i want you (she’s so heavy)

Saw “Across the Universe” a few days ago, and while thought that it was really good for what it was. I think some people were disappointed going into it because they were expecting more of a story, but that isn’t really the point of the movie – it’s more trying to capture the themes of a specific era using songs that are now cultural touchstones than a straightout narrative. Some parts of it were more than a little forced, but visually and musically it’s stunning. This one song/scene has followed me since I saw it:

Just wanted to say.


end of senior year scraps

i want to trace your body with the tip of my nose and the print you leave on me.

i want to hide from the world in the hollow beneath your jaw, my cheek against the soft skin of your neck, and feel your artery pulsing softly on my forehead.

all i can do is stroke my shoulders like you would, slowly, savoring the smoothness of my skin, and remind myself of you.

scalp to aching nape
gracing with age…

sitting in a room that groans with the wind as the thunderstorm surrounds it and i can smell the rain and feel the power of it cause the room to shake, sitting here (vulnerable, all-knowing) as the rain washes away the footprints we left as we walked on concrete beneath the stars, and i wish you were here that we might groan and shudder together, silent beneath the roar of the storm.

it must be spring.

it will end one day. perhaps in a few months, maybe in a year or two.

so i must stand on the flat plain of life and turn toward the rushing wave of inevitability, relaxed, standing tall, with the faintest hint of a smile, and wait for that which will engulf me. [fuck man that’s one extended metaphor]

it’s like stopping + waiting for the dahaka.
(funny how a video game and be so true, sometimes)
i don’t want to lose him. i’m scared of being on my own. but i’ll have to do it because of that, won’t i?

is our love real enough?
it feels real, but there is no sure sign.
(remember Blankets)
(remember Annie Hall)
(remember A Farewell to Arms)
nothing lasts, and your heart will break.
how do you expect us to live under these conditions?
how do you expect us to ever risk love?
(because we’d do it anyway.)

tread lightly on my dreams…

i love you, i think. i miss you.

do i hurt because i’m lonely or because i hurt anyway?
you told me to never doubt the fact that you love me, and even though i’m holding onto that, i’m wondering if it’s really true.

are we meant to be together?

(the happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story)

why do i feel like this?

i never realized before what a hero don quijote is.
moving in a world that should be real but isn’t
(the ancient horse glorified,
the servant girl a princess)

sure as the dawn…

i wonder what will happen to us, to me.

may i be mindful of you.

and the rain’s hard fingers flicker over me,
prickling my scalp
as i walk steadily to [the] cliff from which
i may fall or fly,
depending upon the nature of the winds
and of my wings.

at least i don’t have to worry about this anymore

Please don’t let me be pregnant.
How many others have written this in their journals?
I don’t want to forfeit my own dreams – then again, I don’t want them at the cost of another life.
Please God.
I don’t want to write this next part.

So here I am.
What does he want to do? I wonder. What do I want to do, I should be asking. But no.
Is the passivity freedom of being cowed?
My heart physically aches at the thought of him. Although it sounds melodramatic, I don’t know how I would survive without his presence. I need to touch + be touched so that I know it is real + I don’t fall into loneliness.
grief cradled in your heart like a bird in the palm of your hand

Why can’t I have an orgasm with him anymore?
I’m not honest in that forum. I’m too scared of hurting his feelings, too uncertain about how that part of me works.

Sex cannot merely [struck out, only inserted] be about physical pleasure. That is merely masturbation.
[really don’t wanna put this next part in, but honesty is the only virtue left to the kali yuga]
Funny how the phrase “making love” no longer seems extremely strange and quaint. It makes sense with him.
smiling so my face will crack
open to you and my exhaustion

i feel dead
i didn’t try hard enough.
what should i do?

i’m failing so many people.
i’m failing myself.

more dramaturgy angst

So… school starts in a little over a week, at which point “The Marriage of Figaro” or “A Mad Day!” as Jac is calling it will properly start, and I’m getting scared. I’m getting less and less enthusiastic about (by which I mean, dreading more and more) the script and doing a slapstick comedy in general where the axiom “stupid is funny” reigns supreme. But on the other hand, I know shit about actually doing theater. I’ve expressed my concerns to people who do know what they’re doing, at least more than I do, and reactions have varied from “Jac is crazy and getting crazier” and “it’ll probably come together in rehersals.” At a get-together recently the subject was brought up and I voiced my passionate and slightly intoxicated opinions, then wondered aloud if I should actually bring any of this up to Jac, if it would do anything at all. And other passionate drunk people who were listening to me said “Yes! Do it!” But I’m hesitant.

I’m hesitant about this whole dramaturgy thing anyway, even if by some miracle Jac changes her mind about the script. Most of the people I’ll be working with have practical experience in doing this, and while I’ve done a little through classes, I’ve never been involved in something that actually takes place on, you know, a stage. And I may be hopelessly naive and inexperienced, but I really do believe that dramaturgy is important, that there’s a reason for it. I just don’t know if anyone else will, and as such, if I’ll have anything useful to say or anyone to listen to me say it.

from AP literature 2

“That man is truly good who knows his own dark places.” — Beowulf

Moderation Is Not A Negation of Intensity, But Helps Avoid Monotomy
John Tagliabue

Will you stop for a while, stop trying to pull yourself
for some clear “meaning” – some momentary summary?
no one
can have poetry or dances, prayers or climaxes all day;
the ordinary
blankness of the little dramatic consciousness is good for the
health sometimes,
only Dostoevsky can be Dostoevskian at such long
long tumultuous stretches
look at what that intensity did to poor Van Gogh;
linger, lunge,
scrounge and be stupid, that doesn’t take much centering
of one’s forces,
as wise Whitman said “lounge and invite the soul.” Get
enough sleep,
and not only because (as Cocteau said) “poetry is the
literature of sleep”;
be a dumb bell for a few minutes at least; we don’t want
Sunday church bells
ringing constantly.

from AP literature 1

Metonymy 101
Linda Pastan

When they taught me that what mattered most
was not the strict iambic line goose-stepping
over the page but the variations
in that line and the tensions produced
on the ear by the surprise of difference,
I understood yet didn’t understand
exactly, until just now, years later
in spring, with the trees already lacy
and camellias blowsy with middle age,
I looked out and saw what a cold front had done
to the garden, sweeping in like common language,
unexpected in the sensuous
extravagance of a Maryland spring.
There was a dark edge around each flower
as if it had been outlines in ink
instead of frost, and the tension I felt
between the expected and actual
was like that time I came to you, ready
to say goodbye for good, for you had been
a cold front yourself lately, and as I walked in
you laughed and lifted me up in your arms
as if I too were lacy with spring
instead of middle aged like the camellias,
and I thought: So this is Poetry!

snow day senior year

“Will you remember me?”
“How could I not?”

Growing up is finding mixed emotion in pleasure.
Because nothing is simple.
Every day I have off from school means another day of lost wages. And worry and gray hairs.

wrap me up in your blanket of snow
let your frost crawl over my face
slow and delicate, veining like
spreading like opening fingers
line by line

Help me truth in you.
I need faith.

We are such fragile things.
Swayed by biochemistry, the moon, dust motes, tv shows, smell, and pain.
falling apart inch by inch
wondering why I don’t even stop to pick up the pieces.
learned helplessness. that’s what they call it.

he loves me.

the thing is that I was bored and did nothing about it because I wanted someone else to, and was angry when they did nothing either. that is twisted.
Why am I like that? not all of it is because of hormones and anger dissolving into tears. it’s because I don’t take responsibility for my life.
so many pointless things take up my time now, and that is sin.
help me change.
remember that he loves you. even when you’re selfish + crying + wrong, he loves you.
am I talking about Pat or God?
God, give me priorities.
how much of my faith was due to loneliness?

louis-ferdinand cĂ©line, "journey to the end of the night"

Travel is a good thing; it stimulates the imagination. Everything else is a snare and a delusion. Our own journey is entirely imaginative. Therein lies its strength.

It leads from life to death. Men, beasts, cities, everything in it is imaginary. It’s a novel, only a made-up story. The dictionary says so and it is never wrong.

Besides, everyone can go and do likewise. Shut your eyes, that’s all that is necessary.

There you have life seen from the other side.

The greatest defeat, in anything, is to forget, and above all to forget what it is that has smashed you, and to let yourself be smashed without ever realizing how thoroughly devilish men can be. When our time is up we people mustn’t bear malice, but neither must we forget:we must tell the whole thing without altering one word, everything we have seen of man’s viciousness; and then it will all be over and time to go. That is enough of a job for a whole life.

It’s harder to lose one’s wish to love than the wish to live. One spends one’s time in this world killing and adoring, and one does both together. ‘I hate you! I love you!’ You defend yourself and have a good time and pass on life to some biped in the next century, frantically, at all costs, as if to be continued were a tremendously pleasant thing, as if, after all, that could make one live forever.

Nothing entices memory out of its hiding-place so well as flames and smells.

Truth is a pain which will not stop. And the truth of this world is to die. You must choose: either dying or lying.

Then dreams waft upwards in the darkness to join the mirages of silver light. They are not quite real, the things that happen on the screen, they stay in some wide, troubled domain meant for the poor, for dreams and for dead man. You have to hurry to stuff yourself with these dreams so as to endure the life which is waiting for you outside, once you’ve left the cinema, so as to last through a few more days of this strife with men and things.

… he had always been frightened of life, now there was something else he feared, his death, his own blood pressure, just as for forty years he had feared not being able to finish the payments on his house.

That’s the way the world goes, spinning in a night of peril and silence.

He was crying. He himself had come to the end of things.
… There is a moment when you are all alone by yourself and have come to the end of all that can happen to you. It’s the end of the world. Unhappiness itself, your own misery, won’t answer you kno and you have to go back among men no matter what.


So this next semester I have a scholarship to be a dramaturg for the theater department, which is both cool and maybe not-so-cool? Cool because I love dramaturgy, not-so because we’re doing a really kind of cheap adaptation of Beaumarchais’ “The Marriage of Figaro,” which is a good play with a lot in it that does not deserve to be cheapened as such.

I’m supposed to really be dramaturging this script, but I frankly don’t like it, and moreover, it’s… shallow enough that there really isn’t a whole lot for me to do. So maybe I’ll just write my own adaptation, which would really not be much of an adaptation since the original is so good, but rather a plan on how it should be staged and presented.

“The Marriage of Figaro” is the sequel to “The Barber of Seville,” which is a pretty standard witty farce with all sorts of disguises, misunderstandings, plots, and cleverness. It’s smart and fun, but not a great deal more than that. There are a ton of comedies from that period like it. “Marriage” is “Barber,” and by extension, comedy in general, grown up. The characters are older and are living with the consequences of their cleverness in “Barber.” It’s still a comedy, with its moments of farce, but it’s a great deal more than that as well. For one thing, because it is more… grounded, I guess in the problems of the real world, of the unfairness of the aristocracy, the right to have something/someone others cannot have, the right to personal space and privacy, and the flaws we carry with us that those who love us see, know will not change, and nevertheless forgive us for.

So some ideas for how I’d stage it:

open with a brief manic summary of the events of “The Barber of Seville,” maybe using some of the music from the opera – stressing the farcical cleverness, the social/comedic roles of all of the characters, and the tidy clever ending. setting up the audience’s expectations, in a way. the rest of the play is the subversion of that expectation as the “happily ever after” hinted at in “Barber” is revealed for the darker, more emotionally complex world of “Marriage,” in which the trickster of “Barber” becomes the romantic lead, and the romantic lead from “Barber” is very loath to give up that role. the characters are older and more real, more vulnerable. i’d probably want to use a bit of the music from the opera of “Marriage,” again to set up that contrast, because Mozart’s music for it really borders more on devotional music, transcendental forgiveness for the sorry state of humanity, while the music of “Barber” is like the comedy: clever and pleased with its own cleverness.

So anyway these are just thoughts.

philip k. dick, "flow my tears, the policeman said"

“Grief causes you to leave yourself. You step outside your narrow little pelt. And you can’t feel grief unless you’ve had love before it – grief is the final outcome of love, because it’s love lost. … It’s the cycle of love completed: to love, to lose, to feel grief, to leave, and then to love again. … grief is the awareness that you will have to be alone, and there is nothing beyond that because being alone is the ultimate final destiny of every living creature. … But to grieve; it’s to die and be alive at the same time. The most absolute, overpowering experience you can feel, therefore. Sometimes I swear we weren’t constructed to go through such a thing; it’s too much – your body damn near self-destructs with all that heaving and surging. But I want to feel grief. To have tears…”

“Grief reunites you with what you have lost. It’s a merging; you go with the loved thing or person that’s going away. In some fashion you split with yourself and accompany it, go part of the way with it on its journey. You follow it as far as you can go.
… You cry, you continue to cry, because you don’t ever completely come back from where you went with him – a fragment broken off your pulsing, pumping heart is there still. A nick out of it. A cut that never heals. And if, when it happens to you over and over again, in life, too much of your heart does finally go away, then you can’t feel grief anymore. And then you yourself are ready to die. You’ll walk up the inclined ladder and someone else will remain behind grieving for you.”