Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Jobless 20somethinger, man, obsessed with watching the goings-on through the windows of a hospital opposite the apartment where he lives in a mid-sized town. Rarely if ever leaves home. Has binoculars for zoom view. Living vicariously? or suffering vicariously? Big smoker, thanks to his roomate who comes and goes providing groceries, criticism and packs of Marlboro Reds. Not a computer dude.
Woman, psychic but in denial that being psychic is possible. Late thirties, scientist specializing in genetics, well off. Often required to go to "functions" and to kiss up to potential grant providers or pharmaceutical companies who fund her and her lab's work. Likes to dress up for these, hates the socializing. Lives with longterm boyfriend who makes good living, he likes his independence and that she is independent though both want kids now. One night, at a cocktail party to launch a new partnership with Pfischer, an old woman comes up through the milling crowd and grabs her arm, staring deep into her eyes. She has a long flash of herself about to be robbed by that same woman. When the old lady lets go and quickly snatches the purse of our scientist and charges for the elevator, our scientist is stunned immobile by what she imagined now happening. As the momentary daze wears off, she chases after the old lady who turns, hands her her bag, and says "You need to know what you are capable of". Our scientist snatches her purse back and turns to return to the party, only mumbling shakily, "a fluke, that was."
Lesbian on the cusp of thirty, this woman has always appeared very rational, and still does, but inside she has a wild, imaginary life where she believes strongly that she is being watched 24/7, and therefore behaves in little ways, especially when totally alone, as if on camera. When she meets new people she often suspects they are part of the plot to learn more about her, so is evasive when asked questions or makes things up. But now, she is falling in love with a total stranger who is equally opaque when it comes to discussing her past or job. As things progress, will the inner life of our main charater begin to seep through the fissures of the outer one, especially as she grows more desperate to know her new partner?
Man, bald except for tufts of soft white hair not unlike bat-wings flopping over his ears, early 60s, a widower, comes home to his small house in the suburbs to find it has burnt down. Puzzled as to why no one called him about it, especially since he has lived in this neighborhood for over 30 years, he stands there for awhile. No one comes out of their house to see whether they can offer him comfort or an explanation. Perplexed, he goes to a local cafe where he borrows the laptop of another client to email his two children (who are now grown and living with their own families on opposite sides of the country). He announces that he has decided to take early retirement from his well-paid accountant job and head out on a trip.
Math whizzes, these two high school juniors, boy and girl, not a couple, decide they want to do a summer internship with the FBI. They think, after all, it is a riot that the FBI even has such a program. However, FBI internships aren't available for people their age. So, their first step must be to fake i.d.s thoroughly enough to even get their applications through the door. Both are generally not political, but love puzzles, and finding out what really goes on in the FBI and whether the system is as full of holes as they think it is, is the adventure they figure will get them away from the dull, smalltown community they have been living in and prepare them for writing the coolest MIT entrance essays ever, guaranteeing them a spot.
Monday, January 19, 2009
To read the article, go to the January 19th post entitled "ArtSeen III: Julie LeGrand", at http://www.eyepreferparis.com/ Direct Link:
Previous ArtSeen Articles:
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
"Bringing together penetrating conversations between poets of different generations as they explore process and poetics, poetry’s influence on other art forms, and the political and social aspects of their work, 12 × 12 restores poesis to the center of poetry. Christina Mengert and Joshua Marie Wilkinson have assembled an expansive and searching view of the world through the eyes of twenty-four of our most vital and engaging poets. Punctuated by poems from each contributor, 12 × 12 brings together an unparalleled range of poets and poetries, men and women from around the world, working poets for whom the form vitally matters."--Univ of IA Press website
A few years back I was honored to receive an email from two poets I did not yet know, Christina Mengert and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. They invited me to participate in an anthology, which would include my poems but also a creative "conversation" I would arrange between myself and someone I considered a mentor. I thought of many people, but in the end selected Laura Mullen, my MFA director from CSU, and someone whose work I admired and continue to follow as it expands to explore increasingly exciting ways of using language (see my review of her most recent mindblowing book from FuturePoem Books, Murmur, in How2journal).
Laura and I entered into a back and forth email conversation about conversing on poetry. Questions, quotations and thought processes emerged, and eventually we ended up with the collaborative text where we speak to each other on the page that is now being collected into 12x12.
More exciting even than seeing the poems in this collection will be to hear what others think of this dialogue, and to read the conversations of the other poets who were invited to participate.
Contributors to 12x12
Jennifer K. Dick–Laura Mullen
Jon Woodward–Rae Armantrout
Sabrina Orah Mark–Claudia Rankine
Christian Hawkey–Tomaž Šalamun
Christian Hume–Rosmarie Waldrop
Srikanth Reddy–Mark Levine
Karen Volkman–Allen Grossman
Paul Fattaruso–Dara Wier
Mark Yakich–Mary Leader
Michelle Robinson–Paul Auster
Sawako Nakayasu–Carla Harryman
Ben Lerner–Aaron Kunin
Friday, January 09, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
Now, after a few days inside, I head back out into the world, off to meet friends (Cole & Anthony) for drinks before they do the reverse trek back to Iowa and DC, then more friends (Marielle and two people she has not seen for a few years, Ralph and Sabine, a German and Frenchwoman living in London) for more drinks (the season of vin chaud) before heading to a Southern Chinese restaurant for affordable spicy dishes of all sorts with Marielle. But the highlight of the evening is seeing the film about Agnès Varda, Les Plages Varda--a docu-autobiography of this filmaker and photographer that many have come to love.
To end, a second image of Iowa in the snow, both by Samuel Calvin collected in the Calvin Collection at the University of Iowa. This one, from Feb 1896. Iowa City still looks the same in snow.