Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Introducing Green Bean Wyer

We rescued a black kitty with huge green eyes. He is helping me sew... My Machismo thinks that Green Bean is his kitty. My Sandy B hates his guts.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

a blog post

Hooray the mind that says, "when I get to heaven, I hope I can work for Safeway!"
Hooray the mind that says, "We all long to do God's work!"

Hooray the haladol, the depakote!

Hooray the radio mind, the goddamn pentagon!

The way a shirt wears to show its fibers, the Dorrito crumbs on a shoulder, the fine fine fine, it's all fine, the proud wig, the blessing, the "we give them pizza on Mondays", the "they take the art supplies home,"

the long tumble towards...

Monday, November 23, 2009

some happy monday morning reading

I'm writing a poem in English and Russian. It's about the recent crash into the moon and the water they found. A news report said something along the lines of, "We (meaning USA) will be able to use this water as a resource if we deplete Earth's water."

The report also mentioned that the minerals are being analyzed. I couldn't help but jump to the conclusion that Uranium is one of the elements that they hope they find.

The trouble with atomic energy is that, like oil, you have to dig something out of the ground to make it. And the supply is finite!

So, I am imagining another US and Russian fight for the moon.

Here is a link click to demonstrate what could happen if the conservatives get their way in regards to outlawing abortion. Netflix it.

Also, A Woman in Berlin is available as an instant play. I highly recommend watching it. I didn't think that I was going to make it through the brutal beginning, but it was worth it for so many reasons. I won't go into them because it would ruin the tension of the story.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've been thinking about this for hours

I watched Crispin Glover's It's Fine, Everything is Fine.

Before the film, he performed eight books. This was brilliant. He took old books and cut them up and created new stories from the bones of the old story. He drew India ink pictures and added his own words. His timing was so on the mark and his intentionally awkward gestures were hilarious.

The film, however, was...

I can't figure it out. I'm close to coming down on the side of absolutely irredeemable.

It is a film about sex. It's about power. I guess it's not a film about sex. It's a film about power. Perhaps it is impossible to separate the two.

At first I was okay with the love interest's daughter pursuing the handicapped man as a sexual conquest. This relationship spoke to me about how teenage girls look for ways to express their sexuality without being hurt. That is-- they sometimes look for people to use, to gain the upper hand in sex because they are aware of their status as a commodity and they want to subvert it. It's complicated, but the man is not a victim here.

He kills her.

He kills about 6 women in the course of the film. The only woman that he doesn't kill is another "cripple," because she doesn't want to have to feed him and breaks their date.

The others pity him and sleep with him because they don't believe that he has ever been with a woman. This also spoke about power and subversion. I believe that these women-- with breast implants, etc-- felt that they were giving themselves to him out of compassion. He was aware of this and hated them for their kindness/condescension and their grab at power. He had to demonstrate his power as a male.

This was an exploitation film. The lead actor was the man that wrote the screen play. He was born with severe cerebral palsy. He can barely speak and cannot walk. He is not the only one that was exploited, however. He was allowed to bring his own fantasy life to the screen because he was handicapped. He could sleep (and yes, actually have sex with one of them on film-- not acting)with beautiful women and pretend to kill them.

What bothers me the most, however, is that I think people will only be talking about the actual sex on screen and not the larger themes. There was a gasp as one woman performed fellatio on the man. I had to ask if we were gasping because of the sex act or because it was a sex act with a handicapped man. It was the sex, I believe. And it was what made the biggest conversation point. Every single person in the theatre has seen porn, I'm sure, but it was shocking to see the act in an art film. I know Glover was trying to show that these lines are more fluid than we draw them.

I don't know. I'm not sure that I've expressed myself. I might need even more time to think about and add to this post.

I can say that I am enjoying trying to digest it.

I enjoyed the question and answer part of the evening, too. He is a fascinating man. He took the part in Charlie's Angels in order to use his salary to make this film. Charlie's Angels made this film possible. That's incredible.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nice one, anarchists. Next time, show up? My carbon footprint is that much bigger after driving to any empty, dark building; it should break your little hearts.

Two days of mental hospitals in the rain.

Monday, November 2, 2009


He always fell asleep first and she would move into his space, move onto his mouth. It is not kissing if you do not move away; to kiss you must leave the other mouth. She would press her lips firm and flat against his lips and hold. He would wake, of course, and smile and kiss her. He would move his head away from her mouth. When he closed his eyes she would do it again. Open mouth to open mouth, not moving. There is breath here, but more than that, there is awareness of the separate self, that one will still breathe when the other ceases to. He pulls his head away, again. One should not be forced to remember.

absurd absurd oh lordie absurd

Life, that is.

I finished my essay on Uranium and Helium for Diagram. Here is an excerpt:

When you first start to think about Helium being a by-product of the decay of Uranium, you wonder if it’s the same thing as seeing the CIA in a stranger’s glance. That is, what kinds of connections are you drawing? Are you sane? Has a kind of nuclear terror lodged itself in your marrow, a bright heat in your bones? You should not be imagining burning bodies at your daughter’s party. What is wrong with you?

There are people that believe in God! There are people that believe Uranium is a righteous element! The God people from all over meet the Uranium people from all over and a common lust is formed. Whose Armageddon will come first? Who will say I told you so? Whose reward will be more just? The Uranium people whisper to the God people that they should join teams.

Towards the end of the party you start to describe to the remaining girls that Helium is a gas that is lighter than the elements that make up air. They giggle. You said gas. You tell them that the element started off as a rock, one of the heaviest rocks on the planet. The rock got lighter and lighter as it threw off energy. Radium became Radon became Polonium became Lead and so on. This balloon, you say, as you tug on its string, is floating because the element inside was once radioactive. Like an X-ray? says one girl. No, like chemo, says another. They are cool with science. She is relieved. She smiles her gummy smile, tell them about bombs, she says.

Let's hope the Mr. Monson likes it.

I watched Pu-239 over the weekend. It was disappointing. The actors were British doing Russian accents. Why not just use Russians? There were some beautiful moments, like when the man who was exposed to 1000 hertz of radiation is describing decay. The film was based on a short story. I'll have to try to find it.

I found lots of my dad's books with his markings inside. I took: Imaginary Beings, The Age of Reason, a beautiful set of Fitzgerald with deckled edges, and some Kafka. I was reading The Age of Reason and Kafka at the time of my mom's surgery. I was able to finish the books using my dad's copies. I got to see his marks instead of some other persons (my copies were bought in WV at a second hand store-- a WV reading Sartre-- right on!) I had no idea we had similar tastes. Of course this makes me sad and angry because I would have liked to have talked to him about books. But, I suppose I am having a one-sided dialogue with his underlines and notes.

Does anyone know of any open jobs? I love my job, but I make shit. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Doughterty's, after the voices

I go for a cool pint after my time at the VA.
I drink my first one quickly. The Afghani smiles at me. It's been a long time! I say.
He brings me another, on the house.
A man comes in. He cannot sit at the bar because of his stomach.
He sits near me. I am in the corner at my favorite table.
He orders a "Genesis" and looks at me to share in our mutual love of that black beer before continuing with a food order.
The waitress interrupts, "Oh, Guinness?"
"Yes, of course. What was I saying. Genesis, ugh."
I can't stand how embarrassed he is. It hurts me. He wanted to talk to me, about our choice in beer, and now he can't. Oh, it's terrible and it's a relief.
I continue to read, pretending I didn't see or hear anything.
He doesn't talk to anyone.
I finish, I leave.

Friday, October 9, 2009

VA and other things... doh!

I have been craving potatoes.

I think I should adopt an American bulldog to wear around my shoulders. It will be better than paying for a massage to push down the shoulders that want to creep up when I'm stressed. The bulldog will not allow such creeping. Yes?

Yesterday I heard that I was the one. The only one, the chosen one. I also heard that I was filthy, that everyone could smell me, that I was a pig. I heard a heart beat, whispering. I heard laughter, muffled screaming. Sometimes I heard all of this at once; all the while I was being processed at the "ER" by a disgruntled, abrupt intake nurse that couldn't understand why I was having a hard time counting backwards by seven. I then took a cognitive skills test in the "ER" while a TV blared. I had to read a passage in a short amount of time and then answer questions about it from memory. Whew. I could then take off my headphones.

It was a very effective demonstration of how difficult it is for someone with schizophrenia to function in our loud, fast world. It complete sensory overload for me. I was listening to the "voices" instead of the instructions from the nurse, I was trying to figure out what the whispering was saying, or just trying to make sense of all the noise. The most difficult part of the experience was trying to explain what the saying, "People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," meant. I was better with concrete information, like the names of the last four presidents.

It did make me realize that I have to slow down and repeat things for the people that I interview. It also made me question the questions that we ask people in the ER. Counting backwards from seven would be difficult for me no matter what. What does that say about me? What do they want that to prove?

I learned that when someone is hearing voices, the same part of their brain lights up as when they are having a conversation with someone outside of their head. The voices are as "real" as they can get.

Baltimore City police officers took this training.

The VA is an interesting place. I had no idea what a self-contained environment it is. You get your drugs, your eyeglasses, your own ER, doctors, benefits, from the same place. The sixth floor houses all the mental health services. In the elevator no one wants to be seen pushing the button for 6. Military stigma (about mental illness) is the toughest stigma to overcome. Only 23% of those displaying symptoms get treatment. And then they have to battle stigma in the elevator. Intense.

Mom's surgery is on the 23rd of October. They are taking her whole thyroid. She might take a radioactive iodine pill. Radiation the cause and the cure?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tomorrow I'm going to attend an all day training at the VA. Part of the training will require that I wear headphones that will play voices talking to me while I attend the seminars and lunch. It's supposed to simulate what it's like for someone with schizophrenia. I'm nervous about this, but I know that I'm lucky I can take off the headphones.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Mike Young of NOO (that's pronounced "new" but I don't know how to make the accent mark over the second o) is taking Gelatin. I'm going to be in print! Very exciting news.

Mom and I went to the movies yesterday. We watched Whip It. Drew Barrymore did an incredible job with this film. It has the sweetest, sexiest, silliest pool scene that I've ever seen. The couple in front of us at the theater said, "white people are weird," after the scene was over.

Oh, I was driving across the Delaware Memorial and I saw a bumper sticker that said, "God is Pro-life." I had to laugh. Then I imagined a hand coming out of the sky and flicking my car into the Delaware River. Exactly.

We are meeting with the surgeon later today. I've had a lot of coffee this morning.

I talked with Cole Swensen! She approached me before the i.e. reading. She wanted to know about my salt water tattoo. She thought of taffy. Most people do. That's very curious to me. I recited the Dinesen quote for her and then I asked her about the American Hybrid project. She said it took about five years to put together and that the process of compiling the book went against her thesis! I was surprised she was open about that. The thesis-- that there aren't schools of poetry anymore-- is so well argued in the introduction. She and the other poet that put the book together had different tastes and wanted different things from the book. I'm glad that I was early to the show because I never would have had the courage to talk to her. Her reading was incredible. I believe her last line was something like this:

an army of children clothed only in rage walking on their hands across the sea


The other two poets were incredible as well. It was a great night for Baltimore. I went home immediately after, though, because I had ridden thirty miles on my bike that morning(on the b&a trail) and needed sleep.

I woke up this morning to the scrabble of starlings in the flashing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

this and this

I attended the free MICA talk on Monday. Lani Irwin was the featured artist. I attend these types of things at MICA or the BMA whenever I can. I thoroughly enjoy the way these talks focus on the artist's progression of ideas and methods.

Later that evening I got to thinking that I should try to host a reading where a writer describes their progression. I realize that it would be a different/difficult thing to do since we can't show slides where the ideas are apparent... but maybe I'll figure it out. I'll chew on it a little.

Cole Swensen is coming to the i.e. series in October! The introduction that she wrote for American Hybrid is perhaps the best part of that anthology other than the line "a little more sun on the red human." I don't remember who wrote that poem, but that line frequently forces itself into my head.

Today is my Friday because I'm off to the beach tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The last four email headings in my work in-box

1) yummy = muffins

2) NIMH on youtube!

3) diet pepsi explosion in lunch room fridge

4) Suicide Prevention Conference

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

right now people in my office are:

* picking chicken bones
* watching DVDs from redbox (2)
* on the phone with their lawyer about their pending divorce
* talking about making "doll babies" (2)
* reading a book
* Internet (2)

After this blog post I am going to finish putting together a chapbook of new poems. Then I will read some more and hopefully write some more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oh, I Get It

Something happened and then something else happened. Then a door opened and a man walked through. Feet on the floor and then the body follows. Other things occurred. Other steps were taken and the body went other places. A strange woman's mouth is a pit. Windows were opened and closed. Dust accumulated on the records and then was wiped off. Many voices said many words but all the words meant power. More feet went more places and something else happened. The strange woman reached into the strange man and pulled out a pink and black g-string. They discovered they were sad.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Basically a good day

This morning I discovered this line in Proverbs, "my kidneys will exult when your lips speak uprightness." I had the following thoughts:

Kidneys? Why kidneys? That's weird. That's like Edith Wharton mentioning bananas weird-- it has to be some kind of cultural signifier that I'm not aware of. I'll try to Google kidney bible or role of kidney in biblical times. (bananas signify wealth)

Then I went to the bathroom and peed out my coffee and thought:

Oh! Kidneys, like the purifiers of the body! Did they know that back then? Is that why the kidneys will be happy when you take in Jesus?


I confess to reading the bible only when I am in a contentious mood. Which means my husband should live on the roof. (read Proverbs 21:9)

I've also been re-reading The Energy of Delusion by Viktor Shklovsky. I've been going over the chapter called, "Everything in Life can be Montaged." I can't list all the fantastic quotes from his man because I would basically be transcribing the whole book. Here are a few:

"He (Tolstoy) detests people talking about precision as if it were realism."

"Reality is not the depiction of the mundane."

"He (Tolstoy) wants to show the strangeness of the mundane-- through detail."

"In Tolstoy's fiction, details are written as if in a different handwriting; the willful intrusion of the wide-frame shot into the main theme is intentionally emphasized."

And lastly, have you read Adam Kirsch? His book of poems Invasions was released in 2008. He uses traditional forms. He is amazingly good. Here is one of his poems:

The Gothic silhouette and flying spire
Address the campus with a confidence
Inherited from buttresses and choirs
Adapted to the Catholic skies of France.
If at the swinging summons of the bell
The snow-blind distance gradually revealed
A feudal Sunday's lost processional
Of ox-drawn peasants and their mounted lord,
It would be less surprising than the sight
Of so few Christians in these ranks of pews,
Who gather out of homesickness or habit
To hear the echoes of the old good news--
Waiting until the concrete dorms decay
For these stone arches' rediscoverer
To envy or regret the certainty
Of dead parishioners that never were.

Dude, I'm gonna post my word count every Friday at 3. Sound good?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The inmates' actions were aimed at destabilizing the situation in the jail and were motivated by their refusal to accept legitimate demands of prison

Selim is in the corner holding the sharp edge between his fingers. He is waiting for the high yellow sound of noon. He is calm. My elbows move closer to my ribs and then out again. Everything is breathing with me. Dolinka, Dolinka, Dolinka: now.

Selim bends at the waist and cuts his Achilles tendon. He hands me the razor and sits down. He is happy. My feet are bare, my pants rolled to the knees. I cut my tendon and pass the razor. We put our bleeding feet in a circle and let the blood pool. We push the blood to the door, force it under.

Demiricimim is the last of our twelve to cut. He pushes the razor into a crack in the mortar. We get up on our good feet and hook elbows. Dolinka! we shout.

Dolinka! the floor answers. Dolinka! the ceiling answers. Twelve, twelve- all of us! I shout.

The count comes from the cells. Fifteen! Twenty-three! Thirteen! Twenty!

Selim is adding them up. Two-hundred and sixty-six! he screams. The guards have come by now. They see the blood under the door and stop. They watch us through the food door of our cell. We are still standing together, hooked at the waist. We hold our loose feet together.

The guards do not move. Expletives and static come out of their walkie-talkies.

Where is Dolinka? I ask them. I am white and shivering. I feel the circle weaken. Demircinim's lips are blue.

The guards leave.

Where is Kazakhstan? I ask their backs. Tell CNN, tell the BBC where Dolinka is!

We hear the ambulances and sit down on our bunks. We are sweating and shivering.

When we get back from hospital, I tell Selim, we can do the other ankle.

No, he says. The British will come. He pulls out a comb from his pocket and neatens his hair.

Friday, May 8, 2009

some work stuff i found interesting

Individuals who are able to maintain noncritical family relationships [I would add the qualifier _relatively,_ I am not aware of any family which is criticality-free], strong social support networks, and lower rates of major life events are likely to experience fewer symptoms of their disorder over time. Beyond the social environment, a better course of disorder may be possible for people with fewer negative interpretations of themselves and their life events, those who are less neurotic, and those who are less dependent on others_ opinions of them [I would qualify this as follows: that the issue of dependency upon the opinions of others really has to do with a disintegration between autonomy and relatedness, e.g., if autonomy is significantly sacrificed in order to maintain an attachment relationship]...Hence, psychotherapeutic interventions may be needed to help individuals develop more supportive social environments, positive self-evaluations [similar to Gaetano Benedetti_s concept of _therapeutic positivization_], and adaptive cognitions regarding stress. Maladaptive personality traits that persist beyond the recovery period may suggest the need for more intensive therapeutic interventions as well_ (p. 87).

Sneak peek

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Get this:

Israel is calling the Swine Flu the Mexican Flue because swine aren't kosher. Mexico is up in arms about this "slander." When Palestine was asked if they, on account of all their Muslim people, call it Mexican Flu they responded, "No, that's an Israeli issue. Of course we call it Swine Flu."

It's like bickering siblings!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

another love story

Saakashvili, Saakashvili my head is pushed into the pillow. Saakashvili is the sleeping a quiet creeping tremor. It is a mantra of vowels showing first the tongue and then the teeth.

I laughed when the man with the puppet said he wanted to hang him from the balls. Saakashvili from the balls! Never! His body will glow and burn from the inside before there are ropes and chairs to kick out from under feet. The body of his wife will light up between her legs, her polonium eggs.

But if the man hangs a noose, you know to push your shoulders up when they start. It's just too hard to do, though. They are back down before you realize and a ripe knot forms in your neck. The cloth is black with your animalness.

Saakashvili you are in love! There is so much metal with your name on it! I cannot sleep without your long sounds petting me! Do not bubble and fester, please.

The passport fee is non-refundable and there is a wild upheaval in my heart. I will straddle the machines that shoot long distance rounds!

Oh, Misha it is the vowels I want.

Friday, March 13, 2009

a casualty of the recession...

This woman's store went under and today her mannequin did, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One Sunday Morning

The smoke detector beeps every five minutes.

You had been hoping for a word. When it came, it was “You.” She's reworking your nose, the neat slip of your fingers, making your image less defined but more arresting. The surprise of sunburn after haze.

In the other room, the dogs are in heat. The neutered male whines, carrying a toy duck in his mouth. The girl dogs nip at his feet.

Migraines are electrical storms in the brain. They are something like seizures, but brought on by manic lethargy. Whole years slip into blind spots. Faces lose eyes and mouths. Let her fake sight, let her approximate lips.

The mail comes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Swear to God

Samantha often swore to God. As in, "I swear to God, his thing was this big!" The statements were lies, always. Over New Year's she lost her voice due to a bad head cold. No more strained stories of lost cell phones that had text messages from Dr. House (I swear to God) or neighbors climbing naked up fire escapes (Seriously, I swear to God).

Everyone suddenly realized how much they actually liked her. The silent Samantha at her desk, Samantha in the ladies room reapplying lip balm, leaving to smoke without anyone noticing.

The week progressed like this until the shock of her voicelessness wore off. It was as if the foul mouthed Samantha had never existed; everyone forgot to wait for the voice to come back. Samantha had obviously recovered, no more tissues or red peeling nostrils. Yet, no voice.

The voice was quite happy. It was hanging out with all of the other lost voices in the bar for lost voices. The voices marveled at her ability to swear, especially to God. Voices are very superstitious. If a voice hiccups, everyone in the vicinity shouts God bless you so the voice's heart won't stop. The others liked her quite a bit and described to her what they thought her body would look like; especially the mouth that the voice came out of. "I'm not from New York. I'm from Connecticut. But, yeah, I went to public school. No, I don't wear lipstick, I swear to God-- no! I don't scream when I..." She was the center of attention.

Samantha went to several doctors. They couldn't explain the loss and wrote more prescriptions for cough syrup with codeine. She texted obsessively. But texts are easy to ignore and the friends that had hung around waiting for the time to ditch her, ditched her.

Meanwhile, the voice was getting on every one's nerves. She really was too much and they were tired of being shocked. The old barmaid had connections to a voice that knew people. Money changed hands and it was arranged that the first available person would get Samantha's voice. The bar folk followed Mucinex purchases on their Black Berries and made bets. They hoped for either a man or a nun.

The voice started to clear her throat. "Hum, HUH!" And again. They giggled in anticipation and drank up. She cleared her throat once more and was gone.

Samantha meanwhile got a promotion at work. She finished everything too quickly and had loads of time left over so she created a foundation where celebrities spoke about Samantha's rare condition. In six months she was able to quit work and go on a book tour.

The voice passed into a 13 year old Haitian boy living in Washington D.C. He was considered clairvoyant and all the neighborhood kids came to ask him about their love lives. He was more than happy to dish.