Music > Poetry?

This started out as a haiku and then it just kept going, idon’tknow. ❤

Poems are stark, when
they don’t have notes to hold on-
to, don’t you think?

Lonely little words,
stuck dancing stag, without a
partner to waltz with.

You could say it’s sad,
phrases forced to soldier on.
Heartbreaking, really.

But then again, I
can’t read poetry without
humming in my heart.

Not so solo, then
are they? Supporting instead
a “silent” partner.

Leaves on wind, floating
on an invisible high
they’re singing inside.

Muses

 

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I could look at pictures of you all afternoon or
videos. Maybe it’s
The way you stare at the camera, bare or
even when you look away. You’ve got some kind of smize and

Sinewy arms and
stark tattoos and
dimples beneath beard hair and
time ticks away and still I could
crawl over every millisecond of your exposure.

I keep thinking of Patricia Arquette in
True Romance (you know the movie, with
Christian Slater and
Elvis and
Gary Oldman – I know I never recognize him, either)
and she coos at Clarence,
“You’re so cool. You’re so cool.”

Widow peaks and
combat boots and
knuckles, wrinkled and worn despite your youth and
dirty and beautiful.

And I keep humming Tigers Jaw, that one song that Ben
sings and he coos at me
“It’s a cruel world / but it’s cool” and

You and I I think we think the
same but somehow sometimes things get trapped in the
space in between and it’s like
we talk in different dialects, but still that’s ok –
it’s cool

because you radiate in my world and I can’t explain why but
I think, I don’t know, but I think I don’t know if I could handle more of you.

Sunday Morning

“You are the leaves at my feet.
You are the hum of electric heat.”

Current Jam: “Hum,” Tigers Jaw

I’ve been craving attention. Emotional, yes, but physical too. I’m not even talking about sex, per se (though that would be nice). I’m talking about intimacy. Lying on the couch with an arm slung around me. Someone to come up behind me while I’m poring over whatever, to rub my shoulders and ask how my day went. Watching shitty TV together. I miss those little moments.

So I dunno here’s a poem about mornings and breakfast:

Wake me up gently,
quietly.
Whisper my name with your
fingertips
sliding
leisurely
down
powdered slopes.

Smile into my neck,
make me stretch.
Lengthen my limbs, pull until they
push into yours.

Skate through my hair.
Stare
at that freckle, the one
you love. The one that’s always
flirting with you,
coyly catching your eye,
winking.

Slowly sink,
drink me in.
Make a river out of me.
Make me
rush –
Gush –
Eruptme –

Good morning, my love.
How did you sleep what did you dream?
Tell me as we
come back to earth.

I’ll make us breakfast hot coffee pressed
black just how you like it,
black as that night that snuck past us,
left us unawares, tucked, until the sunny side eggs sizzle up.

What was that?
Oh of course I recall
what you like and how.
Tit for tat, mon deux,
you give to me I’ll give to you.

Clever chaos

Yeah… yeah… that’s it… that’s how I live my life…

I… have to share this story with you, gentle readers. Mainly because it exemplifies the occasional idiocy under which I operate. Ok, here we go:

My buddy Dan’s birthday was coming up. Well, in reality it had already passed, but he went out of town, so we were having a small, belated celebration. Since I only moved here a couple of months ago, I still don’t know my PA friends all that well. I haven’t gleaned the nuances of their personalities yet, at least not enough to feel adequately informed when purchasing them gifts. But this, at least, I knew: men love carrot cake. Practically all men love carrot cake. (I don’t know why, either, but I swear, start a poll amongst your Y-chromosome-bearing buds: it’s uncanny). I knew for a fact that Dan fell into that majority, because I asked him a few weeks back (the topic came up in conversation, and I made a note of his answer). Well, I worked at a European style cafe over the summer, owned by a girlfriend of mine (check it out here; and if you’re ever in Gainesville, Fla, GO TO IT IT’S GREAT!). She happens to have an amazing recipe for carrot cake, so naturally I stole it (for good, not evil! I swear!)

Since all of my jobs happen in the later hours of the day, my circadian rhythm is a few hours later than the typical 9-5-er desk jockey. So I concocted this cake in the wee hours of a Friday morn, trying and failing to refrain from eating a sizeable amount of the batter. As it baked away I danced around my apartment, attempting to work off a massive sugar high. I waited until the next evening to frost it, since Em, Dan, and I were planning to meet up around 8 for scary movies (and cake! Little did Dan know…. mwahaha). I intended to take out the butter and cream cheese to soften while I was at work. Unfortunately and predictably, I forgot, scatterbrained as I dashed out of my house, already 5 minutes late. By the time I returned home I had a few short hours to get everything finished. I had planned to bake a loaf of bread while I was icing away, so I preheated the oven before jumping in the shower, and placed the butter/cream cheese on the stove to shake the fridge chill off. Squeaky clean, I returned to the kitchen, slightly dismayed but not all that surprised: they were still a long ways off from becoming adequately warm. Then, I had what I thought was a Eureka! moment: I decided to place the packages of cheese, with the wrapped sticks of butter on top, on the racks in the pre-heating oven, only for about 30 seconds! I cracked the oven door, silently congratulating myself on a life-hack-well-done…. until I reached to take out the first stick of butter, which swiftly rolled out of its paper and onto the floor of the now 425 degree oven.

I imagine Benny Hill playing on my life soundtrack as I panicked. Despite the idiocy that got me into this predicament, I am mildly proud at my subsequent quick thinking: I grabbed a pair of tongs from my utensil drawer directly adjacent to the stove (look at me, efficiently organizing my kitchen!), and after 3 attempts, removed what was left of the butter blob, slammed the door and turned off the oven, all without igniting the puddle of fat pooled beneath the heating elements. I glanced guiltily at the loaf of raw dough patiently awaiting its tasty metamorphosis. There would be no freshly baked bread tonight. Not without inciting a neighborly riot from the smoke filling my apartment and the caterwauling of my well-meaning detector. As my heart rate slowed, I actually looked around to see if anyone witnessed my slapstick (guys…. guys I live alone). And then I said, aloud, “Ya know? I’m kind of glad no one saw that, because that was pretty embarrassing but… I’m gonna tell that story later, because it was actually pretty funny.”

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I did manage to salvage what was left, and that turned out pretty fuckin’ BOSS, if I do say so myself. *wipes dirt off her shoulder…. then steps ankle deep in a puddle of muddy water.*

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Current Jam: “Quiet Little Voices,” We Were Promised Jetpacks

Coming up for air

….Hi guys.

It’s, ah, it’s been a while. You look good! I know, I know, I never call, I never write. Life’s been busy as shit lately, 95% of it for the right reasons. I’ve been swept up in work and various career-related pursuits. I went to my first museum-related conference, I presented my own research at a conference for the first time, and I’m quickly becoming proficient in setting up and running tents at booze festivals, as well as orchestrating cider sales, drink in hand. It’s very stressful. Constantly thrust into a situation where I don’t innately know how to do something, constantly having to wing it until I get the hang of *insert random task here*… but it’s good. Despite the occasional frustrations, and the wavering confidence in the face of novice-hood, it’s good. All of these instances are like little building blocks, and I’m slowly constructing a valuable skill set. And even though I often feel like an idiot, I’m trying to remind myself that soon, I won’t.

So… obvi the job front has stabilized… I now have 3, count ’em, 3 gigs. The museum is the bulk of my time and energy. Oh how I wish the cold card cashola would rain down as much as the career experience, but thems the breaks. Luckily, living in a small town means (apparently) that word-of-mouth is actually a thing. My director got me in touch with the campus box office, and our education and public outreach guy directed me toward a local cider bar. Much like a Millet-ian gleaner, I’m trying to cobble together enough work to make ends meet, and slowly whittle away at the mountain of debt I’ve incurred since graduate school. The cider bar is a particularly fun extra: I’m back in the food and beverage industry (which I missed!), I get to tend bar, learn about making cider (which I like exponentially more, now), and simultaneously work and enjoy area food and drink festivals. At the last one, I made friends with some like minded punks at three beards brewing, and orchestrated a sale/collaboration with Rusty Rail! BOOM!  L’s is crushin’ it!!

Overall, I’d rather be busy than not, but of course having my hand in so many fires… pots… how does that expression go? No time to Google – soldier on! – can be at least confusing, at worst exhausting.  I’ve always been on the scatterbrained side of the mental organization spectrum. That predilection only intensifies as more balls come into my court (Jeez, I’m all over the place with those spinning phrases today – ha, see what I did there?). Ergo, keeping focus on the task at hand is difficult when half of my attention is trickling onto the next 5 things on my to-do list. Unfortunately, the pitfalls of a short attention span seem to be affecting my writing most of all. Not only do I feel as though I have no time to write, but any time I do carve out, well, case in point: I’m trying to write this post while in the back of my mind I’m considering what to make for dinner, when to go to the gym, the million little projects for the museum, finances, and whether I can swing subleasing my apartment to move in with a buddy to further gain a foothold over the aforementioned monies.

I guess that’s everyone’s life. We’re all constantly being pulled in a million different directions. It bothers me so much, though, because of a seemingly innocuous assumption that strangers make when they meet me and find out what I do:

Person A: *sips cocktail* “So what do you do?”

Me: “Oh I work at an art museum as a curatorial fellow at the moment, I want to be a curator.”

Person A: “Oh, so you’re an artist?”

Me: *ashamed* <– (but why??) “Oh, no, haha. I can’t draw or paint well or anything.”

Person A: ……

Me: *takes big ol’ slurp of cocktail* “I mean, I like to write, that’s my main creative pursuit.”

….Are you pickin up what I’m puttin down? I know that part of that assumption stems from people who don’t have an intricate understanding of what curators do, but it’s still not all that far from the truth. Most curators I’ve met started as visual artists in some form or another, and their careers evolved as such. It makes me feel like a bit of an impostor that I’ve never been very artistically inclined (that gift fell to my sister). That I enjoy writing is not a stretch, either. I like to tell stories, whether I’m crafting a post, surrounded by friends at the bar, or creating an exhibit. I like to verbally explore the nuances of our humanity and how they inform the intricate nature of our relationships to each other. But…. when I don’t feel like I have time to devote my chosen craft, or I can’t maintain my attention to it when I do make the time… well, then can I honestly say that when someone asks? Plus, I take intense pride in whatever it is I choose to do; whatever it is, I want to be good at it. I’m not that a great of a writer at this point, but the only way I’ll improve is to keep plugging… and yet it’s become clear that I’m not determined to keep it a priority… so what does that mean??

I was particularly distressed by that brain train the past few weeks (incidentally, during that giant gap you’ll notice between this post and my previous one). Luckily, my friend group in this town has quite the creative bent, be it visual art, film, acting, music, etc etc. I finally admitted my fraudulent feelings to the University’s resident print-making TA. Thank goodness, she knew exactly what I was talking about! “Think of it like writer’s block,” she said. “Sometimes you have to step away and funnel those creative juices into something else for a little bit. That’s totally normal, don’t worry.” As I pondered her much appreciated words of wisdom, their relevance rang truer and truer. Maybe the writing has taken a backseat, but I’m still creating! I’m learning guitar (finally!), I’m cooking so much more than I have in years (the fruits of my labor to follow soon, perhaps, gentle readers). I’m even crafting a teensy bit, in an effort to live on the cheap as creatively as possible. And, um, DUH – my job, my chosen profession, is about as creative as you can get. I guess that’s a transition I haven’t acclimated to yet, but when I finally realized that, I got kind of excited. My storytelling will most certainly continue, I’ve merely adopted a new medium! Eeek – perhaps, in a way, I am an artist (of sorts)!

Another ego bruise of the interpersonal variety came nipping at the heels of the dip in my professional confidence. The short version is, I snagged attentions from someone who was utterly and hilariously out of my league for a hot minute, there. It had no long term potential, and so pragmatically I knew the situation would run its course. Well, it did. The severance was perfectly amiable, but it was still a form of rejection, if a mild sauce, baby kinda one.

I will always have shaky self-esteem, I think. I’m a real sensitive gal who constantly needs reminding of her worth to the world. So I was a little bummed (Plus, the lower half of my mug looks like it’s eating itself right now; thanks perioral dermatitis, argh. C’mon, Face! You’re not helping!). However, I handled it as I initially intended to handle it. Calmly. While 2012-2014 L’s would have flown off the handle or self-destructively wallowed, 2015 L’s retreated a bit, licked her wound, slapped a band aid on that bitch, and got over it. My emotional sea refused to form a tempest… and that… that was an immense relief.

For the past few years I felt out of control of myself, completely at the mercy of the external world, that harsh mistress, that sadist. But these days? I feel…. I feel normal again. It almost chokes me up when I think about it, because I was so afraid that I would never, ever feel that way again. I thought that’s just how I would be, and I hated myself because of that expectation. I now know from personal experience that self-hatred viciously affects how we handle, well, everything. The negativity becomes cyclical: we hate ourselves, which in turns influences a string of crappy choices, and then we hate ourselves even more when we reflect on those choices. I wish I knew how to break that cycle. I’m not sure what changed for me… I guess I just had to dig through some crazy, and eventually break through to the other side. I don’t miss it, but I don’t think I’d go back and change it, even if I could. All those little things that happen to us build who we are. We’re all just walking parfaits, chock full of sweet and savory, and perhaps some salty, layers.

Anyways, to top off this all-over-the-place post, I finally had a day off yesterday!! I rolled over at noon, jumped out of bed in my birthday suit and shouted, “Today, I am beholden to NO ONE!!” I took a luxuriously long time to leave my apartment. I painted my toes (who cares if they’ll be hidden beneath boots for the foreseeable future!), listened to the latest episode of my new favorite podcast Lore (it’s perfect for a pre-Halloween atmosphere, go listen to it! go now, I’ll wait!), I scoured Target’s clearance rack for lacy underthings (these days I can only justify a purchase of a *new* clothing item if it falls in the underwear category). I found my favorite seasonal brew at Weis, and spent the afternoon in the company of new friends on a sunlit porch.

And now? Here I sit, finally putting in some quality time with you, gentle readers. No, I suppose things aren’t that bad, at all. ❤

Current Jam: “Bad Blood” Ryan Adams cover of T-Swift. I have been listening to this entire album since it came out… had I gotten off my ass and posted something sooner, this wouldn’t seem so behind-the-pulse. Oh well.

Struggles

I really like drinking, guys.

I also like being healthy.

I also like smoking cigarettes.

I also like being able to run a few miles without feeling like my lungs will explode.

….

These interests do not exactly conflate well. Since I moved, I’ve been pretty good… well… I *was* doing… good…. (sorry about that grammatical error but my desire for symmetry prevailed). And then I made friends.

Not that I’m ungrateful.

The group I’ve found has been welcoming and wonderful, and they make me feel as at-home as I could, while still being 5 states removed. They are hilarious, and creative, and delightful, and completely in-step with the kind of people I cherish most. The downside, is that ugly proclivity of mine has raised its head once again, like an unwelcome blemish on my self-control’s carefully curated facade. I spent the bulk of last week socializing, imbibing, and regretting the next morning as I struggled to re-hydrate, a task ultimately futile when you pour that next cocktail less than 24 hours after the last one. It’s a frustrating, constant battle for me, to keep that balance. I’d like to think that everyone has that problem, but somehow I reallllllyyyy don’t think that’s the case. And after 6 straight nights of drinking (my general goal is max 3), you’d think I’d be more than ready for a break. But it’s an enticing routine that is so hard to break once it’s established. At least for me. The first… 1-2 days intended as sober days are… they are more difficult to accomplish than I like to admit. And I know why, but I hate why. It’s because the change in my mood is positive, with alcohol. It always is. I equate it with a good time, however that manifests. Coming off of it, that inevitable drop in mood, is hard to deal with. Even when I recognize the pattern, it’s so hard to break…

Maybe I could chock it up to another “routine” of mine: For every 3 weeks that I’m on “good” behavior, I’ll have 2 weeks where I’m “bad.” These labels are completely self-ascribed and probably a little harsh, but I can’t seem to keep a lid on my discipline. It’s like an unruly teenager hellbent on getting laid in a 10-year old Honda Civic. Ugh. GOD. Case in point: last night. I couldn’t sleep, my insomnia most likely an aftereffect of a week’s worth of fermentation sliding through my system. I could have worked on my first ever conference presentation, I could have cleaned my shower, I could have finished this fucking blog post. What did I do instead? Said “FUCK IT,” took a bunch of shots of vodka and furiously danced around my apartment to Less Than Jake, growing more homesick with each passing Gainesvillian lyric, until I collapsed, finally spent. I awoke this morning, not with a hangover, but a head-bang-over… because once again my tolerance is creepin’ on up there, as my distending liver swells my omnipresent lil’ gut.

My friends back home used to joke that my catch phrase should be “don’t worry about it,” accompanied by a mischievous grin. I guess it’s still relevant though, since my friends here have finally discovered that I… I am the worst/best/worst again influence you will ever have. I’m almost thirty goddamn years old, and yet I still make the worst decisions sometimes. Jebus… at what point do you accept certain aspects of your personality, instead of vainly tilting at windmills, Don Quixote style?

Current Jam: “Overrated – Everything is” LTJ (classic rock is soooo outdated; though, in truth, I’ll *never* consider sex to be “overrated”)

And this…. because we’re allll just tryin’ to turn hard work into chicken nuggets, amiright?