This birthday—nothing makes sense, smashed to bits, devastated, whatever — but there will be a party! There’s always a #dancecats party with me around.
Maybe I don’t deserve an uncomplicated life listening to J Dilla with a husband collaborator academic artist, children, cats & matching bicycles. Or maybe it’s because those who want me I’ve outlived? That’s probably why I haven’t written anything interesting in this blog other than academic updates in so long. But am I doing a clever job covering up the pain? does it seem like I’m getting shit done? Because I don’t feel it at all. But maybe you read my memory project and read things like this:
Longing for our fumbling fingers the first time our hands met each other.
Mexico, te extraño mucho de menos. Muestra señales de vida, querida.
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I watch him sleep between the layers of white bed sheets and trace the world on his exposed shoulders down to his left arm up to mine. It is all I can do as goodbye.
He walks in with a careful step. His hug envelopes me completely. First it’s the ribs, then the arms, then the face. “My M—, oh, you need some energy.” His girlfriend nods in agreement. I can feel his fingers over my emaciated flesh as they push between my ribs. “You look sickly, I am worried.” I think I should be but I’m not. I stand proud with bags holding up my eyes.
I stood still in the rain waiting for him. A wounded brightness among his doubt.
Affections turned into experiences.
But, for real, are you out there G-d? Can I just have some peace? A little bit? Like even for a year or two? Just slow & steady happiness? I was putting in so much effort. Why did no one warn me that it was in all the wrong ways? I’m learning, I’m learning, I scream, but I’m reminded I’ve outlived the efforts.
I’m the most productive when in love and having sex all the time. Everything comes easy. I don’t need much sleep. I wake up happy & ready. My mind is sharp & my eyes are clear.
Since I can’t have what I really want, bring me poems. I just want poetry, poems, poems, never ending poetry for my birthday. I want Erica Jong, Anne Sexton, Warsan Shire, Wislawa Szymborska, George Eliot Clark, Mary Oliver, Czesław Miłosz, Rumi, Hafiz, Adrienne Rich, Anne Boyer, Margaret Atwood, Sara Teasdale, Keats, Saul Williams, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, Sanyu Kisaka, Sharon Olds, bell hooks, new poets, new poems, your poems, your words … give me the words of all the pain and desire in the world and let me live.
PS. This is my work lately…
(Why) do we care about sharpness and quality? (2013)
I feel like this blog has just become an update receptacle and even then I don’t keep up, like the news of Part I of my interactive documentary, microfemininewarfare: exploring women’s space in electronic music being screened at ElectroFringe Fest in Australia last week. Last week, however, I was in New York being too much while chasing memories, tattoos, love & blue eyes. But also being a serious productive cat with meetings and potentials.
I’m having thematically recurring dreams in which a medley of my (ex)lovers come in and out of various situations. Every night is a different mix with different expectations. I’m also having dreams about Chiapas almost every night, still. Everything sticks to me like that. Is there a way to just have sex all the time? Like with breathing—you do other stuff but you have to keep breathing but then sometimes you take time to focus on breathing and find your body’s orientation. Could not the same be of intercourse? You just do it all the time while living life and then some of the time you focus on each other’s bodies completely?
2013 has been all about waiting. Is waiting synonymous with patience? I don’t know. I didn’t even realize that my snail tattoo is also part of that theme. Of course it is, yes, all of it. Sanyu told me something I’ll never forget: “When he is ready, if you wait, he will come back.”
Here is something better from Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse:
The lover’s discourse is of an extreme solitude
attente / waiting— Tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting for the loved being, subject to trivial delays (rendezvous, letters, calls, returns)
Am I in love? –yes, since I am waiting. The other one never waits. Sometimes I want to play the part of the one who doesn’t wait; I try to busy myself elsewhere, to arrive late; but I always lose at this game. Whatever I do, I find myself there, with nothing to do, punctual, even ahead of time. The lover’s fatal identity is precisely this: I am the one who waits.
Waiting is an enchantment: I have received orders not to move. Waiting is woven out of tiny unavowable interdictions to infinity.
The decision to have an abortion was so hasty, so sudden.
I think about how if it hadn’t been so accessible, if it hadn’t been so easy I would have had the baby
but then my whole life would be different and I wouldn’t be sitting here doing my PhD regretting the decision.
I want to have a baby so bad. It is all I think about night and day —for the swelling of my belly and the rupture of my skin.
The part when you know you have to change something or else, but you don’t know what, and so you can’t
& then you are paralyzed listening to music from a playlist called “september’s ocean of tears” & wonder how many septembers ago you made it & haven’t you grown up & out of that yet?
I lay my back flat on the hardwood floor wishing it was another unfamiliar ceiling above me, but it’s not. It’s the same ceiling I’ve looked at for the last year. My back isn’t flat either, my spine is too crooked to be graceful like that. I try to drink the sparkling cider I bought at the market earlier today but the sulfites give me a headache. Not like anything like that ever works anyway. Oh yes, I will drink to numb the pain! Except the numbness comes from the pain, which is the opposite of what I want. I want to be drowning in effervescence. Except I’ll never get close to it being afraid of risk & being afraid to take chances. I will never experience a sustainable effervescence if I don’t stop being so self-involved in my self-consciousness about everything. No one has time for my self-consciousness or my apologetic excuses. I don’t want anyone to have time for it. The longer I don’t do what I really want, the less chances I have of actually doing it.
Also: I watched Episode 10 of Louie & oh my fuck, fuck, for being so good at throwing (my) reality straight back in my face, like when I was in grade school and we would punch each other in the face, but along the brick school building wall, so not only do you get hit in the face, the back of your head gets hit too.
Apice means apex in Portugese. I want to learn Portugese and experience it. I want to become a Lusophone. My love affair with Portugal is new, with so much room to grow and discover.
apex: (noun) the top or highest part of something, esp. one forming a point
(verb) reach a high point or climax
Last week I was reading texts for my doctoral exam that are a foreign language to me, even though they are all in English. Then, unexpectedly, a few days later I was on a plane on my way to Warsaw to finish some familial business that started many years ago. I stayed with my uncle in his large IKEA-laden two story apartment in Kabaty, one of the new neighbourhoods of Warsaw. His three children were away at camp, so it was just him, his wife and I. I watched them move through the house. I watched them moving together but never in the same direction, always holding onto their own space. She wasn’t there often, as she was always in a haste going to “work”, and only stopping by for moments at a time. They are trapped, creating jails for each other while always laying the blame on the other. I talked to them both separately. I wanted to talk to them for years.
How long do you hold onto something for the sake of it? How long can you keep going? When do couples become immobile? You both produce the space you traverse with every move (which is one of the most impressive components of being in love and being with someone but also a harbinger of much pain). There’s no going back, there’s only going over. Once you’ve made those decisions, you can’t take them back, they have been actualized and are part of the narrative. Is that how you become immobile? You don’t want to walk over the same trajectory that holds all those experiences you regret, you wish never happened, you resent yourself or the other for bringing into the relationship? Do you become immobile because you cannot make a move without pain? And then, what? You gain mobility of the organs through affairs? How many lips must come across yours to ostensibly make you forget about the intensity of the love that used to be between both of you – the apex. There’s no denying the life changing, mountain moving desire you both had for each other – the gaze penetrating every body part at every moment. But what happens when the mountains were moved and you found a way to move that was not the same as theirs, and simultaneously, they didn’t notice you didn’t follow them on the path they took either. Then you both turn around and see each other so small in the distance, unable to make out the details.
Except by now you’ve learned to lie to each other so well that each of you believe the lies and keep on moving while immobilized, creating vast friction. By now, you probably don’t even realize that the movements of your lips are lies, and you just take them as the way things are.
I wanted to write something yesterday, about Canada Day and its phases of being intense and dramatic and shifting my whole self, but I hadn’t slept from the night before and was full of amorous energy that kept me in bed with my fantasies most of the day. I did manage to bike over in as little clothes as possible to Atwater Market to buy some fruit and eat lunch. I had my usual chicken satay as Alex (co-owner of Satay Brothers) sat down on the bench with me excitably remarking about the potential spaces he’s found for his upcoming restaurant. He could barely sit still and it was more like a dance with his eyes toward the world. I was too delirious from being under-slept to fully listen. Him and J made fast friends and call each other Mr. Meat Stick and Mr. Wood respectively since J will most likely outfit Alex’s meat venture with his wood. This humour is not lost on me, at all.
my summer wardrobe. spot the red square <3
Sometimes when I bike with draping skirts and dresses I imagine (it like) the scene between Lila and Chimo from Lila dit ça and close my eyes long enough to be a danger to myself and those around me.
A friend recently told me that my writing is defensive, not clear, and full of run-on sentences that are constantly jumping ideas. It’s clear that I have a certain writing style that desires poetry and flow, but because essays are academic writing, they need a certain structure and a certain style. I could write academic articles with poetic style, but in order to do so, I need to be self-assured. I am not self-assured. I hate academic writing. I hate sitting there watching the words come out of me because they are not the words I want. I stop every few minutes. I am distracted. I am upset. I see myself forcing the words out that never sound like the ideas I have. I am disparaged.
“One time in undergrad I had a prof write on my final essay evaluation that my writing is like searching for buried treasure in a deep sea. That the reader can see the shiny treasure and there’s so much of it, but it’s so deep and so difficult to get to, that once they are close they run out of air and have to be hoisted back up again.”
“How poetic… yes,” he nods in agreement.
I lower my head and start to cry into my palms, because I know this anecdote so well. I see this anecdote in my head every time I write. I have had variations of this evaluation said to me countless times by countless profs. Everyone who comes across my academic writing tells me the same thing. This started in high school. Once I received a 0/10 for writing style in a Grade 10 Media Studies Class. I had nearly 10/10 on everything else. How does someone have 0 style? I came to Canada when I was 10, I cannot blame it on that. What is it? I remember always receiving the highest marks in Creative Writing, always. But then what? Academic writing what? I wonder how it’s possible I’ve been able to receive top marks in graduate school, how it’s possible I’m in a PhD program, how it’s possible that there’s such a strong block that obfuscates the clarity and effortlessness I want for my ideas.
He says I need to practice, genuinely practice and focus on the structure, the form, the words, the sentences —without taking breaks every few minutes to waste time online. Then, I need to edit, REVISE REVISE REVISE, and give enough time to the writing. I know this already. I know this already. I have to change my writing behavior. I am faced with this now, more than ever before. I want to be a strong lucid writer. I do. I do.
Belly dancing has made me more aware of my body, my protruding neck and bad posture. I focus on parts of my body as they move, as others stay still and sometimes follow. I turn on Beyonce videos on full blast every morning and practice figure eights with my hips, stretch my legs and move my wrists in unison. Dancing moves should never be forced, they should flow out of your body smoothly, they should be a love making with the space around you, they should be everything my academic writing isn’t.
I live too much in metaphors, in parables and allegories. I cannot see the literal or direct in anything. This weakens me because I cannot grasp simplicity. To me everything is full of layers. This I my inertia. I cannot touch the core of anything because the core does not exist without its cover and the covers are so symbolic it is impossible to weed through them to find the core.
I feel so stifled unable to speak and undertand French fully. I want to read it and have the words come out of me.
30 juliet 18:10
The beach is full of people. There are more children than adults. I wonder if these children know how lucky they are to experience belle ile.
I submerged my hair in the water and the salty smell washed over me.
1 Aout 00:43
I am tipsy on one bottle of leffe. They offered me a bottle of beer! I felt like I’m starting to belong. Not that i really care to waste my time hanging out anyway There is a belgian woman here that i connect with. She speaks English at least so I have someone. She asked if i want to go to the beach with her tomorrow i said im not sure when I am going. I like my alone time with the beach. Plus, to be nude in front of her. I Could just not give a shit. Strangers. Yet I get so affected. Tonight we made bread again. It is much better here without the cold Austrian girls. I can manage the detachment of the older people if I have people my own age to get along with. Slim, the son and bread chef is 27. His girlfriend is 26 and polish. She is from the village yet tries to out-class me with her knowledge of french. I laugh inside. I dont mind it here like I used to. I’ve come to know the adults are French snobs. I am desperate to wash my hair but I can’t use non-organic shampoo. I have to write my story in Avignon. I still have no plan. Maybe i feel better because I was able to write and digest my life. When there is nothing to explore I panic. Orstance, said I had an enlightened experience when I told her that when I first looked over the cliff in Plage de herlin I looked away because I couldn’t bare its beauty was real. That has never happened to me before. I felt shy with the ocean. Its beauty overwhelmed me and I felt like it was too personal to look at. I felt like I didn’t have the right to take part in its luminance. How silly of me to feel timid at beauty. Me who dives for it constantly. My need for aesthetics thwarts me.
Today I lived for the day and not in waiting for the future.
That is the core of my happiness. Living out the day for what it is and taking every moment to be important and neccessary. That is joy. Yes.
1 aout 17:17
Orstance. She is born on November 11. She is Belgian. She looks so strange. She doesn’t stop telling stories. She is so alive. She’s studying psychology at the masters level. She loves to observe and write about people she meets. We talked candidly about the disconnect here. “but my two friends I came to see love it here.” we are the only two that sense the lack of coherence. It is a lack of understanding and love, She says. If a person is open with themselves they will be open to people. She believes their wwoofing is a matter of habit not of sharing organic farming expression. She continues, It is not even a farm magda! Nothing grows here and there are no animals. The only animals are cats and dogs. And several of them are sick and dying. It is a overpriced organic boutique shop on large property. She says everything I have been feeling. She sees like me. She is religious. She hitchhiked into la palais to go to mass. At lunch the adults talk about her. The slang and rapidity of their words is lost on me. all I hear is her name and laughter. They are amused by her. She is carefree. They are chained to their image of Self and Life. She is stronger and richer than them. She does not ridicule or judge. She lives in a commune in the woods in Belgium. Mostly she hitchhikes alone through the world. I want to bring her to Canada but I don’t know what would impress such travelled eyes. I imagine I am similar to her and peoples perceptions of our untamed character. It splits at my beauty. She is sensual but looks like a man. Even though I feel people still are secretly afraid And jeleous of her like they would be of me. Her looks are safe. Mine are dangerous to me. I tried to hitchhike in high school. It ended badly even though it is a source of my fantasies often. I wasn’t so naive to let anything detrimental happen. We are alone in this place. We are only two. “when people have bad and dwindling energy, be careful, the whole place they live in manifests that. It could tangle and affect your energy. Be aware and you can not let them do that.” she tells me.