Saturday, December 31, 2005

mlaaa is over

The readings were good. 2morrow is mi padre's b-day. C'est vrai that wo mei updated pas este bloggito in hen duo de tiempo. Oh xiu shi que knitts el ravled sleve de guan. Now that I've finished, for the next few weeks anyway, teaching ESOL, I can feel free to combine all my languages.

I took notes during all the readings, they are full of substantive comments, and also comments on what everyone was wearing. I do not think I will post them. Not all of them anyway.

Lester peeps out! I just woke up and so I am sleepy.

Monday, December 26, 2005

"Trol Town"/More things found while packing

Early artwork. No date. My mother believes it to be from either '89 or '90:

Here I am

My mom has FIVE books by Paul Bowles on her shelf--and everyone thinks I'm the weirdo of the family (note to mom, this is a compliment). This (the books on the shelf) has something to do with why I am an artist, writer, whatever.

I also am tempted to borrow The Rape of the Fly: Explorations in New Guinea, by John Goode, about Luigi Maria D'Albertis and Lawrence Hargrave's violent journey in the 1870s up 580 miles of the Fly River in what is now Papua new Guinea.

The OK Tedi (in, on, through which the OK Tedi mine is located,) flows into the Fly. Tabubil didn't exist then, though there were of course plenty of people living in the area, but D'Albertis and Hargrave did go through Teleformin, which is north and quite a bit east of Tabubil.

Here I Am says Paul Bowles.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

More Love, beach, bike rides

I have always enjoyed taking pictures of feet. I have many pictures of my own feet, since not everyone likes having their feet photographed. It's a little personal.

It's true that the beach and the ocean are beautiful and their sound is theraputic, etc.

Recent thinking/talking about fire: the Christmas tree might catch on fire. Did you see the building in town that burned down? That building looks like it deffinitely caught fire. The lamp is old and might catch fire and burn the house down. The live wires might and do burn things down. Did you hear the sirens? I must have lost it in the fire. I did loose it in the fire. Is something burning? What's burning? If my childhood mementos had all burned up, I'd probably be hyper aware, too.

Still writing a poem for the mlaaaah reading next week. I'd like to make things. Not that a poem isn't a think and writing isn't making.

Cool Mlaaaah Poetry Readins 12/29 7& 8pm @ DCAC

Please join us during the MLA for the second in our series of multi-poetextravaganzas -- the Mom Poets at The District of Columbia Arts Center.
Thursday December 29th at 7 PM

The mom-poets discussion list presents:

Julie Carr, Lisa Fishman, Christine Hume, Kristin Prevallet, Elizabeth Robinson, Kathrine Varnes, Catherine Wagner, Rebecca Wolff

This reading immediately precedes the DC Poets MLA Multi-Poet Extravaganza readubg 8 PM in the same space.

  • Jean Donnelly
  • Buck Downs
  • Cathy Eisenhower
  • Heather Fuller
  • Lorraine Graham
  • Dan Gutstein
  • Chris Nealon
  • Mel Nichols
  • Tom Orange
  • Phyllis Rosenzweig
  • Jessica Smith
  • Rod Smith
  • Ward Tietz
  • Ryan Walker
  • Mark Wallace
These spectacular events curated by: Tom Orange & Rod Smith

The DC Arts Center is located at 2438 18th Street NW, just south of Columbia Road in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood, a short cab ride or walk from MLA convention hotels.

Mlaaaah Poetry Readin #1 12/28 8pm

Please join us during the MLA in DC for a multi-poet extravaganza at the Four Seasons in Georgetown by poets from all over the US and Canada.

Wednesday December 28th 8:00 prereading reception at Bridge Street Books with wine & cheese & books by the readers. Two doors from the reading.

9:00 reading @ the Four Seasons, 2 doors from Bridge Street

Joel Bettridge, Louis Cabri, Joshua Clover, Brent Cunningham, Richard Deming, Patrick Durgin, Judith Goldman, Nancy Kuhl, Nicole Markotic, Camille Martin, Laura Moriarty, AL Nielsen, Bob Perelman, Joan Retallack, Linda Russo, Jennifer Scappetone, Susan Schultz, Rodrigo Toscano, Shanxing Wang, Tyrone Williams

11:00 Post-reading reception at Bridge Street. More wine, more cheese, more books.

this spectacular event curated by:Tom Orange & Rod Smith

Bridge Street Books 2814 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.(202) 965-5200

The Four Seasons Hotel2800 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.Washington, DC Located in Georgetown, 5 blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro station(blue & orange lines). A short cab ride from MLA convention hotels.


Friday, December 23, 2005

ॐ भूर्भुवस्व

ॐ भूर्भुवस्व:

तत् सवितूर्वरेण्यम्

भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि

धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात्

OM matter-energy-mind (triple universe). Upon this worthy source of divine spiritual light, meditate: thus enlighten our intellect.

Riding around Delray

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Make noise at sunset

Four quaker parakeets roosting on the telephone wires behind mom's house.

King Tut

Went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Apparantly I saw this show when it was in San Francisco in the late 70s, but I was a smoosh at the time. They didn't have the golden sarcophagus, but the audio tour was narrated by Omar Sharif. King Tut notes:
  • Parking space 2d339
  • The Book of the Celestial Cow is an Egyptian funerary text--I bought a sacred cow magnet!
  • The magical brick of Thutmosislh (1400-1390 BCE) has the following inscription, ddressed to the demons of the north: "You who come to pull my hair, I will not allow you to pull my hair."
  • Horus the elder is a funerary god, the falcon is one of his symbols. Here be Horus:

  • Faience is blue stuff that the ancient Egyptians used

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Headed South

South is where I am headed. Both Mark and I had dreams about Amiri Baraka last night. I was talking to Amiri Baraka in Oman and my Dad was saying, "let's go to the Taj Mahal tomorrow." And I said "Certainly, father. I will go." No nightmares for the past few weeks tho they come back at odd times--like malaria.

Does anyone know the meaning of "shake-a-doo"?

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Noodle arm narcissistic teacher

Look, I'm a teacher! Ahh! My students asked me to dress up. I do dress up, just not for work. However, I chose to appease them. So here I am, all dressed up. I thought I looked nice but a bit tartish for school. You can't see it in this picture, but my skirt was too tight to be "professional." Everyone liked it, of course. My hair has gotten so long!

My noodle-ey arms could only hold me up for 8 rapid breaths, and not the usual 10, but at least I practiced today. Last night I went to the ILI holiday party, which was unexpectedly nice. I never expect work social events to be fun, but this one was. I like my coworkers! Afterwards, Mark and I went to see Buck's show at DCAC.

Everyone knows my love is back in town, so I am happy!

Things found while packing: the first poem I ever published, in an issue of 108, guest edited by Tom Orange. Here's some of the original piece. It is weird:

It's just
a you!
I want
to pix-
ies. I
feel day.
Life. Sub-
ject: Pain-
ter mo-
thers, stran-
gled cats,
friends with
rats. Aah!
I con-
tradict my- self.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

And I found

A slide harmonica. If you are good (or perhaps very bad), I will pay you a song when next we meet.

Flute Madness/What is an Erhu?/Why I am a bad American

I like flutes. Here be some of my flutes, below and above

And this is an erhu is kind of like a fiddle, sort of. But there's only two strings. I learned to play, sort of, when I lived in Harbin.

I left my kiefer in the refridgerator while it was being cleaned, but fortunatly my boss came and asked, "is this yours?" It was, so I taught for a while with the bottle on my desk. This caused quite a stir--you drink kiefer? Yes. I think you are the only person in Washington, DC who drinks kiefer. I'm not the only one, am I?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


  • A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angesl, and Other Subversive Spirits
  • Three tins of St. Claire's Organic Licorice Sweets!
  • Erhu
  • A disk with digital pictures of my cat Patches

More things found while packing

More things found while packing:
  • Portable music stand
  • Wooden antique music stand that had been hidden in the closet to prevent it from being damaged (and used--what good is a music stand a closet?)
  • An extra copy of Piece pour flute seule by Jaques Ibert. What was I, a musician or something?
  • A t-shirt from Australia that has a Koala on it. I'd like to wear it, but it also says "Friends of the bush." I feel odd about wearing it given the current political context in the US. Too bad, I am a friend of the bush. But not of Bush.
  • Old ballet clothes--including two pairs of pink tights and an old pair of pointe shoes with broken shanks. I remember when those shoes broke.
  • A leather leash
  • Pictures of my graduation from GW. My hair is short and I look happy, and also as if I'm wearing makeup that's a bit too dark for my skin.
  • More than 7 pairs of thigh-high stockings in colors ranging from black to pink to white to silver.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I have poems up this week at No Tell Motel that feature birds and children and Brecht.

Fat birds

Inspired by Ryan's poem "Bird Cage," his pictures of Arnold (the first parrotlet I knew), and the rediscovery of my connecter thingy for my camera (another thing found while packing), I have posted some pictures of Lester.

I bird-sat Arnold for a week or two a few years ago when Ryan was somewhere, maybe Equador. We'd been thinking about bringing another bird into our home, and Arnold was so winning that we decided a parrotlet was the way to go.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

things I find while packing

A 4 foot heavy ceramic rosary from the last time I was in Mexico. I'm going to be superstitious and say this is good luck. I miss Mexico and Asia terribly. Last night Tom, me Kaplan, Lewis Warsh and Cat had dinner at a Malaysian resturant and I ate Roti Chanai with curry. I ate so much Roti Chanai and curry in Malaysia and Singapore. I especially ate it in bus and train stations full of bats. Roti isn't always rolled, it's kind of thrown around.

Anyway, so I found a rosary. I also found one of my journals. I'm 12:

"I am so hungry. We are going out for brunch today. The olympics have started! The opening ceremonys were kind of hokey, oh well. It's a beautiful day out side. The sun, shining through my window woke me. I don't think it's all that warm, but, it's february, so what am I supposed to expect. I am so sorry that I couldn't see M-- play. It wasn't a jazz band concert, so he probly did not have that great A part. I don't know. Why do I like him so much? There are so many thinks that I want to do and know. I want to go back to stonhenge and to dive in the blue hole in Belize and see spring in Whales in Caer-Myrddin and see the mound where Galapas was perhaps buried. I'll never have enough money to do this. I have a good life, better than most people and I can play almost any wind insturment and arrange notes. Oh boy, here I go again, I can't get my mind off M--. He's not georgeous, he's not popular. Oh God Do I Love it when he plays drums! I love his drum set. It is black. It's not his but I think of it as his. I love this ache. It's not a painful ache, it is the type of ache that is like someone rubbing your shoulders when you are really really sore. I guess that hurts. Do you understand? No, you don't understand. You are a book. Y maent yr mynyddoedd yn canu, ac y mae'r arglwyddes yn dod. The mountains are singing and the lady comes. I love music. When I am alone I like to sing.

"I just got back from the park. I'm sick so I didn't run I just walked Cabal. This pen leaks. I'm getting blue ink all over my finders. I don't really want to go to school tomorrow. The weekend goes fast. When I was walking in the park today I was alone and I liked it. I sang a little. It is one of the most uplifting things in the world other than love. Without love we are empty. It is hard to love everyone. I love the grubby people on the street. I love the grass."

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Management Equipment Evaluation Program
Minnesota Education Effectiveness Plan
Mir Environmental Effects Payload
Municipal Energy Efficiency Program
Minibus Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Mutton Export Expansion Program
Manufacturing Engineering Education Partnership
Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes
Mnipo Ergoliptiko Epicheiriseso
Mir Environmental Effects Package
Mir Environmental Effects Payloads
Master of Energy and Environmental Policy
Middle East Egypt and Pakistan

As with any project undertaken, scope creep is a real danger.

"Scope creep?" Business and managerial language is ridiculous. If I have to comment on another essay about "leadership" I am going to....uh...comment on it anyway. Leadership is great. Hooray for leadership. But I'm not sure that having a bazillion people write essays that all say something along the lines of "a good leader is kind, organized, and charasmatic" is really the way to develop good leaders. And anyway, someone can lead people well and make them do stupid things. David Koresh. What about good followers?

O ye readers, BEWARE the scope creep.

Scope Creep is a good name for a villan.

And "creep" is another one of those words like "week." Double Es always look so weird to me. Sleep. Beep. Sheep. Meep. Is meep a word?

Friday, December 09, 2005

I will live near Light-footed Clapper Rails

albuterol essays Oman fever

Am hyper and shakey from albuterol and paranoid about making tea. I was supposed to take the GREs this morning but the f-ing test placed closed because of, like, three inches of snow. Even the Federal Government was open today. This is big problem, because I can't take off another day of work, I couldn't go in to work because they'd already arranged for a substitute. So I have been here all day with Lester cleaning and commenting on endless essays. I have done 30 so far, and am aming for 60. Do you think I can do it?

Some people I know isare moving to Oman! Hooray. I am truely powerful. I was campaigning for a move to Oman, I have obsessed about Oman for months, and now my psychic wishes have come true. Hooray!

I think that everyone has Oman fever these days. Including the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I heart the Smithsonian, but it's still the government. A few years ago they focused on the Silk Road (while we were bombing Afghanistan and being smoochy with other central Asian republics). I feel like China was a focus on year duing Clinton. So now Oman. What does this mean. Why Oman? I didn't go to the festival because it was hot and I was overworked. Now I am cold (except for my left hand) and overworked, but at least I'll get to go to Oman. Maybe.

Here is another example of my amazing psychic powers. I was walking down the street this morning, swearing and cursing the wimpy GRE test proctors who could not drive to work in three inches of snow. Wimps! Selfish jerks! But then I began to think about Ryan Walker's writing, because he is going to read at Ruthless Grip tomorrow night with Lewish Warsh. And then I started writing his intro in my head. And then I heard someone honking, saw a white car and thought, F-off. Don't honk and me. Oh, that kind of looks like Ryan's car. Of course, I wasn't wearing my glasses and so had no idea who it was. But I walked up to the car and yelled, "who are you?" And it was Ryan. He rolled down the window and said "Hi."

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Speaking of Famine

Which we did, today, in my EFL class. Lester is fascinated with my multicolored velvet shirt, and he is biting at it and making happy and agressive noises.

I poured boiling water all over my left hand last night. It was just great! I managed to give myself second-degree burns! I had to keep my hand submerged in cold water, directly under running water, or surrounded by bags of frozen goods from the freezer to keep from screaming. My least sucessful moment was when the bag of "mixed berries" defrosted and began to leak out onto my lap. After that I switched to frozen corn, which worked well. All night I slept with my hand in a bag of frozen french fries. This morning I kept my hand underneath a bag of frozen tater tots while I taught. At this point, the pain is now beginning to subside. I can keep my hand out of the freezer for more than a few seconds without going insane. Obviously, I need to get a proper ice pack.

Mmm. Tater tots.

Peter and Tina's reading was excellent. I have more to say about it. But I will not say it now. Nope.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Parallel Construction

I can't read my gmail. Rather, gmail won't load. Don't know why--so lonely.

Still thinking about repetition, pattern, still listening to J.S. Bach. Supposedly, we learn through repetition. When a nerve signal goes from one brain cell to the next, the receptor cell sends back a little proof of recipt message to the sender cell. But it also sends the message to all other nerve cells that are active at that same time. The recipt message activates little proteins called GAP-43. Lots of activated GAP-43 makes it easier to send and recive more future messages. To be honest, I'm not sure why this means that repetition makes us learn. Do we have to send the same messages? Why can't we buff up our GAP-43 by sending and recieving all sorts of different messages? Why, oh why?

Like everyone, I learned my multiplication tables when I was in 2nd & 3rd grade. Or maybe 3rd and 4th. But I have no idea what 6 x 7 is. Go on. Ask me. It's a new f-ing problem every time. I'm ok with multiplying 6 by even numbers, because there's an easy pattern. 6 x 8 = 48 because half of 8 is 4, and 4 x 10 is 40 + 8 = 48. Even though I've forgotten most of my calculus, I was far better at calculus than algebra. I need the big associative picture before I can understand anything. This will either make me a good critic or a terrible one. I know that details are important, but I just don't or can't care about them. Or if I do, they're always secondary to context. Screw working "step by step."

But some pattern is ok. For example, walking to the Corcoran every Monday and Thursday to go teach. I like this walk. And I have to force myself to have pattern so that I can remember things.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Basically, I want to be left alone to write and learn Arabic

But that's not really true. Ever since we decided we were moving, though, I've been experiencing wanderlust even more than usual. I know I'm leaving, so now I want to really leave? Why not go live in Oman? (I have Oman on the brain because my father may be moving there). Yes, we could be happy in Oman. But no, these are the kinds of happy, self-obliterating and destructive fantasies in which I indulge all the time. So I'll just have to content myself with reading lots of Kathy Acker, writing, doodling, and making perverse references in my poems about how I'm going to go away somewhere to be abducted and abused.

Someone yesterday tried to tell me that I had an upper-class upbringing. I told him that he just didn't understand my international expatriate playmobile-playing white girl middle-class New England/Texan context. How dull.

I'd miss the readings and the poets. Terribly. If I lived in Oman, I mean. I may miss them in San Diego. But I'm trying to convince everyone that they should move to San Diego so I don't have to miss them. Selfish, I know. The weather is good, UCSD has great archives, and it's easy to leave the country--Tiajuana is just a light-rail ride away.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

We bathe like migrating geese and listen to Baroque

I gave Lester his spray bath, and he stood their stoicly with his eyes closed. But now that he's dry and the cage is dry, he's dipping his neck and his chest into his water dish and saying "very good, very good." This is the way that most birds bathe when they don't have enough room to actually get in the water. Actually, Lester has submerged himself in his water dish before. It's pretty funny, he's small but he takes up the whole dish. I suppose I should change the name of this blog to Lester blog.

The only art I can handle right now is music. Have been listening to J.S. Bach's unaccompanied cello suites (the recording I have is Yo-Yo Ma, 1982) over and over, and also the Goldberg Variatons. J.S Bach is what I first started playing as a child. His music is comforting and orderly but also often lively and dark. Technically, it's fun to play. I'd always feel so mediative after I'd memorized all of those eigth-note variations on a theme. I'm also still obssesively listening to imogen heap. So yeah, Baroque and really poppy trip-hop.

I love the fact that so many birds go to the arctic in the summer to nest and raise bird-children. I'm going to add this to my list of things to think about when I'm depressed.


Lester is fat and fluffy and making contented beak-chewing sounds. His eyes are half closed, and every so often he does one of his whistles, "salt peanuts" remains his all time favorite.

I am drinking tea. Black tea. With milk in it.

To do:
  • Laundry
  • Go for walk
  • Prepare to teach tomorrow
  • Go to reading at Bridge Street Books
  • Look at the classifieds for places to live in Oceanside/Encinitas/Carlsbad
  • Clean the floor

My level of thought has been pretty basic recently: get up, take pills, eat, talk to bird, talk to bird, work, talk to bird, obsess about grammar. I like teaching EFL more than I like most other jobs. My current esteemed colleagues are a great bunch of peoples. And even if we do fall into our same old same old kinds of conversations, at least it's along the lines of "when I was in Africa..." etc and not "I bought a lovely new set dinning room table." Nothing against tables.

In a few moments I'm going to turn up the heat and give Lester a spray bath. He loves to bathe but hates a spray bath--I'm not sure why. But it's a good way of cleaning him and his cage, and he's always happy and full of song afterwards.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bhaishajyaguru is blue

So here's Bhaishajyaguru, or Medicine Buddha. Dear reader, if you are ill, which you are in some way, stare at this image and imagine yourself to be Bhaishajyaguru.

Normally, Bhaishajyaguru is blue.

Lester and I are going to watch Winged Migration and eat corn bread now.

The worst

Uh. Am nauseous again. Really. I feel like my body's abusing me--I should want to eat the quinoa with yogurt and raspberries and almonds in it, but all I want to do is go back to sleep. Didn't even go to sleep late last night. I was asleep by 11. Nursed a few drinks at the bar, talked, grumped about work, then started to feel sick so I went home. Nausea is the worst.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Places I like/today's teaching f-ups/it's cold/I live with a little green bird

It is cold. I live with a little green bird. My students were terrible today. Terrible. Someone set fire to something in the hallway. I don't like teaching in a classroom so close to the front of the school and hence the administration. I never acted the way they do when I was there age. Some of them are my age. I must pause to feed Lester, who is peeping the dinner peep.


Lester is now feasting on lima beans, corn, carrots, almond butter, hemp seeds, yogurt, tofu, and those wierd hard whole wheat swedish cracker things--he likes the way they crunch.

So, yes, someone set fire to something. It wasn't my students, but I'm pretty sure one of my students was involved. I can't control 18 students if 15 of them are helions. I like them, and they are smart, but they are immature. I've been spineless and haven't actually sent them to the administration's office enough. But that's only recently become an option, and the admin folks are always busy on the last day of the session. Next session I resolve to be more of a badass. I just want them to be mature, so it makes me depressed to have to discipline them at all. Uhg. This is why I like teaching adults. Perhaps I should go back to working at night. Night students go to school at night because they have to work for a living, and hence they are kinder to their teachers.

But today had its high points. One of my students is an artist--and he's interested in words. He often makes up his own alphabets and symbols and then uses them in his paintings. Anyway, I brought one of my books--The Splendor of Islamic Caligraphy--for him to look at. He was so excited that I'm letting him keep the book over the weekend.

I had to retype that sentence several times. And this one. I cannot spell, and after teaching English all week, my spelling and grammar is even worse. Words begin to look strange and foreign. Like the word "week." What's with those two Es? Week. Wek. Weak. Weec. Weke. Ees. Ease. Eaze. Eshe. But I enjoy teaching grammar because grammar is all about illogical patterns that have endless excepts. Learning/teaching a foreign language makes a gal more aware of how language shapes the brain. But I'm a poet so I knew that already.

Off to "happy" hour.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

It's cold/places I like/there were no teaching screw ups today

I like places. It is good to be in a place. I like the computer lab at the Corcoran, you can see shadows of people walking around the museum above. I do not like any of the computer labs at Georgetown, although their equipment is in better condition, generally. I like most of the beaches on Georgetown Island, in Malaysia. But I haven't been there in a while and I think most of them are developed by now. I like Penang. I like Singapore. I like Shanghai--I like Shanghai very much. I like Bridge Street Books. I like the upstairs part of Bridge Street Books. I like the outside of the Old Executive Office Building. I like Malcom X park. I like the tidal basin. I like, um, some of the crappy suburban towns outside of Philly. I like Philly. I like Baltimore. I like Justin's house in Baltimore.

I like other places too but I will dwell on them or in them later.

There are no teaching screw ups to report. I did smear more marker on my face today than is usual, even for me. My current class of students never tell me.

It's cold and I have a cold, also. Also, my soup is cold.