On my bedside table

Pictograph by Melissa Kwasny and I can’t let go of it. Sometimes I carry it in my bag wherever I go, just in case I suddenly need it. You can get it here: Pictograph | Milkweed Editions.

UPDATE: I just realized how similar the book cover is to Walk Like Monsters which I swear is a coincidence because I had not seen this when I chose the picture for WLM.

New poems

A new poem ‘in other houses’ appeared in Breakwater Review.

Another new poem ‘Travel and Nothingness’ is in High Desert Journal. 

I’ve fallen behind on these updates as usual. This is partly because of Facebook and Instagram and partly because I’ve felt my identity splintering lately.

Update: ‘splintering’ not entirely in an unwelcome way.

Finishing

Some things, I dislike finishing. Dislike is the wrong word. I’m wary of. Finishing is so final—the end of tinkering means the end of power.

I finally finished a crochet toddler blanket, which is to say I wove in the ends. It was really done for weeks but I couldn’t bring myself to ‘finish’. I typically betray/suspend pieces right before they’re complete, so I have a pile-up of crochet pieces in the cupboard with one little thing incomplete. That way, they’re never over. That way, I can still unravel, change, tinker.

I spend a lot of time unraveling things I make and making them again. Crochet is wonderful like that—much like writing, it allows you to endlessly undo, begin again, re-fashion. (I’m not getting into the Freudian definition of undoing, which is different = “a ritualistic effort to undo damage and reduce guilt over some action in the past.” Not sure that’s relevant to crochet but who knows. it’s true I started ‘yarning’ as A calls it, when our dog died. it’s true i felt guilty about his death because i wasn’t with him but it seems like a long shot and I’ll leave it to the therapy couch.)

As long as something is continuous, time feels like a string. When I end something, the air feels hollow.

I do this with books too, the ones I read and the ones I write. Which is probably why I rarely submit individual poems. To submit is to admit I’m done, at least for the moment.

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I finished the second proofs of Monsters and Fables, my next book of poems, and sent them to the publisher. The book may be out in a couple of months. That’s the aim anyway. I’m jittery, brittle but heading to a place of indifference which helps me deal. In a  few months, I’ll look at this book and feel entirely disconnected from it. I traveled to Los Angeles with no copies of City of Water. Not a single one. My classmates were baffled, probably thought I was lying about having a book out–“you didn’t carry a single copy?” I couldn’t explain it.

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So here’s an interesting art project to do with crochet and undoing: Amy Stacey Curtis in Maine made Undoing (2012) by crocheting for an hour everyday, for a whole year. The resulting blanket was 72′ x 9′  and during the installation, viewers were invited to unwind the single string of yarn and place it in a 9′ clear box. By the end of the show, there was no blanket, only yarn. A vast empty space, a glass box, a heap of yarn. From this book: “Every stitch undone was a reversal of Curtis’ time and an eradication of her concerted effort.”

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And the other morning in the garden, ladybugs — three or four different pairs — mating on the Pennisetum.

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