Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Two Years in a Wet Grave

And speaking of things that are disgusting....

AVOID AVOID AVOID the abandoned bikes at the west side B-foods rack. I was locking mine up and put my hand on a neighboring bike seat for leverage ... when my hand SANK into this brown banana mass ... spongy ... sticky ... covered with leaves and grass ... and probably beard hair ... as tenacious as snail slime to wash off. The bike seat had ... melted ... or ... decomposed ... like a wet skull prop from CSI: Bedford or something. The hipster dude next to me gaped aghast and skittered away. BLEAH!

But suddenly I'm craving fresh zucchini bread....

'round Here We Call the Fountain of Youth 10th Street


(Sorry, I'm in full-on Beowulf mode at the moment....)

So: I'm moved in with The Mari. Jesus Stop-Dancing Christ, how the hell did I acquire so much stuff??!! Oh yeah, I am old. Honestly (and this has been confirmed by others) I think I have a perfectly appropriate amount of stuff for a 36-year-old dude. Maybe too much furniture, but people opened their garages, spare ooms, and attics to me when they learned I was in need a couple of years ago. This means I'm not too attached to anything either. I still think it's too much stuff, though, and continue to pare down, especially clothes, books, and items I have clung to thinking I'd be home-owning again by now. Realistically I'm at least another year or two away from that, so there's no need whatsoever to hang on to what amounts to a bunch of knick-knacks. And dude, my knick-knacks are HEAVY!

Still, I think I've divested myself of about half my raw tonnage since "leaving" Spencer. I'm down to a paltry 10 typewriters (yes, I ditched 13 *sniff*) and finally parted with all my albums, cassettes, 45s, and assorted other archaic media. Next to weed out: my voluminous paper files. I already ... burned ... some of the more important (and some not-so-important) things I wanted to leave behind. So how much paper do I really want to lug around now?

A: Not much more than is absolutely necessary.

Q: What's necessary?

A: Probably NOT every draft of every poem I've ever written ... or IS IT????

It's the message not the medium that's important to me. I've never been a medium fetishist anyway ... other than the typewriters ... and that was more a product of letting people know that yes, I like typewriters, and then letting the magic happen. Most of my typers were "gifts": I think I acquired a new one about every other party or gathering. Which was cool, for a while. But it's like my intense Burroughs/Beat period, wherein every time an opportunity arose to gift me, invariably it was some sort of Beat-themed book/recording/objet d'art.

Anyway, I have a ton of stuff and I'm managing to cram it all not unattractively into our li'l domicile. Still need a decent TV, but that'll come. She continues to disorganize me in delightful ways. I continue to bend her to my OCD rule ... within reason. (We made this agreement forever ago, when we first started dating, and we still seem amenable.) Basically we're setting up light housekeeping, and I'm enjoying it and I think she is too. I'm working hard trying to work less, relax more, and enjoy life rather than work my way out of it ... all of which can be trying when the things at which I enjoy working are what make me the scintillating person I am.

But Mars is at the same time being dragged kicking and screaming into joining the working world or the "real world" or the land of Wal-mart zombies and other assorted working stiffs or whatever, so I think we'll hit equilibrium at some point.

What else?
ROLLER DERBY: Announcing for the girls continues to be a hoot, even at away games. I'm not as polished as I'd like to be yet but I've definitely got my schtick down and that apparently goes a long way in the world of Announcing.

MATRIX: Joe and I have hashed out the future of our li'l poetry org. Basically we're paring down too: down to 1 event (an invite-only reading, plus a SHORT open mic) 4 times a year, with summers off. We're essentially modeling it after the InKY series, which we both have read at and enjoyed immensely. No slams (for now...). No more monthly open mics. No more anthologies. We're keeping the workshop, which I found personally invaluable. But I advocated ditching all the monthly, poorly attended events so that I can put more energy into my own work and make the few special events Matrix hosts seem more ... special. I'm pretty thrilled. This particular event-ectomy didn't hurt a bit.

WRITING: I feel like I'm attacking my log jam of a block with a dental pick. But I am attacking. And occasionally there are splinters. I hope to graduate to the adz soon and eventually get back to piloting a Literary Skidder through the underbrush of my quiddity. Or somesuch.

FREELANCE: Gangbusters. I'm teaching another graphic design class in B-ton in late Nov/early Dec. I'm also teaching one in early October ... in Switz City. I'm getting a little extra $$ for that one to cover gas.

EIRE: I need to get my passport soonish, which will kick-start the process of preparing a trip to IRELAND probably next April/May.

SECRET PROJECT: Actually it's not so secret, but I don't want to divulge anything just yet. It involves a New Years resolution, and you all know, gentle readers, how I feel about those.

BODHRAN: Got a gig playing with Mars and some other session mates at the Spoon Sept. 21, as part of Patricia Coleman's poetry series. (I'll be reading there too.)

READINGS: Joe and I are doing about half a dozen or so readings around the Midwest this fall: so far, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5, 19, and 25.

AUDIO THEATRE: I'm set to produce a program of cowboy poetry for next year's NATF (National Audio Theatre Festival) workshop. There also is serious talk now of bringing the workshop to Bloomington, maybe as early as 2009. Now that would be sweet. B-tizzle is perfect for it, and some alumni from previous workshops are who eventually got WFHB off the ground, so this could be real copacetic.

That's enough.

Thursday, August 23, 2007