June 1, 2015
i’m going to europe for two months.
so there’s that, too.
June 1, 2015
have i been going.
the details of which
are relegated to my actual journal.
but shit, man, let me tell you;
this week, i’ve been blabbing
to anyone who’d listen.
asking, “how are you?”
is going to get a real response.
now is not the time to expect pleasantries from me.
i’ve been trying to pull back
from the specifics of what’s been bothering me
to think about what it says about who i am.
(i try to be reflective whenever possible)
and these are the things i know to be true:
i have worked really hard over the past four years to imbricate myself within a network of friends who love and respect me. i would argue that i rarely call upon that network in times of need, emotional especially, but i’ve had to the past couple of weeks and all i can say is my investment has paid off. my work (such as it is) and friendships are on. fucking. point. this year and i’m being consciously grateful for that.
i have also come to realize that in focusing on strengthening certain parts of my personality, work ethic, and friendships, i have created a false sense of security, a kind of bubble if you’ll pardon the lame metaphor. i operate under a delusion that i am in far greater control of my life, or perhaps more accurately myself, than i actually am because i’ve limited its general scope. this means that, when faced with new things, especially things that are unexpectedly difficult and generally foreign to how i live ma vie quotidienne, i am basically a child. the adult, rational part of my brain, overdeveloped through years of academic discipline, is simply inadequate for certain challenges. i’m not sure what to do about that quite yet, but i imagine recognizing a weakness in my character (by which i mean things with which i am unpracticed) is a good first step.
all of this is beginning to sound like an epic subtweet of sorts, a kind of return to the “i know who my real friends are” or “you know what you did” moments of livejournal circa 2004. this is not my goal. my goal is to point out two things:
1. i have come to realize that asking for help is a good thing because i have people in my life who’ll do it without question. i am going to allow myself to be “weak” now and then. (though i’m to make a habit of it)
2. i love the upjohn company for their creation of xanax because god knows i’d never make it through this life without the help of a little western medicine now and then.
setting all this cryptic emotional bullshit aside, (which is suddenly feeling so self indulgent that i should have just written it in my actual journal after all) how about ending on a high note, eh?
i think it’s been roughly 1.5 years
since i’ve knit
a single stitch.
simply an estimate
as i’m far to lazy to confirm)
i’m hoping i can re-access
that meditative quality that
drew me to knitting to begin with
because the alternative is bourbon
and mixing pills and booze, well,
that’s a road one should avoid.
*pray for my gauge
May 5, 2015
part of my writing process
is to use poetry as inspiration,
as a break from writing,
today’s poem has likely been posted here before.
but i’m holding on to it today fiercely,
forcing myself toward a revision
When Butches Cry
by Bonni Barringer
When butches cry
they weep, they wail
They gnash their teeth
Strong woman’s pain
It’s just the same
Except it’s mostly done
January 10, 2015
i am pretty much a misanthrope.
and unabashedly so.
for the most part
i distrust people
and think the world,
on the whole,
my general response to the world
has been to create a bubble around myself,
one of as much beauty and acceptance as i can find.
i’m lucky in that i’ve a lot of privilege
relative to the rest of the world;
i’m (excessively) educated.
all things that help to counteract
the palpable oppressive force of the straight world.
(it wasn’t easy growing up queer when i did. at all.)
and so today i find myself nearly moved to tears
(the strange man plastering the walls in my bathroom
is the only thing really keeping me in check)
because i’ve been bombarded from all sides
by random acts of kindness,
kindnesses of which i’m rarely in need
and i would never have expected to receive if i were.
it began at the red hook in ferndale,
a coffee shop i frequent semi-regularly.
for whatever reason, i only had my debit card on me, and
for whatever reason,
it was declined.
which is odd,
as i just got paid yesterday.
the worker bee shrugged it off,
telling me not to worry about it,
and waited on the next customer.
a little chagrined
but figured i’d pay for it the next time i was in,
chalking it up to one of the small perks of being a regular.
but then i realized that i’d just ‘bought’ a bagel
at the new york bagel baking company
not ten minutes prior.
i recalled the lady saying she needed to run my card again.
on the second swipe told me i was “all set”
and i headed off to the red hook.
i can only surmise
that she spared me the embarrassment
of telling me my card was declined
and just gave me my bagel.
my middle class guilt made me queasy
and i vowed to tip big the next time i bought a bagel.
then the final straw.
as i headed home i realized i was low on gas.
i wasn’t sure i’d make it home.
i found a single dollar in that compartment
between the driver and passenger seats
(what the fuck is that called, anyway?!)
enough for about a half a gallon.
about two miles from home,
with my fuel meter telling me i had 0 miles left,
i pulled over to a gas station,
handed the attendant
my sad little dollar,
and pumped the .56 gallons of gas into my tank,
plenty to get me home to my wallet and another gas station.
as i hung up the pump,
the attendant’s voice came over the speaker
telling me, and anyone else in hearing for that matter,
that the man in line behind me said that
he’d put $20 on my pump if i wanted.
a wave of unfamiliar emotion came over me,
some combination of
what i can only describe as
a combination of fear, shame, and humility.
shouting, “no, no, that’s ok!”
with no clue how the attendant could hear me,
quickly hopped in my car
and spend away home.
i’m not sure what to say about all this.
i just knew i needed to write it all down as soon as possible.
i knew i needed to document what happened to me because, somehow,
i don’t know what it means,
i don’t know what my reaction says about me.
i think maybe it’s actually very sad
that such small kindnesses
could disconcert me so.
that people being kind
is so outside my personal experience
that the experience of kindness overwhelms me.
perhaps that proves i am right,
and the world is just as shitty as i think it is.
but at least for today,
that it was less so.
January 9, 2015
this. is. amazing!
December 3, 2014
November 17, 2014
from the initial shock
of the news of leslie feinberg’s
if i’m honest,
stone butch blues
put me on the path
to my current work
as a literary scholar.
how do you repay someone
for changing the course of your life?
for showing you what matters
and who matters to you?
i’ll never come close
to living a life
as leslie feinberg’s
but, as long as i live,
hir work will not be forgotten.
“Feinberg is survived by Pratt and an extended family of choice, as well as many friends, activists, and comrades around the world in struggle against oppression and for liberation.”
August 17, 2014
if you live in the metro detroit area,
and didn’t make it to one of the detroit city distillery
bottle releases & tastings this weekend,
then you missed out on the event
of the summer.
i’d been stalking DCD for a while
when fate sat me across from owner,
(apparent) front man, and detroit’s newest
most eligible bachelor,
at de la tierra,
a pop-up art show and dinner.
it was one of those moments of kismet when,
if you’re trying at all to be part of
what can only be called
detroit’s exploding food/booze/art scene,
you inevitably run into someone who’s doing something fabulous.
and so, a month or so later,
when i got the advance email
about DCD’s bloodline whiskey release,
i bought my ticket without a second thought.
no amount of coaxing could get my friends to come with,
so i flew solo to eastern market
rolling up to 2462 riopelle
a little more than
blasting amr diab
and circling twice for a parking spot.
i’ll spare you the details of the night in favor of the highlights:
the energy was palpable – just the right mix of smiles and buzz, allowing the chet baker and billie holiday to bleed into the evening without being oppressive.
the service was impeccable – i was seated at the bar and the bartenders were friendly and, frankly, rather attractive. (evan, in particular, was kinnered several times by this shameless shutter fly)
the company was fated – a fellow solo diner was seated next to me and turned out to be none other than the detroit foodie. it was the perfect pairing; i love to dissect the food and drinks at these shindigs, and it was great to be seated by someone who could (and would) happily keep up.
the morai were clearly looking out.
the food was on point – especially considering it was prepared (semi-legally?) in an alleyway in eastern market. it was three courses of food i typically would never have ordered, the unexpectedness of my enjoyment only multiplying its effect. chefs jesse knot and brad greenhill seriously delivered. (that brisket, bitch!)
the drinks were flawless, dahling – sugar house who? DCD has all the ambience and none of the pretension, the antique bar lending a subtle authenticity other “speakeasies” only wish they could buy. more importantly, the drinks were perfectly balanced* and will knock you down without you realizing it (though that blackthorn is not fucking around!) the stars were the detroit sidecar and the strawberry punch. seriously. who would ever have thought that whiskey and strawberry would go together? i just want to lay in a hammock with a growler of that shit, slowly pickling.
my life is such that these little outings of mine carry great importance to me. so it was lovely to not be disappointed and to leave happier than when i arrived (so much so i returned on saturday for the two faced blended bourbon bottle release & tasting). between the two nights, i dropped a dollar and left with ten bottles, two gifted to those who kept me company in my solitude (thanks TDF and haven!)
if this opening is any indication,
DCD is set to become
a detroit icon.
check it out, stat.
as you know,
i’m not blogging regularly these days and
am equally out of practice at editing down
the number of pics i take to weave into a post.
you’ll just have to settle for a disjointed photoessay.
*my only critique would be that they need bigger ice. my drinks got a tad too watery too fast. though i had a total of five in about three hours, so part of it was my inability to keep up.
July 19, 2014
it’s a minor talk,
reflecting on my time
as a writer in residence there.
whenever i give a talk,
whether i’m in the middle of writing it
or working on my delivery (practice makes perfect!)
i turn to poetry for courage and inspiration,
to calm the feeling that i just may
vomit at any moment.
today, i’ll post two of my faves.
because, if poetry is good for me,
it’s likely you could use some more in your diet.
i doubt i’ll ever be as good as these women
and certainly, today’s talk pales in comparison.
here’s hoping their obvious fearlessness is catching.