Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Weird thing I found on old disk

In “beautiful Zhuai” I went to the beach with no bathing suit. “I will buy you a bathing suit,” Ming Kai said, “and you will teach me to breast stroke.” All the bathing suites were too small, but we bought the largest one, red with white polka dots, and I wore a t-shirt over it to hide my cleavage which popped out of the top and sides of the polka dot suit.

phallic serpent
ancient bearded king
kling klong

eponymous mother
skeptical scholars sweet eel

* * *

I think I remember what the first part is about, but I don't know about the stuff in large blue letters."phallic serpent" seems kind of obvious. I like "skeptical scholars sweet eel" the best, and also "ancient bearded king," even though it is as obvous as "phallic serpant."

I'm not throwing up anymore, and this is joyous.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Better Eleanor Antin Boots

I should have sent you here to learn more about Eleanor Antin's boots.

Things I did/ate/that happened

Things I did/ate/that happened over Thanksgiving break
  • I went to San Diego
  • The sun shone in San Diego and its environs
  • I read Giovanni Boccaccio's The Decameron, which I have to teach in less than an hour.
  • I also read some of Franch Petrarch's Rhymes. I'm not so into them, but that's OK. I am also teaching them in less than an hour.
  • I ate a doughnut.
  • I ate pizza.
  • I ate really good BBQ.
  • I went to the La Jolla art museum and learned about Elenore Antin's 100 boots.
  • Lots of Elephans died all over the world.
  • I went running by the beach.
  • Lester continued to molt and eat hemp seeds. He is ornery because his new feathers are bothering him.
  • I got really ill on Sunday and threw up the whole plane ride home and then on the ride from the airport home and then at home and then went to bed at 9:30 and got up at 7 amd threw up again! Isn't that great! Great!

Monday, November 21, 2005

I'm going to California/Today's teaching screw-ups

Today's teaching screw-ups:

* Talking about subject-verb agreement in the following sentence: "The number of students in the classroom is 20" by saying that subject, "the number of students in the classroom" was plural. If the article changes to an indeffinite article, this is true: "A number of students in my classroom are loud and youthful!"
* Actually saying "fuck fuck fuck" not so softly under my breath when I realized that I was giving the explaination completely backwards.

Today's ailments:

* headache
* general aversion to the smokey smell in the hallway. It's getting cold, so everyone in my building is staying indoors with their windows shut and smoking.
* dry skin
* difficulty sleeping
* general malaise (always a problem)

Bird update:

Lester took his bath yesterday, except that as he splashed around in the water dish, he mumbled "very gooood, very gooood" to himself.

On typos and my crappy spelling:

My spelling is crappy and there are lots of typos. In general.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

On why I need to be a part of a chamber music ensemble

I want to play nothing but madrigals and aubades ever again. What is better than a madrigal? Or an aubade? Let's hear it for secular chamber music and love poems about dawn!

Let's also hear it for Marie de France! Even though she never had the pleasure of hearing madrigals--she lived in the 12th century, and madrigals don't show up until the renaissance. She would have heard troubador and trouvère music though--she would have heard aubades. John Donne wrote a metaphysical aubade, "The Sunne Rising." I want to read nothing but John Donne ever again. What is better than John Donne?

Who else is running around in the 12th century? Genghis Khan, Abélard & Héloïse, Saladin, Maimonides, Minamoto no Yoritomo, and Omar Khayyám, among others.

And how about Omar Khayyám? I ask you, dear readers, what is better than a poet and astronomer?

Languages to study:
  • Classical Chinese
  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Pharsi
  • All the various forms of old French.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I drew a picture of the Kenneth Goldsmith & Darren Wershler-Henry reading at Georgetown last Tuesday.

I liked it. It was good. It being the poems and the reading of them. What's always interesting is the ways that subjectivity comes back in, or really is reformed. Language is about subjects, even if it's made by computers. Kenny and Darren were OUCH (Lester bit my finger trying to bite the keyboard). I think I was going to say that they were pleasant. I expect everyone to be an asshole. Kenny brought an enitre bottle of Talisker with him.

Larry King is going radio advertisements for Ester-C vitamins.

It's going to be in te 20s tonight. That's too cold. Guess I'll have to move to California.

Ah. I'd like to go to Skye almost as much as I'd like to go to the Marquesas.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Polyvocal stuff, movement, release technique, one reason why I am not a Christian

Enjoyed the reading/performance by Jessica Smith, Thalia Field and Jamie Jewett. Am really intersected in Jamie Jewitt's company, Lostwax. Washington Printmakers is a small space, so they couldn't bring dancers, etc, but I enjoyed the piece.

The last time Jessica read, she didn't "read," but instead had an installation piece called "veil." Tom Orange and I read. "Veil" was beautiful. I think this poem from Dear [Blank] I Believe in Other Worlds is about that evening:

"Tempting to create a veil through which we walk, are beaded in code and forgotten, against lyric where there is no physical geography, an exercise in subjectivity becomes vulnerable and we are trying to sound human, believe that not all movies move me but only hopeful romance and dramatic soundtracks and Rod says I don’t believe you, but not about that. The impulse to kiss anyone speaking of birds, to love those who live away or move away, envy the cold. How easy it is to go crazy says the one who has gone crazy to the one who will not, which is how we operate. Click open envelopes."

The themes of Jessica's reading included "pink" and "China," so I was happy. I know that polyvocal work is difficult to perform. But in performing it, the entire evening made me interested in ways of being more polyvocal.

Am more interested now than I used to be in incorporating movement and physicality into my work. Jamie mentioned that he'd studied release technique. Their (Thalia Field and Jamie Jewett)'s work was vertically dense but horizontally, um, alternately spaced and rapid. And Thalia has lived with parrots--a lovebird, an African Gray, and Amazon, and a Cockatoo--so I like her.

Release technique. In practice, I like the idea of movement that minimizes tension and searches for clarity, for efficient use of energy and breath. This is ashtanga yoga at its best. Asanas are meant to be practiced in a series, with each asana balancing the previous one in a specifically therapeutic physical way. This is nothing like my poetics. Not that I have a poetics statement, as such, but if I did I don't think it would be about clarity and balance. Maybe it would be about longing for clarity, vulnerability, and taking stupid risks. I'm into longing lately. Probably always. But I wonder if anyone has worked with choreography that projects vulnerability and struggle with fluidity, or questions the possibility of fluidity. Probably. Dialectics of tension! (Uh. A dialectic is tension, I guess). I've been working on my statement of interest for graduate school applications and so have theory words in the brain a bit more than usual.

Movement based on inability seems intellectually interesting but I wonder if it would be in practice: Look, there's Lorraine, she has really tight exterior rotators! Wow, look! She can barely lift her leg!

Like many girly girls perhaps I wish I'd never taken a hiatus from dancing and piano. I didn't know an artist was something one could be until I was 23. Yes. I know. 23 sounds young. But it's not if you're a dancer.

I have 266 messages in my inbox. Recently, I've started receiving messages from a Christian dating service. I've never even been baptized. I was conceived in Iran. I am not Christian.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ruthless Grip must move

We can't stay at Washington Printmakers anymore. I wonder where the DC folks will take the series in the spring. I have to remember to tell my fellow curators about this.

Alexander Technique, hips, hawkins, etc.

I suppose that I should study Alexander Technique now. Obsessing about hips makes me think about yoga and dance.

This weekend at Dance Place: Carla & Company, Bosma Dance & Amir Kolben

"Carla & Company will be joined this season by special guest choreographer Amir Kolben from Jerusalem, Israel and guest performers Meisha Bosma with members of her company BosmaDance, along with the Dance Place Repertory Class and young dancers from the DC Prep Charter School. Amir Kolben is currently in residence at Dance Place, creating a new work on dancers of BosmaDance and Carla & Company."

I prefer "dance concert" to "dance recital." As in, "my friend has a dance concert this weekend, wanna come?" "I wish I could, but I am going to a poetry reading."

Recital is what we do in conservatories to pass examinations. But thank you Levine School of music and Karen Johnson for my knowledge of music theory and love of chamber music and Bach!

San Diego has a happnen' dance community/scene/network.

To look into:

stand sit

So, my friend asked me, "but if you write an hour every day, you must have a lot of writing lying around," (other than the goop in my blog).

Yes, I have a lot of writing lying around, although I gave a stack of it to Rod and Mel after a reading last month, so now I have less lying around, which is nice.

My students have noted that I say "So...." and "then...." a lot. There is a recording of me when I was 3 years old talking about a camping trip to the redwoods. I am very excited and I keep saying "SO...." and "THEN...."

I'm feeling nostalgic for DC before I've even left. I'm writing (wrote "righting" first) lots of poems about listening to the birds sing outside my window. Many of them sing all night long.

I've not been able to go to yoga class for several weeks and this is frustrating. Instead, I'm sitting in a chair tutoring or teaching or writing. I've been sick, I've had visitors, etc. I think I need a standing desk. Or rather, a desk at which I must stand instead of sit.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Speaking of capitalism

I'm sorry to report, kind of, that my blog has gone up in "value."

Today's teaching screw-ups

Forgetting that "lie" can mean "to recline" in as well as "to not tell the truth" then trying to explain the difference between "lay" and "lie" and becoming especially confused with the sentence "Baltimore lies north of Washington, DC." I said something bizarre about the difference being about transitive/intransitive verbs, gave up, and then said, "I'll come up with a better explanation tomorrow." Then had to explain what the idiomatic expression "come up with" means.

My students often look very tired, hung over, or overly hot.

I do believe I was overly sarcastic with two of my students in a writing class. They are often sarcastic, so I think I was trying to be sympathetic.

"I wasn't interested in the assignment."

"That's fine, as long as you understand that you'll get a zero. You know, I'm not 'interested' in going to work every day, but I do."

"Well that's your fault then."

"It's not my fault I wasn't born independently wealthy. But perhaps you have a different understanding of economics than I do."

Isn't that a great fantasy! If it really were my fault then that would mean I could do something about it, and that would mean I have all this control over my life that I don't have. I could save my money my who f-ing life and never ever be financially wealthy. Capitalism might more flexible than say, communist-stateism (and many would debate that), but the goal of capitalism isn't to make me wealthy, it's to perpetuate itself and make it impossible for me to live outside of it. And all that without a conspiracy.

I live with a little green bird named Lester. He sings "salt peanuts salt peanuts" when the sun goes down and all the birds in the trees and buildings outside our window also sing. Together, we eat oatmeal with blueberries and almonds in the morning and read the newspaper. Then Lester tries to ingest the news but I don't let him, obviously. There is also a mouse in this apartment and it might sing too, and then there will be more mice, and they will eat the birdseed and defecate all over everything. I've mouse-proofed Lester's cage, I think. So they can only eat the birdseed that falls on the floor. There is a lot of birdseed on the floor. Every day, I talk to my class about the mouse, or mice. It's important for them to understand that their teacher lives in a ratty old building with nice elevators.

"Elevators are an amazing invention." I hadn't expected this answer, but I agreed.

But everything is A-ok with the little green bird. I think about Lester at least once every hour, and probably more. When I start to feel upset and overwhelmed, I think about Lester. Hence the "turn to Lester" that so frequently occurs in my "bla bla bla" posts.

Tomorrow I will wear a green shirt.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Balanchine, Erin Mahoney-Du

Last night, mom and I went to see the Washington Ballet perform Balanchine's Seranade, a Septime Webre's Carmen, and Twyla Tharp's 9 Sinatra Songs. Michele Jimenez was indeed a passionate Carmen, but my favorite dancer of the evening was Erin Mahoney-Du--a tall and even athletic woman with long limbs. Her movements were graceful but at the same time she looked like she might loose control at any moment--this is a good thing. Her dancing was somehow both reckless and precise--perfect for Balanchine choreography, the tough factory girl/spanish dancer in Carmen, and the precarious lifts in the Twyla Tharp piece. She is also a soloist with the Susan Farrell Ballet. This makes sense. Suzan Farrell danced with and was trained by Balanchine from age 15.

A shout out also goes to Brianne Bland, who danced beautifully in Seranade.

This was the first time I'd seen any Balanchine performed live. Seranade was the first Balanchine ballet made in the US (June 10, 1934) set to Tchaikovsky's Seranade in C Major for strings. Seranade has no plot, which was of course shocking in 1934. Seeing ballerinas in point shoes, with their strong, sharp movement was even shocking to me last night. I study modern dance, I've spent a lot of time on Hawkins technique (a student of Balanchine before he joined Martha Graham's company). I heart Isadora Duncan, and Denishawn, I have no problem with a lack of plot. But, ah, it was classical and modern at the same time, the corps was beautiful.

The whole thing excited me so much that I stayed for a ballet class after jazz this afternoon. However, despite feeling aesthetically elated, I feel like someone has poured cement into my hip sockets, especially on the left. Ach.

A very good visit with mum.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Trip Hop, Applications, more Fence, Feminism, Dawd

Am listening to Imogen Heap's Speak for Yourself . I feel a trip-hop phase coming on.

Am applying to PhD programs and MFA programs and community college jobs.

Am paying bills.

Fence and feminism disucssion continues on Wom-Po.

Also have a look at Carnival of Feminists 2.

Speaking of feminism. I am obsessing over what I will cook for Thanksgiving dinner, if I am cooking at all. I know where I'll be for bird day, but not if I will be cooking or have access to a kitchen.

(Oooh, the first track on Speak for Yourself is soo soo goooood!!!! Let's put it on repeat!)

My students asked me about my religion. So I had to explain that I grew up as a Baha'i, and then I had to explain what a Baha'i is, that I'm not a Baha'i anymore but still respect the religion. "I think you must be a Buddha" one of my students said, and of course I corrected him: "Buddhist."

I also told my students "I was born in 1962" in order to demonstrate the passive voice. Several were suprised that we grammatically leave out the role our mothers played in our births when we speak. "You are older than my mother," one said. "May I call you mother?" He was being ironic, I think. And of course was lying about my date of birth, but for a few moments they believed me.

The New York Times Magazine on October 30 had an article by Maurine Dawd that aggrivated many people. Third wave fights with 2nd wave.

Once, drunk and a little tipsy, I wailed, "when I'm no longer young beautiful, no one will love me." Not a feminist sentiment.

"Get over it." My (male poet) friend said. "And anyway it's not true. Lyn Hejinian is beautiful and loved."

The sound of the birds singing down the sun inside and outside my window is amazing. I'll miss that about this apartament.

Mice also sing. This is news that elivates mice "to an exclusive musical club until now populated mostly by birds, whales, dolphins and gibbons. The article in the guardian has clips of mice singing. Go listen to them!

What is a gibbon? I believe it's a kind of monkey--several live at the national zoo and naturally in Thailand. They sing in the morning. I went to hear them once. They had amazing harmonies--the older males would set the beat with low pitched rhythmic "whoooos" and then others would take up alto, soprano, and even ambiant falsetto parts. The beat starts slow and then gradually builds, getting louder and faster until they all go wild and jump around. Then it starts all over again. Let's google gibbons to see how much of what I remember is true:

"Gibbons are small anthropoid apes that belong to the family Hylobatidae, the name deriving from "hylobates" or "dweller in the trees". Native to the rainforests of India, Bangladesh, Indochina and the Malay archipelago, they are considered to be the most agile, and the most musical, of all mammals. Gibbons are also the only higher primates that are monogamous. Often referred to as the lesser apes, there are nine recognised species of gibbons - all endangered. "