Monday, December 20, 2010

One of the best emotional experiences of my life has been to feel my young child pull me closer as she falls asleep. Often she will suddenly decide that, "Mama, I wanna lay on you." I acquiesce, of course. She pushes me over, snuggles in and sometimes, if I am lucky, whispers, "I love you."

As I lie there, I feel the weight of responsibility. It lies on my chest, wriggling a bit before settling in for a sleep I can only imagine at this point in my life. How wonderful and frightening to be THE comfort object. Sure there are toys, but in the end.. my being in Nora's vision will be what helps her drift off.

As I sit here, across the room from my mother, having just laid my daughter down, I wonder what it has been like for her. If she felt more responsibility to raise me "right" because she adopted me. Is there more stress when someone gives you their child, their flesh and blood. How does that weight feel?

Then I wonder what it is like on the other end. Did she sit up nights wishing she could have me wriggling, feeling the weight of more added responsibility to a single mother with bad taste in men and a taste for liquor? Things are different now.

It's all worked out for the best. I know I've had a few sleepless nights due to my child, and she's two. What's to come? Is it anything like either of my mothers' experiences? Likely not.

I wonder when I cannot wander.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The internet bores me today. Enough news. I can't find anything good. My novel holds more of the same, and it is Tom Robbins! He's never had a boring moment. It is off to make lists and try to hold a decent thought in this skull of mine.

I told a middle-aged lady that when I saw her, I thought "She's beautiful." She looked down at her attire.

I told her, "My thought had nothing to do with what you're wearing."

She said, "Thank you. You made my day."

"Good, and Happy Holidays!"

"You too!" she replied, smiling vividly.

Now that's how we should all spread some joy. It takes so little.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm still frightened to wake in a lonely house at night. I've lived on my own for over three years now. Why do I still lie in bed for a moment before I can get up to use the toilet in the middle of the night? Nothing is there. No one is there. That's the problem. I don't fear that someone has unexpectedly come into my house.

It's the absence.

These thoughts led me to think about my own power. I've been taught that I should be afraid, especially of men. I've been conditioned to worry that someone or everyone is out to get me. Why should I be so conceited? I'm not that important, and those who do find me to be important are not trying to hurt me.

Where is my inner strength? Did someone take it? Yes. It was me. I took my own strength and confidence, or I let it be taken from me.

I've been told multiple times that things will be better for me when I straighten out and get back into church, that I'm just messed up right now. I've also been told that when I find a husband to take care of me, I'll feel better. I'll be the first to admit that I feel more comfort when my partner or a close friend is in my house, but why does a husband solve all of my issues? Do I even have issues? (Of course, but not that type.)

I find that my irrational fears and self-doubt have been spoon-fed to me for many years from my family (who are well intentioned), the media, and society at large. Sometimes I've felt like I walked into that song by the Pixies, right into the chorus.. "Where is my mind?"

I'm finding it. I've had some wonderful support, and this process is far from over, but I'm finally on the right path.

Monday, December 6, 2010

We've traversed so much in such a short amount of time. Now there are suddenly curtains, and I've hung the broom and owl above the table. There is a flower painted on wood above our bed, and curtains (real curtains) are hanging over the windows. The Christmas tree is up. It is maybe a foot tall and white. It has candy-canes on it, and Nora and I decorated it well.

How strange to break traditions. I had to walk myself into work today.

It seems that I asked my mom to come help me clean up, and now things look different. Parts of this I like, and parts.. seem fake and unreal. It is like I can change a house's comfort level by adding curtains. How silly. At least no one can see in any longer.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


There are many times when it is unfortunate that I am a Capricorn. That stubborn streak can get on my own nerves. Yet at other moments, I am so proud to have that particular streak. Goal oriented. That helps too.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I've recently been reading quite a lot feminist material and history. In one book, Listen Up, I believe one line has remained in my mind. It is something like this: None of the things that I am currently doing with my life were presented as options for my life when I was young.

That statement rings true for me.

Looking back the options laid out before me were to go to college (which is certainly good), get married, live close to home, have babies, and most likely teach at a local public school. (I am not trying to say that these are not viable options for some.)

The exact words of, "Lauren, this is what we expect," were never actually said aloud. What I do remember is my mom encouraging me to plan out how my wedding would look from a very early age, let's say eight. I also know that I living in another state was not presented at something I should do, especially not long term. I could travel, but I would come back. Since I had an affinity for school and English more especially, I was always pushed in the teaching direction. I even remember having discussions in my early teens with my parents and family about where I should teach and how I should go about it.

No one ever said things like, "You don't have to immediately get married." No one said, "You can live elsewhere." No one said, "Hey, check out this other religion, and let me know what you think about it after being raised as a Christian."

Now I am a legally singe woman raising my daughter. While being a parent is certainly stressful and poses many difficulties, I would not change it. I would not change that it happened when I was not married. That was certainly not an option that was presented to me; on the contrary, those that went through such things were presented as having made unfortunate decisions; ones that I should NEVER make.

I live with my boyfriend and partner. That mode of living was certainly never presented. I happen to be heterosexual. What if I had been homosexual? That was not an option.

I am no longer a Christian. Not an option.

I want to live outside of the U.S. Not an option.

How do we change this? How do we raise the next generation to be more open to other possibilities?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010


Today I washed vegetables fresh from the garden. I marveled at how the colors came to life as the dirt circled down the drain. I longed to be somewhere on a small farm, apron around my waist, kneeling in the dirt, gently cutting fresh vegetables and fruit from the vine.

How astounding to feel the difference between a store bought tomato and a fresh picked one. The latter feels so much more vulnerable.

It rained this afternoon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Communication. That's what it boils down to. That's my opinion. For to truly communicate one must do so on many different levels and one must always, always be honest.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Three cheers and a hip-hooray! As of today, I am officially a college graduate!

Friday, May 7, 2010

First Sex

Who would guess that glory
would live on a pea plant’s
sticky mouth smeared

with golden pollen?
The monk frees
the flowers’ sexes

from the calico bonnets
and shoos the abbot’s
sweet-bottomed bees

and with tweezers snips
powder from the anthers
while the style hot with nectar

reaches up. He pushes the tip
of the camel-hair brush
in this bright dust—

and the bells of the flowers
twist to him; the knotting tendrils
strain on their brittle twigs—

and the tiny stem is painted
gently, as if it were
a thread of spun glass.

The opening yellow
bud swallows
the scientist’s bait

and it floats down
into the ovum like a
point of light in the throat

so that the whole body
is singing deep praise
of his touch and oh

yes Mendel this
moment is the best
of glory’s evidence—

one can see it even
in the white blossom’s
effusion of bliss.

-Susan B. A. Somers-Willett

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I like to pretend.
that my skin is thick
that all words aren't powerful
that I can concentrate on anything...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Good, honest stuff --> Here.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Many people, see dandelions as pesky. I don't. They want that manicured, all green front lawn. They use RoundUp (bleh) to achieve this goal. The lawn rolls in tiny squares that never quite seem to come together, like that man made edge just has to stick around mocking the homeowners for years to come. "That's right, you can't walk on me all summer," the lawn says defiantly.

I like the dandelion. It teaches; it perseveres. I've watched them blossom. Their short cycle is inextricably lovely. They spring up protecting themselves with large jagged leaves, bloom bold and yellow, close themselves from the outside, then metamorphose into a lovely white puff. Nora and I often pick the white flowers and help the process of the dandelions along.

I can only hope my own cycles are so simple and productive. I can only hope that I protect myself and my thoughts until I am ready to spread them to others, that I can make a bold statement without trying, that the wind and sun can be integral parts of my existence.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I've been watching birds. I watched them this morning as Nora roamed the front yard. I watched them this afternoon as I ate lunch. I watched them this evening.

I was moved by their gracefulness. They seem to travel in pairs. Swallows, finch, crows, mockingbirds, they're all so lovely. The sun gleams across their feathered backs, revealing a myriad of colors. They call and sing to each other, and I wonder what they're communicating. To me, their lives seem so simple. I doubt that is true. All forms of life are complicated. I wonder what those birds are trying to communicate to me.

This afternoon a crow flew back and forth from the wires in front of my porch to my roof. I would see it's shadow on the walk as it perched above me. I could feel his presence. What can I learn from these seemingly elusive creatures?

Monday, April 5, 2010

a poem i love

An Act of Seduction in the Twenty-First Century

You know as well as I
there is nothing more
than a piano between us.

So please rest your head
gently against my hip before
the moon burns a hole in my pocket.

If you close your eyes
perhaps you will see what I
did this morning at breakfast.

When I poured maple syrup
over a piece of French toast
it settled into a portrait of Christ.

Before I go any further you should
know this about me: I am
the kind of man who does not

believe in much of anything.
Now you will not be surprised
when I tell you what happened

next. I cut into it with my fork
and ate, just to feel what it is like
to chew on redemption.

-Kevin Pilkington


Monday, March 29, 2010


The paper looms. I've written barely two hundred words. It is due tomorrow. I get off work at 8:00 p.m. Let me clarify though, I work in a fitness center which basically puts me sitting in front of a computer, with little else to do. I've been here for five hours now. I've written two hundred damn words. I have no excuse. I take it back; I have excuses, but they aren't legitimate ones.

There is nothing challenging about this class. Which is the very reason that I should be making A+'s on every fucking test and assignment, instead I find myself zoning off during class. It is a senior/graduate level class, but it is at what I'd call a sophomore level. We skim the surface of the works; the professor simply explains what is on the surface of the poetry. We do not delve and questions which do so are not properly answered. Yet, instead of rising above, I find myself sinking.

I do research on other very unrelated topics. I find amusing blogs to scroll through. I make phone calls. I proof-read papers for other people. I write letters. I click a pen.

This is true procrastination.

Who in their right mind takes a class about 16th century literature? More to point, what religion-hating moron takes a class about that subject? It's all about religion. Are the protestants right? Are the Catholics right? Maybe they should all kill each other to figure it out. In their spare time they can sit around and write sonnets about not having sex and courtly rules. Let the fun times begin. After we read this riveting material, we come to class to hear the professor lecture to us about how much more intelligent people used to be, how amazing this shit is, even though most of it sounds exactly the same. She even reads the text verbatim at times.

I can now name the seven deadly sins. Try not to be too jealous.

Monday, March 22, 2010


I've been feeling quite overwhelmed. School is increasing it's pace, and although this semester is much simpler that the subsequent ones, I fear that my natural tendency to procrastinate is only getting worse because of the lack of difficulty. The bright side of my procrastination is that I've read 2 1/2 novels, and various bits of philosophy and myths since school began. I mean, that I've read that outside of the required reading. I almost don't know what to do with myself as far as reading is concerned. It's really quite thrilling.

I've been meeting and getting to know a few new people lately. For that I am grateful. It's really amazing what you discover about yourself through conversations with others. Besides meeting new people, I've also been lucky in that I'm truly beginning to realize just what it means to love. It's really wonderful, and I feel like I am receiving privileged information. In many ways, I am. It's like I have this secret that only a handful of people have truly been privy to, and I am reveling in it.

My child has done her fair share of teaching me lately as well. I've learned how precious and fragile life truly is, and though I thought it'd be many years before I ever considered having a child, that little love child of mine, she is amazing. I can't begin to explain the intricacies of life that I've learned from being a parent. It isn't always joyful, but it is always rewarding. Here again, I know I'm privy to some secret that everyone doesn't fully hear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

porn for women

When I saw the book, Porn for Women, I immediately got the humor. As I flipped through the book, my feminist insticts began to find it more and more appalling. Sure, women tend to do most of the housework, cooking, etc. But, does that mean that women are suddenly uninterested in sex!? I don't partake in watching porn, because I find it to be degrading of both sexes, but this book is completely ridiculous. I was reminded of how ridiculous it is today when I saw this:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a routine

Every morning that I get to stay at home with my daughter, Nora, we do the same thing. We'll get up, slowly. Making up some sort of game lying in bed. I'll tickle her or try to get her to say "morning" one more time. It comes out more like, "maw-in" or something of the sort. She gets out of bed first. Then we stroll into the kitchen. She usually eats a banana with her cheerios. After all the preparations, we go into the living room. I have my chai tea and she has her cereal. We're still rubbing our eyes. Then we sit side by side eating out breakfast in the rocking chair. This is the same rocking chair that my mom rocked me in. I am always wishing that someone were there to take a photo. My camera has a timer, but that simply wouldn't cut it. There we'd be with our big blue eyes and messy hair, eating cheerios, mine with milk, hers dry. These are some of my favorite moments. I hope she continues to want to eat breakfast with me for years to come.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

being the genius that he is..

Tom Robbins has given me something to think on this morning. I decided that it would be nice of me to share it with whomever happens upon my tiny corner of the blog world. In Another Roadside Attraction he shows the reader two characters discussing science and mysticism (within a few pages around the middle of the novel). One is a mystic and one is a scientist. The scientist has little to say, but this is what the mystic points out.

"...if you find a conflict in science and mysticism, may I suggest that you do not deny the latter the objectivity you grant the former... Scientists, I suspect, operate on chance more often than they'd care to have us laymen discover."

She later says this about romantics, "Can't you understand that romanticism is no more an enemy of science than mysticism is? In fact, romanticism and science are good for each other. The scientist keeps the romantic honest, and the romantic keeps the scientist human."

Study those observations a while.

Side note:
Daniel Quinn has given me so much to think about with his novel Ishmael that I can't even begin to quote it. I'd have to type out the entire novel, and I believe that is illegal. This book completely changed the way that I view the world. I'll be beginning another of his works soon. All I can do is recommend that you read it, then pass on how amazing it is to someone else.


I decided this morning that the best time for me to look in the mirror is in the morning. Maybe, I'm still so sleepy that I just think that I look better then, or something to that effect. Really, I think this would only work when I've actually had a slightly decent night's sleep. I had a slightly decent one last night, though not as good as I'd prefer. Sleep is an issue in and of itself. But in the morning, first thing, I have a sort of glow. Others have it too. I've witnessed this, but I suppose I'd never noticed it about myself. I believe that if I could have that same glow all day, I'd never touch make-up again.

being Mom

I've been thinking about motherhood, or "momhood" as I like to call it. I really hope that Nora never calls me "Mother" because that just sounds so old. In this thinking, I've suddenly realized that she's almost two. Jesus Christ. The terrible twos are quickly approaching, though I think they've begun really. We're in that stage now, and I am trying to fight it, and I honestly don't have the slightest idea of how to do so. Nor do I know if I am doing anything right at all.

All that is to say, that as I was doing this I thought back to the day she was born. There are lots of things I could say about that day, but one things that really sticks out in my head is the question, "Well, Lauren, how does it feel?" It being momhood. All sorts of thoughts raced through my head, but I always answered with the predictable "wonderful" and with a smile. I made a mental note to never, ever utter than phrase, especially to anyone who's just gone through a life-altering experience. If I have another child, I think I'll answer that question less predictably.

I wish someone would ask me now. While I still have no clue able what I'm doing, I could give a much better answer. Right after she was born I wanted to say, "terrible" or "fucking scary." Now, now I'd say so much more than that. Of course, terrible had more to do with my physical condition than with being a mom, though that rush of hormones was quite terrible.

It feels like a head resting on shoulder, fitting perfectly into that little nook that I'd always found useless. It feels like small hands pushing me from my side to my back in the middle of the night so that a little someone can be more comfortable directly on top of Mama. It feels like the bliss that comes with that first real laugh and the millions to follow. It feels like slimey baby puke making my t-shirt stick to my chest and my hair smell like spoiled milk. It feels like an absolute rush of adrenaline at that cry I instinctively know as the real thing. It feels like the tiredness that ensues after a long night spent with a sick baby whose every breath is difficult. It feels like pure love, the kind that truly never ceases. It feels scary as hell and as confusing as calculus. It feels overwhelming and wonderful and exhausting and rewarding. It feels good.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

writer's envy - a meme

I found this meme here.

Novel you wish you'd written:
Light in August by William Faulkner or Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins (oh so different)

TV you wish you could have been/could be a staff writer on:

Blog you wish you'd started:
A Softer World

Play you wish you'd written:
Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett

Poem you wish you'd written:
"Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes" by Billy Collins

Screenplay you wish you'd written:
Fur by Erin Cressida Wilson

Song you wish you'd written:
"Us" by Regina Spektor, "Be Here Now" by Ray LaMontagne, "Love and Some Verses" by Iron and Wine

Blogger with skillz (or readership, for that matter) you wish you could steal:
Heather Armstrong at Dooce

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Religion does have an element of hate. It is overwhelming to me that any group providing food to the victims of a natural disaster would refuse to help someone of a different religion. Why would anyone want to worship a god full of such hate? And, those Christians who are refusing food to Haitians on the basis of their practicing Voodoo, should take a step back and realize that their being the exact opposite of "Christ-like."

Saturday, February 20, 2010


I need to stop being so damn self-involved. This morning I spoke with a woman about death, about funerals to be specific. She bragged that I'd thought about it more than most people my age. Death does not scare me, embalming does scare me, but not death. It is simply another cycle. I ask her if she'd traveled quite a bit, because it seems that this small town had imparted that fact about her to me. She said, "Yes, but not as much as I'd like."

I replied, "Well, keep going. What's stopping you?"

"Right now I'm going through chemo. So that slows me down a quite a bit." she answered. Remember that this is taking place in a fitness center where she is working out.

Here's the thing. I am healthy. I am doing a lot of amazing things. I will not be here forever. I hope that I have the strength she has one day. That's encouragement. She doesn't even know what she's done for my perspective.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Apparently there is no limit to what some people will do to animals and in turn to those who consume animals.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I've been pondering over Valentine's day. I read somewhere recently that there are two types of thinking concerning Valentine's day. There are the angry people who do not have a lover, those that say they do not care about the holiday and its materialistic ways. Then there are those who have a lover, those who love, love, love the holiday. I'd like to think there are some who are simply in the middle of those two groups. I'd also like to say that I am personally in none of the groups. I find it to be a silly holiday. I don't mind it if others enjoy it. I've thoroughly enjoyed it in the past, but now I realize that it is really just another day. It is about money.

I really don't give a shit about flowers. I do care about chocolate, but it certainly doesn't need to be in a heart-shaped box. In fact, I can only think of Nirvana when I see a heart-shaped box, so that totally skews the meaning of the gesture, doesn't it? I've said in the past (to boyfriends) that if you want to buy me something then buy me something that lasts, a CD or even better, a book. But, really what is the point? It seems forced. A gift should be given because of a desire to give, not because the calendar tells you give it.

All that being said.. I find these slightly jaded, and incredibly humorous stories to be a completely appropriate way to begin this weekend. Whatever you do, don't send me a white rose "gift" via Facebook. Thanks.



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

don't step lightly

Really, life is a journey. I know that is cliche, but sometimes there is no better way to put things. I am anything but at peace right now, but I can accept that, and I can learn something from it.

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” -Matsuo Basho

"Dwell in possibility." -Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This is quite a disappointment. Apparently there is no place that cannot be effected by McDonald's.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Patience is a fucking virtue.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the goal

"Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed." -Blaise Pascal

The ideas surrounding this statement are simply wonderful. Man does emerge from nothing, does he not? Even from a very literal point of view this is true. Before pregnancy there was nothing there; in Christianity Mary was a virgin; therefore, Jesus would come from nothing. God also comes from nothing, if nothing existed before God. (The arguments following that logic are tedious.) This holds true in other aspects of life, etc.

This idea, this statement had a reminiscing effect for me. I did come from nothing. I am engulfed in something so vast it cannot be comprehended, in infinity. It is a nice reminder of one's insignificance. I don't mean that I'm insignificant in an emo, I-think-I'll-go-die sort of way, either.

We all get so caught up in our own little microcosms that we forget others are suffering or celebrating something just as monumental (if not more so) in their own lives. When one thinks of birth and death as something less personal, something that everyone and everything (corporations not included, har har) must experience it becomes a connecting force. We are all connected, if only because we all emerged in the same ways, and we are all engulfed in the same thing.

The disconnect present in a world that is so connected is disheartening, to say the least. The more that I seek such things, the more that I try to connect with the energies and natural things around me, the more noticeable this disconnect becomes, yet because of that fact I find myself pushing even harder to find this real connection and existence. One that I can truly be proud of, one that I can look back on to see that I've actually "stopped one heart from breaking" (see Emily Dickinson).

I've many a goal, but that's it, that's the one, put concisely.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ole' Bill

I'm sure you've all heard about the Baptists in Haiti who tried to take Haitian children into the Dominican Republic. I know that these children need help, and if I could somehow get to Haiti and do anything to help, I'd be on the next plane. But, that is silly, since I know nothing about how to help in this sort of situation, I have no money to get there, and I can't speak the language, etc. I digress.

I feel like ole' Billy Faulkner summed it up quite well in Sanctuary when he said, "They're just Baptists!" And that is exactly how I feel about this situation. They're only Baptists; clearly, we can't expect much rationality or sense at all to come from them.


It has recently occurred to me that Nora is going through her last clingy phase. There is no denying that her favorite word of the moment is "Mama." At times this gets frustrating, like when I need to get something out of the oven, and she doesn't understand why I am so serious about her staying back. But, it makes me quite sad when I think of how independent she is out side of this phase. I know that soon she'll be done with me, and I'll never be quite this awesome again. She'll soon realize just how much more she knows, and that I am out of touch with reality. I assume that will be in full effect by age eleven, at the latest; I expect it will begin around age two...

I suppose I'll just soak it up while I'm still the bee's knees. Soon this will be over, too soon.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

- Anais Nin

There is a connection. Many seem to have forgotten that we're all connected in some form. We've been slowly losing touch with that connection to each other, to nature. Now the process has quickened. I feel like one's quality of life is directly connected to how he or she treats others and how he or she treats nature. It's all connected. We are made up of layers, cells, and constellations. It's all there lurking. It seems the more society withdraws from a natural lifestyle, the more unhappy that society becomes.

Earth is beginning to revolt. She'll win.

Monday, January 25, 2010

enough said

They always make me laugh over at McSweeney's. I find this eerily accurate though.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


It seems a bit trite to do this, but I've decided to do it regardless. I'd love to know how you'd answer these questions.

One word only, please.

Where is your phone? desk

Your hair? short

Your Mother? sensitive

Your Father? stagnant

Your favourite food? fruit

Your dream last night? unremembered

Your favourite drink? tea

Your dream/goal? zen

What room are you in? sitting

Your hobby? reading

Your fear? dormancy

Where do you want to be in six years? peace

Where were you last night? bowling

Something that you're not? tidy

Muffins? butter

Wish list item? doctorate

Where did you grow up? village

Last thing you did? sit

What are you wearing? barefoot

Your TV? hidden

Your pets? nonexistent

Friends? lovely

Your life? busy

Your mood? scattered

Missing someone? yes

Vehicle? goes

Something you're not wearing? jewelry

Your favourite store? Good Will

Your favourite colour? yellow

When was the last time you laughed? reading

The last time you cried? yesterday

Your best friend? loyal

One place that I go to over and over? dictionary

Facebook? eh

Favourite place to eat? grandma's


Does a word ever seem to just hit you over the head? You know, one words just keeps rearing its head over and over for a few days or weeks, and it becomes something that you somehow work into normal conversation, something you say too many times in one day.

My word is "arbitrary" today or yesterday or whatever. It's a good word. I've had better ones stick to my tongue in the past, but right now that's it. I've decided to somehow try to work these sticky words into my creative writing efforts. For whatever reason poetry seems to be at the surface of most of these efforts, granted it isn't the greatest poetry ever, but it is there. I have a couple of short stories I am trying to work on, but things aren't coming along in that area.

Maybe they're too personal or too fresh, too opinionated maybe. Maybe I should try to actually write fiction that isn't based on personal experience, but that's never been something easy for me to do, and I don't know why I'd think it'd suddenly become easy for me to do so. I get too hung up on petty things like the heroine's name or which verb best describes her mocking/snarling/pious/coveted features. When it is real, then the words seem to come more easily. And I have tricks for beginning poetry that just don't work for short stories.

I was honestly hoping that this creative writing class would help me with those efforts, yet it is quite the disappointment. There is no direction, only a quota.

I'd call that a tangent, and it happens to be arbitrary, which brings us full circle.

Arbitrary. That is something that I don't want to be.
It feels like I've done some things recently in a very pointed and driven way, and then I've done other things with no clear motive at all. What I've found is that following my intuition works best, and when I forget myself and let that energy or intuition slip into the back of my mind, those are the moments when I become careless, when I turn a page too quickly or forget to bookmark an especially useful website.
Point being - I'm trying to pay attention to my feelings, to my intuition, and while it is one of the most enlightening and wonderful things I've ever done, it is quite a challenge and one to which I wish I could devote all of my time. Of course, I wonder who can devote all of their time to any one thing.

It's a new path, and I feel that it leads in the correct direction, whether or not that is an arbitrary feeling has yet to be decided, but I'm fairly certain that things are becoming less and less arbitrary.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I gave five dollars to some random man outside of a gas station tonight. I can't think of a better way to begin this story. I don't which of us was doing more "profiling." What I do know is that it has been a long time since something of this sort has happened to me, and apparently it was time for something to occur.

I pulled up to a gas station in the middle of Jonesboro. Busy street, lots of people around - safe. As I pull into a parking spot a man walks around the corner (the sort of dark corner) of this gas station. I get out of my car, phone in hand and lock the car. As I begin to walk to the door of the station, which I have stopped at to retrieve a snack consisting of Ruffle's Sour Cream and Cheddar chips (my weakness), he begins to talk to me. And the first thing out of this man's mouth is and I kid you not: Hey there young lady.. I ain't no killer or nothing, but you see.. blah, blah. We're out of gas and we need to get to Paragould. Do you have any money? We just need ten dollars...

I say that I have very little. Yet, this guy is persistent. He says that there is an ATM and he'll pay me back if I'll give him my address or phone number. I just handed him a five dollar bill and kept moving.

I noticed that he only seemed to be soliciting to white women, and he was not white. I don't know what he used that five dollars to buy, but I do know that I am happy to be safely behind the locked doors of my mother's house. I did check to make sure I wasn't being followed. Suffice it to say that I probably will just go to a different station the next time I am craving those chips.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


bronchitis/pneumonia (walking) + grad school + 2 hour drives + "Mama" = FUCK!

Please hurry, and bring Sleep.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Now and Here

He was something else back then,
Unlike the man of now and here.
He'll never be back again.

The way things have recently been
Fills my heart with fear.
He was something else back then.

He was one of the great men,
But along the way he began to veer.
He'll never be back again.

No longer able to recall when
This other man began to leer,
He was something else back then.

All that's left to hold is this pen,
At this point we're
Realizing he'll never be back again.

This is the beginning of the end,
And it's nothing to do with mere sin.
He was something else back then.
He'll never be back again.

-Lauren Adams

Saturday, January 16, 2010

closed form

I find it a great (and fun) challenge and good way to incite creativity to write poetry in closed form. I also like to respond to poems written by others, to put my own spin on them or to take them in the opposite direction. I feel I'll be doing a lot of that for creative writing during this semester. It is almost like taking a study break, except I've taken much better study breaks in the past, in a more free-verse sort of way...

So today I'll be working on a villanelle. A villanelle is a nineteen line poem in which the first and third lines of the first tercet are repeated according to a certain pattern, and then placed next to one another in the last quatrain. The rhyme scheme is: A1bA2, abA1, abA2, abA1, abA2, abA1A2. Okay so now that I've gone all teacher on you, I'll continue on with it, and give two examples.

A nice example of a classic villanelle is Dylan Thomas' Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on that sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

A not so classic example is Elizabeth Bishop's One Art.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster,

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three beloved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) a disaster.

Friday, January 15, 2010

gourmet, really?

I completely enjoy my personalized google page and reader, but I noticed something today that has been bothering me.

Google now offers "gourmet" gadgets and themes. Seriously!? How obsessed is this nation with food? Who really needs to look at a plate of fucking cookies every time he or she logs onto google? I don't know why over-indulgence has become so common, but something's gotta give (excuse the cliche).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Today is a disastrous day in so many ways. The devastation in Haiti is, for the moment, over-shadowing all the other natural disasters of late. Soon it fall off the airwaves prematurely, just like so many other events. It will be pushed aside for something closer to home, some star will die or commit adultery.

This event has collided (in my world) with the death of a close friend. This loss serves to remind me that so many others are suffering so much more than me. One cannot fathom the impact of this loss of life, just like one cannot fathom the loss of one life, not from another's perspective.

When so many suffer and it is so far removed from society that we barely pause, barely recognize the number of lives, of souls that have just collapsed it pains me; it hurts me, sort of paralyzes my mind. To have this sort of loss of life coupled with the death of one of the kindest, most genuine men I've ever know, well it just overwhelms me, knocks me to the floor. How many others are mourning the loss of the kindest man that they ever knew in Haiti or in the rest of the world?

Yet at the same moment, how many are rejoicing to hear the cry of new life coming into this world? The amount of suffering and joy happening at any given moment is simply unfathomable. It leaves me wondering why I deserve to feel the many things that I feel, to experience this glorious and painful life. It leaves me baffled. It leaves me thankful to experience the varied moments of life.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Things like this should be happening in the states, period.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Accidental Pun + Gap

Today I said: "I want to go to a real, bonafide sex shop in Soho."

"Mind the Gap" in America would be: Caution! Not Responsible for injury, death, or items lost due to the space between the train and the platform.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Athena's foot - In the British Museum

The London Eye from Westminister Bridge (I think)

Trafalgar Square

London is wonderful. I continue to feel more and more embarrassed to say that I am from the States. The amount of history and tolerance, no acceptance, here is staggering. The thift and book stores have been incredible. I think I'll follow the Bible tomorrow and rest a bit, after all it is the Sabbath. I do have another gift or two to buy; next week is dedicated to museums and other historical sites.