Monday, May 2, 2011
--RIGHT NOW, AT THIS VERY MOMENT, I AM HAPPY TO TELL YOU HOW HAPPY I AM
…I've had some new things published in the last couple of days:
"The Absence of Snow Angels" @ NEGATIVE SUCK
"Chaff" @ RED RIVER REVIEW
"Joseph" @ POETRY SUPER HIGHWAY for their special Holocaust Issue
"At My Brother's Wake" @ THE CAMEL SALOON
"God of Rose and Thorn" @ APROCRYPHA AND ABSTRACTIONS
All are also here under "Words In Print."
…I've been listening to Telekinesis. They are such a happy band! Jaunty, even. A blend of Phoenix and The Shins with a dash of The Cure. For a good time, get Telekinesis.
I also have new Elbow ("Build a Rocket Boys!") and new Airborne Toxic Event, which I am withholding from myself like a lusty junky eyeballing that last lump of heroin.
…Tomorrow night I am going to see/hear The Mountain Goats. These troubadours are pretty young, yet have already put out 16 albums. SIXTEEN.
They're kind of a mellow band (well, more than kind of) but so good. The lead singer sounds as if he has an Irish lilt to his voice, but the band is actually from Seattle.
There will probably be a lot of Tree-Huggers in the crowd. The place will probably smell like wool and B.O. and hookah extract.
But I bet it’ll be a blast.
…Today was a strange day. Not strange/bad. Just different. Lacking a consistent rhythm. Missing a cadence. It skipped beats.
I can handle odd weather--sun changing to sleet to clouds to sun breaks to hard, black rain.
I can handle what people say or don't say, flakey types, demanding types, blow-hards and show-offs.
I can take a lot of commotion going on. Loud noises and too many voices jabbering at once.
Even though I am a tall individual, I can sit in cramped spaces. I can do this for extended periods of time.
I can deal with slow traffic or overflowing traffic. I can even deal with surly people sitting in traffic shooting me the bird.
I can bear the weight of many things.
I've been known to laugh at myself very loudly.
I'll take a pretty swift shot to the chin. To the gut. And I’ll ask you to do it again, if it’s something I think will make you feel more at ease.
I'll even drive across very high bridges--yes, even that, though I'm frightened of heights and have been ever since my brothers held me over the side of The Space Needle as a prank.
I am a thin mix of bones and skin, hair follicles and busy eyes, yet I can handle most things.
What I can't abide is:
not being able to see from here to there.
not knowing what it is you're thinking right now.
not being able to say, "Hi there" and hear you say it back.
This is a thing I like to kick-start a Monday, or a life, for that matter:
…"I never thought of myself as talented. No one ever told me I had any talent. Anytime I went to a palm reader, an astrologer, I was told I should be an accountant. So it was my effort, my determination, that made new lines in my palm.
I guess I've always believed in human effort. Human effort is not just the hard physical work of putting your shoulder to the grindstone. What I'm talking about is work that wakes us up. We all have that ability within us. Talent has nothing to do with waking up. I'm talking about being aware and mindful as a writer. Knowing the names of trees and plants, noticing the sun and how it's hitting the chrome on a car. That comes with practice. It's pretty nice to be talented. If you are, enjoy, but it won't take you that far. Work takes you a lot further."
-- Natalie Goldberg, "Writing Down The Bones."