Welcome To My Bed

Public projects and secret dreams.


College is drawing to a close more rapidly than I was prepared for, so much so that I now have in my hands the rough draft of my novel with marginalia (read: my wonderful advisor's sometimes-illegible scribblings to push everything a little closer to literary greatness). I purposely took a picture where you could see none of the writing, not even the title, because the only person in the world besides myself who's read the thing in its entirety is the aforementioned advisor. If I am a public poet (which I am, let's be honest), then I am the most private of novelists. Since the story was re-imagined into its current incarnation, Nell has been the only one to read it. Before, I'd read bits and pieces to Cassandra, post others to the tumblr I made for the project as they moved out of my head and through their drafts. But the past month or so, this shit's been on absolute lockdown. It feels like I'm trying to harness nuclear power or take over the free world, which is silly, considering how small and generally quiet the story is. That pink binder is the last four years of my life. That blows my mind every time I think about it. I've been practically living in my Ouija board t-shirt because I like to put myself in the divination state of mind for all this jazz of writing about hungry ghosts and psychic energy. (I'll post an excerpt once things have moved through two or so more drafts when, perhaps, this will will all make more sense.)

ANYWAY. During our meeting yesterday afternoon, Nell made me cold coffee with cream and Lebanese sugar cubes and asked me about my plans post-December. There is obviously the tour to look forward to, but beyond that I've been nursing a bit of ambivalence about a very quiet, secret dream of mine. Lately, I've been telling it to a few just to test the waters, and the response has been puzzled, but generally positive. So I just came right out and told her. When I'm done with college, I want to go to cosmetology school. It may seem backwards to get a bachelor's in literature and creative writing and then jump ship from the academy to attend trade school, but as I told my advisor, I think that any more study of books and the like at this point in time might kill me. And, contrary to the response I imagined, she was overjoyed for me, even launched into a story about how she'd always wanted to be a plumber and often wondered what her life would be like if she was the caretaker of a house's innards. It is beyond comforting when your mentor not only validates your odd needs, but admits to a crop of the same feelings herself.

So it's settled. Finish the book, tour the coast, open the door for the next chapter of my life. One made of the cotton candy hair and silver rollers and diner songs of every middle school sleepover I ever had. I'm beginning to think that Grease has had a lot more to do with my development as a human being than anyone could have anticipated. But then, that's another post entirely.


Sourcing shrapnel.

My favorite song of the past few days (to be sung along to, LOUDLY, while dancing in the shower, or the kitchen, or the car, or anywhere really):

I think that settles the fact that I need to own a fringe dress as soon as possible. For New Years this year. And then every day.

And then there's this gem, which I found while procrastinating the other day and then subsequently fell out of my chair laughing. I dedicate it to my sisters. And Cass. Cos she hates this song with a fiery passion.

Speaking of procrastination--I somehow managed to turn in both pieces of my final on time, despite going to Boston for Cantab and getting riotously sauced and sleeping maybe three hours in total. My advisor congratulated me this afternoon in our meeting, then asked me if everything was alright. I guess I looked a little drawn. Behind my eyes, there was a waking dream of the night before--so so much booze, Fame playing on the wall of one of the bars we went to, burlesque night hosted by a Nick Cave wannabe in a velvet suit, and my Thriller shoes getting their curse broken. Right now, after a seven hour nap, I feel a lot more like this:


Or this:


Or this:


And as my own semi-private happy dance, I named the poetry manuscript after a line of Plath. I am just a big ol' nerd.

A big ol' nerd graduating college in a month. Shit is REAL. I feel really weird about it. But we can talk about all that later. For now, check the new tour dates! Soon I'll be on the road, my favorite of all places. This is apparently what it looks like to live the dream. Who's got the champagne?


Magic morsel #43, Manic monday.

I have two manuscripts due this Thursday. Welcome to crunch time. My bed has turned into an odd headquarters of sorts--I sleep next to/under/spooning legal pads, six or seven fat stapled drafts of both poems and the novel, three or four jackets, a basket of my clean (and yet to be put away) laundry, my shark, various magazines, books, and at least seven hats. I ate ice cream for breakfast yesterday. I fell asleep at roughly nine PM and slept straight on and off until about seven this morning. My body and mind will not meet me halfway on this.

At least the Bangles know how I feel.


+ I spent the better part of today flexing my secretarial muscles. My former advisor has hired me as something of an administrative assistant. It surprises me how much delight I take in hunting down and organizing alumni contact information. The list, now divided by decade of graduation and then alphabetized, is for possible panel members for a discussion entitled "Beyond the Disciplines: The Continuing Value of A (Hampshire) Humanities Education". (I am such a nerd.)

+ One of my co-workers called earlier, asking to pick up a shift, so for the first time since acquiring my new job, I decided it was time to give myself a three-day chunk of time off. Things have been a bit hellish lately (that flu, my car battery acting wonky, paperwork mis-filing and whatnot), and I am thoroughly looking forward to a day in bed with my mountain of books.

+ Speaking of books, I just devoured Karen Finneyfrock's Ceremony for the Choking Ghost. Even though I am failing miserably at my resolution to read a book every two weeks, I have been taking more initiative with my reading life. I'm probably not helping matters by reading at least six or seven books at one time, but I like it when they overlap. Some of the references in Karen's poetry collection are calling up images from Nights at the Circus, and just this afternoon bell hooks literally shouted out a passage from Bitch. I want to high-five someone at every instance of intertexuality. (Again, I am such a nerd.)

+ Involving the internet in my thesis was the best choice I could have made. Blogging counts as homework now? Hell yes.

Magic morsel #9.


This is how I like to think of mine and Cass's room. It isn't nearly as majestic, but our bank of windows does offer a halfway decent view.

Posting here is going to slow down (if it hasn't already). Work is spilling past its boundaries, and I have a stack of library books that's taller than I am. In the meantime, I made a place to keep a kind of juxtaposition journal for my thesis. Even without as much content here as I'd like, I'll be doing my homework here.

Honeysuckle, she's full of poison.

all I wanna do is play rock n roll house with you

My Amazon order list includes the complete Patti Smith from 1975-2006, and Courtney Love's diaries (found in hardcover for $0.51). My library order list is a minefield of Russian history (especially the Romanovs and the seige of Leningrad...don't ask at the moment, it will make sense later) and new feminism, with a dash of modern novel and image-heavy poems for good measure. My thesis is in absolute full swing. I cannot sleep past eight in the morning lately, and while I'd like to blame the nightmares, I know that it is more because I want to be awake and reading every second. Case in point: I bring you a nice chunky sentence from Elizabeth Wurtzel's Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women.

"I think, quite frankly, that the world does not care for the complicated girls, the ones who seem too dark, too deep, too vibrant, too opinionated, the ones who are so intriguing that new men fall in love with them every day, at every meal where there's a waiter, in every taxi and on every train they board, in any instance where someone can get to know them just a little bit, just enough to get completely gone. But most men in the end don't quite have the stomach for that much person."

AMEN, Lizzy. Amen. Now, I may have serious problems with how this book is defending itself, but that passage there just about sums up my existence with a neat and tidy plastic barrette bow. I could blame just about any of my relationship failings on being "too much" for my significant other, and I would absolutely not be wrong.

I have half a mind to send this quote to Sean as proof towards his theory about me being the crazy girl you date to learn things from, the girl you dump for some bland other person who you'll be happy with because of all that you've learned from my being difficult to handle.

I don't know how much I agree with EW or SPC, but there is definitely an argument to be made.

Amanda Palmer's voice is mildly disagreeable to The Buns.


In lieu of chilling with this adorable guy all day (and we all know what a cutefest THAT would be), I am doing something I have not done since high school. I am going to a Starbucks to write. I know, I know, terrible. But there are only chain coffee shops in suburbia. Today I must

+ deposit this week's spoils at the bank
+ restock the house with grilled cheese supplies
+ write a seven page Serenity story with a secret
+ collect my yoga mat, my husband pillow, and various books
+ drive back to the cave/treehouse

Did I mention that I made a cave within what Cass and I refer to as our treehouse? It is made of furniture, so it's not a proper cave, but it is the perfect enclosed space to crawl into and cook up wacky ideas for my thesis. I will get around to posting about it soon, most likely sometime after I post about dinner in Worcester, which at this point took place over a week ago. But I promise you, it was wonderful. And you will know all about it as soon as I see fit to tell you. As a preview, there were plush rhinos, five courses, and sore abs from laughing. My kind of night.

*from now on, anytime I refer to Serenity, I am talking about the story cycle that is the main part of my thesis project
**I may abhor Starbucks enough to go to the one indie coffee shop I know of around here, known as Cool Beans, and thus abhorrent in an entirely different set of ways.
***I can't believe my little sister texted me from class at Ramapo to make sure we had sufficient cheese for her purposes. I mean, it's not like she's ME or something.

Magic morsel #3.

I'm trying to do a bit of research on sex work, mostly on the performance field of business, for my thesis (it will all make sense once its finished, but for now, its a bit hard to explain). A while ago, my cousin suggested I pick up a copy of I Am Not Myself These Days, which is a memoir by Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a drag queen who gets romantically entangled with a male escort. Besides the author being both snarky and incisive about absolutely everything, Kilmer-Purcell really has a way with pacing. In one of my favorite scenes thus far, he describes the process of sobering up in the middle of an afternoon advertising meeting and grasping around the corners of his formerly blacked out mind for what he was supposed to be pitching to the execs--every excruciating half-detail and hazy movement from the night before is spot on.

And the cover has a goldfish.


But most importantly, Booklist says, "Again and again in this rich, adventure-filled book, Kilmer-Purcell illustrates the truth of Blake's proverb, 'The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.'"

Who knew a Harper Perennial paperback was the kind of place they throw around proverbs and weighty names? "Not I," said the frog.

Anyway, I'm loving this book. And I'm definitely including it in my thesis research bibliography. Contempt of the academy be damned!