Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This is not my favorite poem from Marge Piercy's The Moon is Always Female, but it's cute and I'm in love with my cats, so it seems at least nominally fitting. Plus I like the id comparison.


At the Animal Disposal League
you reached through the bars
avid to live. Discarded offspring
of Persian splendor and tuxedo
alley cat, your hunger saved
you, fuzzy and fist-sized.

Now you are sunny, opaque,
utterly beyond words, alien
as the dreams of a pine tree.
Sometimes when I look at you
you purr as if stroked.
Outside you turn your head
pretending not to see me
off on business, a rabbit
in the marshgrass, rendezvous
in the briars. In the house
you're a sponge for love,
a recirculating fountain.

Angry, you sulk way under
a bed till dragged out whining,
you permit yourself to be
captured and saved. You blink
then your goldengreen eyes
purr and collapse on your back
with paws up and your snowy
white belly exposed all curls
to the plume of your tail.
Ravish me, you say, with kisses
and tunafish because I know
how to accept pleasure. I am
your happy longhaired
id, taking the moment as I
do your finger in my mouth
without breaking its skin,
or eviscerating it instantly
like a mouse.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


So what the hell is "still life patch"? Most of the hits I get on here are for google searches for that phrase (in the US, I'm the third thing that comes up, and it's a whiny post that doesn't even mean anything to people who don't know me). I get these hits from all over the world, and I wish they were bringing up something interesting or at least well-written.

Friday, March 21, 2008

thanks a lot, Chicago

Everybody here has been crazy for spring to arrive lately. (This has manifested itself a lot at work, actually. People come into a flower store in March and act like crazy people and have creepy intense conversations about how much they need these tulips so they can pretend it's spring NOW.) We can feel it hovering around the edges of winter (a little humidity, more birdcalls than I've heard in months, sunny days that don't mean I'm going to freeze my ass right off) with occasional days that are all spring, warm and wonderful. But today, which is finally technically spring, it's snowing quite hard and feels like 20 outside. I'd downgraded to my jacket (my old "winter coat" from AZ) but today I'm going to have to backtrack and put on my long underwear, too.
Last week I played a gig that was just awful. I'm not going to go into details, but there was a lot of physical and mental discomfort involved and a lot of driving and no time to relax ever for about nine days. In the middle of this, I was coming home from rehearsal, loaded down with groceries I'd picked up at the store near the rehearsal space (I wasn't otherwise going to have time to get any food for about another week and it was getting critical here), zoned out and staring out the window practically drooling and just completely exhausted and depressed. There was this girl on the train, green hair and big boots and leather jacket with the horned smiley face on the back, and as the doors opened to let her off she runs over and gives me a piece of folded paper and dashes out the door.
The woman across from me smirked, and I thought I'd just received some stranger's email and or phone number and it would be a good story. Actually, it was an unsigned note, kind of cheesy and all about how everybody is important and you just really have to take what you have and grab onto it and make the most of it, and really lots of people love me even if it feels like not, etc. So yes, cheesy, but actually it made me feel much better. The content didn't matter, but the humor of the situation and the kind of naive goodwill that could prompt something like that did. I won't say my day got entirely better, but at least for a while I was appreciating the sun and the sensation of going home in a much better frame of mind.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

vagina vagina vagina!

This is one of the best things ever.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

cause i am like east berlin

I went to the Chicago Public Library downtown tonight; while I admire the library system here for their dedication to community accessibility and growth, I still freakin' hate that downtown branch. I've written before about how nearly every book I've ever tried to find there is listed as being available but is in reality mired in the several-week dead zone that comes between being checked in and actually being on the shelf. Tonight it was Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran, by Fatemeh Keshavarz, which is supposedly an indictment of Reading Lolita in Tehran, a book I unabashedly love for it's beauty and struggle and because it makes me believe in books again. I don't know much about the Islamic Revolution (only what I've read in Reading Lolita and Persepolis really) and I'm actually quite excited to learn a little more through this book, although I'm also afraid that it will ruin the other book for me. But if so, I suppose that's the way it goes.
Except it wasn't there tonight. I ended up with a book of Rumi's poetry and Pam Houston's autobiographical collection of essays, A Little More About Me. I just finished Cowboys Are My Weakness for the umpteenth-billion time and I re-read Waltzing the Cat more recently than I'd care to admit, and even though many of the essays in this book are more than a little reminiscent of her fiction I decided I needed a little more. It's been making me a little homesick, frankly, but for things I've never really seen or done. Trails I've never hiked, mountains I've never seen, rivers I've never stepped foot in... It's making me want to pick up and return to somewhere, only I don't know where or how or even if I really would if I knew the answers to the previous questions.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Wow, I only worked five and a half hours today, but I'm beat. And I still fucking hate daylight savings time. Why?!?!

Monday, March 03, 2008


I feel like I've already talked to everybody who reads this blog about this, but I've felt a need to write about it so that I can stop forgetting who I've told, at least. I saw an ad in the weekly a few months ago about a study through a local university about something called "generalized anxiety disorder" and Tabitha and I both thought the description sounded remarkably like me. Basically, you worry all the time about a lot of different things, big and little, and it impacts your ability to be happy and get stuff done and relate to people. After doing a bunch of interviews and filling out countless "how do you feel when..." worksheets, I've been admitted into the study, which earns me four free months of therapy. Which is awesome. I had a primary diagnosis of the lowest admissible level of GAD, with a secondary diagnosis of the lowest level of social anxiety.
All of this has led to a lot of thought on my part, naturally. It's kind of a weird feeling for me to actually be diagnosed with these things; on one hand, it's not exactly a surprise, but on the other it's odd to have a professional opinion that something is amiss. I think there's a certain amount of cultural cachet involved in saying the equivalent of "I'm all stressed out all the time!" but it's an entirely different thing to have somebody agree with you. The interviews were totally bizarre too, because I felt like I was competing to be the most anxious person possible. Normally in a competition-type setting, you'd be trying to do your best, show off your talents or whatnot, but this essentially felt like a contest to be the most fucked up (or at least admissibly fucked up). So I feel like I won something, but it's kind of a bittersweet victory.
I had my first session last week. We mapped my stress cycle, or at least one of the ways it works for me. But isn't it true that once you know something you know it forever, and it influences what you do and don't notice? I feel like maybe the more things we talk about, maybe the more I'll see the same things happening everywhere regardless of whether they are happening or (more alarmingly) what else might be happening too. Brains are so funny. But there you have it, and hopefully it will help me. I have a deal with my therapist: if I don't like who I am after this is over, I can just go back to the way I am now. But can I really?