (what was that story about leaving a knife in somebody's pillow?) and creator of instruments. In fact, many of his pieces can only be played on those particular instruments, so to recreate them, you must obtain or manufacture that instrument and learn it. In a way that's the height of pretension but also the height of creativity. Micachu says she sees it as starting with nothing and ending up with something, as really really being involved with all parts of writing a song.
Artful presses have a similar effect in literature, I think. Is the other alternative creating our own language for all of our work? Or are there other manners I'm missing? The medium (in a web v. print way) plays into this, of course, as well as the actions one forces a reader to take in order to absorb or experience a work. (I.e. mouse-clicking, page-turning, unfolding, scrolling, etc.) Perhaps this is me looking for yet another path in which to extend my level of control-freakness over things I write.
Onto the topic of kittehs! Every now and then I think of "getting a kitten for my cat." I usually don't go farther than that once I realize the flawed logic of that idea. But last night I found myself browsing the "kitten personals" at my favorite local animal rescue place, which is where I got my beloved Dart. I was tempted by a couple cute faces but I know it's not the right time for a new pet. But I wanted to recommend them anyway. If you're in the Boston area, you can't go wrong with The Kitty Connection. They do a really good job of matching cats with owners--they'll tell you if a cat hates kids or dogs or people or whatever so you don't have an unpleasant surprise--and they even let you return your cat within a certain amount of time if you didn't get the right one. Now that's what I call quality!
Dart wants me to add that his personal said that he was the loviest cat you'll ever meet and likes to be held like a baby. Obviously, it worked on me and turned out to be totally true.
After realizing how many ridiculously fantastic people are out there on the Internet (perhaps more than I quite knew were in the world), it seems more important to keep in touch with strangers. Hopefully, May is being kind to all of you. May and I have been struggling; it's been a rough patch, but having friends to see me through is wonderful. I'm grateful to you and looking forward to meeting those of you in person who I've only met through text so far.
Boston is finally warming up. The other day I went to the Coolidge Theatre for part of the Coolidge Award festivities--this year the Brothers Quay received the award, so we got to watch their short films and commercials and then there was a Q&A. I hadn't seen their Eurydice retelling, one of their more recent pieces, but it was lovely and haunting but in a less cute-creepy way than most of their work.
I interviewed Jenny Owen Youngs after that for VenusZine.com. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in an interview. She's hilarious and genuine, and I hope she gets to be super-famous and spoiled rotten by the world. Today I'll hopefully be writing that up, turning in grades, and copyediting a few more pages of the next Big Shot. Hopefully I'll work on some fiction while there's still natural light. I mean the sun, not the beer. But I would drink Natural Light while working on fiction. I'm not sure what it would do to the stories, but I've had worse influences.