Monday, December 12, 2011

The Temptations: Klonopin

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Girl with a Bamboo Earring, Awol Erizku

Monday, December 5, 2011

Flesh of my flesh

A note I left for Xena this time last year - the cider days

I saw Carl Dix and Cornel West speak at Berkeley last week, and when Alice Walker was pointed out in the crowd I had to fight back tears.

My housemate got a cat and I'm afraid it thinks that Sam and I are his owners.

Today I learned that William Carlos Williams hated Ezra Pound. The narcissism of small differences? I guess, aside from Pound being an anti-semite and WCW...not.

♫: Flesh of My Flesh / Tonight You Belong to Me (1) (2) / In A Mess

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It wasn't in me. It went out and in.

For the time I copied a Rilke poem to put inside the copy of Miles Davis’ autobiography I’d purchased for a boy, became extremely upset a few hours later, and wrote, “Fuck you. Never call me again,” instead.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A postcard from Roberto Bolano to Enrique Lihn

from East of Borneo.

Monday, November 7, 2011

If there is an ocean it is here.

If anything of moment results - so much the better. And so much the more likely will it be that no one will want to see it.

There is a constant barrier between the reader and his consciousness of immediate contact with the world. If there is an ocean it is here. Or rather, the whole world is between: Yesterday, tomorrow, Europe, Asia, Africa, - all things removed and impossible, the tower of the church at Seville, the Parthenon.

What do they mean when they say: "I do not like your poems; you have no faith whatever. You seem neither to have suffered no, in fact, to have felt anything very deeply. There is nothing appealing in what you say but on the contrary the poems are positively repellent. They heartless, cruel, they make fun of humanity. What in God's name do you mean? Are you a pagan? Have you no tolerance for human frailty? Rhyme you may perhaps take away but rhythm! why there is none in your work whatever. Is this what you call poetry? It is the very antithesis of poetry. It is antipoetry. It is the annihilation of life upon which you are bent. Poetry that used to go hand in hand with life, poetry that interpreted our deepest promptings, poetry that inspired, that led us forward to new discoveries, new depths of tolerance, new heights of exaltation. You moderns! it is the death of poetry that you are accomplishing. No. I cannot understand this work. You have not yet suffered a cruel blow from life. When you have suffered you will write differently"?

Perhaps this noble apostrophe means something terrible for me, I am not certain, but for the moment I interpret it to say: "You have robbed me. God, I am naked. What shall I do?" - By it they mean that when I have suffered (provided I have not done so as yet) I too shall run for cover; that I too shall seek refuge in fantasy. And mind you, I do not say that I will not. To decorate my age.

But today is different.

The reader knows himself as he was twenty years ago and he has also in mind a vision of what he would be, some day. Oh, some day! But the thing he never knows and never dares to know is what he is at the exact moment that he is. And this moment is the only thing in which I am at all interested. Ergo, who cares for anything I do? And what do I care?

I love my fellow creature. Jesus, how I love him: endways, sideways, frontways and all the other ways - but he doesn't exist! Neither does she. I do, in a bastardly sort of way.

To whom then am I addressed? To the imagination.

In fact to return upon my theme for the time nearly all writing, up to the present, if not all art, has been especially designed to keep up the barrier between sense and the vaporous fringe which distracts the attention from its agonized approaches to the moment. It has been always a search for "the beautiful illusion." Very well. I am not in search of "the beautiful illusion."

And if when I pompously announce that I am addressed - To the imagination - you believe that I thus divorce myself from life and so defeat my own end, I reply: To refine, to clarify, to intensify that eternal moment in which we alone live there is but a single force - the imagination. This is its book. I myself invite you to read and see.

In the imagination, we are from henceforth (so long as you read) locked in a fraternal embrace, the classic caress of author and reader. We are one. Whenever I say "I" I mean also "you." And so, together, as one, we shall begin.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Wet, dreary, showery West"

Things I forgot about but remembered today: post-yoga cigarettes, bone-chillingly cold weather, how gin was once my favorite spirit. I haven't been reading very much lately, except for the occasional chapter of Journey to the End of the Night and newspapers, mostly The Chronicle or The Wall Street Journal. I make plans and immediately dread them - what if the bus is late? What if I have absolutely nothing to say to them today? Have I worn the right thing? Did I bring enough cigarettes? Living in the Bay Area has worsened my anxiety. Re-reading Kierkegaard's The Sickness onto Death - which I do sometimes before bed or on BART - doesn't make it any better. I'm upset that I didn't bring more books up during the move, especially comics. I eat a lot of barbecue - unlike Los Angeles, you can get a good barbecue meal here for under $10, sometimes even $5. I get tired often, not just in a way that means I need sleep, but tired of certain people and situations, like how the white people in my neighborhood fail to look me in the eye every goddamn time, or how I can't walk anywhere without someone asking me for something - money, my number, a cigarette. I read The Atlantic Cities almost everyday, even though the articles often feel incomplete. I got new boots three days ago, and that night had a dream that my feet hurt in them. They did.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Girl, girl, girl

Today I walked into Trader Joe's with the intention of buying three things: a sandwich, spiced cider, and a container of Fage yogurt. I walked out with three bags filled to bursting, containing double creme brie and Asian pears and small packs of almonds, among other things. I forgot about the sandwich.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Mixed marinara and alfredo sauce together for my spinach tortellini. Sauce became a nauseating pink color. Threw all of it away. I'm never telling my boyfriend.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


You are in love. Rented out till fall.
You are in love. Poetic fires ignite you.
Your friends laugh; they won’t talk to you at all.
Then one night, the goddess deigns to write to you!

That night…you go back to the café, to the noisy atmosphere;
You sit and order beer, or lemonade…
Nobody’s serious when they’re seventeen,
And there are linden trees on the promenade.

- from "Romance" by Arthur Rimbaud

Thursday, September 29, 2011

John Ashbery, "At North Farm"

Somewhere someone is traveling furiously toward you,
At incredible speed, traveling day and night,
Through blizzards and desert heat, across torrents, through narrow passes.
But will he know where to find you,
Recognize you when he sees you,
Give you the thing he has for you?

Hardly anything grows here,
Yet the granaries are bursting with meal,
The sacks of meal piled to the rafters.
The streams run with sweetness, fattening fish;
Birds darken the sky. Is it enough
That the dish of milk is set out at night,
That we think of him sometimes,
Sometimes and always, with mixed feelings?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You do what you know because what else is there?

This morning my boyfriend and I woke up at 7:30 to get boxes left over from the night's inventory at Ralph's. We're moving to Oakland on Sunday. It'll be my first time living outside of Los Angeles and I'm feeling all of the usual feelings: excitement, fear, anxiety, sadness. While walking down Bundy Dr. this morning I looked up at all of the palm trees bending towards the ocean and thought, I'll miss that. But how do I know what I'm going to miss? I have some basic ideas - my family, the taco truck on Olympic and La Cienega, staying up all night at Jeff's and smoking cigarettes on his balcony - but I don't know what little things will tug at my heart while I'm up there. That scares me a little - I don't want to miss anything. I want to sling my bag over my shoulder, throw up the deuces, and never look back, but I know that's not possible for me.

Something interesting: I'm going to be living a handful of blocks south of where my grandmother's childhood home was (is?), and near where my mother and uncle were born and lived for the first few years of their lives. I learned this yesterday during our hour-long phone conversation. She told me about waist parties at De Fremery Park (admission was your waist size in cents), places she used to go, my grandfather. She also told me that when she was kid, she flew down to Los Angeles to visit her aunt, and, upon seeing how sunny it was, resolved to move here when she was an adult. I think about these things, the conversations I've had with my mom over the past few days, the swirl of family history surrounding and influencing me and my decisions, and I think about how no matter how frightened I am about living somewhere I don't know very well, how sad I am to be six hours away from eating sushi with my little sister and having her talk my ear off, how anxious I am about every little thing, for the first time in a long time I feel like I am doing something right, and that makes it all worth it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I Care 4 U

An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of feelings that I'm feeling, or maybe just a list:
- The fact that Echo Park Lake is closing for two years (forever) tomorrow
- "Tiger Trap" by Beat Happening
- This photo from Fourth of July (which was awesome by the way - most notably I ate a hot dog topped with sour cream-and-onion chips, arugula, pasta salad remnants, and other thangs and it kind of changed my life)
- Phone calls from people I miss
- Phone calls from people I shouldn't miss
- The Aaliyah greatest hits album that I just listened to
- ~Hormonal changes~
- How there weren't enough tomatoes on the slice of pesto pizza I just ate

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Those shores you found

For the first time in my life, I'm excited about the summer. A couple of weeks ago, before it even officially began, my friend ordered a gin and tonic at a bar and I yelled, "Yeah! It's fucking summer!" which has become my default declaration but also has emerged as an excuse par excellence. Listened to "Girl Don't Tell Me" by the Beach Boys on repeat for two hours? It's fine, it's fucking summer. Danced in the park with a boy at sundown? You'd be going to hell for all of that PDA during any other time but summer. Wandered through a grocery store at 3 am to buy candy, TV dinners, and raspberry lemonade to mix with the vodka you will be drinking until you finally go to bed at 10? Oh-my-god-I-have-work-in-four-hours but you know what? Who cares, it's fucking summer. I've spent so much of my life (or all of it, I guess) being young but not feeling it, being told by every coffee shop Tom, Dick, and Harry that I have an "old soul," thinking that the lack of youth-feeling was just some indelible part of myself, and now I feel like I'm being swept down a river while sitting in an inner tube. It's odd and bumpy and a little frightening but I'm enjoying the hell out of myself.

I've been hanging out on the Westside lately (from whence I came) and I'm starting to appreciate it again. I'd been avoiding it, keeping my exploits east of La Cienega, and buying into the same bullshit that I fought against for so long, but recently a funny thing happened: in the middle of declaring how much I hate West Los Angeles I realized that that isn't exactly true. It's complicated. The Westside is a shitty place, sure, with its yoga moms and bars full of uninteresting people in their early 30s wearing bad clothes (is the term "yuppie" still relevant?) and middle schoolers being loud and all up in the way when I'm just trying to get a fucking $7 smoothie and get out of here without getting a headache, okay, but in its shittiness, beyond the boredom that washes over me when I spend too much time there, there's a charm there that I can't find in the Valley or other parts of L.A. officially recognized as "lame." It could just be that I have a soft spot for the Westside because it's where I grew up, that there's no charm, no secrets, no beauty in boredom, or whatever, but I don't completely buy that, either.

Anyway I just read several pages of U.S. suicide statistics which means that I am officially ready for bed, deuces

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The world narrowed to a point

Reading William Carlos Williams' poetry because I'm drunk and what else am I supposed to do? Actually now that I think of it, I should be doing other things.

" damned to you. I'm going elsewhere."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh quickly disappearing photograph in my more slowly disappearing hand

A good representation of me skipping over every Rilke poem about childhood

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The drunken boat

This week has gotten off to a odd start - thinking Mondays are Thursdays and Tuesdays are Sundays, writing reviews for a garage rock 'zine, ocean night vistas, Fat Tire, half-eaten Taco Bell burritos, talks about not-so-secret desires, reading about pre-WWI Austria-Hungary, phone calls from lonely friends, eating at Coldstone's even though their ice cream makes me feel like I'm going to have a heart attack, getting taught a lesson by an angry arcade parking lot attendant, witnessing road head, drinking in the park, hanging out with people I haven't seen since middle school, all L.A. Noire everything, attempting to smoke a cigar, stumble bummin', cab rides across the city, buying hair spray and cigarettes in the lobby of the Beverly Hills Plaza, hotel robes, early morning Italian food, trying to convince Reid to walk to the 76 gas station at 4 in the morning, instant coffee, forever bemoaning the lack of hair product, schemin' cab drivers, cottage potatoes at Nick's, thinking "I need a fucking nap," a lot. I feel like I am in transition, but from what to what?

I'm smoking a Camel Light and thinking about wedge heels and The Cultural Studies Reader. The other day at a coffee shop a man asked me what I thought of it (I mean, isn't it basically a textbook?) and wrote down the title. A few minutes later, another man insisted that I show my handwriting to a table full of people, including the owner of the cafe. Being on display is such an awkward thing for me. When I was a child, I was always on display, reciting poetry, playing the violin for my parent's friends, showing someone a story I wrote, a comic I drew, a paper I spent hours on. In a way, it was fine. I was comfortable with it, but I didn't seek the attention and was happier without it. Now, when showing something I've done, I am bashful, confused, and slightly embarrassed. There's a fine line between being proud of what one produces and does and being a pompous ass about it, and I'm terrified of crossing into asshole territory.

Anyway, I'm offended:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Frank O'Hara, "To The Harbormaster"

I wanted to be sure to reach you;
though my ship was on the way it got caught
in some moorings. I am always tying up
and then deciding to depart. In storms and
at sunset, with the metallic coils of the tide
around my fathomless arms, I am unable
to understand the forms of my vanity
or I am hard alee with my Polish rudder
in my hand and the sun sinking. To
you I offer my hull and the tattered cordage
of my will. The terrible channels where
the wind drives me against the brown lips
of the reeds are not all behind me. Yet
I trust the sanity of my vessel; and
if it sinks, it may well be in answer
to the reasoning of the eternal voices,
the waves which have kept me from reaching you.
Maira Gall