What stirred under the blue blonde of her—disappointment leaking like a sad balloon in our small warm quiet bubble in January.
That month she was the colossus of everything imaginary that ever mattered and once she made me wilt smooth to zero, as though embodying a familiar slithering heat: it was that rare, shining day the thunder startled us and the way she looked back at me, her blue eye flying
like a kite and the water washing out the snow in sheets, dirt and ice and flush sun streaming
her way forever.
Today I leave my internship at lettrs and pack up my apartment. I’ll be gone tomorrow morning. Weird.
There is a newness, a curiosity, about something when leaving it. I wonder why I thought about some places and experiences the way I did at the time. More than anything, though, I feel fulfilled & enriched after this summer in the city. It provoked all kinds of curiosities.
So, goodbye, everyone! Ya’ll are so kind & it’s been real. I’ll be back.
It was one of those humid, languorous July days in the city when we met for coffee.
You were reading a large, sort of flopping self-help book when I approached you waiting at the corner. This surprised me, because I had the idea that those kinds of books were, in the grand scheme of things, futile. I instantly reconsidered. We ate Hungarian cakes and drank strong coffee in a sweet, cramped uptown pastry shop that I will return to. We conversed generally, tipping into all kinds of light, polite talk.
This is not a romantic story. I didn’t know you well at the time, and we never met again after this encounter.
It’s one of those kinds of nice, casual, hanging memories. I think I learned mo...
I don’t mind its absence
because I have memories
of the blue abyss upstairs.
It’s practice for leaving,
but not desperately.
The hydrangeas will be in the pink
Without us for now.
The pain of an end,
and this trawling search
for its irrelevance.
A wish fantasy, light
and low it hangs.
Sun snaps around the white walls
and the door closes lightly behind.
In August’s depths
there is vagueness
in silence and flat sunlight.
Its change, resinous.
Some favorite M words for Monday:
1. moon-faced (adj): having a dreamy or distracted expression.
2. moon dog: a bright spot in the sky formed by moonlight (a paraselene).
3. mogigraphia (n): writer's cramp.
4. moxie (n): force of character, determination, or nerve.
5. melee (n): a noisy, riotous fight.
6. menagerie (n): a strange or diverse collection of people or things: some other specimen in the television
That moment when you looked left,
a sea change. A ramifying thing.
I imagine, no
I imagine you walking to me
your parlous walk
your jumping step
am a small
ookpik a doll
in the corner
I don’t know Canada
do you I guess
I wouldn’t know
you knocked me over
you outfoxed me
smile is a
on my arm
It’s like when the seasons change,
watching you walk away.
a springing delicacy.
Sylvia Plath, your tragic depression may have augmented the brilliance of your novel, The Bell Jar, but I yearn to read more of your literature, which may even surmount your biting, ravishing poetry.
You said things like:
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
"I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked."
And I wish, selfishly, perhaps, to read more of this unparalleled expressive language.
A list of some of my favorite character names:
-Sula Peace (Sula, Toni Morrison)
-Inigo Montoya (The Princess Bride by William Goldman)
-Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote)
-Atticus Finch and Boo Radley (To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee)
-Caroline (Caddy) Jellyby (Bleak House, Charles Dickens)
-Pearl, daughter of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale, two other fabulous character names (The Scarlett Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne)
-Walter, Waker, and “Zooey" Glass (Franny and Zooey and other short ”Glass Family” stories by J.D. Salinger)
And a list of some I've invented, waiting to be used:
When I was a little girl I lived in a big, old victorian hotel that my parents ran as a bed and breakfast. The place had a mysterious history that, for whatever reason, touched me.
In the last decade of the 19th century, the building’s original owner had a son, Charlie, who fell victim to the flu at the age of six. The death left a heavy mark on his father, Hardy, who abandoned the mansion soon after.
But Charlie’s ghost evidently stayed, and the old hotel developed a haunted reputation. The boy's clumsy, young signature is scrawled in pen on the back stairs near the kitchen in the building—my mother used to take guests to see it, touch it, give them an amusing scare.
I must have been pa...
into pits and fractions
of you in front of me
on the sidewalk.
The verdigris roofs
send me aches, still
against an affecting white sky,
no care for underneath stories.
Sitting in silver—
rushing and noise, then sudden
eye contact. Next, gone.
Your comments have always been a great source of inspiration for me. When the push notification appeared that Hattie M. has added you a penpal, I was literally on cloud nine.
Thank you for all the encouragement. Without you, Lettrs would not have been complete.
Just another lettrist
Go!: A holophrase.
The sound of forward movement—
What is it about mid-summer? Always seems to stir up warm weather blues. Lately I feel down for no conclusive reason other than that the season will soon end and behold an uncertain future. I know it’s useless to worry but I can’t help it. The city makes me feel extreme emotion: the hot, angry kind or arrant joy and excitement, though for the past week these have flattened. I sometimes feel directionless.
There are things I would change if I could. Maybe I really can change them, though the prospect often seems unfeasible.
Lists. I love lists. They help me organize and evaluate myself. This one is a collection of literature that I’ve read in the past year and really liked. If you’ve enjoyed any of these, let’s talk...
-Short stories by Ernest Hemingway, especially The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Big Two-Hearted River and Cat in the Rain
-Short stories by Truman Capote, especially A Jug of Silver and A Tree of Night
-Short stories by John Cheever, especially The Swimmer
-Short stories by Anton Chekhov, especially The Huntsman and About Love
-Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
-Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
-Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud
-White Noise by Don DeLillo
-Bleak House by Charles Dickens
I made a new friend this week, I think. And it was that kind of instant knowing that I needed to have more interaction with this person when we met. We share a big similar interest but it was the way she carried herself that provoked me to ask her to meet again.
And we did, and I had this effulgent, freeing feeling afterward. Because of our age difference I can't be sure that we'll see each other in the future, and I knew that leaving, but there was a psychological click between us that restored me. I think these indefinite exchanges are important in life.
This is the thing: I can never quite tell what other people’s perception of me is. I think, of course, it changes depending on the person. But, without sounding affected in any way, I have been characterized as “cute” more times than I can count, and in no way I particularly like. In fact, the “complement" makes me feel juvenile. Aside from this, people I know would maybe characterize me as driven, devoted and creative.
I would go on to describe myself as a curious and often uneasy person who is struggling greatly to adapt to the adult world. I have a passion for aesthetic and imaginative things, which influence my life to a great degree.
Of course I think there is some overlap between ot...
My happy place :
A secret waterhole, with a wooded path leading the way in from a beaten road. A rushing spring greets the opening from the forest—the current is strong, and cold water pushes and flows against my ankles. Warm rocks heating in the afternoon sun sit beyond, where I roll out and read all afternoon…
In a 5-4 ruling this morning, the Supreme Court proclaimed that same-sex marriage is now a fundamental right!
America has been heading toward this kind of action, slowly but surely, for over a decade. In 2004, same-sex marriage was legal in only one state. Today's landmark decision orders that all fifty states must recognize the unions of same-sex couples.
I took interest in many quotes from Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion, but especially this one: "The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times.” It’s true—we all have inherent biases that society shapes, I think, and that injustice roots in. We must face up to these biases to recognize i...
A salmagundi (I swear this is a word) of images/sounds that I like together:
Gelatin silver print
I've been running into words that define a love of luxury, some with beautiful or unusual sounds/images. I'd like to use them more and thought I'd share (have been familiar w/ number 5 for a while but thought it fit well in the list):
a person who spends time indulging in pleasure and luxury rather than dealing with practical concerns.
a person who is self-indulgent in their fondness for sensuous luxury.
3. Bon vivant:
a person who enjoys a sociable and luxurious lifestyle.
a person devoted to luxury and sensual pleasure.
a person devoted to sensual enjoyment, especially that derived from fine food and drink.
Do you have any t...
Time to blather about art:
I’ve been thinking a lot about contemporary art and why it’s often inaccessible or even hard to categorize as art. For example, Jeff Koons, this mega rich contemporary artist, once made sculptures with vacuum cleaners in stacked plexiglass boxes. Why is this art?
Because there is intention behind the vacuum cleaners. When looking at the vacuums in a museum setting, you are forced to think critically about their symbolism. This boring, everyday object becomes something to reconsider. Koons makes the familiar unfamiliar.
Of course this isn’t all contemporary art is, but I think it’s a way in to understanding a lot of it.
I celebrated the summer heat
when I was young.
I can recall it:
a morning with my mother
in the yellow-green plains of Southern Iowa,
surrounded by flowing switchgrass.
Her, closing her eyes and
swaying in the wind,
rustling the seed heads
and breathing big.
Me, her acolyte, itching in too-hot boots.
When a thunderstorm reared its head,
we were suddenly sinking and pushing
back to the car,
loam trapping in our soles.
And I was considering,
for the first time,
a latent sadness about August.
To my fellow lettrists:
Any soccer fans around? I may not be the hugest fan--I don't know every statistic and famous player in the game--but I love watching the World Cup. In fact, watching it last year helped me become more interested in the sport. In our violent world, it's heartwarming to see different countries come together and exchange a common interest.
And despite feeling disillusioned by FIFA's corruption, I am more than ever committed to their international competition, because we're now in the middle of the WOMEN'S World Cup!
It's unbelievable how little attention the competition receives given the amount of talent there is in the game right now. Take Abby Wambach, a fo...
I live with many other people, and am for once home alone...there is a pleasurable stillness in the apartment. Even better, a light rain is coming down, and I've opened the windows to catch the sound.
Here are some of my favorite words/phrases to do with rain:
After drops: rain that falls even after a cloud has passed
Evendown: rain that falls vertically
Impearl: rain that leaves pearlescent drops
Petrichor: the smell of the earth after a rain
Plout: heavy rain
Pluvial: pertaining to rain