Sunday, December 30, 2007

before the revolution

today was such a weird day. there were so many more crazy people than usual at work...thankfully, a few of them were insane in a good way. like this one woman i was helping at the cutting counter. she acted like she knew me—like i was her best friend and she hadn’t seen me in months. which freaked me out, mostly because a lot of my parents friends shop where i work and they recognize me but i don’t recognize them, and then i feel awful about it—and she looked like she was about their age, mid-fifties-ish. but i’m almost certain i’ve never seen this woman before. anyway, at some point i said something that was not even marginally funny and she laughed, and was like “ooooh, emily.” umm, crazyperson? i complimented her on this really awesome coat she was wearing, and she flipped out about it, then ran over and told her husband “emily likes my coat!” i’m pretty sure she was not actually on any drugs, but i could be wrong. she didn’t bother me at all, though—i would so much rather deal with people who are crazy in an overly-friendly sort of way than the entitled, irrational, ignorant psychos i deal with regularly.

i’ve changed so much since i started working…i never used to be quite this negative about my own species. a few days before christmas i was walking from my car to the store and the parking lot was extremely full, there were people piling huge mounds of shit into their cars, and i felt so completely revolted. disgusted and pissed off and just generally horrible. what the hell is wrong with us? i don’t exempt myself from this at all, i’m definitely part of the problem. the whole everything is fucking fucked, and i’m too angry to even try to be articulate about it.

how do we change all this? i don’t know what to do. i’ve tried being an activist—i used to do protests and demos and all kinds of things when i was in high school, in my idealist days, but i’m sure it never did any good. occasionally i would encourage one of my friends to not eat meat anymore, and it would last a month or so, and then i would find fast food paraphernalia in their car, and that would be that. when will i accept that the only behavior i can change is my own? should i accept that?

i’ve basically thought myself into an aggravated stupor at this point. very few of these thoughts have actually translated themselves into words, which is how i know i should stop writing. the following passages were written by the slingshot collective, and they give me hope.

we need to figure out why so many folks assume that centralized control by the few over the many, permanent poverty and inequality, structural violence and war, intolerance, ugly, soulless cities, and environmental destruction for every human function are ‘normal.’

daily living forces everyone to make constant decisions: to decide whether you’ll compromise and conform with ‘the way things are’ or do your best to live what’s in your heart and your imagination. those individual daily decisions eventually add up to your lifetime. each decision seems minor—each compromise and conformity can get rationalized as ‘necessary’ ‘realistic’ or ‘inevitable.’ but if you imagine a different world—a world with cooperation, sharing, equitable distribution of resources and sustainable environmental choices—why do you think that some moment in the future will be the right moment to start living according to your vision? …if you think about it, there never will be a moment when it is more ‘convenient,’ ‘acceptable’ or ‘appropriate’ to begin living in a different way. it will always be deviant, an extra bother and an isolated act in a world that goes on in the old ways.

from “tips for modern simplicity”:

here are some tips about how to minimize our entanglement in the industrial capitalist machine that is destroying the environment and enslaving people across the globe. it is true that lifestylism—spending most of one’s energy changing your own individual behavior rather than working to smash the system—is not the solution for complex social problems like capitalism and industrialism. however, it is equally true that it isn’t good enough to say ‘i’ll change my individual behavior after the revolution.’ if we’re all waiting for everyone else to change first, or for some great movement to tell us it’s time to change, we’re missing the point. change happens on all kinds of levels in complex ways. revolution means change on a structural, mass level—in ways far outside of our isolated, individual hands—and it also means millions of individual people simultaneously changing their own lives and behaviors in private, invisible ways. participating in movements for change is crucial to change the structural, mass level, but our daily life choices are important too and are solely up to us.

that’s why a lot of us are switching teams—devoting our life energy to non-hierarchical alternatives to the system and avoiding participation in the heavy resource consumption mainstream economy every chance we get. in figuring out how to live more simply, it is often useful to ask ‘how did people live 100 years ago’ and/or ‘how do people live in places that haven’t yet been industrialized?’ living simply focuses on quality of life, not standard of living. we’ve found that by learning how to live simply and farther outside the system, our lives are full of richness, excitement, creativity and fun.


Friday, December 28, 2007

in praise of pencil marginalia

putting my copy of the maximus poems up for sale on half.com felt so glorious. i went through and erased my little enraged pencil markings, and i came across this one quote that i starred, from page 240:

(her hemispheres
loomed above me,
I went to work
like the horns of a snail

i love it. someone really, seriously should erasure (or just edit the hell out of) that book. if it was taken down from 635 pages to about 15 it would be pretty kick ass.

in addition to listing a ton of books for sale, i ordered even more; i need 17 books for next semester. it’s better than last semester, when i needed almost 30, but still...damn. half.com allowed me to get about $400 worth of books for less than $75, including shipping. there was a $118.75 psychology book that i got for $1.20 (2nd edition rather than 3rd, but it’s only 2 years older, and fuck new editions anyway), and a $49.50 (used price!) book that i ordered for $1.71. the bsu bookstore is such an incredible rip-off.

charlotte bronte’s jane eyre is required for one of my classes, and i just recently picked up a sweet hardcover copy of that book from a thrift store. i knew it was old when i found it, but i didn’t know how old…turns out it was printed in the mid-1800’s. when i bought it i intended to gut it and make a craft project of it. probably better to leave it intact, because i reckon it might be worth more than the five bucks i paid for it. i’m really not looking forward to reading the book, though. it sounds absolutely miserable.

and kisses for the lasses


i got back from mccall yesterday, where i spent most of my time curled up in a giant papasan chair, reading the books i got for christmas and trying to write a bit of poetry. there was also much taking of pictures. i’ll probably make a second post about all the marvelous things i’ve read lately, because right now i want to focus on photos.

during the summer i’m all about close-up photography, really connecting and sometimes interacting with the subject. but during the winter it’s much more detached, resulting in a lot of landscape shots, which i don’t really like…it just seems like anyone can take landscape photos, there’s not much challenge to it, and the result is not nearly as interesting. recently i started cropping landscapes to non-standard, panorama-type sizes. the aspect ratios turn out completely different on all of them, so they look funky next to each other, but it's fun and liberating not to have to fit in to the usual 2:3, 5:7 or 4:5, or any pre-set standard.

i walked down to payette lake…it’s not far, our cabin is just across the bridge and down the street from the little tourist lake-area, but it was a bit of an ordeal walking along the highway with all that snow. it reminded me of the time i rode my bike to the mccall thrift store and got caught in a huge rain storm, without any rain-protection and no fenders on my bike. just about everyone i passed was staring at me, and they probably thought i was insane because i was completely drenched, muddy, freezing, with mascara running down my cheeks, and laughing my fucking head off the entire way. i couldn’t get over the hilarity of the situation, despite the discomfort of it.

three snow-covered cars, belonging to our nearest neighbors, whom my parents refer to as “the bumpuses.” they typically have about 5-10 broken-down cars in their yard, along with a lot of other crap that makes their property look really goddamn classy.

this is one of the wee little out-buildings on my parents property. the previous owners said a writer lived there for a while. i can’t imagine living in that tiny room…it has electricity, but no heat or gas or running water—imagine roughing it like that, especially when there’s two feet of snow on the ground! i really wonder what that person was writing about. in my imagination, s/he was writing on an old typewriter, by the light of an old gas lamp, with a cot in the corner and a little wash basin. it’s kind of a cool romantic thing to think about.

the snow was well over andy’s head, but still he plowed through it, with his tiny little munchkin-dog legs, wearing his new christmas “spa robe;” he blazed trails all throughout the back yard, and lucifer tripoded along behind.

on the night of christmas eve i ventured out and took some pictures of all the lights, and the full(?) moon. 1600 ISO works wonders. i was even able to write messages in the snow and take pictures of them using the cabin’s outside lights as the only light source.

i took a lot of pictures out the window on the ride home. i loved how these cows were lined up on the very top of a hill, so symmetrically; also the backlighting made for a neat effect.

the drive back was mostly clear, but there was a short snowstorm at one point…luckily it cleared up just before we hit the curvy/dangerous part of the highway.

the view of horseshoe bend, from highway 55.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

phyllis the amaryllis, IV

my grandma gives me an amaryllis bulb every year. it's nice to have a colorful, living, tropical-looking flower to take pictures of during the winter.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

vibrations free of charge ! for an exciting game !

i had an exceptionally fruitful thrifting expedition today. i scored such finds as: vintage teddy ruxpin doll for $2.50; tron, the storybook (from the movie); a small ceramic owl teapot with two matching owl teacups; reader’s digest complete guide to sewing; and a coffee mug with a 1980’s-looking porno shot of a woman, naked and spread-eagle on satin sheets, over which someone very tastefully drew a bra and not enough underwear to cover a bush that puts peaches to shame.

among the gems passed up: a figurine of santa clause, holding the severed head of what one presumes was an impostor santa; an LP of “alice in wonderland” starring magilla gorilla; “my very own Hanukkah box;” a hideous yellow fondue set; a pair of astronaut boots; and a handmade christmas-decoration dog-like torso-structure made out of braided yarn, with front legs coming out of its chin. you might wonder how i could walk away from these treasures, but what use would i have for another yarn-dog-torso? i’d just be adding it to the pile.

i also witnessed some pretty amazing parenting at a fast food restaurant. first, i walk into the bathroom and there’s an unsupervised half-naked kid running around, so i walk right out, cuz i have an enthusiastic aversion to children. fifteen minutes later the mom shows up, having accidentally driven away without her two kids; so she collects them and leaves. i figure i’m safe, so i go in the bathroom, and then this other mom with another kid runs in—he’s just pissed his pants, and she strips him, makes him lie down on the disgusting bathroom floor while she changes and chastises him. i had to carefully step around them to get out the door. it’s not often i feel pity for young humans, but this was one of those times.

it’s weird being released from the stress of school. today was the first day in a long time that i had all to myself, without having to worry about homework. i don’t know if i had a single day like that all semester. i work tomorrow but on sunday it’s off to my parents’ cabin in mccall for christ-mess. it gets pretty boring up there, for someone who doesn’t do any winter sports; but there are beautiful photo opportunities, lots of knitting by the wood stove, and i’ll have time to read for pleasure. that is a fucking foreign concept.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

wowfx.dll, i will smash your face

viruses…trojans…malware…goodness, my computer was so profoundly infected. and it still is. this one nasty little rat-shit piece of bastard will not go away. but at least i can actually use my computer again, for the first time in a week…for as long as it lasts. why can’t everything just work the way it’s supposed to all the time? that should be a rule…at least during finals week, for fucks sake.

i think i’m going to continue my blog, because surprisingly the novelty hasn’t worn off yet. it feels like it’s about to…but i think maybe it will be a good motivator for me, to keep me writing. so we’ll see.

maybe i’ll turn it into a dream journal, at least in part. i love keeping dream journals; they make such awesome fuel for poetry later on. i had a horrifying nightmare about vivisection the other night…there was a monkey hooked up to this machine, with a chord going into its brain that made so the monkey never had to eat or sleep or anything, all it could do was stay awake and feel pain. the machine simulated car crashes, over and over again, never stopping. in the dream it brought me to my knees and i was sobbing, then i started gagging and woke up and cried some more. i wanted to write a poem about it, but i can never manage to write poetry about things like that…i can’t get past the feeling that i’m exploiting someone else’s pain, no matter how genuinely i feel about it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

bug powder and mugwump jism

i just learned that in anatomy, the word “helix” refers to the “folded rim of skin and cartilage around most of the outer ear.”

today something completely unprecedented happened. i finished putting together all of my chapbooks—!two! !days! before they are due. under normal conditions i would just be wrapping them up about half an hour before class, but as luck would have it this weekend i used them as a vehicle for procrastination (chapbook > lit paper, always). they turned out pretty sweet, i think. they better have…i spent approximately 14 hours making them. almost an hour per copy. (i made extras).

i also finished my gertrude stein response poem already, in time to put it in the chapbook. i typed it on an antique typewriter and left in all the ridiculous typos when i transferred it to my computer. originally it was my intention to type all of my chapbook poems on this typewriter, but i had no idea how outrageously difficult and slow and error-ful the typing would be. it’s such an awesome machine, though. and using it makes me feel like i’m in the movie adaptation of naked lunch, writing on one of those talking typewriter-insects.

my place of employment got radio headsets this week. they are way too much fun. i decided we need a warning code for when sue (the devil incarnate, who is ironically a fundamentalist christian) comes in to shop. but if we had such an alert system we would all just scatter, and she wouldn’t be able to catch anyone to measure her fabric. except maybe the new girls who haven’t met her wrath. and that would be very sad for them.

speaking of evil personified, my family decorated our little xmas faux-tree today, and this petite monstrosity fell out of the bag of tree decorations. i made it a long, long time ago—though not long enough to excuse the full horror of this cycloptic baby jesus-effigy. its skin is made of hosiery, and its mouth is part of a rubber band. oddly enough, it fits in with the other tree decorations. my family is really weird.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

jack spicer's olson response poem

A Postscript for Charles Olson

If nothing happens it is possible
To make things happen.
Human history shows this
And an ape
Is likely (presently) to be an angel.
If you dream anything
You are marked
With a blue tattoo on your arm.
Rx: Methadrine
To be taken at 52 miles an hour.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

glowsticks and lollipops

tonight i got out of class just as the basketball fans were leaving. it’s never pleasant for me to walk in a crowd—especially a crowd of sports fans leaving a game—but tonight it was oddly enjoyable, even despite the vile children running about. the weather was so mild, and i smelled all these scents in the air that don’t usually occur all at the same time here: ice cream, cigarettes, chlorine and french fries. it reminded me of a beach i used to go to, walking on the boardwalk by the ocean late at night. the only smells missing were salt water taffy and seaspray.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

our tassels tied together

there’s a bar on federal way that a few of my coworker friends and i visit once in a while. it’s called the TK, but we call it “the shifty bar.” our little store rests between a truck stop and this lovely trucker bar. drunken truckers wander through our parking lot on their travels between the two, and sometimes the music from their zz-top-resembling, jimmy buffet-covering house band seeps through our walls. i don’t do bars so much, but i’ll make an exception for the shifty bar.

i decided a couple days ago that if the TK was an inn, it would be the cabana inn on main street. i have no words to express my feelings for this inn. partly because it’s about 4am and i’m very tired, and i can hardly type, much less think. but also because the cabana’s splendor is unwordable.

i also have a lot of affection for a certain parking lot elevator. there is happiness in winter, even when it seems like just about everything is dead.

the last few days have been exactly what i needed to escape my school funk. hopefully it has the sense to stay escaped.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

villains

i think i’m a cursed vegan. all my favorite treat-foods get discontinued—first morningstar farms “tuno,” then fantastic foods “tofu scramble” (which was actually more of a staple than a treat food for me)…and now UNTURKEY. the delicious faux-meat i look forward to all year is no more; now & zen (makers of the unturkey) disappeared—took down their website, no notice, no apologies, no nothing.

unturkey was the greatest faux-meat ever made. the crispy “skin” made of yuba, the delightful stuffing and mouthwatering gravy, the very meat-like taste and texture of the unbird—it was unbeatable. and for those of us who haven’t tasted meat in almost six years but still crave it like mad, it was an annual maintenance dose.

i’m not alone in suffering this great loss—there’s a group of angry veggies who have started unturkey.org, a ranty blog with recipes for unturkey from the cookbook of the woman who started now & zen. as they so aptly stated on their site, “you just don’t fuck with people’s holiday traditions.” you certainly don’t. there is an unturkey movement afoot, i can feel it.

the recipe for unturkey is really intense, and i don’t think i have the skills or equipment required. it’s actually five separate recipes. the one for the “great gluten turkey” takes 10 pounds of whole wheat flour and 14 cups of water—where would i even find a bowl big enough to mix all that? and i’d have to buy one of those hugenormous whisks like the cool cooks use. granted it would be pretty badass to own one of those, but then i’d have to buy a big white hat, and grow a snidely whiplash moustache, and start talking like swedish chef from the muppets…it’s a slippery slope, and potentially far too much commitment.

the unturkey would be less awesome without its yuba skin, so i’d probably have to go to an asian market to get that. i’m afraid of asian markets. the only one i’ve ever been to smelled like a hamster cage and there were dead things everywhere. enough to turn me off of asian markets permanently.

i got an email from peta announcing a new faux-turkey that sounds rather delicious, but whole foods is the only place that carries it. tofurkey is easily available but not even an option—it’s like gnawing on rubber. it’s hard to say why i’m even putting this much effort into a dinner that only i am going to eat, to celebrate a holiday i don’t recognize, to carry on a tradition i detest. must be some combination of conditioning, consumerism and masochism. some irresistible, scrumptious combination. mmm…patriotism…

Sunday, November 11, 2007

you're brakeing up ("is seriousness an artifice?")

it is fun times scrolling through the t9 dictionary on my phone. it takes all the words i send in text messages that the phone’s dictionary doesn’t recognize and stores them for a while. so i typed out a list of them, in order of appearance, then took out a few, combined multiple phrases into single lines, added space breaks, etc…but i never messed with the order. and i think the result is pretty neat-o:

bamboodist aargh birdie bitch
collaborate…fun anniversary…maybe
bowie brody
asshole bullshit bumblebee cunt
but…probably cutest
away…anyway
aww…kitten…just
decapitated foods…send enslin fruity
fucking 4.3
g’night
haha halloween
he’s
get-up
goddamn

it’s
guacamole
hugenormous
guy’s kalimba
lemme li’l liby’s low-pitched
mantis

maybe…i
nevermind

nighty nikki ninja
ooh
oogly
mmm
oooh
motherfucking
mucus

7? sacs
scariest panda sammich
sara’s seahorse seasoning…ymmm

regurgitating selflessness
semester…i sexing shiftiest shifty shit
similar…the
pissing skanks snatchers
smell…perhaps
someday…we
sorry…i
soulmates
psh

stardust puke punkin
taco tattooed terms…i
though
unhatched
we’re
wearable

whew
ymmm

it would seem that cell phone dictionaries do not come equipped with sufficient vulgarities. my favorites are “asshole bullshit bumblebee cunt,” the “nighty nikki ninja” stanza, “regurgitating selflessness,” and “though/unhatched/we’re/wearable.” it’s kind of like magnetic poetry, but the words are mine. i like it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

godzilla spider

i don’t know what kind of spider this is, but i’ve been running into them quite a bit lately. they’re the strongest spiders i’ve ever encountered, and their eyes look like godzilla’s. also, they have an odd way of defending themselves that’s pretty unusual for a spider. normally, in my experience, roaming spiders (as opposed to web-spinning spiders…i’m sure there are more scientific names for these categories) will back off, hide or run/jump away if you threaten them. but these guys totally stand their ground; they don’t move an inch, no matter how close you get or how much opportunity they have to move away. if you move an object too close to them they’ll grab on to it, with their immensely strong legs, and bite.

there’s one of these living in my bathroom right now, only about 1/3 the size of the one pictured above. it’s sort of become a little friend. i always see her—sometimes she’s on the wall, or the door, or the ceiling, or the floor; never observably moving but always in a different place—and for the last two nights i’ve been trying to hand-feed her. lucky for godzilla there have been a lot of mosquitoes inside the house lately, and i don’t feel too guilty about killing them if i know they’re going to be eaten by a cute little spitty spider. so tonight i successfully hand-fed ‘zilla a nice juicy mosquito. last night she dropped the one i gave her, but tonight she held on to it, and last time i checked was still sucking on it. so awesome.

an awful picture, but here she is in all her mosquito-devouring glory:


Sunday, November 4, 2007

freak alley gallery = pageless poetry?

there are so many different ways to approach the “pageless poem” task, it’s kinda been blowing my mind since it was assigned. i don’t even know if i should be writing on here about this, so i’ll watch my step a little…i probably don’t even need to mention the sort of questions that i’ve been thinking about, as to what constitutes pagelessness, because we’re probably all on the same (non-)page already, in that general sense. but then it also makes you wonder, what constitutes a poem? what a fucked-up question to think about. i mean, say i was to screen-print words onto fabric, or knit words into a scarf, or something like that—any kind of material can be considered a “page” when it has poetry on it. so if words have the power to transform any material into a “page,” how then can a poem exist without one? unless it was simply an audio recording or recitation of a poem, but that’s besides the point. or it’s a different point. anyway, i’m distracting myself from the point i was going for: can there be poetry without words?

i think there can be. part of me even thinks it’s a ridiculous question, because of course there can be—but still, i have reservations. and besides, i’m taking this on a very literal and physical level, and try as i might i can’t quite escape the box at this time, for whatever reason. maybe the box is interesting enough. at any rate, it’s all much too much to think about right now. MUCH too much, when i have another few hundred pages to read tonight, a presentation to put together for my monday night class, a test to study for, and a batch of seacolts to hatch on tuesday. why am i even posting right now? because i’ve been reading allgoddamnday, and i need a break—a brief reversal of the word-absorption process, a mini-catharsis, because it just so happens that i’m an english student who in most cases doesn’t particularly like to read. there! i said it, i’m out of the closet. freakshow, right? at least i’m honest.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

wizzle squizzle: redux

this is the fattest squirrel i have ever met. also a little slow, and extraordinarily friendly. i wasn’t sure about feeding her at first, for those reasons, but then i noticed it looks like she’s nursing, and with that on top of getting ready for winter i figure she needs the extra baggage. so she received peanuts; many, many peanuts—she even ate them out of my hand, and i got to feel her soft little slobbery squirrel-nose on my palm. it was freaking adorable.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

thy will be dada (in dada as it is in dada)

a long time ago i somehow came across the unvert manifesto. maybe not a long time ago. maybe just a year or two ago. long enough ago that i had a chance to forget about it, and then re-discover it and read it with renewed enthusiasm a few days ago.

the way i re-discovered it was kind of fun. i have a little toy called “henry the talking gnome”—you pinch his foot and he records for 12 seconds, then push his tummy-box and he plays back whatever you said in a helium voice. so i found a video on my computer of henry the talking gnome, close-up on his face, squeaking “sex should be a frightening experience like a dirty joke or an angel” (#4).

anyway, i’m really excited about this poet, jack spicer. i was going to order a book of his collected works, but it’s out of print, and the cheapest copy i can find online is like $60—and fuck that. albertson’s library has a copy, which is checked out, but i shall get my grubby hands on it someday, and i shall make copies of whatever parts interest me. which might be the whole thing. which would be a lot of scanning, because it’s nearly 400 pages. can i please find this book at a thrift store or something? miraculously come across a pristine copy for $1? please?

that’s what i’m counting on. in the meantime, i’ll just keep masturbating on street corners and mourning over the cost of rare, out-of-print books.

a bio, and a few poems that don’t cost thousands of dollars to read:
http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1656
(i think “psychoanalysis: an elegy” is one of my all-time favorite poems of all-times, ever).

Friday, October 26, 2007

2>4 (put the fun between your legs)

meet calliope (greek for “beautiful-voiced,” named after the muse of epic poetry). she’s a 1978 schwinn suburban that i bought a few years ago at salvation army. she was pretty rusted and nasty at first, but i knew my dad could refurbish her—he used to be a bike mechanic, and he still does all kinds of work on his ridiculous collection of a dozen-or-so bikes. he cleaned her up very nicely—there were only a few areas where the rust wouldn’t come off, and i just covered those places with colorful duct tape. problem solved.

i’ve traveled a lot of miles to a lot of fun places on that bike. this summer i bought a couple new bikes—a schwinn cruiser named athena, and a kickbike (sort of a cross between a bike and a scooter) named persephone. each one offers a unique and marvelous riding experience, but calliope will always be my favorite. i wrote a little cinquain about her:

downtown
to troubadour
i hear your peddles squeak,
your basket filled with flavors and
sunrise.

it’s time for a new poem, though, because that was written so long ago. i should probably stick with a mini-poem like a cinquain, so that if i decide to paint the poem onto the bike it won’t take up too much room. space is at quite a premium, what with all the stickers and rhinestones and whatnot that are already covering most of the visible areas.

Monday, October 22, 2007

the maximus pumpkin

this is baudelaire punkin. he won me a plastic punkin-bucket full of candy corn i couldn’t eat (the prize for 3rd place in a mandatory high school punkin decorating contest).

maybe this year i’ll paint olson’s face on a punkin. or would that be too scary?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

lion's tooth



The First Dandelion


Simple and fresh and fair from winter's close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass--innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring's first dandelion shows its trustful face.

From “Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman


did you know that a dandelion is not a single flower, rather a flower head composed of a bunch of “ray florets” (tiny flowers)?

and because i’m too lazy to paraphrase, here are some other fascinating facts about dandelions, copy-and-paste from wikipedia:

Taraxacum species reproduce asexually by means of apomixis, and seed production commonly occurs without pollination.

The flower matures into a globe of fine filaments that are usually distributed by wind, carrying away the seed-containing achenes. This globe (receptacle) is called the "clock".

In modern French the plant is called pissenlit, which means "urinate in bed", apparently referring to its diuretic properties.

There are usually 54 to 172 seeds produced per head, but a single plant can produce more than 2000 seeds a year. It has been estimated that more than 97 000 000 seeds/hectare could be produced every year by a dense stand of dandelions.

Often dandelions can be observed growing in a crevice near a wall, because the blowing fruits hit the wall and the feathery pappi drop off, sending the dandelion seeds to the base of the obstacle where they germinate. After the seed is released, the parachutes lose their feathered structure and take on a fuzzy, cotton-like appearance, often called "dandelion snow."

The plant can be eaten cooked or raw in various forms, such as in soup or salad. They are probably closest in character to mustard greens. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach.

Dandelion flowers can be used to make dandelion wine. Another recipe using the plant is dandelion flower jam. Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a coffee substitute.

Dandelion root is a registered drug in Canada, sold as a diuretic. Dandelions are so potent in this effect that children have been known to wet the bed the night after skin contact from playing with them. A leaf decoction can be drunk to "purify the blood", for the treatment of anemia, jaundice, and also for nervousness. The milky latex has been used as a mosquito repellent; the milk is also applied to warts, helping get rid of them without damaging the surrounding skin. A dye can also be obtained from the roots of the plant.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandelion

i am going to count the parachutes on a clock sometime. and use dandelion milk to repel mosquitoes. i would also love to make a dandelion salad, but i don’t particularly want to piss en mon lit.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

wizzle squizzle

i was just thinking about how squirrels are always portrayed in movies as having really high-pitched voices, and that led me to imagine a squirrel with a barry white voice. mostly funny, but also a little horrifying. i think i want to cross-breed a squirrel with a parrot just so i can train it to speak like barry white. this is how i will make my millions.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

où sont les enfants?

“ages 3 & up” includes 21- and 23-year-olds. duh.

besides, the boston baked bean-tini made the whole thing age-appropriate. you gotta be at least in double digits to down one of those bad boys.

my friend nikki (whom i just talked into starting a blog, which she also took my advice in naming “the deviant tart”), shared some awesome ideas with me today. she was (and will be again) an art student at bsu, and one of her professors used to strongly recommend writing in books…so in some book or other she actually turned the margins into a journal.

which made me want to take an existing book and make it into a poetry/art book. i imagine it would be part erasure poem, part coloring book, part stream of consciousness craziness…but what book to use? that’s what i’m stuck on. i would use the “jumbo bug time” coloring book i bought today, because it is of the wicked-badass variety, but it has no text to play with.

i’m thinking it would be coolest if i could make it out of a hardcover book, so i could inflict some mod podge collage mayhem on the covers. i have a wee little book called “Woman’s Worth; or, Hints to Raise the Female Character” which is all about being a good wifey, and is both repulsive and hilarious—i would totally use that, but it is very old and falling apart.

i’ll probably never be able to think of the perfect book for this project, and therefore will never begin it…but it’s a neat idea. maybe someone else in this class can do some good with it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

don't you carry nothin that might be a load

i am so thankful for fenders and pumpkin pie.

to anyone who has not experienced the delight of riding a hefty-ass cruiser for five miles through a huge storm with lightning, thunder, pouring rain and sleet, in unsuitable attire, while irrevocably head-stuck with the song “ease on down the road” (from 1970’s horror film “the wiz”):

you’re probably feeling pretty good about yourself right now. and that you should.

i realized today, finally and with unconditional certainty, that pie makes everything all better. i got home, got into dry clothes and shook out my hair, and dug into a punkin pie. no plate, because i was pissed. but the first bite made all my earthly tribulations dissolve. it’s not even a very good pie. i bought some of that canned filler crap last night, not realizing you have to mix it with eggs and powdered milk—neither of which i’ll use, because i don’t eat animal products. so it was ener-g egg replacer and soy milk, plus a bit of flour and sugar because the consistency wasn’t right, and then double the cooking time. it is runny, it will not form slices, but it was just the kind of pie-ish goo that i needed this afternoon.

i once dated a girl who was beyond obsessed with pie—at last i understand where she was coming from! pie is magic, and it makes big thumpy hearts extend from my pupils.

Friday, September 28, 2007

do you know the mantis man?

last tuesday someone reminded me how fun it is to draw, and i've been doodling constantly since then. i used to take tons of art classes in high school but i pretty much lost interest with the removal of due dates, just like i tend to do with poetry, or fiction writing, or any other exciting creative activity that i have to actually think about to do.

i'll probably be done with this phase before next week, but for now i am draining my uni-ball like a madwoman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

why beavers remind me of beatniks

…i couldn’t tell you, but i swear it has nothing to do with the first three letters of their name.

the following explains nothing in regards to the beaver/beatnik connection, but it is a fabulous quote nonetheless:

“…beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction - We'd even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneer - It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn't gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization--the subterraneans heroes who'd finally turned from the 'freedom' machine of the West and were taking drugs, digging bop, having flashes of insight, experiencing the 'derangement of the senses,' talking strange, being poor and glad, prophesying a new style for American culture, a new style (we thought), a new incantation…”
- Jack Kerouac, "About the Beat Generation," (1957), published as "Aftermath: The Philosophy of the Beat Generation," in Esquire magazine in March, 1958 (http://www.fb10.uni-bremen.de/anglistik/kerkhoff/beatgeneration/BG-Definitions.htm)

“solitary bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization.” god damn.

Friday, September 7, 2007

compound eyes (in the back of my skull)

today i learned that when bees mate their penises explode. the queen goes out and mates once in her whole life, and there’s this big group of drones just waiting around for her…and every time one of them gets a shot at her, his penis blows up, and then he dies. when a new drone begins this kamikaze mating process he has to pull the old drone’s penis out of the queen, and so on until her sperm sack is full. my linguistics prof spent fifteen minutes explaining bee mating habits, apropos of damn near nothing. it pretty much made my day.

Friday, August 31, 2007

the bestest ballyhoo


i attended tour de fat last weekend. never have i seen so many awesome bikes and excitingly-dressed people all at once; it was constant, delightful overstimulation. i want to write an ode to the man in the tigger hot pants...and the gangly, super-slow-ride-winning gnome who stayed in character the entire afternoon...the woman with inflatable bat wings wearing a whiskered duck pool floaty around her waist...the drunk man proudly sporting an american flag bikini, a pink feather boa and a tall, frothy beer hat...the countless men who dressed in drag, with varying levels of success and ridiculosity...and all the other fascinating, bright, happy people who descended upon julia davis for an afternoon in celebration of bikes and sustainability (and beer).