Friday, January 27, 2006


I know this is old news, but I just want to share with you "RE: Your Job is at stake," an email sent to me yesterday by one Ronald Quintana:

cosy some blackstone it airdrop it parachute , charta it gaffe or obstetric not electrolysis try crime or catchword try cattlemen the wreckage see image see captive the nation in horseflesh the bluejacket try manageable be astrophysical see lady it's boorish in weber some spongy some conformance not norma it's upsurge or jilt a drag may diagnostic a electorate it caret in morpheme ! fit or dishwater try

That, and the complimentary "A Fine Display of Mummery" TimeCycle calendar, brightened the crap out of my day.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Year of Puking Silk

This is one of my all-time favorite phrases ever used by my elderly, bohemian ex-roommate, Alan, to describe my life and behavior at the time. "Pure loosey goosey stuff," he added.

As M put it last night, "These are truly the garbage years."

It's not meaninglessness (let alone prowesslessnesslessness), but it is mistake after mistake, crying fit after crying fit. At lunch I counted 7 instances in the past 14 months of getting the shit kicked out of me and/or kicking the shit out of myself. Metaphorically speaking, but, as Mom affirmed, "Emotional pain is the worst."

In short, I've been dumped. "Torpedoed again, eh?" -- my favorite line from A Hard Day's Night (cf. John in the bathtub) -- came to me early, lying in bed Sunday night. I'm considering a Torpedoed Again Salon for the Valentine's Eve, the night when all the bitter ghoulies are afoot.

My goal for going to Tallahassee over T-giving this year was not to have an existential crisis in anyone's kitchen...I think my goal for rest of the year will be to not get broken up with again. I believe in my ability to achieve this goal. America I'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel. Celibacy is fine. I could never decide if "I Am A Rock" was ironic or not, anyway.

I wrote to this guy a pretty good line I think:
"i'm considering an elaborate application for future dating applicants, including writing samples on buddhist metaphysics and ethics, eros v. agape, and rufus wainwright lyrics. also, in 500-1000 words, 'why i want to go out with [the fire boss].' and a pennsylvania cultural data profile for good measure."

The point is, this was a very good try, at least on my part, but it's time to wise up. M made a few very helpful points:

(1) It's opportunity that gets us in trouble.
Who can resist the suddenly open door? I had endless fantasies about secret passageways as a kid, and this weakness should not surprise me. Ex nihilo, possibility. The irruption. Bets are off, and that tantalizing scent of Something Happening. So we shouldn't be blamed. But I've gotten hooked too many times now not to start sniffing more suspiciously at the bait. Also, this is a very good reason not to keep yourself in a position that makes you unhappy. You'll take riskier escapes. Fine line between bravery and stupidity.

Note: a commentary on one of the Buddha's discourses that I read last night pointed out that escape from a truly dangerous situation is the smartest response there is.

(2) "Looks like you just got the wrong guy."
Talking to M helped me remember all the conversations we had about styles of being in relationships, how important they are. M, and I think the guy who just exited, are both used to being "obsessive" in their relationships, being consumed with them. Whatever the style is, I guess it isn't mine. This is the best explanation I can come up with for not meeting the mysterious Love Criteria. My current theory is that these styles of loving are bound up in our more general worldviews (shocking, I know), and that, yo, maybe even the most passionate secularists will not grep my crazy contemplative devotion. Forget the Rufus lyrics: What is most real? I want to ask people.

Thank you for your time.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Ciallis spam

cannot help but remind me of e.e. cumming's "may i feel said he":

cummings: (cccome?said he
spam: - Haarder e-rectiiions

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hero worship

Margaret Atwood reviews Trickster Makes This World.

Thomas McEvilley runs a graduate program in Art Criticism and Writing.

"Even assholes in straight jackets with midget visions can make great music....and in that 'somehow' lies all the ineffable that subtends the idea of art, the shape of which the critics scamble to show like every day."

My mom got a book from my dad for Christmas that shows the homes of various American writers, concluding with the humble abode of Walt Whitman in Camden, across the street from a prison. The narrative about Whitman claims that, at his funeral, he was remembered not as a poet, but as a philosopher. I think what that means is that everyone who knew the man understood that his writing was an expression of his larger life, larger conviction, his spirit and soul; rather than his life being defined by what he wrote. Whitman is like Love, as Diotima explains to Socrates, recounted in the Symposium: bastard child of plenty and poverty. Child giving it up for America and all its beautiful boys.

I don't know how to choose an object of study. Things are like dust. We play with them; we fight.

Not even the philosophers know what philosophy is.