I'm reading Gravity's Rainbow; therefore, I am extremely frustrated. I know, that's the point, and maybe there is value in that. Every 100 pages or so it starts to make beautiful sense for a few pages and the other 90% feels like I am bashing my head against a wall. I don't really enjoy having to do extensive research every other page. Pavlovian physiology is interesting though. And I'm brushing up on my mythology. And I now know shitloads about the Blitz and other such WW2 facts. But what I love are the little bits of mystic gorgeous descriptions of sex and miscommunication and loss that are absolutely brilliant and wrenching. Still, GR is the opposite of a phenomenological text - ultra cognitive - and it doesn't give you any breaks as a reader, or any place to settle in and get comfortable.
I am listening to music appropriate to Autumn and watching the neighbours across the street separate on their respective porches, letting their children mingle together on their still-unkempt spring lawns. The little blonde girls have so much energy and noise that steadily declines. And their voices slowly quiet down and their little bodies get limp and then the sun goes down and the lights go on upstairs. Young people migrate out of their houses, all heading south a few blocks to busier streets, and the laughter of children is replaced with the cynical, syrupy giggles of drunk girls in stilettos.
Tonight is dedicated to poetry, reads and the mixed media piece I started a few days ago. I wish I had a work room or office to scatter pages around, but presently my bed is my best bet.
I want to tattoo a Walt Whitman stanza somewhere on my body. Which stanza, which poem?
When I first came here I was not wide-eyed but extremely porous and everything was radically beautiful and depoliticized and every step outside was a breath of fresh air and a slap in the face. Every street corner was the first line of a poem I couldn't finish. And each new man was an entry-point into understanding the streets. You're fucking him but you're thinking of the city and it gets you off fast. And I was like a jittery wet kid just learning to masturbate, my body stuck at the front at concerts, vibrating against the speaker. My eyes permanently damp and closed really tight so as not to breathe and each song got me close to climax that released itself like a swell, not a bang. Becoming an adult is learning how powerful people are and the terror of desiring bodies all clenched and holding themselves in. And I learned about the obligation of being an object and I learned that men coerce and pull. Romance is not a well framed sepia toned print with soundtrack and a clear foreground, romance is abandonment on an empty street in chinatown at four AM so drunk the city looks like sticky wet paint. Learning romance is realizing the cruelty I am capable of showing myself.
"It is the possession of a role which provides the impetus to go out in the world, to act at all. The more numerous roles, the greater the number of excursions" - Susan Sontag from The Benefactor
And I just have to say - I absolutely love Wangechi Mutu's art. The wounded wall, the extreme collage, the hybrid sexualities, everything - very cyborg-theory Donna Haraway - and so visceral. If you ever get the chance, see her work. Unfortunately we're hoarding it all to ourselves at the AGO right now.
Here are some related links and more photos if you're interested.
Here's an article about it at Lined and Unlined.
I used to be fairly indifferent to colour-block art, until reading Merleau-Ponty.
I'm feeling conflicted about Aurel Schmidt.
1 and 2 (detail from):
"So Damn Pure" pencil, colored pencil, beer, blood, pepto-bismol, wine, grape crush, imodium, coffee, kool-aid, listerine, tang, urine, comet, daiquiri mix, spit, acrylic on paper
3 (detail from) 4:
"Master of the Universe / FlexMaster 3000" pencil, colored pencil, acrylic, beer, dirt on paper
It's my birthday weekend so I'm going to do what I want. Watch lots of film-noir, visit the AGO to see the Lucien Freud/Rembrandt exhibition, and read a lot of Heidegger.
Feeling a lot less psycho. Lesson learned: don't stop taking heavy psychiatric meds cold turkey and go outside more often, especially when its so gorgeous. I'm trying to be good to myself.
Harper: In your experience of the world, how do people change?
Mormon Mother: Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice. God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that. And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn. It's up to you to do the stitching.
Harper: And then get up. And walk around.
Mormon Mother: Just mangled guts pretending.
Harper: And that's how people change.
-one of my favourite bits from Angels in America
ph: Eli Karakoc
ps. I put on comment moderation because of all the spam. Its really irritating to me.
1 + 5 unknown
2 sacha heron
4 a journey around my skull
[Disclaimer: The following paragraph is a silly departure from my usual blog subjects, but fuck it]
I love my siblings. They are some of the most interesting people I know. Ali and I went to the giant craftstore yesterday and I got a bunch of materials for these little art projects I've been wanting to do. We also went to the BEST Value Village, and I purchased a bright red vintage luggage bag for 2 bucks (I have the same one in blue and I bought it for 40 from a boutique in Kensington in TO) and...wait for it...2 vintage (1978) Star Trek puzzles!!! They are so epic. I'm thinking I'll matte and frame them and put them up in my new kitchen come September. Nerd-kitsch-vintage decor - - my favourite. The horrible thing about chain thrift stores in Toronto is that good things are snatched up immediately by hipsters who then re-sell such items for 4 times the cash at their trendy vintage boutiques. Things like that don't happen in suburbia.
I watched "The Blind Side" yesterday against my will and actually liked it. But, as per usual when I'm watching movies with the fam, horribly obvious manipulative-measures are used that my family is oblivious to. So I add my running commentary and inevitably, recieve a lot of eye rolls from my conservative step-dad who is "just trying to enjoy the movie." The main thing that bothered me is the fact that the "projects" were filmed in green and black sepia-ish tones while the "white" spaces were literally full of fucking sun and peaches and happiness. The film seems to lack self-awareness of the crazy dichotomy it sets up between these two spaces. And I understand that there are horrible differences between black and white America, based on how the system functions. But not all black people in America are sitting on the curb sharpening knifes and threatening female passerbys. There's just no space for liminality between the racial boundaries of this film.
So yes. Just sayin'. Happy Easter.Oh god, the Backstreet Boys are playing on the radio now (and non-ironically). What is going on.
I'm feeling tired. Last night I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's while doing work, which cheered me up. I always cry and fall in love with that writer, and when she finds her cat at the end and they kiss in the rain...phew...I can't even stand it. I'm incredibly sappy. And then I watched a bunch of youtube videos of Gene Kelly dancing and singing all over the fucking place like a maniac. I love musicals, non-ironically. Sheer pleasure.
I stopped taking my meds so I'm feeling a little out of it, although really not much more than usual. First stop meds, second stop cigarettes. I want to be free of chemicals and full of sun.
My flash fiction is in the April decomP. I named it "Innocence and Panic" from the first section of Scenes From a Marriage. I guess it was kind of inspired by Bergman, or something.
Innocence and Panic at decomP
Happy day of celebrating Jesus' brutal murder, by the way. My mood is appropriate to the occasion. I would rather be in any one of these sexy libraries: