Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lost to February

Oh, February.  You are a formidable foe.  You bring daylight back one excruciating minute at a time and while I know I should be grateful, I can feel in my bones that you are here to finish me off.  Or, if not me, the parts of me that winter set its sights on this year.

Two leaves clung, impossibly, to the tops of my branches all season long.  All through November, when the rest turned blazing colors and sparked triumphantly into the wind like fireworks.  Through December, when the snow came, a frozen blanket urging them to fall to the sleeping ground.  Through January, when harsh gales bright with shards of ice tore at their edges and bore holes around their spines.  Still, two leaves clung on for dear life:  forbearance and optimism.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A poem or maybe a zygote

So I've been toying with the idea of sharing some of my poetry here, just for the art & variety of it.

I decided to start with something COMPLETELY unfinished. In fact, I think I wrote this in a late-night rush, off the top of my head. In
fact, when I re-read it just now in an old journal, I had no memory of writing it at all and even wondered if maybe I'd written down someone else's work.  That, of course, made no sense because I only keep my own poetry in that journal.  So I guess I must've written it.  Anyway.  Here is a stream of words from my unconscious to your computer screen.  The birthing process in all its messiness.  Or is this just the conception?  I keep fighting the urge to rewrite this to try to make it make sense.  Maybe someday I will.  Till then, here's to disorderly, dream-like glimpses into the darkness


Listen.  I am here in the fire light
with treetops sprouting from my head
and quicksilver birds flitting
from my mouth. I am here.
The river rushes 'round the dam
left from 1987 and the silt settles
into sentimental, sedentary rocks,
but they are not treacherous to climb.
I will leave heiroglyphs etched
with the static of my interior echoes,
I will launch in morse code the songs
I croon to the cold sky while you sleep,
and while all the strangers sleep along,
and while no one can cast a shadow
over the moon's watching-over.
Listen. Can you reach me? I am
both exactly the woman you know
and a midnight frontier you have not
yet mapped. I feel more than I can
tell you, so listen to the direction
my wild grasses lean and follow them
down to the silent underground village
that still lights itself up with flames.

p.sNikky Finney would have my head for "showing off" such unfinished nonsense - or maybe just for being too lazy to finish it yet. Yup. Sorry, Nikky, even though I know you're not online reading this, but rather holed up somewhere fretting & sweating over a word choice like the real & true poet that you are.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nah, what you do is better

I met a man after the show Friday night who told me he was an underwear model for Ralph Lauren.  My head was sweaty under my hat from singing and stomping for two hours under the lights and I suddenly felt very self-conscious, talking to a possible (and it did look possible) New York underwear model.

He said if I went to the store to buy those Ralph Lauren undies, that would be him on the package.  I can't remember if I told him out loud that while I've known people who wore those, I probably wouldn't be buying them myself.*  I hope not, but after my award-winningly awkward stage banter that night, I feel it is a distinct possibility.

He pointed to his friend leaning on the bar and told me an intersection in Manhattan where I could find a billboard of him in his skivvies.

"Wow, I bet that's a sweet gig!" I said.  The idea of a single photo shoot that would make me enough money to live on for even a few months sounded dreamy to me.  I wasn't thinking as much about the prospect of me in my drawers - taller than a house - hovering over honking cabs and other city dealings.

"Nah, what you do up there is better.  It's creative - you guys are lucky.  I wish I had some talent.  I just started modeling 'cause I thought it would lead to acting."

My mind immediately jumped to the wrong kind of films, but I'm positive I didn't say anything out loud about that.

"I usually just tell people I'm a golf caddy or something like that because I don't like all the questions."

I tried to picture him as a golf caddy, but it was still winter in my mind's eye so I didn't get very far.  His eyes seemed genuinely wistful.

He told me his name.  I forgot it as I told him mine.

He bought a CD.

I wished him luck with his acting career.

*That said, it's not above me.  Men's undies are SO much more comfortable than women's!  They don't ride up!  Even GRANNY PANTIES ride up!  It's one of the smaller injustices in the realm of sexist inequity, I realize, but it's tied to bigger trends, by god.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Well, well! How mischievous!

"[This Blue Heaven] secretly embrace Nihilism through the seductively catchy guitar keyboard combo good drumbeat sweet vocals thing they've got going... look, if you don't want to see the truth of what TBH is laying down, YOU'RE the one that's gonna suffer the consequences."

Catch the whole hilarious episode HERE and become a FB fan of Welcome To The Terrorfoam HERE!  

p.s. I LOVE our foam dopplegangers.  Foamlegangers?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Farewell banana chocolate smoothie with 2 espresso shots...

I've decided to give up Starbucks for lent.

No, I am not Catholic.  And I've never observed it before.  But there is something about a practice built so firmly into the changing of the seasons that really appeals to me.  I hope I won't offend anyone by borrowing lent.  (I'm going to meditate more, too!)

I've kind of had it with winter, in spite of my very best efforts to embrace what it offers me.  Other parts of this country are starting to thaw, people even have their jackets off - I can feel it on the edges of my consciousness, their reveling in the sun and in snowdrops starting to poke boldly out of the ground.  The smell of the ground warming up.

Here, I'm still making excellent use of my awesome, warm, waterproof Keens; but meanwhile I'm feeling stir-crazy and even a little stuck.  And my shivering muscles never seem to fully unclench.

So.  I'm starting a flavor-syrup-free journey today that ends on April 4th - a new season.  (I know.  It'll still be snowing in Boston.  But it will technically be spring.) Spring, a season of:

short sleeves
warm bicycle tires
baseball games
cherry blossoms
soft mud
open windows
pale skies
e.e. cummings poems

and now - iced mochas!

Till then, I wish all my favorite baristas a good six and a half weeks!  (Honestly, Starbucks employees are the ONLY cheerful people in this town.  Especially on Ames St. in Cambridge and Arlington Center.  It's uncanny.)  I'll try to think of a good use for the bucks I'll be saving!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The End

So... it's not that I have nothing to say about love, creatively or otherwise.  I just realized I feel shy about posting the things I've been thinking about love, lately.  Protective might be a better word.  For now.

But I hope your Valentine's Day was full of sweetness.  Like waffles with strawberries and whipped cream.

Here is one thing I know for sure about love:  It's what I'm doing here.

I don't know about you, but I pretty often ask myself, What am I doing with my life?  It feels so short and there are so many options that I feel an urgency to always have a good answer to that question.

Well, approximately five years ago, I made a conscious decision to learn how to love.  At the time I think I used the verb "remember" in place of "learn" because I remembered being a really loving little kid, and feeling a kind of overflowing at different points in my life.  I made it my New Years Resolution for that year.  But of course, it's not a static lesson.  Like everything most worth doing, it can never really be done.  So I just keep renewing it every year.

Our new producer Paul Q. Kolderie explained production like this:  You keep asking "How can this be more awesome?" until you can't possibly make it any more awesome and then you know you're done.

I'm pretty sure love never stops getting more awesome.  So, that's what I'm doing with my life.  Learning love.  Everything else is to that end.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Intermediate between the divine and the mortal

Once upon a time, probably on a Saturday much like this one, a bunch of hungover guys sat around at one of their houses.  They'd planned to do more drinking again that evening, but through the mysterious and democratic dance of masculine decision-making, they somehow all agreed - without anyone looking lame - not to get wasted that night.  They'd just have a drop or two...for the taste.

Friday, February 12, 2010

No love can survive muteness

I have only ever truly fallen in love through (good) (honest) conversation.

I have only ever become truly heartbroken through its absence.

I think that's probably enough of an introduction to today's group of writings.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Never blame, whatever I wished it were

Oh reading these amazing words is making me want to write and write.  That's a good thing and not only because of Sunday's project.  I had the utter inexplicable honor of giving my very first reading (both poetry and a story excerpt) at the same podium in the same room on the same day for the same event as today's poet.  Marilyn Hacker.  It seems a different life, now.  It was.  I had won an award from the English department at the University of Kentucky and was invited to read; she was at the university for something Women's Studies-related and was invited to read at our awards ceremony.  She was just incredible.  She read her poems as if each word were a piece of exquisite candy in her mouth.  Afterwards, I approached her with shaking hands and she - miraculously, graciously - gifted me with the copy of her book she had read from (bookmarks and all)!  The inscription included the words "I know I'll be hearing about and reading you soon."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The one thing stronger than desire

My absolute favorite of all writers who write about love is Jeanette Winterson.

She writes so truly it's impossible to think she hasn't been in love.  And heartbroken.  And in love.

I think that's the most I can do to sum it up, so I'll just hand you over to these pearls.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The only gold

Today's love entry in preparation for Valentine's Day is going to be FULL of good words on love (and lyrics if you're ambitious enough to look them up), because last night I made VALENTINES!

I have not managed to do this since 2001, so yes it absolutely warrants all caps.

Having succeeded at last, I've decided to share with you a one-time-only very special offer of

Monday, February 8, 2010

That looks on tempests and is never shaken

If you were around for my Christmas blogging, you already know that I believe in holidays.  Yes, yes, they are - all of them! - blown out of all proportion by commercial greed.  And with the bombardment of commercials, candy, and plastic junk in drug stores, they become the measure by which your life is lonelier or emptier than you wish it was, much the same way that supermodels become the measure by which your body is flawed.  But at the core of any holiday is a motif of the human psyche worth celebrating.

And so, in the spirit of celebrating the epic riff of romantic love, I have decided to share some of my favorite words about love with you over the course of this week leading up to Valentine's Day.  My hope is that revisiting these favorites will inspire me to finish some piece of writing (poem? lyrics? prose essay?) on love to share with you on Sunday.

Introduction, check.  So without further ado...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Worcester Mag Interview Outtakes

In anticipation of our show in Worcester tonight, Worcester Magazine interviewed us for an write-up.  Understandably, the article was limited to the key information about us and the show.  

But for me, answering some of these questions was a good way to think through and articulate what it is like for me to be in This Blue Heaven, what it is we're doing.  

So here are some of my answers: